Friday, September 28, 2012

Settling Into Fall

It seems as if I am settling into my usual fall routine and patterns this past week.  Running less miles is more of the norm as well as not feeling so damned tired and beat up all the time either.  And though I do appreciate the brilliant colors of the leaves on the trees changing, along with that beauty also comes a little heartache knowing what is coming next around the corner.

One of the interesting things that I have seen in the web the past few days... some running group or the other posted something on  Facebook basically asking now that winter is close what do runners do to stay in shape, etc?  I guess this question or more accurately the answer just does not apply to me and my life anymore.  It has been years since I have just sat around during the winter waiting for the sidewalks to clear to start running again in the spring.  Nope... really, the winter months are my building months, my months of my hardest work and effort.  Fall... right now is my backing off phase if you want to call it that.

Of course another part of my fall pattern is weight gain and I hate it.  Of course it is all my fault.  If I would stop eating everything in sight and everything else that I crave and oh yeah, give up the Mountain Dew for the 1,256th time in my life, sure those extra pounds that I have picked up since Leadville would drop right off.   I could start keeping my eating journal again and counting calories and calculating every damned day, calories in vs. calories out and that would help too.  I just don't want to.  And I admit... it is especially difficult with Melissa gone.

Not just my eating habits going to shit... (actually I eat quite well, I just eat way too damned much) but ironically enough, I don't like to run so much when she isn't here... I think that I am so used to figuring out my running schedule and what not based on our weekly and daily schedules that when I have all of the time in the world to go, meaning pretty much anytime, I don't know what to do or more exactly, when to go!   Weird, huh?  I guess I prefer the days when I know that I have to get in 12 miles or any other distance... I can either do it before work, at lunchtime or after work and trying to be home before or not long after Melissa gets home so we can spend our evening together... now it's like I can go anytime I want... eh... no hurry...  Then of course the evening gets here and I still  have to go and yet I still really don't want to.

Picking 12 miles above is not an accident either.... and THAT is another part of fall stand down if  you will... my mental capacity to envision running distances, not just physical fitness to run the miles themselves also takes a vacation on me.  I mean I know if it came down to it I could run 50K or more (not much more) if pushed right now but in my mind it seems impossible.  Not to mention looking back to the 80, 90, 100+ mileage weeks of the summer... from this vantage point I find it inconceivable that I actually crammed in that many miles in one week... and to attempt it now?  No fricking way!   Of course that plays into one of my secrets in training for ultras... I run lots of 20 miler's during heavy training, trying for at least three a week and one of those I even to try to make longer.  Anyway, it isn't the physical aspect of running those distances that I really have to adapt to, it is the mental.  Learning how to manage my mind and thoughts for 20 miles and knowing I can do it... that's where the training really comes in for me.  Anyway... long story short... I am a long way from that mental vantage point right now as well.

And of course... one of the more fun parts of fall is that I actually do focus on the shorter and faster runs like the Fall Series, the Turkey Trot in Frederick and also laps and miles at the track.  I find it fun to go faster, though it is uncomfortable, but at the same time it is all very life affirming in a way.  No, I don't like running on the track so much but for brief glimpses out there... or in a shorter race when I am running all out I get to hold onto some minute vestige of my youth.  Call it hopefulness, call it blind optimism that everything is going to be just great in life... whatever... maybe it is just a pure sense of potential that I don't experience all the time anymore,... I don't know but it makes it all worth it I think to have those little yet positive glimpses.

But speaking of track work.  I was reading about running 800m workouts and I ran across this on  The subject of the thread was,  How do you run your 800s?  The first answer was the best I think... "On pure hate."  

Looking forward to Fall Series I on Sunday.  I've already picked out my shoes that are going to be sacrificed for the cause and  good news as of this morning, my friend and training buddy Lisa is coming down to visit and race with me.  And bonus!  After that we are going to King's Chef for lunch! (Yeah, that isn't going to help the weight issue. I know.)

Watched this video last night.  If you substitute his activity with ultra-running, the behaviors, the compulsion, the obsessiveness is uncannily the same.  No matter how you look at it, it is funny!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

One Less in the Crisis

Funny enough I woke up this morning and saw and read this article.

I say funny in the sense that today was to be the day that I paid off MY student loans for my Masters and this I did a few minutes ago.  I can't tell you how wonderful of a gift it is to be out from underneath that debt.  For my BS I paid my loans off in seven years... for my Masters, 5.5.  Whew!

Speaking of students, I went up to Fort Collins last night to see Annie and to have dinner with her.  We had a great time but I am definitely paying for it today.  I should have gone a bit easier on all of the jalapenos that I ate.   Anyway, she is doing great and to be honest, seems to have a really sweet setup up there.  After dinner and walking back to the campus we got HER flight reservations to go back to MD for Thanksgiving as well.  All three of us will be traveling together so that will be a blast.

I've had some good runs this week and I have ridden the bike on the trackstand everyday for 45 minutes too.  I don't know it is making a difference or not in overall fitness but it isn't hurting I imagine.  For the time being I am just assuming that the body is enjoying lack of extra abuse being out and running.  I will run today and tomorrow but I am going to completely slack off on Saturday and do nothing before the race on Sunday.  That seemed to work well for me last week.

Heard this gem on the way back driving last night... the full version to boot... 6th grade flashbacks!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday Track

Thankfully I was not the only person running at the track this afternoon.  Amanda was there when I got there doing some speed work already so I wasn't alone.  I guess JT will be back next week?

I really didn't want to go today but glad I did.  The weather was okay after the rain showers... cool but not too cold.  But then around the fourth 800 I was sort of wishing that I had gloves.

Same workout as last week and it felt a little better to be honest.  One mile warm up, 6 x 800m with 200m RBI and then a one mile cool down.  3:15, 3:11, 3:16, 3:10, 3:21, 3:21. The last two really hurt and I felt like hurling after the first 200 of each of those... Anyway, just glad to be done.

Bought the tickets to go to MD for thanksgiving.  The 5K in Frederick at Thanksgiving is now an official goal race.  18:45 or better...

That was motivation enough for hitting the track right there...

Can't wait to get back to Mexico. SOON! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

A mixed bag kind of weekend...

I will call the weekend a draw... Melissa and I went out and  had a blast at dinner and being out Friday night.  Unfortunately that was her last night home for a couple of weeks but we did make the  best of it.

The rest of Saturday was spent just taking care of things around the house and running errands after Melissa left.  I stayed in and didn't go out or anything because I wanted to take it easy and rest/relax before the 5K in Pueblo Sunday morning.

Sunday I drove to Pueblo butt-ugly early, to be there for the 8:00 a.m. start of the Hot to Trot 5K.  I wanted to run this race for a few reasons, but mostly just to see where my speed was and to gauge what I might expect going into the Fall Series races which start next weekend.  I didn't believe that I did all that well to be honest and I left right after the race to get home to take care of Asia but later in the afternoon I discovered that I finished 10th overall and 2nd in my age group.  My time was 20:51.  About two minutes off from my PR.  I will say that I wasn't as fast as I wanted to be but I did run about the speed that I thought I would so that is good I guess.  Next Sunday will not be easy I know but I will do my best.

The rest of Sunday was spent hanging out... I went for a late lunch at Rudy's BBQ and then for a quick ride on the MC up the pass to WP and back down.  I almost decided to drive up the Pikes Peak Highway but decided not to as I didn't have a heavy enough jacket on.  I was only wearing a hoodie and my leather jacket was home.  Started watching The Debt on Sunday evening but could not get into it at all.

Running this week... not sure what I will do exactly.  I will keep riding the bike on the track stand everyday like I have been to keep the time volume up but I think that I will keep all of my runs under eight miles or so.  Tuesday will be a track day as usual.  He hasn't said anything but I don't  think JT will be there as he is off gallivanting in the deserts of the great south west.  (Congrats JT)

I am going up to Fort Collins on Wednesday to see Annie.  I am really excited about that trip.  I will go up after work and we will have dinner together.  I will get to see her again when she comes down this weekend too so I am doubly excited.

Lastly... tomorrow makes four weeks since Asia had her ACL surgery.  Tomorrow she will not  be as confined to her crate as she has been and can start resuming normal activity.  I will try to take her for a walk but only a short one and by short maybe to the corner and back.  Hopefully in another four weeks she will be back 100% or at least damned close... 

Yay... it's Monday.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Finally Friday!

This has been a long week but a good week all the same.  I have ran everyday and though the mileage is not up that high I feel the quality is there.  As a side note, I have started riding the bike on the trackstand a little bit each day to buffer the loss in miles while keeping the training volume albeit time-wise a bit higher.

And who knows.... the day may soon come where I have to really know or at least have to be ready to learn how to ride a bike for a very long time... maybe.

Melissa leaves tomorrow for two weeks or so of travel so we are going to Joseph's tonight for a last hoorah of sorts.  Bonus... SHE'S buying!  :)

When I picked my Jeep up on Wednesday, one of the guys at Predatory 4x4 asked me if I was going to run the race in Pueblo this weekend.  I looked into it and the Hot to Trot 5K looks pretty interesting.  It will be a nice shakeout run to give me an idea of what next weekend might look like for Fall Series One anyway.  Who knows, with my speed work of late and if I take it easy tomorrow it could go okay.

AND I got the final okay today to take some time off to travel to MD for Thanksgiving.  It will be good to go back there for a few days, see family and run in the Frederick Turkey Trot again... it's a very fast course. 

Another classic...   Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ben's First 100 Miler Report

My friend Ben who finished the Run Rabbit Run 100+ this past weekend in Steamboat just wrote up his entire race report and mailed it.  He doesn't have a blog so I am wanting to post it here with his permission of course in hopes that others can enjoy it.

As for me the highlights of the weekend were getting to Steamboat and home quickly on the drive, 3:55 and 3:45 respectively.  Seeing the trees in color on the more beautiful parts of the course and of course getting to pace someone their last 30 miles of their first 100 was pretty cool in and of itself.  Ben was awesome to run with and I can honestly say that everything which was runnable those last 30+ miles he made sure to take advantage of.

So without anymore of my needless rambling here is Ben Lawellin's account of his race.

Ben coming into Steamboat to finish, about mile 96.

Run Rabbit Run     

Wow, I’m still blown away.  It was so long, so committing and I’m just talking about what it took to get to the start line!  The run itself was all those things as well, but infinitely more intense.   The official statistics were 101.9 miles, around 20,000 feet of elevation gain.  Unofficially many runners say it was a couple miles longer, with their GPS’s saying ~107-113 miles.  It took me 32 hours 10 minutes and 34 seconds to complete.  It was a great feeling to pass over the finish line, but the emotions had been pouring out of me for some time in the last 6 or so miles.  The last mile is when they became a flood, tears welled up in my eyes as Andy and I came down the last bit of trail; running in a loose relaxed fashion for the first time in many hours and many miles. Coming across the line I was thankful to be done.  They say ultra-running is like hitting yourself with a hammer, it feels really good when you stop.  It leaves a mark too. 

My sister asked me if I had fun and I told her yes, in a way.  It is hard to explain why running long distances is fun. Most people cannot believe that such a thing could be fun, but I and countless others feel that it is.   You could say that the kind of fun that is 100 miles is a kind of fun that is not cheap and easy, it must be earned.  It is also not for everyone.  It could have to do with the concept of rationality.  In our society we try to rationalize our behavior, and ultra-running certainly does not fit into a nice neat box of rationality.  However I would question if what people generally think of as fun fits into rationality.  If wasting one’s life away in front of a television is fun then ultra-running is Kant.   


 We started at 0800 Friday morning at the base of Steamboat Springs Ski Area and proceeded to head straight up the ski runs to the tip top of the mountain.  Several people got lost when the course markings pointed to the wrong way and many racers ended up going a few extra miles.  I luckily went the right way.  From the top of the ski area we followed the Mountain View Trail to the Long Lake Aid Station, passing the Fish Creek Falls trail in the process which we would have to back track to after checking in at Long Lake.  During this section I ran with two guys, Richard and Doug(?).[1]  Good conversation was had going down, but we split up at the High School.  Going down Fish Creek Falls is a pretty spectacular bit of running.  It is very steep, very rocky and has some pretty good exposure in some places; a misstep would have had fairly high consequences.  I was pretty happy to get this over with early in the race as later on my legs would probably not have been up to the challenge and I would have walked a lot of it.  My left knee and right hip flexor were hurting quite a bit coming down this and it was making me worry about my chances of finishing later.  Eventually the pain went away and did not bother me again until I finished. 

From the bottom of Fish Creek Falls the course followed some paved roads into town and I met Dad at Olympian Hall for the first time.  Running through town sucked and I was a bit confused on where to go.  Apparently many other runners had the same problems.  I was not too happy about the pavement and sidewalks either.  Dad filled up my bottles and I swabbed the boys with Body Glide, ate some more, and took off onto the Emerald Mountain part of the course.  From here the course went straight up Howelsen Hill Ski Area’s steepest, grassiest run and then grinded up the rest of the mountain on the well named “Lane of Pain”.  A long singletrack downhill deposited me on Cow Creek Road where it was very hot.  I filled up my bottles with ice at the aid station and speed walked/ate up the road.  Eventually I met up with Abby, who I would run with most of the way back to Olympian Hall. 

My stomach was hurting pretty good coming into Olympian Hall and a bathroom break was a high priority coming into the aid station.  It was really good to see Dad, Meagan, Joe, and Carrie there too.  It was definitely a good morale booster to see them.  Filling up on water, food and fresh clothes I journeyed off into the twilight for the return trip up Fish Creek Falls.  As darkness descended I would get into my hardest part of the race.  It was hard because it was 1.  Dark 2.  I ran completely by myself for the next 20 miles 3.  Cold.  When I left Olympian Hall I forgot to grab gloves and as I was using handheld water bottles my hands were freezing in what turned out to be below freezing temperatures.   When I got into Long Lake at mile 48, I struggled to put on some more clothes that I had in my drop bag.  Unfortunately no gloves in the bag though.  I got some hot soup in me and stood by the fire for a bit.  I shuffled out of the AS and the first Hare flew past me like I was standing still.  Most of society thinks people who run 100 miles for fun are freaks, so the elite athletes who do this regularly and quite quickly must be super-freaks, Rick James style. 

Pushing up the road to from Long Lake to Summit Lake was a pretty dark time, both in spirits, body and in reality as it was the middle of the night.  I was cold, tired and alone.  I could see headlamps way in front of me and nothing behind me.  It was very hard to keep running and really to keep going.  After the Summit Lake aid station, I had 8 downhill miles to Dry Lake and my first pacer.  Generally I could run this in an hour or so, but in this condition it took right about 2 hours.  Running down hill was particularly rough on the quads and combined with it being cold, after midnight and painful; this was the lowest point of the race for me.  I was having all sorts of negative thoughts, thinking of dropping, being pissed at myself, thinking this was stupid and telling myself that I was not strong enough to carry on. 

I got into the aid station in a haze.  I walked right past Carrie without even recognizing her or the awesome sign that everyone had created with glow sticks.  I walked to the food table and started eating while my crew took care of all my little details.  Their kind words helped my spirits recover, or at least distracted me from my negative attitude.  Meagan and I took off down the Spring Creek trail, where she counted all the bridges we crossed (15?).  She told me stories and made me run everything I could, that more than anything helped my spirits improve.  When we got to the High School at the bottom of Spring Creek, my stomach rebelled and I had to hang out in the john for a bit.  We took off out the aid station back up Spring Creek, where we counted down the bridges to the top.  As we crested the hill, the sun was coming up and it was pretty cool. 

Holy Crap!  I only have 30 miles to go!  I changed my shoes one last time, and ate some real food.  I can’t remember why or how it came up but I told Joe that I have no skills at eating Ramen noodles.  Andy and I shuffled out of the aid station and began the long slog up Buffalo Pass to Summit Lake.  After seeing Buffalo Pass both ways, I can honestly say I hate Buffalo Pass.  It was the crappiest part of the route.  I mean of all the places in Steamboat, why did the RD choose this!  It sucked, but I eventually made it to the top.  At Summit Lake I shed clothes and began the long shuffle back to Long Lake on the Wyoming Trail. 

Andy really made sure I ran everything I could.  Every flat or down hill I “ran” and hiked the ups.  I was not too happy with the winding nature of the Wyoming Trail.  It looked exactly the same for almost the entire way and did all sorts of pointless ups and downs, winded around and was definitely not a direct route.  When I ran this during training I thought it was fast and fun, but after 80 miles of running I had a different opinion.  It is amazing how perspective can change things.  A couple times earlier I thought I had seen a fox and a few other things.  During this section I wanted to see the trail junction leading to Long Lake so badly my mind kept creating the trail sign.  Every time I came around a corner I thought I saw the sign.  Sometimes it was big sign; other times a small little one.  Without fail it was not there though no matter how many times my mind thought it was.  I would not call it a whole blown hallucination, but it was pretty close.  Later on I thought I saw a beautifully made park bench that would have been so nice to take a break on.  When Andy moved out of the way, though it turned out be a log. 

When we finally made it to the top of Mt Werner, there was a final insult where we had to climb a completely unnecessary hill to the tip top of the ski area to the final aid station.  It was just one last obstacle, one last hurdle to put up with.  It was all downhill to the finish from there.   


I finished the race in pretty good form.  Andy even commented that I was running with pretty good form at one point, but that is not what I mean.  I only had 3 small, minor blisters, a very tight right hip flexor and some pain in my left knee, but nothing major.  I’m pretty sore right now, very tired and my feet are still swollen and painful, but that should be expected.  I’ve always heard horror stories of people loosing toe nails and vast quantities of skin; I thankfully did not experience such things.   The pain was quite intense pretty much from mid-race to the finish.  My quads in particular were screaming at me on any downhill and would force me to walk in places.  That is one of the clearest memories I have is the pain, it was the most intense and unrelenting pain I have ever experienced, but I pushed through it.  Not always successfully, but I never let it stop me.

 I had pushed through all the moments of self-doubt; thinking of the possibility of failure, but never accepting it.  I maintained a fairly positive attitude, with the exception of a few low points in the middle of the night.  What does this say about me?  I can say that running 100 miles is damn tough; one has to have a certain toughness, both physically and mentally to even toe the line or sign up.  To complete it is even more so.   I think what it says is that I am a survivor.  I might not be the fastest or best at what I do, but I can tough through adversity and get things done one way or another.  This was a quality I developed in the Air Force and have carried it with me.  During grad school I certainly improved my bull doo doo coping skills.  (I still have no Ramen eating skills though).   

Lessons Learned

One of the key things to these kinds of events and in my opinion is learning.  If the experience is about learning, then it becomes much more interesting, much more meaningful, and enjoyable and it sets up a positive mindset for the experience.  It also makes one love the experience no matter what adversity one experiences.  I took this to heart after reading a book called the Way of the Rock Warrior, which is about mental training for rock climbers.  I took this idea and ran with it. 

What I learned from running 100 miles.  Patience, perseverance, discipline; it takes those to just get to the start line.  It also takes love. One really has to love running, the outdoors, and life itself.  During the race I learned that my friends and family are invaluable to me.  The help of those both at the race and outside of it were so great.  Without the support from those I care about and that care about me, I don’t think this race, or even getting to the start line would have been possible.  I learned that when one and others believe in oneself, when you do not doubt yourself, when you put your mind to something you can accomplish the impossible.  I think this is something that I have struggled with my entire life, I think everyone deals with it in some way; running 100 miles certainly has not cured this, but it has lessened it in some way. 

I think training went pretty well.  There were a few downs, I had some Achilles problems for a while and suspected I was developing plantar fasciitis.  I worked through it with some consistent rehab, stretching and compression.  I suspect I caused this with speed work and in the future I will be more conservative with this.  I’ve never been great about peaking for races and I probably could have done the taper differently.  I think I should have tapered later on and in a less dramatic fashion.  After my last long run of 60 miles I should have kept with some consistent training, done a 60-70 mile week instead of a 40. I think I tapered too much and lost too much fitness.  I also needed to find a better way to keep weight on, as I got too skinny.  I probably need to mix in some upper body stuff more too.

During the race, I think I did stuff right.  I wanted to run my own race and did not try to run the pace of other folks.  I would only run with them if it fit what I wanted.  I think I might have pushed the pace a bit coming up the Beale trail on Emerald Mountain, but that is the only place.  Maybe I went to fast at the start, but I don’t know, maybe.  I’m pretty pleased with how I ran.

Is there going to be a future 100?

Not sure right now.  It is said that endurance athletes have crappy memories so maybe.  It took so much effort to train for the race, and the event itself was pretty draining mentally, emotionally and physically; that I can only do this on now and then.  I’ve had an on again, off again relationship with ultra-marathons, so expect that to continue. 

Thanks to everyone that was at the race and those that supported me from afar!  My crew and pacers were all awesome and you rock!

Stuff used

From 0-40 mile I ran in just shorts and a t-shirt.  Carried two handheld bottles and carried gels and bars in my pockets.  Wore New Balance Mt-1010 shoes.  Dry Max socks

40-72 La Sportiva Vertical K shoes

72-finish La Sportiva Fire Blades

Smartwool compression socks from 40 to the finish

Ice breaker ¾ tights in the night

North Face Better than Naked wind jacket at night

Salomon Slab 5 pack after mile 40 to the finish.

Best things to eat:  Stinger Energy Chews, ramen soup, mashed potatoes, PB&J sandwiches. Plain water and SCaps!.

[1] I could not remember most people’s names so everyone became a Doug by default.

Ben getting it done about mile 80+ early in the morning.  He is cruising right a long.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday Track... Even More Better!

Another fun night at the Manitou H.S. Track.  A lot of friends showed up to partake of the fun which made the evening so much more enjoyable.  Melissa actually rode her bike from home to the track to meet us there as well.  Of course she got a ride back in the Jeep and we went for pizza.

The plan was 6x800m with 400m RBI but JT showed up right before my last warmup lap was done and we talked and he said that he planned on doing 6x800 with 200m RBI instead.  Personally I didn't like the idea of such a short recovery but I also knew that it would cut the total time of being out there a bit so I decided to go for it too.  I will add that I was counting on the last two or three 800's to be absolute crap.

Surprisingly enough it went okay... one mile warm up, 6 x 800m with 200m RBI and then a one mile or so cool down.  Times were better than last week overall I think.... 3:12, 3:15, 3:15, 3:19, 3:21, and 3:19.

Melissa and I talked at dinner and I think that we are definitely going to try to go back east to see my folks for Thanksgiving.  If we do that I will run the 5K in Frederick again and that will definitely give me something to look forward to.

I still need to write about this weekend's trip to Steamboat and my first time pacing for a 100 mile race.  It was a whirlwind weekend with the drive up and back from Steamboat, three hours and fifty five minutes to get there and three hours and forty five minutes to get back.  Of course that was solid non-stop driving.  The upside of that is now I know that Melissa and I can go up there when we want as it is one of our favorite places a little more easily than we thought before.

I'll stop rambling now but I can't believe that FS I is just a touch over two weeks away!  Yikes!

The Jeep gets more work tomorrow... Already thinking engine mods and interior stuff now... oh and new wheels maybe... we'll see.

Awesome song.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Steamboat Bound

Taking off in a few to go to Steamboat.  I am going to take 24 to 9 then go north through Breck.  It is a touch further but hopefully it will be more manageable than I-25, 470 and part of 70 on a Friday afternoon.

I'll report more after the weekend.  This is my first time pacing someone in a 100 miler and I am pretty excited.

Got to blast this one in the Jeep yesterday!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Happier Wednesday

Got out for a few miles today at lunchtime and ran in the rain.  I really don't remember the last time that I ran in honest to goodness rain but I think it had to be in July up in Leadville.  It wasn't that bad running in the rain today as it wasn't that cold.  The creek in MVP is way up and the water is almost black from ash I presume.

Tinkering with the idea of Bandera in January.  Another Texas race.  We'll see.  100K sounds like a decent distance to shoot for that early in the year.  I won't even consider going back to do Rocky Raccoon in February, forget that.

Doing some preliminary shopping and fact finding for a mountain bike for next year maybe.  So far I think that I am looking for a hard tail, 29" wheels, and under 23lbs in weight.  Of course it would have to have front suspension.  Like I said, right now just investigating my options.  If I need a bike or not won' t be decided until December.

I've been looking at possible contenders in my age group for the Fall Series.  Pretty much it's going to be a tough go at it.  I finished 6th in my AG last year and this  year I will be lucky to be that far up again.  I hope to drop five minutes from my overall time in the series from last year.  If I just do better in the last race, that will take care of that but there is just a lot of talent in the 40-44 AG. 

Anyway, starting to feel like things are coming back around.  I am pretty determined now to just get the momentum going again and keeping with it.  It could be a 50 mile week when all is said and done.

Who remembers the Chicken Lady?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday Track.... Better.

Originally planned a workout of 4x1 mile repeats again tonight but JT intervened and suggested that 800's would be more appropriate given my current "condition."  Not 100% sure of which "condition" or issue he was reffering to so I will just assume that me was meaning my current burnout/lack of motivation-condition.  At least I hope that is what he meant as there are plenty of other options to choose from.

So tonight ended up being one mile warm up, 6 x 800m with 400m RBI and a one mile cool down.  Times were okay... 3:11, 3:23,322,3:21,3:25,3:18. 

That 3:25 was DEFINITELY due to the wind.

Overall it felt good. (as good as repeats can feel at least.)  Better than any workout since Leadville so progress in the right direction.  One thing that I was thinking on my fourth or fifth repeat was that with as crappy as things have felt the past three weeks at least I have hit the track every week and I have had those more quality workouts... so my overall volume has sucked, my consistency has sucked but at least once a week I've had honest track workouts of decent quality so that is something to be happy about. 

Sirius XM strikes again... heard this on the way home.  Talk about an ear worm!

Monday, September 10, 2012

This Is A Tough One

Just over three weeks into the recovery phase after Leadville and I can tell that I am going to take a long time to fully bounce back.  In the past it seems to take me right at seven weeks to bounce back from a 100 miler and all I can say is that after three weeks I am completely fricking miserable.

Physically I feel fine.  Still a touch of the goofy numbness in my right foot but overall physically, everything is intact, no injuries etc.  It is just that I am so damned tired right now.  All the time. Worse than being tired is being unmotivated which is a sensation that I am not used to feeling.

Just tired.... tired, tired, tired.  Lost... again it is that post 100 mile untethered feeling that I usually get.. nothing to hold onto and nothing on the horizon.  Last September I manged to sqeeze in 300 miles somehow... this September I will be lucky if it is half that amount.  This only brings up the question... do I take considerable more time off or do I try to work my way through this now and hope to ultimately build up my momentum again? If it is truly a choice between two evils, I think that I would rather just start moving again and feel like shit as opposed to doing nothing and feeling like shit anyway.  At least if I am running I will have some satisfaction that I am doing something.

My plans for next year are sort of morphing and to be honest, they are going in directions that I would have never guessed and I really can't explain.  Of course nothing is decided one way or the other until the Hardrock 100 lottery in December which is three months away.

So... I'll do a short run today, track workout tomorrow... then short runs through the rest of the week. Pacing at Run Rabbit Run this weekend for 28 miles and that will be fun.  I am leaving COS at 16:00 on Friday afternoon if anyone would like to ride up to Steamboat with me. 

JT sent me this pic last week that we took of Annie and I at the LT100 finish as I was waiting to get into the car.  I'm sure that her being gone and adjusting to all of that is weighing on me as well.   I still can't believe I have a kid in College...  

Annie and I in Leadville.. I have no clue where the blanket came from but it sure is special.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Phase II

Got the new tires today.  Phase II is complete.  I ended up going with the 33" tires even though 35" would have fit just fine.  I'd rather go with the smaller tire and not have any issues with the tire making contact or rubbing the frame in anyway.  I used to think that 33" tires were pretty big  but it is funny though because I did look at 35" and even a 37" tire which definitely changed that notion.

Phase III is set for Sept 19.  New front and rear bumpers and winch.  After that at some time will be phase four... engine mods.  But first to get rid of the nasty stock bumpers. 

I took a picture of the Jeep today to compare it to my old Wrangler in 2007.  Kinda neat.

My '04 TJ in '07.  I was running 31" tires on this one.

My '09 JK in '12 with the 33" tires.  Same model as before. 

I sure am having fun! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Phase I Complete!

Just got the Jeep back this afternoon.  Already the transformation is evident.

Between the lift kit and new fenders there is much more space to upgrade to 33" tires now.  

A different angled view of the AEV Heat Reduction Hood. 
Next... Tires.  I am moving away from the Goodrich MS tires and going for the Goodrich AT's which I used to have on my old truck and Jeeps. 

The Tarnished Tin Lady

This is a work of fiction... Or the names of people and places have been changed to protect the writer... Whatever. Maybe.

Recently I ran ran in a very big race.   Big.  And during that event I may have seen some things (as well as others) which has left me very upset the past three weeks and this is that story.

About 22 miles into this race and after running down a very steep and long hill, let's call it the high voltage lines, I caught up with a very skinny, blonde, female ultrarunner once I hit the pavement.

We were sort of running in the same space and I noticed a guy riding a bike with a green jacket on, a thin shell if you will and I could clearly make out the word "medical" through the material and on his riding jersey underneath.

Personally at the time I didn't think much of it except that it was different to see medical people along the course on bikes.  I just thought that it was something new that the race organizers were doing.  All in all a pretty good idea.

Of course race staff or not, I can't be running next or even around someone on a bike, and especially if they are so blatantly"buzzing" around a female runner.  Kind of annoying.  But I did think it strange when he stopped by a big turn in the road to give some things to the runner... "Well, maybe she had a headache?"  Or so I thought...  At any rate, I cranked it up a bit, ran through the fish farm and was on my way.

So interesting enough, I am running a long stretch of flat ass boring road heading east and lo and behold, guess what?  I pass the same woman runner again and guess what?  The same guy is riding next to her on the bike!  Now my cynical side starts to think... geez... couldn't this loser have gotten her phone number already?  Anyway, I write it off to his lost cause and I push ahead and pass them again.

Now I take a right  hand turn, still on boring ass pavement and there is a red car with Utah license plates pulled off to the right hand side of the road.   Bicycle boy passes me and rides ahead up to the car and opens both back doors wide open.  I run past and I see all kinds of racing "stuff" inside.  Also on the seat I see at least several medical type pill bottles just sitting there.

Now my radar goes UP!

I slow down a little bit... I look back and sure enough the woman runner has stopped and is circling the car and getting things out of it.  I am in shock.  Fortunately my vision is still better than 20/20 and looking back I can clearly see her bib number... It started with a letter and had three numbers after it... At first I thought the letter signified that she was an "employee" of the company the puts on the race and that might explain the reason why there was "special" treatment for her, especially after how the CEO finished his race last year but then it struck me... no... she was a competitor in the big series of races...

Now I am pissed...

Now things get even more weird.  The red car with the Utah plates passes me and goes up the road a bit further.  The bike is now on the back of the car on the bike rack, and it parks on the left hand side of the road by the turn off to to he road leading to Mt. Edgar, and the same guy is standing by the car and waiting again.  Okay now I know what is going on.  She is being crewed and paced by this guy with the bike and from the car!  Blatantly and in broad daylight!  Holy Shit!

I get to the tree stump crew access point and I find my crew and tell them what I saw.  They say they saw the same thing and wondered what was going on too.  Now I am really super pissed as I know that I am not seeing things!

So at the next official aid station in the woods I stop and I inform the race official/time keeper of her number and what I saw and I take off.  Funny enough, about 20 miles later running down faith pass, I am talking to a dude and he even mentioned it to me! I told  him that I reported it and he was very happy to hear that. But still, it pisses me off and rubs me the wrong way.

MANY hours later... in the dark... running around mile 74 or so I think on the same boring assed road as before but this time headed west my pacer and I come up behind a super skinny female runner and guess what?  There is a guy riding his bike next to her!  AGAIN!  She is being paced in the dark where we can have pacers but by bike, which is not permitted!  We pass them but when we get close to fish nest he obviously pulls off, away, and ahead of her as to not be noticed by the people around the aid station.  Now my pacer and I are both fuming!  If I had the presence of mind at the moment I should have had him take a photo with his cell phone.  This I regret!

I tried at fish nest to find a race official to report it too but all I got were some kids who didn't really know what they were doing there it seemed.  I had to take off and I had to  finish the race.

Anyway this has really haunted me the past three weeks and well it just sickens me.  I saw said person receive her "award" and her gushing and grandstanding in front of the crowd and I just wanted to stand up and yell something.  I didn't.  I kept my thoughts to myself until I could pull aside a race director that I  knew and I could relate the entire story to them.  They knew immediately after I described a few details, like the medical jersey, the bike, the red car, etc, that I was not bullshitting either and they knew exactly who the bike rider was.

As far as I can tell, nothing was done and it makes me sad.  This person was rewarded for grossly disrespecting the race... the sport, and all of the other runners out there who honestly busted their asses to get it done.  That is the part that kills me.

All that I can say is that if I see anything like this again, I will take a much stronger approach to report it, make sure it is reported, noted and dealt with.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday Track

Escaped with Roxy to the Manitou Track while Melissa was having a dinner party for some of the CC student workers from the Admissions Office.  It was my first run in a week after my little hiatus.  Time to start working on some training volume and consistency.  I am pacing Ben in the RRR100 in two weeks and the Fall Series starts in just over three weeks. 

I love the Manitou track.  Not only is it the best track in the area but from every angle there is a great view for the most part.  Regardless of how aesthetically pleasing the track is tonight's workout was brutal and I am trashed.

1 mile warmup, 4x1 mile with 400 rbi and 800m cool down. Sh:it, Sh:it:y, Sh:tt:ie.r, for my times.  In truth the first mile was okay... but after that the other three fell off by about 30 seconds but stayed within 10 seconds of each other... I did better last week... well with the first two repeats at least.

Dropped the Jeep of at Predator 4x4 this morning.  I should get it back by Thursday afternoon.  2012 Fall Travel for Melissa begins tomorrow as she leaves tomorrow to head to Denver for the rest of the week.  

"Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana