Trigger pulled…

What’s it gonna be, punk? ~ Harry Callahan

Tues 20 Apr: 00:46, 5.22 miles, Mtn. Meadows/Beaver surges
Wed 21 Apr: 2:01, 13 miles, Boulder tempo – Dearborne
Thurs 22 Apr: 00:50, 5.25 miles, Boulder Janet’s house easy

Good solid week of training thus far. Feeling fit, back to health and ready to get after it. So much so that I pulled the trigger on Leadville and received confirmation that I am in and running this year’s LT100 on August 21. Whee!

Tuesday I was feeling slightly unmotivated but once I got out, felt terrific. Just kinda went with the flow with 7 surges on our road after a short tour of the neighborhood for a warm up. Added one hill sprint for good measure and felt like it was a good, organic run. Just did my surges wherever they felt right, mixed it up a bit and had fun. The perfect kick-off to the week.

Yesterday, I jammed down to Boulder for a tempo run. Warmed up for 1:20 or so super easy and even managed to hook up with Art Ives for part of the warm up. Totally unintentionally, at that. It felt kinda cool to dump out onto Baseline right as he passed coming from a totally different starting point. So we ran together through east Boulder farmland to the start and then started our tempo together.

I was running far less than Art so I peeled off the front after about 3 miles of steadily decreasing splits and finished my 5 miles strongly with negative splits overall: 7:30, 7:15, 6:55, 6:54, 6:42. Not blazing at all but comfortable and strong for the likes of me.

Today I met with Janet and just ran super easy. We worked on a couple of wacky form items that continue to make me a bit less efficient than I might otherwise be. Talked a bit about Pbville strategy, nutrition and crew and whatnot and generally got pretty pumped for the event. So when I got home, I signed up.

Things are falling into place. Rach has me on a super-healthy diet, I am feeling really healthy and have a positive mindset. The next two weeks will be a bit goofy as I have weddings both weekends (head to Colorado Springs tomorrow for Dad’s event then Palm Springs next Friday to see my buddy, John get hitched). I’ll be working in runs during both weekends, however and hope to really keep things moving in the right direction for a good kick-off to the last 120 days before the big event.

Thanks to Bob, Lindsay, Pete, Edy, Brad and Jess for offering to crew again this year. Hoping Janet and Art will do some pacing and, as always, I can’t say enough about how much help Rach is. Amazingly supportive of all the time my training takes and keeps me incredibly well-fed. In fact, she just delivered another kick-ass meal to me as I write this. Time to eat!


January goodness…

February 2, 2010 Run
Feb 2 run. Looks like a seal throwing up or something

And this time, no tears! ~ Tobias Fünke

2 Feb: 6.8 miles, 1:02, North Boulder surges

I put in some solid training in the last couple weeks of January for sure. Logged two more long runs (24.25 and 26.4 miles, 4.5 hours each) and stayed consistent with the rest of the program. For the month, I ended up with 195.3 logged miles – a strong effort all around.

The knee has still been giving me a little grief but seems to be responding positively to increased daily exercises as well as a lifting regimen as prescribed by Duncan Callahan. Duncan won Leadville in 2008 in somewhat brutal conditions and is a fellow Gunnisonite. I am working up to his full schedule as it is a bit more than I can handle right now but after lifting on Friday, I performed really well this past Sunday. Logged negative splits in the 26.4 miles and finished strongly. Virtually no knee pain to boot!

Today I ran on the trails north of Boulder (Eagle Trail system) and did some surges. Finished with 6.8 miles in 1:02 and felt strong throughout. The surges were a little clunky but the rest of the run I ran well and was motivated. I’ll have another week of “normal” training then will taper just a bit for the Moab Red Hot 50K+ on the 13th. Looking forward to running in the desert with a full pack of fellow ultra freaks.


Screw shoes rule…

Remember, if you are puking, you are running well. ~ Timmy Parr (2009 Leadville 100 Winner)

00:55, 5.67 miles, 10x1minute surges

I may make it through this winter after all. Finally got out today on my new screw shoes and they work great. Definitely a TON more traction and less distracting than YakTrax. I suppose they aren’t quite as adaptable as the YTs and your mom will KILL you if you wear them indoors but as far as hooking up a fear-free snow run, these things rule.

Headed out in nice temps (35°, bluebird) and did a warm-up jaunt around the ‘hood. Just explored a little to see what was open and stayed on plowed but snowpacked roads. Felt fine, just cruised. Then I headed back to the Beav’ for ten surges. These went fairly well. The Beav’ isn’t exactly flat so that, coupled with the conditions, made it a bit of a challenge. But I like challenges. Like the time I tried to pick up Daryl Hannah at a juice bar in Telluride. But that is another story…

I am working on the race schedule and believe I am going to forgo the short, fast-paced races for longer events. Targeting the Moab Red Hot 50K on February 13th as my first of the season. Should be super cool (if I can still get in). Seeing what happens for the remainder of the year as well with the big event, Leadville, being my main focus. Trying to get a feel for how much I should be racing vs. doing big, fun, self-supported, adventure runs. I definitely want to toss in a 60/40 Pbville jaunt in July so put that on your calendar. The first 60 miles of the course on Saturday, sleep in Twin Lakes, the run the last 40 on Sunday. Should be good times.

I also want to give a big shout out to Russ Bolig at Podium Custom Footwear. Totally hooked a brotha up on some insole fixes. These things are working very well and just needed a little attention and Russ made it happen and I didn’t even miss out on any training runs. Thanks, Russ!

Tomorrow, tempo. Gonna get my fast on.


GoLite HydroSpeed pack review…

So much time, so little to do. ~ Willie Wonka

And on the second day, Stu rested. Mondays are typically my rest days so I just kicked it today. I did head to the gym for some circuits but other than that, I laid low. A little sore from yesterday’s adventure but I think most of this is from jumping in the car immediately after running and sitting at a desk most of today. Gotta knock that off.

So in lieu of a long, boring talk about lifting weights, I thought I’d entertain you with a brief review of a hydration pack I have been using for a couple years: the GoLite Hydrospeed Lumbar Pack.

When I ran Leadville in ’07, I alternated between the GoLite Rush and a lumber pack that a buddy loaned me from Ultimate Direction. The UD pack suited me very well for cooler, shorter segments and I grabbed the Rush for the long, warm trek between Treeline and Twin Lakes and outbound over Hope Pass. Honestly, now I would go with the HydroSpeed and a handheld for every section unless it was blazingly hot (and even then, might opt for the lighter set-up regardless). This was what I used on Sunday’s 4-hour run and it was about perfect.

The HydroSpeed is a comfortable, lightweight lumbar pack that is designed to carry two bottles. The UD pack I mentioned earlier (no longer available) had a similar set up: Two bottles, two good-sized pockets and a secure bungee strap for a jacket, spare bottle or whatever else you might need to bring along. The HydroSpeed is even more awesome. GoLite (as you may have guessed) engineers their gear to be very lightweight without compromising comfort or stability and the HydroSpeed fits the bill nicely. The bottle sleeves are positioned well (when cinched-down as much as I like it, they make bottles easy to access but a little tough to remove) and the overall carriage is super comfy and easy to adjust. The dual pockets are perfect for carrying the necessities and I have crammed cool weather gear, food, camera, keys and an iPod in there without feeling overly burdened at all. The pack rides low on one’s hips and the buckle system is very easy to get adjusted to fit snugly without excess wobble.

The pack utilizes the lightest weight clips and buckles but they have held up very well through a LOT of abuse over the past two years. It even has an iPod headphone port and key clip. It does not feature a whistle buckle so if you live in kitty or bear country (or just for safety’s sake), you will want to pick up an emergency whistle to attach to the straps.

The pack weighs in at a scant 450g and retails at $50. This has been my go-to pack for two years now with my Rush relegated to only my longest, unsupported, no-access-to-water-type adventures.


Tiger and Tony are safe…

I’m back, baby. ~ Bender

Running is fun. I know that 96.2% of the population would beg to differ with that statement but when you couple the simplicity of the sport (really, what is more natural for a human?) with the interaction with nature and add the pure rush of it all – running really kicks ass. There, I said it and I feel better for having said it.

People ask me from time to time, “Don’t you get bored?” The answer, for me, is “absolutely not.” Sure, I have some runs that are better than others but I have learned that there really is no such thing as a bad run. I always learn something new and experience the thrill of being outside, enjoying the world around me. When one really gets in the zone, the miles just tic off. Truly a feeling to experience at least once in your life.

So lately, I have throttled down my mileage and so far, this has been a positive move. Sure, I’d like to be able to run longer and look wistfully to the high mountains that surround my home – wishing I could be running among the wildflowers in the thin air of Colorado’s highest peaks. Driving through Leadville on my journey to Gunnison earlier this week, I definitely felt the pang of sadness that this year will not mark my return to that great event. But that is what next year is for. My focus now is to get healthy. So far, so good.

Since getting stabbed two weeks ago, I have kept the mileage low – upping the tempo a bit – and have increased my mileage to runs of 4+ miles. Today, I’ll spin 4.5 and then continue to slowly build back to my “normal” distances. Taking things very slowly right now in order to ensure that I can run pain-free for years to come. Short term sacrifices for long-term gains. Sometimes a tough pill to swallow but definitely the plan I’ll follow.

It’s all about the big picture. And I can see it.


[ed.] – Also, I still suck at golf.

[ed. ed.] – Two items of clarification:

1) I didn’t get stabbed in the prison-yard, Irish pub sense of the word, but by a qualified physician… in the Prison Yard Irish Pub. (If that doesn’t exist, you can’t have it. I thought of it first.)

2) That last sentence of the final paragraph rhymes! That wasn’t even on purpose but you can have that one free of charge. My next post will be entirely written in iambic pentameter.