Monday, June 29, 2015

Aspen Backcountry Marathon (I was wrong!)

Garmin Data from the Aspen Backcountry Marathon
This past Saturday was the Aspen Backcountry Marathon. At first glance I believed and wanted to believe that this race was actually easier than Salida.


This race gains about 1100 feet more than Salida does. While Salida is more of an up and down course, this one is up and down with another significant rise and descent in the last 3rd. This race has lot more trail in it that Salida does too.

For me, this was another A effort race and has been my only real focus since I got back from Mexico. Even with two nagging injuries to manage the past couple months I was still able to train and maintain the quality component as well as the volume for the most part. I went into the race trained, and more importantly rested and ready to go when it was time to race.

I didn't go as fast as I wanted but after training on the course and learning more about it I really had to adjust my goals. And since I was not so sure about the elevation gain component compared to Salida for instance I really wasn't sure. I figured 4:10 would probably be the best I could go and in the end finished in 4:23:39 which I am quite happy about. 1st in AG and 11th overall. Not a bad day. The bonus is I know I ran my absolute best, I have no regrets, and not a single "what if" about the race.

With the exception of one guy passing me about mile 20 and me passing another guy at mile 26, I was running by myself from mile 12 on... that was a weird sensation.

Sunday was an 11 hour workday with a lot of bending, kneeling, squatting, standing and reaching... Physically I was a wreck yesterday but the work helped to work out the soreness and whatnot left over from the day before. Today is an off day from running but have to finish yesterdays job still which will only take a couple of hours at most... I will go to the track in the morning and try to get the legs moving again.

I am planning on doing the Silver Rush 50 in less than two weeks. No huge effort anticipated as I am just going to get it done. I am still shocked that it is really that soon and that next weekend is the 4th of July already... where has the summer gone?

I haven't even been camping yet this year!

So.. the rest of the summer... It's going to be more ultra focused. Bigger weekend runs and stuff like that but no more of the intensity or such a strong focus. If I had to say if any of my upcoming races are a goal race it would be Run Rabbit Run 100 in September, but it is still too early for me to get wound up about that one or to come up with a goal. I'd like to beat last year's time but that's about as ambitious as I can be right now... give a few weeks and that can all change. :)

Friday, June 26, 2015

The calm before...

Sitting in the apartment, the lights are off so it is dim in here and the AC is on full blast making it quite comfortable and soothing.

This has been a shit-storm/shit-show of a week for me. Mentally I have been all over the map. I think some of it is taper stuff but other stuff was definitely externally driven.

Two awesome things today... It is now legal for People to marry People. Period. After all of the social and political bullshit in our country this past week this bit of news from the SCOTUS made my day and gives me hope. Secondly, the company that I am helping with, we got our Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business certification from the feds, so that will open a lot of doors for us to do the work we plan. Shitty week but two major wins in one day turned it all around for me.

Big race for me tomorrow... The Aspen Backcountry Marathon. I think I am faster and stronger and more solid than when I went into Salida. I'm pretty familiar with the course too so I am hoping for a good day tomorrow. Some friends and I spent some time Tuesday evening clearing deadfalls from the trail on parts of the course. Hoping that bought me some good trail karma.

But like I said, this week has been crazy so I am grateful for this quiet moment to sit and get my brain in the game for tomorrow. I'll write more after the race.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Getting Back on Track (Or Trail)

Skippy and I at the warehouse in Chicago working. I am in the green mask. Everything that we have been doing is still on the DL but in a few weeks our presence will be known nationwide. This company has a lot of moving parts and is going to go huge.
Got home from Chicago just a little before five a.m. this morning. My flight landed in Denver at 12:30 a.m. and I just drove straight through. Nasty storm in Denver though slowed me down the first chunk.

Saw two decent bears on 82 just outside of Twin Lakes this morning driving home. I'd say they were two year old's given their size. 

Did "okay" running-wise when I was in Chicago. Each day was basically a 19 hour day or so. I didn't get the miles in I wanted but I made the miles that I did do on the 'mill count. I thought that I would try to make up the difference today but I had a list as long as my arm of things to get done so cramming in another thing to cause me stress was not that appealing.

Plus, I'd rather have a quality 20-10 this weekend than a crappy 9-20-10.

Chicago was fun. In that weird way that business trips can be fun. I've been through Chicago before, but never spent any time there. Unfortunately this trip was so busy there was not any time to really see anything except the hotel, our warehouse, and the 20 miles of highway between the two.

One thing is for certain... if I lived in Chicago full time, I'd weigh 300 pounds, and be dead of a heart attack by my 50th birthday. Everyone knows that I like to eat bad food and that place is the capital of it. You can not throw a rock in Chicago without hitting a Dunkin Donuts, I kid you not. And I guess that unless you are really out in some nicer suburb, running options are really limited. I did see a lot of people pounding the sidewalks though. A funny thing is that we went into one running store... not a trail shoe in sight.

But for the most part I resisted the temptations to eat like a fiend there. I did have two huge meals, lunch on Wednesday and dinner before I left, and though I ate a lot it was all clean food. No net gain or loss on the scale from when I left compared to when I got back today.

One of business partners who runs a little bit convinced me to register for the Silver Rush 50 in July and I signed up for that today. No serious effort planned for that one, just a long day on the feet running with him as it will be his second 50 miler. (Of course we all know SR50 is really only 47.)

The leg thing is still there and happening but still manageable. It feels like my Hokas are breaking down a lot more quickly these days, and like my left one is folding inward at the heel. Of course that stresses the tendon that is unhappy. I have two pairs of the older Stinsons in boxes and I am really fighting the temptation to break a pair out to see if that is truly the case.

Three weeks from tomorrow until the Aspen Backcountry Marathon. I think I am right on track and right where I want to be for it. I ran the last 9 miles of the course last Sunday and it it not easy. I'll see what it feels like this Sunday when I do it again.

It was a hell of a week. The 72 hours from 5:00 a.m Tuesday until 5:00 a.m. today was a challenge but worth it and to be honest I am really no worse off for wear. But now that I am back it is time to get back at it!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

My Day Today In Pictures

It began at 5:25 with a track workout at the Aspen High School Track.
Everyone showed up to run but I started early and had to leave early.
I drove through Leadville past 6th and Harrison where 'the magic happens."
I drove a lot and saw a lot of snow in the mountains.
And it ends with a sunset in Chicago.
Here for a couple of days for meetings and stuff. Looks like I will be treadmilling here in the mornings at the hotel. I fly out Thursday night and get back to Aspen more Friday morning than Thursday night.

Still not sure how GZ does it!

Pretty strong workout, progression run done in two mile intervals.