Thursday, March 31, 2011

Closing Out March 304 Miles

Mileage goal for March was 250 miles, ended the month today with a grand total of 304. Did Section 16 / Palmer Loop trail this afternoon in high winds and in the midst of an allergy attack to finish the month.

This is more than twice what I ran last March when I was injured and my second highest mileage month ever.

250 is still the goal for April and I think I might try to tone things down a little bit to keep it there then pop another 300 for May before San Juan. We'll see.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

That Giant Sucking Sound? That Would be March.

In the past I typically look forward to March. It is the month when days begin to become noticeably longer and presumably warmer. March is also my birthday month which I often look forward to as "Christmas Part II" really. All in all I look forward to March with great anticipation as it mostly means that we are coming out of the cold and darkness of winter. It is the month where I tend to solidify all of my plans for the year and begin to anticipate a fun year ahead. Well... not this March.

The weather has driven me crazy. The warm temps I've enjoyed no doubt but the wind has been completely unnecessary. I don't think that I have ever seen wind so bad down here. At one time last week I was on the Mesa and I could literally lean into the wind with all of my weight and it would hold me there.


Of course the wind would not be complete without the total lack of precipitation and dryness that we have been having. It works like this... warm temps cause things to bud. When things bud, pollen is released. Without any moisture in the air pollen floats around rather easily... with even less humidity and moisture in the air, the pollen keeps increasing even more. Then along comes the wind to stir it all up and make sure that there is plenty of allergens, dust, pollen and god knows what else suspended in the air to make breathing a ridiculously difficult chore. Throw in sneezing, itchy eyes, congestion and the party is complete. March: Fail number one.

Daylight savings time.... Why they moved it back to March is beyond me. It is pointless. What good does it do to have daylight hours extend later into the evening if it is still really too cold and windy out to do anything? Worse, for the past couple of weeks I've been having to take Annie to the bus stop in the dark at ten till seven in the morning. Really the later daylight hours do nothing more than to upset my daily rhythms at best, but in the end just mostly end up depressing me. March: Fail number two.

I turned 43 this year and I have to say that I have never had a more underwhelming and disappointing birthday than this one. A complete bust. March: Fail number three.

On the upside.... Asia is a wonderful puppy and I have completely enjoyed having her this month. She is growing so quickly that it won't be long and she will be full grown it seems. She has already passed from puppy to small dog I believe. She weighed in at 25lbs last night. March: Win number one.

I've met and exceeded my miles for March running and still have some days this month to increase that total more. I got in an 80 mile week, a 30-20 weekend and a long run on the Appalachian Trail this month. I'm not injured either. Had a great race in Salida. So... March: Win number two.

Just returned home from MD. Those trips wreck me and coming back to Colorado usually wrecks me more. I had a great visit with my parents and nieces though so I will call it a wash. March: Tie number one.

So bring on April with April Fools Day and Easter... coincidence or not? Regardless here's to things getting better one way or the other.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Awesome Run

Just did my 12 mile mesa loop in 1:29:40. That bests my old time by more than eight minutes. It was a much better run that last nights in the wind, that's for certain.

Here is a link to the stats.

Bouncing Back

Today is the first day this week that I am not sore or achy from this past weekends 28 and 22 mile runs. I am actually feeling pretty good overall.

Tuesday's run was pure hell. I don't think that I have ever run in such a horrible wind, ever. Somehow I managed to eek out 12.5 miles but as I said, it was hell. I was so close to quitting about mile four. Really.

I will hit my March goal of 250 miles this weekend while I am in MD. More that likely on Saturday morning about midway through the National in Washington D.C.

Since I will be back east this weekend I am planning on another Appalachian Trail run. This will be a 20 miler, first thing, early on Friday morning from South Mountain (Washington Monument State Park) to Harpers Ferry, WV. I've run this section before and really enjoy it. I love running and following the white blazes that mark that trail.

Allergies are going full tilt right now. With it being so dry, coupled with the horrible winds we've had, it's a wonder that I can even function. The pollen counts are damned near off the charts too. Thank God for Claritin and that I only have to deal with this shit 2-3 weeks out of every year. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

A day off, 80, and Snakes.

I took last Friday off from running and didn't do a damned thing. I had looked at my schedule/log and realized that I had not taken a day off since Feb 12th, so I think that I was due. Also I had logged 30 miles for the week and planned 50 for over the weekend so again, a breather felt like it was in order.

Oh... the dreaded 30-20, or 20-30 depending how you look at it. Just one of the nasty tools in an ultra runner's training toolbox. This was to be my big workout weekend for March. At first I was thinking a 10-20-20... Fri-Sat-Sun, but work sort of blew that for me and really the day off and two big back to back runs, especially taking into consideration the weather forecast for the weekend, well it just seemed better to load up on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday's run was hard but it went very well. I ran my Barr Trail, Experimental Forest, Longs Ranch Road, Waldo (Clockwise) to the Williams Bail Trail, Up Williams then out and down via Rampart Range Road. It's a 22 mile jaunt and though that last climb out of Williams isn't that big in comparison to the other climbs, by the time I got there I was just dying. Finished this one 4:45 and I am really happy about that.

Saturday night went to the roller derby and had a good time. Ate and drank and tried to rest and mentally prepare myself for Sunday's 28 miler to Palmer Lake.

Got up Sunday morning feeling a little sore from the before but not so bad that I didn't think it would work itself out after a short warm up running. The plan was to leave the house and run up the Santa Fe Trail to Palmer Lake where I'd get ride back home. I've never run the entire distance in one shot before so I figured it would be an experience. There are some nasty, boring, dull stretches that aren't hard physically as they are mentally that I was not looking forward to.

Saw my first snake of the year Sunday morning on the trail. I don't like snakes so he was given a wide berth.

Had to run a little past Palmer lake up 105 (barely into Douglas County) then back to Palmer Lake to come up with the full 28. All in all, the first twenty went great but the last eight, and especially the last four miles were a struggle. I finished those 28 miles in 4:50, so the 50 miles for the weekend took approximately nine hours and thirty five minutes. Not too shabby really.

March is really starting to look like a great training month. I did 80 miles last week and am still feeling great and I have 194 miles for the month. That leaves me with 56 miles to do in 10 days to meet my 250 mile goal for March, of course I plan to pass 250 within the next week or so and surpass my goal.

Registered for the Desert Rats 50 Mile run in Fruita, April 16. That is my next big race. The season is really starting to shape up for me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Salida 13.1

Ran the Salida Run Through Time Half Marathon this past weekend without any lingering ill effects. I have run the full 26.2 course the past two years and managed to get hurt each time so this year I opted for the simple,mostly road,out and back half marathon course to be safe.

Well, it didn't turn out to be quite as I expected. The course was changed from mostly smooth road to mostly gnarly,rocky,steep and precipitous single-track. When I found out about the course change before the race I was extremely dismayed. The race director even advised the half marathon racers to maybe consider switching to the full course as the 1/2 course was going to be very difficult. I did consider this but my plan all along was to run the 1/2, have fun, and most importantly, do not get hurt.

So as Brooks called it, I was committed to doing the JV run.

The weather could not have been nicer for Salida in mid-March. Hardly any wind, not even a breeze really and the temps were well above freezing. It was warm enough that I had no qualms about wearing shorts and actually debated between the long sleeved shirt or a short sleeved one. I opted for longer as I'd rather be a little warm than cold.

Since I was running the half, I did not carry any liquids with me but instead just had one Hammer Gel in my hand to have an hour after the start. The first aid station was a bit out there (55 minutes) and in hindsight I wish that I had carried water, but really it worked out okay.

Took off probably way too fast with everyone else. The first two miles had a little hill but was mostly flat. After that it got busy climbing Tenderfoot, around Tenderfoot and through other unknown parts of Chaffee County.

The course was tough. Probably the toughest 13.1 miles of trail anywhere. But it ws fun and I would actually love to run the course again. Maybe next year.

I finished in 15th place, 3rd in my age group with a time of 1:56:06. Not too bad. All I can say is that I never backed off.

My next run I think will be the Desert Rats 50 miler in April.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Generic Update

Just writing a quick update regarding things that have been happening. Nothing major to report which is sort of good in a way for once.

Surpassed my mileage goal for February with 229 miles for the month. 200 was my goal so I am pleased with those numbers.

Last week I registered for the Bear 100 Mile Race which is this September. The races starts in Utah and goes into Idaho. A few people said it was a great 100 miler so I am taking their word for it. Sounds low key which should make it more fun I think.

I have moved up from number 42 on the HR100 runners waitlist to 37 this past month. If this trend continues, I will be number 22 on the waitlist the morning of the start of the race, July 8. Bummer.

Picked up a new pair of the New Balance Minimus Trail shoes today. Can't wait to take them for a short spin tonight. At this point I think they are very similar in feel to my MT101's.

Lastly, running the Salida half marathon tomorrow. I am thinking my time should be around 1:40 - 1:50, especially if I run as well as I did last night. I am not sure what race will be next... either Desert Rats 50 miler or Greenland 50K. For certain Jemez on May 21st.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 7, 2011


Finished my first 70 mile week since last summer this past weekend. The 20 miler that I ran on Saturday went extremely well.

Fighting the birthday blah's the past week or two really bad. Mid-life crisis I guess to boot. Plus being tired from all of the running adds drag to the psyche as well. Throw in some work shit and I've been a less than happy camper. Coming back around now though.

On a good note I am not injured and things are going really well. I am looking forward to running a solid half marathon in Salida this weekend. Actually I am pretty excited about it.