Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Boulder Mountain Marathon

Yes, I know, I just put up a post but I am trying to play catch up on race reports for May.  Couple more to go.

This is a new race in the Boulder area put on by Joe Grant and the best running store in the area, Flatirons Running.  Very awesome course with just the right amount of hills making this course completely runnable with the exception of the 1 mile climb up Penn Gulch.  I put this race up there with the Salida Marathon in case you are wondering, yes it is that cool of a race.  You can see the course on my Strava here, and you guess from the profile where Penn Gulch is?

I started out slow and just warmed up into it until I hit what I would call a moderately hard pace or effort.  By the end I was able to work my way up to 5th overall and 1st old man.  That yielded me a new Salomon jacket, SWEET!  Got my entry fee back basically.   I think that if I would not have let them go at the start of the race and actually warmed up before starting I might have been able to pull off a 3rd overall.  They were only 3 and 4 minutes in front of me and I was closing fast on them at the end.  Oh well, the point was a supported long run for Bighorn next month not racing super hard.

Great to also catch up with James and Maggie Walsh.  Of course Maggie rocked it and took the overall woman win.  Just another great day in the mountains of Colorado which I am so grateful to be close to.

Photos taken by Peter Jones or myself but mostly Peter.

I had some Strava records for about an hour until he uploaded, to be expected.

Collegiate Peaks 50

I got the honor of being asked to run with Rebecca for her first 50 miler and of course I jumped that opportunity.   Not only would I get the chance to see a great friend finish her first 50 miler while training for Leadwoman but it would also give me the chance to see what I might be dealing with when it is time for my pacing duties at Leadville this year.  One thing I can tell you right off the bat is that if Leadville goes like this day did then my pacing duties are going to be a breeze.  She rocked it with a 4th overall woman placing, pretty damn solid in my book.  Proud of her and can't wait to see what the summer of Leadwoman holds for her.

As far as my race goes I decided that I was going to try and run the whole 50 miles without taking any extra sugar or anything that was not a whole food just to see what happens.  I was able to make it to the 40 mile aid station on nothing but bananas, oranges, one larabar (made from dates), some dates rolled in coconut flakes, and almond butter.  So no foods with added sugar.  But by mile 40 I was in such a brain fog and low energy that I decided that I was going to take in a bunch of Coke and just dump sugar in my system to get out of the funk I was in for I did not want Rebecca to feel like she had to wait on me as I got slower and slower going deeper and deeper into a bonk.  Of course it worked, within 30 minutes it was like the brain fog never happened and I could process information again.  Fun little experiment to see what I could and could not get away with.  I would have to say that if I can go 40 miles without any added sugar that I just might be a little fat adapted.  I would have liked to have tried some meat bars during this experiment but I am not a huge fan of Epic bars, they are just dry to me.  I just discovered Wilde Boldr bars a few days ago and will be trying these in a race soon.

Anyways enough of that goofy stuff and on to some photos of RBA rocking her first 50.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Boston Marathon- What the hell is there to say?

Well I have been putting this blog post off for a while now and have actually written it twice only to delete it.  I think just because I exceeded my expectations so much that I have been pretty much lost for words on how to explain my feelings and my experiences, but mostly explaining my feelings which I suck at.  So with that I don't think I am going to really try because honestly I would not be able to do it any justice.  I still have people telling me, "Heard about your Boston,  good job!" and I just sort of grunt "Thanks" embarrassingly because I honestly don't know how to react. 

I did not expect that performance but others saw the possibilities based on the work they saw me put in the 16 weeks leading up to the race.  It is always something special to have friends that believe in you and push you to achieve things that you would not have done on your own.  For that I am very grateful.  Yes I worked and trained harder than I have ever done before, even harder than I did for a 100 miler, but I would not have been able to do that without the support of my friends and having them hold me accountable, especially with all the stuff going on in my personal life at the same time.  They know who they are.  All I can say is a "Thank You" from my heart.  I have learned how to get my head out of the way and just do what we train to do.

Anyway with all this emotional mumbo jumbo you may be asking, how the hell did he do if you don't know already.  So I am not going to do the normal race report and break it down mile by mile but just give you the result.  The main goal going into Boston was to try and improve my road marathon PR from 3:11:44 that I ran at Colfax Marathon in 2015 while training for Leadman to just break 3 hours.  I have always wanted to say that I am 2:xx:xx marathoner.  Well now I can, below is the outcome.  Not bad for a guy who runs mostly ultras and is now a master runner. 

Yes you are reading that correctly, 2:44:18 or almost a 27 minute PR.  So that is why I am lost for words as I talked about earlier in the post.   So that is all I am really going to say about that, if you want to see the mile breakdown you can see my Strava data here.  Below are some photos I copied off the website, yes I am to cheap to buy them.  These were all taken in the last mile of the race or so.

Shawn my college roommate from Colorado State who I stayed with the whole weekend ended up taking me to a classic Boston bar (don't remember the name) for a pitcher of Samuel Adams Boston 26.2 Special Release Lager straight from the finish line.  Hit the spot.

Am I going to go back in 2017?  Right now I am leaning that way but not sure if I am willing to train the way I did this year again.  It was a lot and took a lot out of me both physically and mentally but at the same time it helped me work through a lot personal stuff also.  Of course I am playing with the idea of going and actually enjoying the experience instead of being laser focused like I was this year, drinking beer the whole way and just having fun.  We will see.... 

Oh yeah, I did stop and get a kiss from one of the girls at Wellesley College so that did cost me 10 seconds but it was worth it.

Thanks for reading!