Monday, July 26, 2010

Swan Crest 100 or bust!

So the time is almost here. My 2nd ever 100 mile trail race. I did the Wasatch 100 in 2008 and was put on my knees by course. Luckily for me I had an amazing crew and the best pacer you can find- Mr. Jaime. Looking back now I feel pretty fortunate to have all those people in my corner. It's hard to imagine what Scott went through that LOOOOOOOOONG day on the trail. 60 miles at a turtle pace. I appreciate it even more the more I run. I remember thinking that one day I wanted to try and 100 miler with no crew or pacer just to see if I could do it. forward to NOW!
I was hoping to have another 100 miler or 10 under my belt before I attempted such a thing but circumstances are what they are and going up to Montana I will be going SOLO. If you get a minute, check out the race info HERE. So 100 miles through grizzly bear country solo? I read it and thought what the hell but now I think WTF? Am I an idiot? Well okay, I am but seriously. I need to carry a can of bear spray the entire race, pre- race briefing has a video that is mandatory to watch on what to do in a bear encounter. There are only 49 runners and aide stations spread out -some 25 mile apart. The course markings well, let's say minimal to be nice. It will be an adventure. Am I ready- of course not.
My wife asked me what were my expectations. Well, to live and go under 36 hours. Simple right?
I had a more than tough month of June but July has been great. Being the co-RD for the NUTS races has taken it's toll on me but I still find time to do some nice running. Whatever happens on Friday and Saturday this week will be a great experience and one that will hopefully make me a stronger runner and human being. Maybe it is just what I need to re-charge and re-focus. I am planning on doing the Bear 100 in September so hopefully it will help me for that.
So after all my rambling I can honestly say I am very excited.....nervous....excited......nervous....excited......scared to death!
Whatever I am, one thing is for sure- I am not sane!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Well that's a good 31 miler!

Well I wanted to get in a good run for a b-day gift for myself. The old saying of running your age in miles may be true but I thought with the elevation in this one it was the same- (31 miles + 8500' of climb = 39-  you see 31 +8 in 39). Nailed it! Here is the GPS of the day- BOOM!
So Jim and I started a the North Ogden Divide Parking lot at 6 am for a day of adventure. We left the lot a few minutes after 6 and began. The switchbacks were pretty un-eventful and we just power hiked and walked most of it. I felt pretty good and less labored than years past. This was the first time to the Peak for 2010 with hopefully more to come. A few miles after the switchbacks we were joined by Bj.....Here:

After Bj showed up, Jim and I knew we had to pick up the pace for the fast guy. We got to the base of the peak and made decent time up. We only saw one mountain goat and that was from a distance. When we hit the top there were a couple of people already there- one being Bj's father in law- Forest. He started a bit earlier to meet Bj up there. We then ran towards Willard Peak and Inspiration Point. As we got closer to Willard Peak we started to see all the mountain goats- BAM!
I am thinking we saw close about 50 but there very easily could have been more. They seemed to be everywhere! It was incredible. They are truly magnificent animals. We all stood awe struck and a bit jealous by their mountain skills. We weren't sure where to go from here so we just followed this guy:
He was right on the trail as if to say- "let's go fellas." We made it around one more turn which ended up being exactly 10 miles from the divide. There we turned around- summited BL Peak again and bombed down the parking lot to reload with water.
From the divide parking lot we took off for Lewis Peak. It was getting hot and the climb from the parking lot was actually pretty brutal. I noticed I was sweating like a hog. I stayed on top of the nutrition for the day and felt pretty good. We hit the peak and stayed for a few before starting our journey back down. It was a bit slower for me in a few parts but I managed to rally a little to join the guys for our last little quad buster.
All in all it was an amazing day on the trail. Lots of vert and some quality miles with some quality people. Trail running has been a great hobby/passion since my days on the soccer field. It's personally challenging but can be oh so rewarding. I will probably never be a fast little goat but I look at it this way- If I pay $150 dollar for a 100 mile race and finish in 30 hours and the winner pays $150 and finishes in 20 hours then I paid less per mile...right??? Well, that's how I will look at it for now.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Logan Peak Trail Race

Well, it took awhile but it's time to write up a quick report.
Let's see- I am trying to remember what happened on that day, it's been 10 days or so and I am getting old. Got up really early and met Jim so we could car pool up to Logan. We checked in and I got a good stretch in thanks to Joel. I have been having issues with my lower back again and with this race starting a climb for the first 4+ miles I wanted to get it worked on. Once the race started I just tucked in with Jim and Joel and knew it would be a 6+ hour day. I ran this race a couple years ago and got a time of 6:30. I wasn't sure how today would work out since I used June as a taper month (more on that later). As we went up the grind, I noticed it was a pretty casual pace. I wasn't overly concerned knowing what was in store later on. Once we left the first aid station it opens up abit through the front side of the mountain. This is were I was feeling good. I took off on a pretty good pace and it felt great so I just decided to keep it until it felt labored. Missing SP50 earlier in the month was still in my mind and I knew my training wasn't were it needed to be but I thought this would prove to be a good training run with good vert and good miles. The way up the peak was slow and go with some uphill running here and there but it was too early to take many chances with my fitness. It was a slog up to the peak but once there it was time to do some glissading with snow running mixed in. This felt great and really got my juices flowing. Over the next few miles I passed about 6 or 7 people until we hit the 2nd to last aid station. From here you take a fire road for a few miles then you hit the jackpot. Going across the fire road I felt like crap. I knew I should be running but the legs didn't respond. Once I hit the turn for the downhill I got a bit excited. Downhill doesn't always feel good on the knees and quads but this was some of the prettiest single track there is to offer. I picked up my pace and started to let gravity and beauty take over. Unfortunately this section in short lived and then you start a few minor hills before you wrap around the front side and join back up to the dry creek trail.
The last 4 miles are relentless. It gets pretty technical and you know that walking really isn't an option. I caught up to Jim during this section and ran down before I was rudely sent to the ground by a cow. Yep and damn cow! Out of the corner of my eye (while navigating the jagged rocks on the downhill) a cow appeared out of the bushes and soon as I looked up my toe caught a rock. I was going too fast to catch myself so I had no choice but to give in to gravity again and I hit a rock HARD then slid on my side and back for a few feet before coming to a stop. I assessed the situation as I lay there and I was bruised and cut but never heard a snap so I figure I was good to go. My vest was ripp3ed up and my quad had a gnarly knot in it but considering what could have happened I was pretty pleased. The knot in the quad slowed me a bit but I coasted to the finish in 6:10- good enough for 34th. I was pretty pleased with the time considering all that has been going on. Beat my old time by 20 minutes.
Logan Peak is a fantastic race and Bruce and company do a great job. Definitely a race I expect to go sub 6 on next year.
The last week or so I have gotten in some good mileage and some vertical and things are starting to calm down. Next up is the NUTS 1/2 marathon which I will be RD'ing. Kinda sucks I cant run it. It's a great course.