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.