Friday, February 24, 2012

Moab Red Hot 55k Report

Photo: Compliments of UltrAspire

The first race of the year! It finally arrived and I was very excited to get out of town and head down to the red rocks. I left work Friday afternoon just in time to get to the packet pick up. We arrived at Eddy McStiffs as they were cleaning up the check in. Grabbed my goodie bag then walked over to eat a late night pre-race meal. Before I sat down I was approached and got to say hello to some great folks from UltrAspire. We chatted a bit and I sat down for dinner. I ordered the usual pre-race IPA and decided to go with the vegetarian lasagna. After dinner, Jim and I headed over to the hotel to get settled and ready for the next day’s festivities. Moab Red Hot is not just a race but a party. The quicker you get to the finish the quicker you get to have fun.

I tossed and turned all night long, apparently the lasagna just didn’t agree with me. When the alarm finally went off I was still in bad shape. Not only was I worried about a week’s worth of shin splints but now my stomach wasn’t being friendly. I tried to take care of that issue before we left to the start but no luck. Showing up to the start line in Moab is always a joyous occasion. So many familiar faces that you haven’t seen since the fall are all there with grins from ear to ear. I wandered around a bit saying hello and found my place at the start line. The thought was to go out at a decent clip and see if I could get myself to throw up. When the RD said GO, we were off. After about 20 yards I realized that taking first place wasn’t going to happen. After about 30 yards I realized a podium spot was just out of reach too. Dang! Oh well, time to find a rhythm and go. The first 20 miles were pretty uneventful. I locked into a solid pace and though at times it was just a bit faster than I wanted, I wanted to treat this as a long training run but also take a few chances. About mile 21-22 is when the grind up the red rock starts and ironically is when my shin splints kicked in for the first time. I looked at my watch and knew I was primed to go sub 6 which was my goal. I have run this race 3 other times and knew the downhill starting about mile 26 was a point where I always made up time. SPOILER ALERT! - This year would be different. The red rock was bringing me to my knees with pain in my shins. By the time I hit the downhill I was in bad shape. I could not take the pounding on my favorite part of the course. I knew I needed some things to change if I would hit my goal. For the next 4-5 miles I became a slave to my watch. I looked down continually and tried to do math in my head to predict my finish time. It wasn’t until I knew that a sub 6 was out of reach that I quite looking. For about a mile or so I was a little bummed but that soon passed when I started to think about the year I had in store. Was this my goal race? No. Was this going to determine my season? No. Was this race going to set the tone for 2012? No. SO I decided to cruise in and play an all too familiar game. Near the end of a race I like to watch the runner in front of me. If they turn around to check where I am, when that happens the game begins. When I see that, I tell myself- pass them. So there are races when I hope they don’t turn cause I don’t want to go faster but today I needed the fun. Well it happened to only 3-4 people but it worked. I came through the finish line in 6:17- 43 minutes faster than last year but 17 minutes short of my goal. This tells me 2 things- training is getting better and I still have a long way to go. Luckily I get to train with some of the best people I know so it’s easy to get out the door. Overall I consider Moab a success- a good place to start. I already look forward to next year on the Red Rock. Congrats to all my friends on their day. It was great to see so many people I know. I am already looking forward to the Buffalo Run 50 miler in a few short weeks. As for the shin splints- there still there but if I ever ran pain free I may be in too much shock to run.

As for some details…. I used my amazing UltrAspire Isomeric Pocket handheld bottle to carry straight water (it was a balmy 60+ degrees during this one). For nutrition I used First Endurance Liquid Shot mixed with EFS drink and water. I combine 3 ounces of liquid shot with one scoop of EFS powder and top off the 10 oz flask with water- PERFECT! My energy and hydration were spot on all day. No issues at all. After the race and before the beer I chugged down a bottle of Ultragen-cappucino style!
Photo compliments of UltrAspire

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My dad and why I run

The few of you that stop by and read this blog are here for stuff about my running. Well this post will do 2 things:

1- Talk about a great man

2- Explain a major reason why I run

February 19th, 2005- my relationship with my father changed. It has taken me 7 years to figure that out but I figured it out on my last run. When my dad passed away unexpectedly 7 years ago, it could not have come at a worse time. Not that any time is good for something like this but the fact my daughter was due to arrive was only 3 short weeks away. He was so excited to see his grand-daughter and the months leading up to that he spoke of it often. So his passing 3 weeks before Aspen’s birth was devastating! I wanted to mourn but the excitement of her birth was building for months. I was trying to be strong for many reasons and I never grieved properly. Well fast forward to this year- it wasn’t until recently that I figured out that I hadn’t “lost” my dad but I realized our relationship had only changed. I have never “lost” my dad, he has always been there-everyday. Just like any relationship, it takes work. It is never a one sided deal and there is always compromise. It’s about being there for each other and bringing out each other’s best. It may be more complicated now but that’s what makes it so strong. There are no more hugs or high 5’s, kisses on the forehead or pats on the butt. But there are still conversations, moments of pride and sadness and lessons learned. I have tried to take the best from my dad and not focus on anything negative. He wasn’t the perfect man but the example he set was a way for me to learn. We may spend more time together now than ever and trust me it’s quality time. I still miss the feel of his rough hands and unshaven face, how course his full head of hair was when I gave him hug and the sound of his voice. I miss them but I have not forgotten them, I have not lost him. Dad, thank you- thank you for the lessons you still teach me and thank you for instilling that little bit of grit that gets me through the tough times.

Why do I run? I get asked that question more times than I care to count. Why do you run so far? Why do you run in bad weather? Why do you run so fast (okay maybe not that one). Why do you, why do you, why do you…..? I guess it is a valid question. I never enjoyed running. It didn’t appeal to me. If you threw a soccer ball out on the grass I could run forever! Running to get somewhere never really appealed to me. About 7-8 years ago, I had the privilege of watching a close friend run the Katcina Mosa 100k then the Wasatch 100. It sure didn’t make sense and I was asking all the “why do you” questions. What the hell was Scott Jaime thinking? (Ironically enough, my dad thinks the world of Scott, so coincidence?) What the hell were all the other people thinking? After hanging around the Big Mountain aid station at Wasatch I thought it would be cool to pace him the following year- whatever pacing was anyway. The next year I paced him and though I am sure I wasn’t the ideal pacer, I was hooked (little did I know).

Since then I have been slowly and very inconsistently running. I have run a few ultras and too few training runs. It is on those mountain trails I have noticed I have become closer to my dad. It may have not been the initial reason or maybe even the only reason but it sure is a big reason. My dad loved the outdoors and I grew up appreciating them. Being in the mountains reminds me of the time I spent with my dad, learning to fish, learning to set up a tent, learning to start a fire without a match and how to cook a gourmet mountain meal. So when I don’t have the desire to get out the door or lace up my shoes, I try to remind myself that it is an opportunity to spend time with my dad. It’s up to me if I lose him or not……

Its been 7 years dad- I Love you dad and I am grateful for our relationship.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Training Week Feb. 6th-12th

Monday 6th- Did some core strength training. Miles 0

Tuesday 7th- Just me and Bj out on the trails and stretched it just a bit. Miles 9

Wednesday 8th- Hot the kettle bells for strength workout. Miles 0
Thursday 9th- Got out for a solid 12 miles on the BST. Great conditions and felt pretty strong throughout. Miles 12.

Friday 10th- Off- Family night. Miles 0

Saturday 11th- Argh- Got talked into running around Willard Bay today. Well, it didn’t take much talking but chances are I will not be doing this one again. For 18.25 miles there was a whopping 27’ of vertical! So basically ran around on a gravel dike. Saw 4 bald eagles, ducks, swans and one curious skunk. Miles 18.25

Sunday 12th- It was my 8 year wedding Anniversary so today was about no running. Miles 0

Still got around the 40 mile mark. The goal heading forward is to increase the mileage just a bit for a few weeks. Next week is Moab Red Hot 55k. I am better prepared this year but still not sure how I am going to race it. May try and go hard till I burn out or just might take it easy. Most likely I will run how I want to run most races and go to how I feel. Either way, I am looking forward to hitting the red rock in Moab but really hoping the weather is better this year.

Weekly Miles- 39.25

Monday, February 6, 2012

Training week Jan. 30th- Feb 5th

Whew- 2 weeks off make things rough. Started 2012 feeling good and being consistent while slowly building an early base then BOOM! - Sickness sets in. I had to take 2 weeks off and that made me a bit grumpy but good news is that I am back running and had a solid week.

Monday 30th- Did some core strength training. Miles 0

Tuesday 31st- First run in 2 weeks and boy I could tell. Legs felt blah and all the stuff in my head and chest made it tough to breathe. Last day of January and wanted at least 150 but only ended with 100- which is good for me. Miles 7.5

Wednesday 1st- Hot the kettle bells for strength workout. Miles 0

Thursday 2nd- My daughter Sami turned 15 today- Yikes! Still managed a run. Felt really good for the most part. Miles 11.

Friday 3rd- Off- Family night. Miles 0

Saturday 4th- Today I made it out to Antelope Island for the Buffalo Training run. Plan was to do 15-18 for me so I didn’t do too much too fast after being off for 2 weeks. Legs felt good and the weather was incredible. Ran out to the ranch (almost got there) didn’t want to do too many and headed back. Fell in behind Bj and he made me pay for running with him. Pushed it back to the car and managed to see 4 coyotes and some trophy deer. Great, great run with many fantastic people. Wasatch 100 draw was today and I got in! 3 for 3-!!!! Miles 21.5

Sunday 5th- Superbowl Sunday so I took off and cooked chicken wings ALL DAY! Miles 0

Got in more miles this week that I wanted to but the body felt pretty good. Legs were a bit sore after Saturday but shin and back felt great. Got into Wasatch and Moab is only 2 weeks away. Finished January with 100 miles. 50 short of my goal but after 2 weeks off, I will take it. Goal for February is 170.

Weekly Miles- 40