Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Leadville Training Camp (day 0, 6/22/12)

Day 0 (Friday June 22nd)

 Yesterday during my run I was thinking how I was going to be in Leadville at this time tomorrow. It’s funny how fast this has come up. I’ve been so busy with work, I didn’t have time to make hotel reservations or really think about it at all. Wednesday I finally made it a priority to start calling around to find a place to stay.

 I’m not as excited as I thought I was going to be. Maybe I’m nervous to find out how I’m going to perform at altitude. Maybe it’s because the last two weeks I’ve had “blah” runs and wasn’t loving every moment of my runs.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been busy with work and my mind has been wandering elsewhere. Nonetheless despite how my runs turn out this weekend, I hope I discover a new excitement  this weekend to carry me through the next eight weeks and get me to that start line.

Right now I’m up flying in the air somewhere between Phoenix and Denver. I am excited to land, get the rental and take off to Leadville for my weekend adventure.

On a side note I’ve been a little concerned about my diet. I’ve been so busy I haven’t been preparing my meals like I usually do, so I’m eating on the go and because I’m hungry all the time I’m snacking on sweets at the office. I feel like I’m not getting enough green stuff in my diet and concerned my protein intake may have been subpar the past two weeks. So I need to make eating a priority…Oh wait, I already do that. I need to make eating RIGHT a priority for the next 8 weeks. Meaning making sure I’m getting my protein intake every meal and eating lots of fresh green goodness. Speaking of I’m getting hungry right now. I’m going to be in search of a nice green salad with lots of crunchy veggies and a yummy black bean burger when I land.

Alright I didn’t get that black bean burger but what I did have was: side salad, spicy black bean soup, and a buffalo burger patty (it has been a while since I’ve had any type of meat and it was delish)

And of course dessert!

I am exhausted, got checked into Leadville. Went for a 2 mile run to test out the lungs at 10,200 feet! Wasn’t so bad, we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

 What I hope to take out of this weekend:
-meeting new ultra friends
-at least one badass story to blog about
-lots of fun
-serenity in the rockies
-experience running at altitude to be able to make a realistic race plan for Leadville 50
-face any struggle on the trails head on

SD100 - Pacing Eric T.

 I had the wonderful opportunity to pace Eric miles 58-100 during the SD100. My reasons for doing so were selfish on my part, it was a great training opportunity to get in lots of miles, be on the trails in the dark and not by myself. In the end I don't think Eric minded my self-seeking motives. I learned alot from Eric both from his words of advice to how he ran his race. If Eric was having a down moment he never let it show. He continued to push through each aid station, leaving with bursts of energy each time. At mile 80 people were rolling in looking like death, not Eric, were these people running the same race he was? Sure didn't look like it. I can only hope I can maintain half the dignity he held up through his 100 miles. Congratulations Eric, you rock!

Besides pacing Eric, I was able to see Mike and Liam, from Pulse Endurance Sports cross the finish line. Congratulations to Mike for finishing it 1st 100 and congrats to Liam for finishing his first SD100. If it wasn't for the two of you motivating me to get on the trails and leading the way I surely wouldn't be where I am today. 

Mile 58, this is where I jumped in.
Dawn, around mile 76ish
After the Aid station at mile 80.

Check out the view around mile 90.

Saw this little bugger around mile 97.
Done 100miles for Eric! (42 for me)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

John Muir Trail (6/4/12)

After one day of rest, I took a trip up to the John Muir Trail in Yosemite. Was able to do a flat 10 mile run at 8800 feet.
I came out of the woods and this little one was not 50 feet away from me.

Another little creature I encountered along the way.

There's a storm brewing, hope I can beat it back to the car.

Made it back to the car, before this started to happen.

Check it out, it's snowing.

Shadow of the Giants 50k (6/2/12)

I know, late again on the race report, and trying to catch up. Last year Shadow of the Giants 50k was my first ultra and this year I was super excited to share it with my dad and convert him to an ultramarathoner.

The race is in Fish Camp, CA which is right outside Yosemite. So not only did we get to do a race together, we got to road trip and explore Yosemite as well.

Dad and I got up to Fish Camp around 5pm, the race headquarters is at an outdoor school, which reminds me of camp when I was little. We picked up our bibs, I went and said “Hi” to Big Baz and introduced him to my dad. Since I wanted my dad to have the “full experience” of the race, we were staying in the bunks at the camp…nothing posh here.  The hosted prerace dinner was lasagna, salad and rolls.
Dad and Race Director "Big Baz"
My favorite part of sleeping at the race start is you are literally 100 yards from the start so you can roll out of bed and stumble to the start, even before you are fully awake. I did give myself time to grab some coffee.
Apparently someone took a picture of me trying
 to go to bed early so I could get some sleep
At the start.
Dad and I gathered outside with all the other runners. My plan was to take it easy and start towards the back of the pack. We started with a 2.5 mile climb. After that there is an out and back, nice downhill on the way out and uphill and the way back. I left my dad at the top of the first climb and let my legs go on the downhill.  After the downhill we started climbing for another 5 miles. I was feeling really good and was right where I wanted to be. I continued to feel strong through mile 14. I was actually ahead of my goal pace and if things continued it looked like I was going to have a fantastic day.
Just before mile 15 was a very steep climb, probably less then a mile long. Not sure what happened but I lost it there, I was panting and couldn't catch my breath. After the climb there was 6 miles of decline and I had lost my running legs, this was an opportunity for me to gain some more time, but my legs just weren't turning over. People started passing me, a couple girls asked me if I was OK. My dad caught up to me right before mile 20. I rolled into the aid station took my pack off and sat down. This was not fun I felt terrible and had about 10 miles left to go.
Having a "moment"

Dad asked if I wanted to run together and I said "no" I was in a not so pretty place and didn't want to run with anyone, let alone run. I rested for 20 minutes or so. Drank a coke and ate an orange. Then grudgingly I got up to finish, what I thought could be a very miserable long 10 miles.

I thought to myself I don't want this to be any longer then it has to be, so I started running and I felt ok, so I kept running and I got my legs back! I was able to pick my pace back up and finish the rest of the actually running.

 I crossed the finish line, 10 minutes behind my Dad, who was surprised to see me already. I explained to him that after I refueled and rested, things came back around for me.

In retrospect I believe this was a great learning lesson for the future. When things go south it doesn't mean it's going to stay that way. I think what happened during this race needed to happen to me to give me prospective on whats going to happen at Leadville 100. Yes, I am going to have some difficult times physically and mentally. But that doesn't mean its going to continue throughout the rest of the race. And its OK to sit down and take some time to regroup and refuel and remotivate. Your day does not end because of one bad moment.

Enjoying the finish.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Week in Review (6/18-6/24)

I'm going to keep this brief. I'm currently in Leadville for the Leadville 100 training camp. I'm blogging about my experience and will post once I get home and get the pictures into the computer.

Miles: 63
Runs: 5
Yoga: 1

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Week in Review (6/11-6/17)

1st before I update you on my week last week. I have a confession to make. Yesterday on my way to work I was craving an ice cream sandwich, so I stopped at 7-11 and got an ice cream sandwich, which I happily devoured in minutes, only to discover my craving had not yet been satisfied. Luckily for me I drive by three different 7-11s on my way to work, so I stopped and got a second ice cream sandwich and happily devoured that one too. My commute is 3.5miles. I don't eat dairy cause it makes me feel bloated and blah. But yesterday I so did not care and it was worth every second of satisfaction I got out of each ice cream sandwich. I don't know what it is about ice cream sandwiches but man its like eating a bit a heaven every time. 

Then the night before the ice cream sandwich day, I dreamt I was eating Cheetos (I never eat Cheetos, nor do I particularly like them).  Totally random. 

OK. So last week, I wasn't sure how my legs were going to feel after such a high mileage week. I took 2 days of recovery, that was enough time for my swollen feet to return to normal. Then ran 5 miles on Wed and felt great and 11 on Thurs. Then I got tired. I can't remember Friday so I don't know why I didn't run then. Sat I went out for my long run and all I could think about was food and for some reason I just wasn't feeling it, so I forced myself through 4 miles in hopes I would get distracted and continue to run, but no such luck. Sun was feeling sluggish and tired again, no desire to run. So I decided back to back yoga classes would suffice instead. 

Weekly totals:
Runs: 3
Miles: 20
Yoga Classes: 4

I wasn't too worried about my lack of miles and runs after having a great week the week before and knowing I was going to have another big mileage week the next week. I decided to listen to the body and rest, I wasn't going to lose any fitness or sleep over it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Weekly Report (6/4-6/10)

Big Week! Had breakthrough with weekly mileage and long run. Pleased with my dedication and willing to get out there and run this week, after my 50k on 6/2. Didn't want a repeat of what happened in May after previous 50k.

Runs: 5
Miles: 69

Weekly Report (5/28-6/3)

This was the week leading up to Shadow of the Giants 50k seemed to be getting back into things and feeling back to normal.

Runs: 4
Miles: 42
Yoga: 1

Weekly Report (5/21-5/27)

On the 23rd I finally got back into the groove.

Runs: 3
Miles: 32
Yoga: 1

Still was feeling a little off this week. But was easing back into a routine.

Weekly Report (5/14-5/20)

This week was a wash, as I mentioned in a previous post after Sycamore Canyon 50k, I took a 10 day hiatus from running.

Runs: 0
Hikes: 1
Miles: 6
Yoga: 1

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mine Shaft Saddle-San Gorgonio Mountain-Dollar Lake Saddle (5/27/12)

Entering San Gorgonio Wilderness

The not-so-dry Dry Lake

Mount Gorgino


Wreckage of the plane on the side of the mountain.

View from atop

On top of San Gorgonio

Trail to Dollar Lake Saddle

I came from somewhere down there.

View coming down, I ran across that!

Run Stats: 21 miles (11 up, 10 down)
Highest elevation: ~10,500ft
Elevation gain: ~5,000ft

Notes: Around mile 7 the elevation really got to me and I slowed quite a bit. From that point on I pretty much walked to the top. But then was able to run again once I stopped climbing.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weekend Adventure (Memorial Day Weekend)

Wow, I have some blogging to catch up on. It's been a couple of busy short work weeks and long weekends traveling, I'm staying put this weekend so hopefully I can catch up by then.

Memorial Day weekend I had a 4 day weekend and planned to go camping the the San Bernadino Mountains for 4 nights. As I posted in my previous blog, I was quite tired on Friday and the temperatures were to get down to 25 degrees, so I opted to delay by a day. Saturday I spent most of the day exploring the mountains by vehicle. I had never been to the area before and wanted to find the most ideal spot, close to some trails for some good training. I opted for a spot up on a bluff near the PCT at about 7000ft. Wow, was it windy and cold! I told myself to suck it up and set up camp. I ended up eating pb and j in the car with the heat on, it was too cold to cook anything. Then off to bundle up in the tent.
Izzy and I bundled up Sunday Morning.
Izzy loves camping and in fact she has a new favorite toy. It doubles as a ball and a chew toy. And if she loses it there are many more to come by. 
My brother and Elan were coming up to join me, so I decided the spot I had picked up was less then ideal and a little too cold and windy, plus we couldn't have a campfire. So I packed up while waiting for them to join/find can ask him about that. Let's just say I now know how to find my GPS coordinates. Thanks Eric!

So we stayed at Barton Flats campground. Eric and Elan were kind enough to watch Izzy and take her on a hike while I went out on my long run.
Roasting Marshmallows. Yum!!!

My campfire I made all by myself!!! So proud.
Eric and Elan left, on Memorial Day and I decided to stay an extra night. So I could get another run in Tuesday morning.

Izzy chilling by the fire.