Monday, October 31, 2011

Race Report: Run With Scissors Double Marathon

Here are my stats per my Garmin 310xt:
10:32:57 total time (4:44 = 1st marathon, 5:48 = 2nd marathon), 12:05 min/mile
Elevation: 9,962’ (Ascent 4,999’, Descent 4,963’)
Rank: OA - 10th

Video of the Wetmore section: Mud
Video compilation from the race: RWS
We started from the Ledges Shelter in CVNP on a chilly but clear day (10/30/11) in the park at 5am. From Outrun Mike Nicholson, Crystal & Chris Basich, & I were running the Double and Brian Pulling, Pam Rickard (Fellow RunWell Ambassador), Scott & Brie McGrew, Jack & Betty Sharpe, John Telich, Blondie Hinton, and Carol Krus ran the single. I saw a lot of familiar faces and it was great to see so many people getting out for the race.
Wetmore Trail Section

About mile 13 on the Bills Badass Loop

Another runner somewhere about mile 45 with some chickens
Mike & 3 others took off early in the run and I thought I was maybe top 10 assuming that there were people up front that I had not seen. Somewhere around mile 10 or so, I came out to cross the road and a lady in a car yells “you’re going the wrong way!” and points me in the right direction. A moment later, I see the race leaders coming down the path….I join up with them (after technically being in the lead for about 20 seconds) until they start to pull away. I ran in 5th place for the remainder of the loop, coming into the first marathon at 4:44 and for about another 5 miles I ran and talked with a strong runner, Jamie until he started to pick up the pace.
It was a blast to see all the single marathoners coming out from the 8:00 start as the double marathoners were heading back from the first loop. I passed Pam, Brian, Scott, Brie, Jack, & a number of others on their way out. Everyone was muddy; we all had a good mud cake layer from the shoes to the knees. It was the mud that made the already difficult task of running 52.4miles even harder. I saw Vince Rucci flying up one of the steeper switchbacks and shortly after I see the chasing lead guys for the single. They were flying! I think the winning time on the single was 3:13 whereas the double was 9:15 (Steven Zeidner). I would have a hard time running 3:13 on roads, let alone those crazy hills & mud, very impressed.
From roughly mile 31 to about 42 I did not see another person running behind me, did the Bills Badass loop and caught a glimpse of a runner about ½ mile chasing but in these races, the passing is often slow. About 2 miles later she passed looking strong. At the last aid station, I finally stopped and got a small cup of Coke as Rick Henderson caught up to me. Rick won the Men’s Masters USATF at BR100 this year so I was happy just to be at mile 50 before he caught me. He urged me to finish with him and although I resisted, not wanting to slow him down, I found another gear and we ran in strong. Two more guys came past us and looked so darn strong, we just let them go. I was happy just to have run well for so long. The mud really was taking its toll since you had to use a lot more of the stabilization muscles to stay upright. The hills were brutal and overall, it was a tough course. The last miles were nice knowing that you were close to the finish; we picked it up through the ledges and into the field for a final quarter mile. I looked at Rick and said “are we going to kick, or are we finishing together?” I am happy to say that in a race like this Rick & I finished together with smiles on our faces, doing the hetero-hand holding victory finish.
So, after all this…I am looking back and asking if I think I gave it all I had. I think I gave most of what I had. I walked the hills that needed walking and didn’t allow myself to get into a pattern of letting the walk linger once I topped the hill. I ran solo for so long that I didn’t have anyone to chase, hence increasing my effort. Even when I wanted to walk because the legs wanted to slow it down or the feet were tired, I urged myself to keep moving forward, but not just moving forward at a snail’s pace….I tried to pick it up to play with the energy expenditure and how much the legs felt when I ran quicker vs. just trotting along. Keep in mind at the second loop, everything I was doing was essentially an ultra-trot for me, not some elite runner’s version. Just like anything else, it was a learning experience.
Nutrition was really good. I was totally self-sustained with my Nathan 020 pack, 5 tabs of tropical fruit NUUN in 70oz of water, then two Hammer Perpeteum multi hour bottles, and about every hour I did 1 S-cap and 1 E-cap for good measure. I felt even overall and with the significantly decreased level of sugar in my system, it was such a relief to not have the highs & lows on the run. I didn’t have any gastro issues, cramps were kept at bay and I with the nuun every 5 mins or so for a light fruit flavor, I was able to tolerate the cafĂ© latte flavor for the 10+ hours.
Overall, a great race. Roy Heger and all the volunteers were great. Food was just what we needed after from Chef Bill.

Oh, and by the way… I will be representing RunWell at the Leadville 100 trail race in August, 2012. It’s going to be epic, brutal, and inspirational! We will be looking for 3-4 additional runners to join me at the event and the journey leading up to it.
If you know of anyone that might be interested, please check out the RunWell Event Calendar (Leadville to be posted soon) and contact me at:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Training: Sasha (trail & snowshoe buddy)

I think she loves the Fall as much as I do.

RunWell, literally.

There have been a couple of interesting things going on with running life lately. I mention the Burning River 100 mile race a lot because it was a big accomplishment to me. A few years ago I just said "those people" are crazy…referring to folks doing regular 100 milers and beyond; especially at paces that are simply amazing. With 3 young children, a full time career, and all the duties that come along with being a husband and "responsible" adult I am just happy that I have been given the opportunity and ability to be able to pursue something like trail & ultra-running. We are so fortunate to live within running distance to some of the best and most scenic trails in the area. 
With that said and thanks to social connections I've made through Outrun I was over-joyed to receive a phone call from Linda Quirk (Racing the Planet, Run 7 on 7, and now RunWell) for a little conversation or two that has turned into what I feel is a phenomenal opportunity. You may have seen communications on RunWell from Pam Rickard who has also taken a role with Linda where she is essentially promoting the mission of RunWell as well as embarking on an amazing journey in 2012 at the Gobi Desert! It's not often I get phone calls like that….wait, no….I've never gotten a phone call like that. These are things that you sit back and watch on the Discovery channel and think, that's amazing…. "I wish I could do that." Well, here it is…staring me in the face, with the caveat that you promote what you love to do and encourage others to do the same. No problem.

So, bottom line….I have accepted a spot as 1 of 4 US Ambassadors with RunWell (Non-Profit 501(3)(c)) to help promote the mission of recovery (drug, alcohol, & wellness) with a focus for now on the domestic Ultra & trail running scene (Leadville 100??). We'll look internationally later. For now, I am just happy to be a part of it. I feel that the focus on recovery through competing in events and raising funds & awareness for RunWell supports my perspective of the reasons why I have always pursued endurance sports. For me personally, it's been the element that helps keep me balanced in life and that is a big part of recovery and life in general.
If you take a look at all the folks in the local ultra-running community, it's staggering to try to keep up with all the good things that people are doing. I see people raising awareness & funds for all types of amazing non-profits like Girls With Sole (Liz Ferro), YMCA's, Camp Sunshine of Aurora, etc… How amazing is it to see people working so hard to accomplish things like running 100 mile races, desert expeditions, local 5k's, etc… and on top of it all working to help others! If you are not giving back to those around you, not bettering the community, not offering your skills to help, what are you doing it for?

Like I said, I'm excited to be a part of it. Outrun (group & team) will continue to progress through group runs, events, & discussion. We have members on the team who run for other organizations (both profit & non-profit). It's all such a great time to be a part of the growing sport of ultra-running.
So, there's the update on my little running life. I'm not elite, not the fastest guy in the pack, but I love the challenge & reward that comes from it, no matter how fast or slow I may be moving that day.


I have kept up with it….I love this little app on the droid called "100Pushups". I started being able to do like 44 good pushups straight, by week 2 was doing 65, and by week 3 or so I was able to knock out 103. I love it, it's simple, effective, and I can do it anywhere. I have taken it back a notch but work to complete at least 100 a day. I also picked up another app called Pull-ups and I am progressing on that to be able to complete 25 consecutive pull-ups. Both of these are in effort to work on things that I have always been pretty terrible at. Pull ups more than pushups, I don't think I've ever been able to do more than 15 at a time. I'm up to ~40 a night now (total set).

Shoe review:

Adidas Adistar XT-3 – (Weight: 10.4 oz (size 9)Stack Height: Heel (20mm), Forefoot (13mm); excludes 5mm average lug height. I don't see these on the Adidas website anymore, looks like they have been replaced by the Response Trail 18? I )I have got to admit after the great experience I had with the Boston II shoes, I took the recommendation from the Adidas rep for the XT3 at BR100. I am on my second pair of them now. I honestly would have been happy to run the entire 100 miles in them, if needed. I've talked about them a lot and have a couple friends loving them now, too.

Man, this has been, and will continue to be…a journey. I mentioned before that I have been giving the Hammer Perpetuem a serious second consideration for runs going beyond 3-4 hours. I am loving it. You simply load up the multi-hour bottle and sip on it every 10-15 mins. NO PROBLEMS! LOVE IT LOVE IT!!. I have finished a number of 4+ hour runs strong, no bonk, no gastro issues, etc. There is a little tweaking on the amount I intake per hour…but that is not bad. I load up with NUUN in my Nathan 020 hydration pack for my hydration & sodium plan, stash a few backup calories (Hammer Gel or similar) in the pack… but I have been so happy so far! We'll see how it all goes this weekend at the Run With Scissors Double Marathon.


Run With Scissors Double Marathon is next. I have the Autumn Leaves 5miler (I know, short) Then we have the upcoming Snowshoe Race Series (registration opening 11/7) and planning a 24 hour trail race in April. 
Leadville 100 or Cascade Crest 100 are the ultras I am looking at for RunWell. I am also wanting to get into The Mountain Masochist 50mi Fall, 2012. 

The list for the RWS is looking pretty good. I think there are like ~65 people signed up for the double and more for the single. I'm excited to do this one, it's going to be nothing but fun!!!!