Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wasatch 100 2011 Race Report

                                                             (The best game face I have)

Read all about it! Wasatch 100 2011 is in the books. It took me a few days to finish up the report because I needed it to sink in. Not sure it has still but if I wait too long I may forgot some good schtuff. This report may be a little lengthy but it is my blog so I can do what I want…right? Okay, we agree and now we can move on.

Leading up to the race I was pretty nervous. I wasn’t feeling very confident for a few reasons. One- I had to take off the month of July due to my separated shoulder. Two- I DNF’d at the Swan Crest 100 in July of 2010 and not sure I recovered mentally from that. Three- I hadn’t run longer than 47 miles since my Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim slog in April. August proved to be a great month of training- probably my best month ever. I got in some quality running, great hiking and lost 20 pounds. The days leading up to the start I made sure I was getting all my plans in order and my gear ready. I didn’t want to share my goals too widely because I didn’t want the added pressure. I didn’t post on my blog for the same reasons.

As my wife and I drove to the 5 am start time I began to process some things and discuss something that had been on my mind for a few days. I had been receiving quite a few texts, emails, phone calls and post on Facebook and Twitter wishing me luck. The reason it was consuming my thoughts was because some were from people I have never met and some from people that I haven’t seen in years. For so many people to take the time out of their day to send a quick little- “Good Luck” or “we’ll be following online” was pretty moving. I was actually very surprised and must admit it felt pretty nice. So thank you to everyone who help lift my spirits. As I parked and got ready for the start, memories of my 2008 Wasatch came rushing back. It was all too familiar and it sure hadn’t seemed like 3 years ago. I saw some friends and we all exchanged our well wishes. I joined the herd and awaited the start.

3-2-1 and we were off. I knew we had to cover some trail before it filed down to a conga line and we would begin our climb after Fernwood. I knew I wanted to get out a little quicker so I could make better time up to the top and through Chinscaper. The climb was pretty slow and go with so many people lining the mountainside. The wind was picking up but the temps were already into the 70’s. After the climb up Chinscraper we hit some very overgrown singletrack. The late snow melt made it nearly impossible for the trail to get worked on before the race and it made it a bit slower for me.

I got into Francis Peak about 30 minutes faster than 2008 and was feeling good. I got the pleasure of meeting Jeff from PA and ran with him for 4-5 miles. It was his first hundred miler (Jeff finished in 32 hours!- great job!). As I approached Francis Peak I hear a familiar voice yell out- “come on Manners”. Huh? Who was up here? None other than Mr. Rick Robinson- the guru of ultra crewing. Rick knows more about Ultras than most of the runners. He has been crewing his son-in-law for years at some of the greatest ultras in the US. He had my drop bag laid out and reminded me to make sure I was eating. It was such a mental lift to see him. It was only 20 miles into the race but man was it much needed. Rick got me out of there pretty quick and I was on my way to the Bountiful B. This has some pretty amazing views but I don’t care for a few of its climbs. I arrived at the “B” ahead of my 2008 times but I wasn’t about to look at my splits yet. I was in and out of there pretty quick. After I left the “B” my focus shifted from running to finding a nice little spot in the woods to take care of some business. Little did I know I would need to take care of business a whopping 13 times over the next 75 miles. Sure made for a long(er) day!

It was pretty uneventful through the next few sections other than finding some nice hidden spots in the woods. I felt good and my legs seemed to be in good shape. The only issues I was having was with my left big toe. Earlier in the race on some very over grown single track I decided to go back to my soccer days apparently as I tried to kick a 20+ pound rock. It felt like my big toe just exploded but I was pretty apprehensive to look. Uphill and flat sections it felt fine but going down was pretty painful. Lucky for me the last 75 miles there was almost no downhill…..HA!

                                                          (Weighing in at Big Mountain)

When I pulled into Big Mountain I felt good. I got to see my family and this is where I picked up my first pacer- Alicia. This was also the first weigh in on the course. The scale showed I was down 10 pounds after 39.4 miles. The volunteers barked at me to start eating more or they would make me. My nutrition and hydration had been spot on all day so I really didn’t want to mess with that in any way. My crew took great care of me and had me back on the course in no time. I shared some thoughts with Alicia to make sure we were on the same page. She did AWESOME. Over the next 2 sections I felt fantastic! I ran pretty hard and felt great.

                                               (Kids giving me love before I left Big Mtn)

Pulling into Lamb’s I was running strong and the legs were working like a charm. As I came up the hill I saw my next pacer- Breein and she was all smiles. I went through the weigh in and was down 2 more pounds (12 total after 53 miles). I leapt off the scale and tried to get lost in the crowd so they wouldn’t say anything. Breein got me all taken care of for the next section and my wife and kids got me fueled and motivated. Alicia did such a great job over those 2 sections. Her first pacing duties and she definitely earned and “A” from me!

                              (Pacer exchange- Breein (L) Alicia (R)- Alicia doing a Popeye impression)

Breein did an amazing job getting me up over Bear Ass Pass and into Millcreek. She made sure we kept a pretty good pace and she kept my mind occupied. I was starting to feel a little heavier in the legs but not bad considering. Once we hit the road to Millcreek I walked. My toe was killing after a nice downhill section from the pass and it felt like I developed a good blister on my heal. Breein was very patient with me as we continued to walk up the longest road on the planet!

Once into Millcreek I decided to sit down and take care of a few things. Up to this point I had tried to get in and out of the aid stations fairly quick. I changed my socks (my left big toe was sticking out and looked pretty sweet!). It also revealed a nice blood blister on my left heal as well. Since both my pacers are nurses- yep certified nurses- they took care of my blister and patched me back up. Melony did a great job of making sure I got my socks changed (Sami and her actually cleaned my feet) and got my cold weather stuff for the night ahead. I could of swore I was an Indy car at points of this race- it was awesome! Mentally I think I started to shift here as well. My legs were starting to get more tired, the trip to the port-o-johns and the woods were really taking their toll and my feet were starting to show signs of going south. My wife and kids gave me words of encouragement and parted by saying- “see you at the finish tomorrow”…..bitter sweet for me- seeing them at the finish- sweet, the fact it wouldn’t be until “tomorrow”- bitter!

         (Sitting at Millcreek while Melony and Sami clean my nasty feet-fantastic smile and hair—eh?)

Breein was still with me as we made the trudge to Brighton. I wanted to run but it just didn’t feel like a good idea. Going into the race I had a real vague game plan- run when you can and when you can’t….don’t. Breein was a champ as she literally pulled me to Deso Lake and then up to Scotts Pass and down to Brighton. The descent to Brighton was on the road but we actually made pretty good time and it was just a beautiful night out! We pulled into “the morgue” and I must say I felt 1000% better than 2008. In 2008 I spent over 1 hour 30 minutes in a race induced coma before I got up and crawled to the finish. This time was different. My stomach was starting to go but man I was happy to be there and be able to function on my own. I thanked Breein for all she did (which was a ton) and said hello to the man that was going to get me to the finish- Larry. Larry answered the call to show up at Brighton in the wee morning hours and get me to the finish.

As we left Brighton I told Larry it may take me awhile from here since things were starting to rally against me. He got me up to Catherine’s Pass before we went down the nasty section to Ant Knolls. At Ant Knolls I grabbed a pancake with nothing on it to hopefully serve as a sponge in my stomach. I was hoping it could settle everything going on in there. The grind out of Ant Knolls…SUCKS! Poor Larry is training for the Bear 100 in a couple weeks and thought he was getting in a nice 25 mile run…surprise Larry- we were hiking. I couldn’t gather the zest to get my legs going. I wanted to run but just didn’t have the energy. The sun came up and we both had our heads on a swivel looking at how the sunrise kissed the mountains. Ahh---this is life I thought until I realized what the hell I was doing and how far I still had to go. The calming thought for me at this point was I was confident I would at least finish. That was a good feeling. At Pole Line my stomach was worse. I was starting to feel more nauseous and knew my goal of a sub 30 was gone but my back up plan was sub 32. After all, it took me 34 hours and 51 minutes in 2008 so a sub 32 is definitely an improvement. Here Larry handed me a ginger chew. I have seen them and heard great things about them but I hate ginger. I thought I might as well give it a shot. I sucked on it for a good 45 minutes and by damn if that little sucker didn’t calm my stomach. SA-WEET- tasted nasty but worked. It was still slow and go and I kept apologizing to Larry- he wanted to run and I just couldn’t. I think I was now in survival mode. We hit Rock Springs and I sat down for a minute to gather a little composure before we went out on the nastiest, scariest and most intimidating part of the course…for me at least. The last miles of the Wasatch 100 has quite a reputation and in 2008 it lived up to it with me and crushed me!

I wish I could put into words the last 12-13 miles but there is no way I could do it justice. As Larry and I approached the plunge and dive I started doing some math in my head. I looked at my split card and Rock Springs and saw just how far off I had gotten for a sub 30 (my goal). I accepted a sub 32 but then I started to think a sub 31 was in the cards. Here is where I really feel my dad came into to play major role. I lost my dad 7 years ago and he never got to see me run. I wasn’t that crazy in the head….. yet. As I approached that nasty descent a thought came in…..what if I tried to get to Pot Bottom fast as I could and then see where I was with 7 miles to go? I told myself to pull up a recliner in the pain cave cause I was going to have to get “really comfortable at being uncomfortable” (obviously not my saying but it s spot on). I knew I was going to have to endure some major aches and pains this next section, maybe more than I have ever felt before. I took a leap of faith and was off. I was pushing the red line for most of this section and I kept looking down at my watch. I was passing people through here and they all looked shocked. I had my head down and had one thing on my mind. I kept thinking about my goal- sub 30 and how truly close I was. What if I never run Wasatch again, what if I never get this close again, what if, what if, what if….. I kept repeating all the neat little mantras I could. Partly for motivation but also to keep my mind off how much I hurt:

Why are you here?

Can I give more…YES!

Go out there and see who you are?

Before I knew it I was at Pot Bottom. I looked at my watch- 9:13 am. Yikes, I had 1 hour and 45 minutes to cover 7 miles. Looking at that you would just think- no problem. Heck a 12 minute a mile pace is 1 hour 24 minutes. I can do that. Reality check- I had already run 93 miles and the last 6 were absolutely brutal. The next section isn’t much easier on the quads or jacked up feet. I refilled my bottle and told the guy I needed to go. He asked- “you going for a sub 30.” I replied- “gonna try”- he said- “think you can do it, you gotta go hard.” I said- “we will know within the next 2 hours.”

I really felt I had my life passing through my mind here. So many people have helped me get to this place and now it was up to me. I thought of my family and everything they need to put up with, my pacers who took time from their family and lives to come and aid a friend, all the well wishers who took time from their lives to shoot me some encouragement, past experiences of pain and triumph, my training friends who helped me get to the start line and lastly…ME. I wanted this. I really wanted this. More than ever I wanted this. It was my chance to prove a little something to myself. My chance to put my one and only DNF to rest. My chance to erase some negativity if only for awhile. I made a commitment to myself that right then and there I was going to hurt more than anyone else to go sub 30. It was time to attack the course that crushed me 3 years ago.

Well, I DID IT! Final section 1 hour 30 minutes. I crossed the finish line in 29:46.30. I covered the last 2 sections in 3 hours and 10 minutes. My kids came sprinting over to me and all the pain was gone if only for a moment, I heard people cheering but I never looked up. I was talking to my last and final pacer of the day- my dad.

I realize that it was a trail race. I realize it took me 29 +hours (but not 30 :)). I realize I came through in 76th place. I realize I was 9+ hours slower than 1st place. But I PR'd it by 5 hours! I also realize I learned something from it and after all, isn’t that why we do it?

I want to congratulate all the people who toed the line and especially my friends who ran it- BJ Burlison (sub 30) - his 1st ever 100 miler, this kid has talent and I was so happy to see him already finished. Jim Skaggs- Mr. 2011 Grand Slammer!

Thanks to my pacers- Alicia, Breein and Larry. I couldn't have done it without you 3. You were all so amazing!!!! Thanks to everyone who cheered me on from where ever you are. Thanks to everyone who believed in me even when I didn't. And to my family- there is nothing more I can say that hasn’t been said. This was for you- our team! I know I am truly a lucky guy. Not sure why or how but I am so thankful to be surrounded by such amazing people. Pride filled me after the race not just for the time but because I am proud to know all of you and call you my friends...thank you............

                                                             Gathering my composure at the finish line (above)

(At the finish line. Never thought I could feel that good after 100 miles of Heaven and Hell!)

Ahh….the material reward!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wasatch 100 2011- Pre-race

Tick-tock, tick-tock…Wasatch 100 is here! This is the 2nd time I will be toeing the line for this monster. In 2008 I got lucky enough to draw out for Wasatch and it became my first ever 100 mile race. Many people couldn’t believe I chose Wasatch to be my first 100. Looking back now I wouldn’t have it any other way. You see, I only put in for the lottery- Wasatch actually picked me! People were saying- “why don’t you do an easier one for experience.” I think- why don’t I experience a hard one for my first?

Well 2008 didn’t go exactly according to any plan I could muster up but I did finish, I did learn a lot. I finished in a time of 34:51. Not fast, not pretty but a finish but I got to spend a lot of time with this guy- too much time in his opinion I am sure. Sure I was flirting with a 36 hour cut-off but there times I was flirting with a DNF too. The experience made me stronger and I believe a better person. Here is my post race report from 2008- WASATCH 2008

Now onto 2011! I was lucky enough to be selected again by this beast of a course in February and it has given me plenty of time to train. Training was going well until July 3rd when someone pushed me down the snowy peak of Ben Lomond and I did a Tomahawk Chop and separated my shoulder. Who pushed me you asked…..well me! I sat out nearly all of July and actually got back to running earlier than the doctor advised me. August has been the best training month of my short running life and I have enjoyed it to the max. I changed my diet and dropped 20 pounds and feel pretty strong. I am heading into Wasatch with expectations because that it who I am and who I have always been. I have never been speedy and most likely never will be but when I run these races, I try not to be competitive but rather accept where I am at and what I am doing. Some say it is you vs. the mountain or the other runners or the clock. I have fallen into the thinking that it is me AND the mountain. I get the opportunity like so many others to smell and see things that most people do not. I get to experience nature, I get to experience pain and I get to experience exhilaration! I never enjoyed running…never. Now through running I am a better person. Sometimes I am like most, I hate to get up early and run, I don’t enjoy the Utah summer heat while slogging out a 20 mile run through the mountains but at the end of the day I can say I have NEVER regretted a run. Even July 3rd on top of Ben Lomond, I didn’t regret it. Running has given me the chance to meet some of the most amazing people and visit some truly remarkable places.

So just a few days out from Wasatch, what am I thinking? Well I am thinking way to MUCH! I just keep trying to remind myself to enjoy the journey. I know there will be highs and lows, pain, suffering, steep climbs, rapid descents and darkness but I also know there will be trees, wonderful people, beautiful single track, animals, family, friends and of course THE FINISH LINE! We always ask ourselves if we are truly ready. The answer is very simple…no. Maybe for the exception of this time…. Am I ready, Yes- I am ready for a 100 mile journey no more- no less. I will be bib #124 for those at home who want to follow along here.

No matter what happens on Friday and Saturday I am confident I will be a better person after it is over. I have the support of my beautiful family, wonderful friends, running mates, world class pacers and I get to feel closer to my dad.

Good Luck to everyone running Wasatch this weekend. I hope we can share a smile before and after the race. Remember to have fun and enjoy the journey!

Wait- what is my expectation or goal? Well, we can share that next time……

It's almost time

Yes, it has been over a month since my last post but I have been too busy training. Stay tuned for a pre-Wasatch post....

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Big 4-0

Well, I am now the big 4-0! Not sure what all the commotion is about though. Maybe when I turn 50 it will be more of a shock. When people have asked what it felt like to be 40 my answer has been- "Just puts me in a new age group for races."
I had a great day of a solid breakfast, visit with my mommy and a night out with my wife. She surprised me with dinner at Joe's Crab Shack followed by an RSL game (which they won 2-0) then a night up in Park City. Fantastic day for sure.
Didn't do anything EPIC like I wanted but oh well. I guess having a shoulder in a sling really limits what an old man can do....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Shoulder Follow up

Well, got back from the Orthopedic and no surgery is needed...whew! I suffered a mild shoulder separation and a Grade II injury to the AC joint as well as trauma to the meniscus. I go back in 4 weeks to make sure the meniscus starts to heal properly. In the meantime I am out for 2 more weeks with no running so I need to get my road bike on the trainer in the basement. I was told I should feel pain for at least 6 weeks though....great. The ETA to resume running in the 24th of July which gives me 6 weeks until the Wasatch 100. Not sure how that will go but I guess we will find out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Appointment with the Ortho

So for the week after Western States I was able to get some decent running in. Did a few nice shorter runs before a group of 8 decided to head up to Ben Lomond Peak for the first time this year. The west facing slope looks good but we knew there was still lots of snow to be had. We all met bright and early Sunday morning and headed up. It was pretty uneventful with a few small snow patches then as we were running we heard an all too familiar noise......

                              Mr. Great Basin Rattler

After seeing this fella we were on full alert! Less than a mile later Curtis made another discovery..

                                                                       Mr. Rubber Boa

The run was getting very exciting with the animals ..errr....snakes. I do not like snakes and I really really really do not like the kind that rattle and bite. A few more miles and we were interrupted by a low hovering helicopter which was up there looking at the mountain goats. Our fear was by the time we got to those they would be gone and scattered but when we reached the saddle before the Peak, we saw about 30 scattered across the mountain side. Our first trip to the peak was was becoming more and more memorable.
                                                                Our goal off in the distance- 9800'

As we left the saddle and started the grind to the top it became very apparent that it was going to take some serious hiking to get through all the snow. After about 400+' of slogging up the snow we got to the ridge and took the rocks to the top.

                                                                       Almost there....

Once at the top we stood around a snapped some nice photos before we would head back down.
                                                 Proof I made it ...whew!

Now the fun begins. The first 3 decided to go down on there back sides and sled to the bottom of the snow field. I was next and decided to get in some glissading. I have done it a thousand times but today was a little different. About half way down I was gaining speed and getting wobbly so I thought I better fall back on my butt to finish the decent. Well, a second can make a huge difference- instead of falling on my ass, I TOMAHAWK CHOPPED! Head and shoulder first plunged into the snow and it was an all out yard sale. I dropped the video camera (I got this on tape) and my hat came off. After I slowly slid to a stop, I hiked back up to grab my camera and hat and finish the rest on my butt.
Apparently I hit hard enough to separate my shoulder. Damn, that hurt. Running 7+ slow miles to the car and my head was filled with thoughts and ways to tolerate the pain.
There is an appointment scheduled with an Ortho on Wednesday and I get to see the extent of the damage. Asked it I would glissade again, I replied..."oh ya!". After all ....stuff happens.
Details to follow but in the meantime, please keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best. I will try and post my video. I got it up on facebook for now....

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Catching up and Western States 100

Well it's obvious by now that I have been AWOL for quite some time. The out pouring of emails, text messages, facebook comments and letters (yes old school letters) have been too much to handle. So I am back with a post. Frankly, I really don't ever have too much to write about. I work, I am a father, I am a husband, I am an ass (wait- that's a whole nother blog) and yes I run. Perspective have reared its ugly head lately and I am figuring out where I fit in with running or where running fits in with me. I would love to run 5-6 days a week, I really would. I just can't find the time. Maybe it's a cop out but I really would like to run more. Not necessarily to do better in races but to just be able to run more consistently without nagging issues and a better recovery. I love to hit the trails and explore.I enjoy running solo but I also really enjoy running with all my trail buddies. So I find myself in a great situation. So I am going to try a little something new, even if only for awhile. I am going to try and post regularly even if it is just a line or 2. Besides what I listed above I am very fortunate to be a Race Director of the Northern Utah Trail Series or N.U.T.S. and I am the Team Director for the Pearl Izumi Ultra Running Team. Both of those take a lot more time than I imagined but both are very rewarding. So in not so short- look forward to more posts.....both of you. Now onto Western States...............
Western States in dubbed the "Super Bowl" of Ultra Running. I say- to each his own. Why the race does draw amazing talent and is set in some beautiful country after being there, it's not for me. Too many people and too much hype. Again I say- to each his own. I can see though why people do follow it and fall in love with it. It is a magnificent event. Hell if I paid almost $400 for something I better as hell like it and that doesn't count expenses. Like I say- to each his own. Okay- off my soap box.
I had the pleasure and privilege of staying with some truly inspiring and amazing people while I was at Western. I got to rub elbows with some of the best trail runners in the WORLD- not to mention they are better people than they are runners....sorry but you are. There were PI team members, new friends, their families and existing friends. Let's just say that over the past weekend, I really felt truly blessed! Yes blessed. I have so many quality people around me that I just hope it rubs off one day.
I witnessed some truly amazing things from truly amazing people. Whether it was Nick Clark busting out a 3rd place finish or Timothy Olson killing it in his 2nd 100 ever for 6th place or Scott Jaime showing why he will always be one of the greatest people I will ever know or Jim Skaggs nailing the first of his 4 100- milers for the Grand Slam or the beautiful friends and family that travel from all over to support them. What I got to be apart of was very inspiring and jaw dropping. I met new friends with Nick, Bobby, Jake and Cassie. Thank you to everyone who made the weekend beautiful and help make this world a better place.
Now, I need to go run because I do have some goals of my own......just gotta remember who I am

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's April

April is already here and that means that the race schedule is getting in full swing. I had to drop out and not run the Buffalo Run due to hip and groin injuries. Dealing with them for over 4 months has been pretty discouraging but finding the right PT and going to A.R.T. Massage have proven successful.
To celebrate, this weekend I will be traveling down the do the Grand Canyon R2R2R. This has been on the bucket list ever since I heard about it. I will be going down with 10 other great people I share the trail with from time to time. That is the reason for the picture change on my blog. Krissy Moehl sent it to me this morning to get me ready to go. I am not looking to get it done quick but rather take a little time and as many pictures as I can. After the Grand Canyon I get a few weeks to get ready for Granduer Peak then Timp Trail Marathon then Pocatello (20 miler) the the mighty Squaw Peak. I hope to get to SP50 in better shape than I have ever been. Obviously I have some nice runs the 3 weekends leading up to it so they will not be focused on too much. More less great training with great people on some kick ass trails.
It's April and time to turn the next corner.....
Hope everyone is gearing up for another solid year on the trails.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What am I doing?

So maybe I am not cut out for this long running gig. When I start to get some solid training in and get more confident about my running, bad things happen. For the last 3+ months I have been struggling with a groin and ab injury. Last Saturday I went out for a 18 mile run and the last 3 were very painful. I got into a new Dr and was told I have a "rectus abdominis strain" My first comment was - "no Doc, it hurts in the front not the rear." He said that the strain in my lower ab was causing my groin problem as well. Apparently it is a pretty common injury but if not treated properly, it can become a major issue. He sent me PT so I asked around a found a PT that deals with athletes. The last few I went to are more used to helping older non active people recover from surgery and I am thinking I have a different mindset than that.
 So the Buffalo Run is out for this weekend which is a major blow. I have run it 5 out of 5 years and now my streak will end. The decision came mainly due to the pain and further injury but also because if I can get it fixed I can still focus on June through September.
I guess this is yet another hurdle and hopefully it will not set me back more than a few weeks.
I will be out on the island Saturday so if you see me, say hello.
I will update my progress and hope to not miss much time or any on the trails.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hey a new post

So many happenings and no time so the blog takes the hit. After Moab things just got busier and busier. I took off a few days after the race to Colorado for the Pearl Izumi Ultra Team Summit. The weekend was a blast, spending time with some great people. PI is really gung ho on the trail scene right now and being able to sit with their product managers to see some new gear and hear their visions was exciting! The team is loaded with talent and quality individuals. Me, well I just soaked it all in!
I have been running as well believe it or not- swimming too. Problem is the groin and ab injury that slowed me down in December is back. Not sure what to think about it. I can get out on runs from 8-10 miles and feel pretty decent but anything longer right now is a little painful. So heading into the Buffalo Run it looks like I will drop from the 50 mile to the 50k.  This really bums me out since I was looking forward to running 50. I have done the 25k all 5 years and have resisted running the 50k because I just do not like looped courses. I guess I will have to wait and see though.
Until then I will continue to get some quality running in as well as hitting the pool a bit.
Looking forward to some sunny weather and I am tossing around running the Grand Mesa 100 miler in July.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Moab Red Hot 55k Race Report

Me crossing finish line: Video by Jim Skaggs

Took awhile to write a report for this one. Not that I didn't want to but rather I hadn't wrapped my brain about what I really wanted to say. I guess the first thing that comes to mind is that I did not meet my goal. I wanted to run a sub 6:30 but not on this day. I ran a 7:00.56- 30 minutes longer than hoped. So now- to the race.
Woke up nice and early to make sure I was all stretched out and ready to go. I have fallen into a ritual stretching routine that helps me feel pretty loose and ready to roll from the start. I made my way down the hall to meet Jim Skaggs and his wife who graciously hauled me to the start so my wife and kids could sleep in. At the start the old race juices started flowing. The wind was really blowing and I could tell it was going to be one of those unpredictable weather days. As I meandered around at the start to see some faces and give some - "good lucks" I started to remember how I was probably not quite ready for 34 miles. Once we took off I fell into a nice comfortable pace and knew that the first 17ish miles were pretty runnable and I wanted to make sure I kept a good pace. After all my longest run to this point was 18 miles so at about 20 anything could happen. I felt pretty solid up to about miles 19-20 at that point my groin and hip flexor really started to stiffen up. As we rolled through aid stations I could see a group of runners that I would most likely flip flop with the rest of the day. I decided to take it easy over all  the red rock up and downs and try not to aggravate the groin anymore more and then try to push to the end.
At one of the aid stations while I was fumbling with some gels I hit a button on my watch and essentially turned of my chrono. A few miles later I realized it wasn't on so I had no idea what my time was. Once I hit the last little climb on the course I decided to go for broke. I knew I had about 4-5 miles until the finish and I knew it was runnable so I told myself to go for it. I went through the first mile basically getting a stride going and finding the best way to run with a stiff groin. Once I figured it our I picked it up even more. I actually felt good and got my breathing in synch so the last couple miles were really enjoyable. If it wasn't for the head wind all day long I know the times would have been much better across the board- mine included. So after I crossed the line there was definitely a few moments of disappointment  but after seeing my family I realized it was time for a much needed family vacation in Moab.
Overall I realize where I am for the year and though my time was slow, I really can't expect too much more unless I want to put a heck of a lot more into it. The first 19 were great and the last 4 felt solid. So that in between part needs to go. One thing for sure is I love the trails. They may not love me as much but they will.
One special thing about race day that stayed in my thoughts- my dad. He passed away 6 years ago to the day of the race. I really felt I was spending some quality time with him and my thoughts. He never got to see me run the trails (he passed before I even started) but I know he would have loved the stories of the places I have been. Although I was slow and missed my goal, the time with him was priceless.
Miss ya pops!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pre- Moab Red Hot 55k

I will be traveling down to Moab tomorrow for the Moab Red Hot 55k on Saturday. I will be going with some mixed emotions. I am very excited to get out of town with the family and see some familiar faces as well....that's the good news. The other side is pretty nervous. I have been building up nicely for a decent run through the red rocks when I got sick a week ago. I lost not only some training and fitness but some confidence as well. I have been able to get out on a couple small trail runs and boy did I not feel the goods. So now I am shifting my mind set for a good "day on my feet". Makes it rough to know I felt good about my training leading in only to get side tracked by a darn bug.  Needless to say this will be my longest run of the year and I am going to try and keep my mind right and not get to "into" it where I end up pushing to hard and suffering for along time. I was looking forward to this race for some time but I may need to go play out my hand and re group for the Buffalo Run 50 next month.
Should be an interesting day to say the least!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Come on man!

Well after a great week (Wasatch 100 lottery) and solid 18 mile run I fell victim to the nasty bug going around. I woke up last Sunday after feeling great about my 18 miler and started feeling sick. Little did I know it would last an entire week! It is now 8 days later and I still feel a bit of it hanging on but definitely feel like I am out of the woods. So with just over 5 days until the Moab Red Hot 55k I feel less than ready. I don't know how losing an entire week will play out but I can tell it hit my confidence. I will most certainly get out on the trails over the next few days to try and get some legs back but I am not sure how much it will help. I guess I just will need to slug it out on the red rocks. The weather looks to be wet and cold too. Perfect!
On a side note and a positive one at that- Saturday the 12th was my 7 year wedding anniversary!!! I did manage to drag my sorry ass out of bed in order to take my wife out and even got some skiing in with her the next day. Happy Anniversary Melony! Thank you for your patience!!!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

2011 is shaping up nicely.

Looking beat at Lamb's Canyon (only halfway)

Well, the lottery Gods were on my side...or were they? Saturday morning after a solid 18 mile run with Les, I got a text saying- "you're in". WOW, 2 for 2 in the Wasatch lottery. I got selected in 2008 and that was my first 100 miler and a true eye opener. This year I will be returning with some lofty goals for me.
In 2008, despite have the best pacer you could ask for I stumbled across the finish line in a time of 34:51. Not exactly pretty and not what I was hoping for but I did finish. I was under prepared and maybe bit off a bit more than I could chew. You can read about that race HERE.

Here I am crossing the line in 2008.

So for 2011 the goal is to go sub 30. That means cutting off 5 hours!! Can I do it? Why not?
So with 2011 shaping up it is time for me to shape up. Big goals means big commitment. 2008 was a great learning experience and now it is time to apply what I learned to 2011.
Also a congrats to everyone else who will be lining up this year for the Wasatch 100!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January 2011

So I made it through the first month of the year with some decent running. Limited at the first of the year with a minor injury but feeling pretty solid now. The race plans are taking shape and in less than 1 week I get to learn my fate for the Wasatch 100. January 2011 was my most productive January ever far as running goes. I feel good and even though I am not where I would like to be for Moab in a couple weeks I keep trying to remind myself that it is not the focus for the year. Moab has always been a way for me and my family to get away and help shake our "cabin fever". It is a fun race and generally run without a lot of the white stuff. February is now officially under way and the goal is to get to March with a lot more miles and at least 5 less pounds. Baby steps I say!
So here's to February.
P.S. Tomorrow my beautiful daughter Samantha turns 14! Oh crap. The boys may be able to run faster away from me but they sure as hell would out run me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Island Training Run

On top of Elephant Head

I was able to get out onto the Island today for a training run. The plan was the 25k course but due to some post holing we cut it short and just did 12 miles. We did run up the Elephant Head which was pretty cool. I got to see owls, coyotes, antelope an buffalo. There was a good 15 people out for the run- some familiar faces and some new ones. The best news of the day was that my abs only had minor discomfort. I was expecting worse but they held out pretty well which is good news seeing it is about a month until Moab. I really tried to push the last 4-5 miles and felt pretty good maintaining a solid pace.
This year I am really going to try and document my running with pictures and video. Here are just a few below.
A few of the runners on top of Elephant head

My ugly mug at Elephant Head

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011 is here- ready or not.

This will be the first post for 2011. It will also serve as the  post I will come back to read at the end of 2011. Why? Well, let's call it a post that will hold me to my goals. Every year I jot down some things I want to do for the year- not resolutions just a nice 12 month "To Do List".
2010 was definitely not what I hoped but that all falls on my shoulders. So the 2011 "To Do List" here will consist of running goals. I like to keep these to myself so everyone doesn't know if I succeeded of failed. After careful thinking I am going to announce to the world- or to the 2 or 3 people that read this my plans and goals.
2010 never lived up to my expectations for so many reasons but at the end of the day I could have done more. 2011 will be aggressive and to be honest makes me a little nervous. I truly believe I can get things done but it will not be easy. Maybe that's why I want to do it. Who likes easy? Let's use 2011 as a year to test limits. We are all so much more capable of what we do but many of us are afraid to come up short or fail. Count me as part of that group. Failure is the real "F" word to me. 2010 gave me the "F" word in the way of the SwanCrest 100. These 2 days in July have truly haunted me with my running. It was an amazing experience and a real must do event. The people are fantastic and the scenery is something I cannot give justice in words. Never the less I "F"ailed at what I set out to do.
2011 is going to be EPIC  or insert a word less used over the past year.
I am looking forward to the challenge and must admit I am actually pretty exited. I have been training very minimal over the past month and have been going to PT to ensure I get off on the right feet.
So 2011 is here and here are my goals. Maybe lofty but what the hell.......
  • Moab Red Hot 50k- run in less than 6:30 (this may be the toughest for me being a month away)
  • Buffalo Run 50 mile- run a sub 10:30
  • Complete the Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim
  • Squaw Peak 50- sub 11:30
  • Get into Wasatch and go sub 28- I control only the time- getting in is another story (if I don't get in I will change it but do a different 100 miler)
  • Finish the year with over 2000 miles
  • Be down 20 pounds
Alright- these are not maybe lofty goals for most people but they sure are for me.