Monday, May 24, 2010

Timp Trail Marathon

I’ve heard that you learn something new in every race. Well, this was one of those races.

I had to get up at 3 am and meet Jim at his house about 4 am. We drove down to Provo for the inaugural Timp Trail Marathon. All the way down it was raining pretty hard and the outside temps were around 40 degrees. I think we kept testing each other to see if one of us would back out so the other could follow but no dice. We arrived at the start to check in and grab our bib. It was still coming down and the runners were all gathering under the pavilion. After some pre-race instructions we all head to the start line for the 6 am gun.

We were off, we started up right away but it was runnable. It was on fire road and gravel so it was actually a nice start considering what we were about to encounter. As we came around the mountain to see the light of Provo, we saw a trail sign to turn and go down. Well about ¼ of the way down I looked up to see almost all the front runners coming back up. I immediately put on the brakes and turned around. We had taken a wrong turn. The sign was there for later in the race- about mile 25. As we got back on track, the fire road soon turned into a slog through sticky mud. The rain had taken its toll already and the course was muddy. Going through the first aid station I felt pretty good. I had a good couple weeks of training and never backed off going into this one. My legs were a bit tired but I was hoping this would all pay off later in the year. About 6 miles in I went to take a drink for my hydration vest and only got air- what the hell? I had 2 liters 6 mile ago and sure wasn’t drinking that much. As I stripped the vest off my back I realized how saturated my shorts were- especially in the back. DAMN! My hydration bladder had a seam leak. Well, I decided it was to be a long day!

When we started our first real climbing around mile 11, I noticed myself sweating much more and using a lot more energy. This wasn’t good. It turned slow and go for awhile and when the trail became runnable again it was the kind of mud that takes your shoes off. I ran with Jim Skaggs a majority of the day and lucky for me he let me takes little nips off his water. It wasn’t enough but it was something. As we headed up the most beautiful section I have seen in a long time I could feel a bonk coming on. No water which meant no way to wash down some gel. I was literally running on empty. I took a few drinks from the creeks (keeping my fingers crossed still) but I really had no choice. Every add station I hit I threw down potato chips and water praying it would get me to the next aid station.

We got to run through some amazing country and when we started our first decent, I was flying- way too fast for me but I was in a groove. I slipped and fell a few times but no damage, I was essentially mud glissading. After the last aide station we still had one or two short but decent climbs and then it was a bomb downhill. By the time I hit the downhill my calves were really ceasing up. They were screaming! The last 5 miles I just took off. I looked down and saw I was clocking about an 8 and sub 8 mile but had no desire to slow. As I neared the finish, I saw my niece and wife who had hiked up the trail to see when I would be heading down. They gave me that last little surge and I finished under 6:20- well 6:19 was my time.

Looking back at all the rain, mud, snow, nutrition and hydration issues- I feel pretty good about the day. I kept reminding myself I am getting ready for Squaw and this race was incredible! I enjoyed everything about the race itself- trails, scenery, start/finish, volunteers, RD and all. I definitely recommend this race to anyone. Don’t let the marathon distance fool you. This is one tough mutha!

So what I learned to day was- check your gear! If I would have noticed the leak the morning of or night before, I like my chances of a top 20 spot. As I sit, 33rd. Great day on the trails and a good one for my confidence heading into the last 2 weeks.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A few days of running

Playing a little catch up here. After the hill repeats on Monday I needed a day off. Tuesday was nice to just relax and do some things around the house and hit my girls soccer game.
Wednesday I met Joel at Rainbow and could tell my legs were still a bit heavy. We made a easy pace up out of Rainbow and took Indian Trail just to the Hidden Valley turn out. Once there, we went back down and took the BST to "look out rock". The pace as a little off the normal due to both of us not having much in the legs. We turned back to Rainbow and I tried to push myself just a little bit. My legs were not responding well and I kept trying to tell myself I would loosen up. No dice!
Before we headed down to Rainbow, a couple young guys came flyin down the trail- BJ and John. First I had met either one of them but they had a real nice pace going. We invited them to join us in the future but not sure if this old man could keep up.
Lots of solid runners here in the Ogden area.
Thursday- I took off work to re-landscape the frontyard. After 8 hours of hauling river rock and mulch, planting trees, bushes and plants and the clean up I was gassed! Decided I wouldn't run since the body was sore and tired. I took a shower about 6:20 and sent Jim a text to see if he was running- Yep, he was. DAMN! I told my wife I was going and she gave me "the look"(she thought I was nuts).
Met Jim at Rainbow and we had a nice run on the north side. Solid pace but not rushed. Legs felt a bit better.
Wednesday= 6-7 miles
Thursday= 6-7 miles
I want to wish my wife GOOD LUCK tomorrow in her first ever race! She will be running the Run with Flock 5k. Have fun Melony! I am very proud of you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hill repeats

First off- I never run on Mondays and I hate running up hills.
So today is Monday and I did hill repeats (for the first time).
After good Sat and Sun runs, I always take Monday off. most the time to recover and also it is always a long day at work and I need to spend some family time. Well today was a tough day at work so I thought I would join Joel and Jim for some hill repeats to burn off some stream.
When I showed up at 5:30- Joel was there with Phil Lowry. After some pleasantries, we were off.
We started at 27th St trail head and the route is .54 miles up then back down again. The grade is runnable but for me- not easy. I figured I would do one or 2 then head home. When we got back down to do another, Joel had to leave and Jim showed to join us. Phil also decided to go explore the trails. So Jim and I went out again.
Long story short I did 4 sets. My legs were still cooked from the weekend and I actually felt pretty good about the running. I am going to try and do this at least once a week and add a trip or 2 each time.
Solid workout.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Solid Weekend

Got in 2 quality days on the trail.

(I love our trails!)
Started off Saturday morning with Joel on the BST. We had decided to make our way up Malan's for a little elevation and check out the trail. We hadn't plan to go to far but we saw some tracks in the fresh snow (yep it was snowing on May 1st) along with paw prints so we figured whoever was ahead we had to know. Who is crazy enough to be up that early running in the snow with a dog or 2? As we hit the overlook we saw- Cory, John, Matt and Brett with their dogs. We paused a bit to talk then we all took off down to the trail head. When we hit the BST we ran north back towards Rainbow and dropped Joel off and went out for a few more miles. When I finally split off the group to head back it started to really rain. By the time I hit the car I was soaked but man it felt good! 3 hours on the trail....

(Matt, Cory, Molly, John, Brett and Joel)
Sunday was a little rougher. I got up and boy was my body tired. I sure wasn't feeling like hitting the trail and since I was going solo I had nothing to make me go. I am glad I finally got out the door and I headed over to North Ogden Pass to hit the trail and go north. When I started I knew it would be a short run. My legs were heavy, sore and tired. I guess Saturday took its toll on me. I decided to go to the "2nd gate" which is a little over 2 miles and then head back. When I hit the gate I was still not feeling great but a friend told me -"training on tired legs is good for ya." Well, my legs were tired so I decided to go to the "3rd gate". After some running and a steep, short climb I hit the gate I talked myself to go to the next gate. I really started to feel better and running pretty strong. I charged the hills and did more coasting on the way down. I hot the "4th gate" and was turning around when I thought- "what the hell"- I took off to go a bit more to the next gate. On the way back I really pushed. I felt pretty good and could feel the heaviness in my legs but I was determined to push to the finish. When I got back to the car I looked at my watch and I turned in my fastest time for this section. SAA-WEET!
Man, it felt good to run so strong on tired legs. I am starting to think this is all paying off. I need to hit some long runs coming up to really get time on my feet but I feel more confident now that I ever have.
I am looking forward to a solid week!