Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wyoming Marathon Race Report

This past holiday weekend Ashley, Braden, and I drove up to Laramie Wyoming to spend the Memorial Day weekend camping and running. The goal was to have a great little vacation and I was to run the Wyoming Marathon on Sunday.

We left Denver Saturday morning to drive up there and set up camp. We found a great location right around the turn around for the marathon, it was called Vedauwoo Rocks just off of I-80. Here is the link for more information on this area: I would recommend it for a short weekend get away. There are some cool things to see around here.

This was a great location to set up the 8 person tent and make a home camp. It was right next to a bunch of really cool rock formations and beaver ponds. With camp set up the next thing on my mind was eating a good dinner of salmon and veggies while getting ready for the marathon tomorrow.

After not finishing the 50 in Buena Vista 2 weeks ago I was going to try and do the 52.4 mile double marathon but decided that it was not a good idea with Squaw Peak 50 coming up in 2 weeks. It was better to run the marathon as my last training run for Squaw Peak. I kept telling myself all week leading up to the race, "It is a training run, it is a training run." Hopefully it will sink in. As I was getting ready I discovered that I had forgot my gels and race fuel at home. Tomorrow is indeed going to be an interesting day.

Before I get into my report to much here is a little bit about the race itself.


Hilly out and back on mostly dirt and gravel roads (100% for the Half and 77% for the Marathon) in Medicine Bow National Forest. Begins at 8,700 feet and drops to 8,000 feet at the turn around. Please see the course profile and map below.

You would read this profile left to right for the 1st 13.1 miles and then right to left for the second half of the race. It ends on a big climb which was a bitch.


Was 30-50 degrees with constant wind of 20 mph and some stronger gust to deal with.


I had a really hard time getting out of bed on race morning to go. Ashley had to basically kick me out of bed and make me go. I was a complete ass to her, I kept say I don't want to get up, I am going to skip the race, ect.... She kept after me and I finally got my butt out of bed. Thanks Ash for making me get up!

We drove over to the start line about 10 miles away to get checked in and ready to go. We arrived there around 5:45am for the 6am start. It was a cold morning and I decided to wear running tights with long sleeve shirt and my GoLite jacket. I also had on gloves and a fleece stocking cap which I would take off later.

The first 6 miles were pretty much uneventful as I just went on auto pilot and ran along. I took off my jacket and gave to Ashley as I hit the paved part of the course.

This part of the course from about 6 miles to 10 miles is the worse part of the whole thing. We had to run about 4 miles down the frontage road to I-80. There is nothing out there to block the wind and was hilly, it was just brutal. At about the 10 mile mark we jump back to the other side of I-80 and head towards the turn around and our home camp. Up to this point, all that I have had is water and half a cookie that I got at an aid station. After turning around at 1:53 I stopped at home camp and made a bottle of Heed and got some candy and a fruit leather. From this point to the finish this and some more water is all I took in. Needless to say when I hit the last big uphill to the finish in the course profile above I did some walking for I ran out of energy and the legs were heavy.

On the way back to the finish I decided that I also needed to slow down and this was a training run. I went with a 10 min run/ 2 min walking plan so that I would slow down a bit and feel ok when I was done. Doing this I ended up passing about 4-5 people while still feeling good and relaxed. It was a great way to get through the brutal frontage road section on the way back.

Even with the run/walk plan and the walking that I did on the final 3 miles up to the finish I still finished in 4:09 for 8th place overall in the marathon. Not a bad training run if you ask me. Results:
After the race we drove the course and cheered on the 50 milers. We saw some amazing people do some amazing things. I think that both Ashley and I learned a lot this past weekend. Here is a race report from Jamie who got second overall in the 50 miler. It is a great read.

Well if you ever get the chance to go up there for a race it was a great experience.

Here is the link to the race website:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Log for the week of 5/19-5/25

I had the Wyoming Marathon on Sunday and it was a lot of fun. I will write a race report here shortly. Over all it was a good week but did not get into the weight room like I needed to. I will have to really work on that next week, I want to keep my strengh up for my upcoming 50 miler at Squaw Peak on June 7th. Here is a break down of the week.

Monday: Off (Bad head cold is in full effect)

Tuesday: Run 6.5 miles on the treadmill and ride the bike 15 mins at the gym

Wednesday: Run 9 miles at Green Mountain and ride the bike 30 mins at the gym

Thursday: Run 6.25 miles on the treadmill (head cold still there, wiping me out)

Friday: Run 9 easy miles on the treadmill

Saturday: OFF... Drove to Wyoming to set up camp

Sunday: Ran the Wyoming Marathon 26.2 miles in 4:09 for 8th place overall

Total miles ran for the week: 57

Total time for the week: 11.25 hours

Overall not a bad week, just a little bit more treadmill time than I would like but between me being sick and Ashley getting sick it was a rough week to get out there.

Have a great week.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Log for the week of 5/12-5/18

This week has been a challenge just to be active for some reason. I have been tired and run down all week. It just seems like I am not recovering like I was last year from my workouts. By the end of the week I had a raging head cold. Good times. Anyway here is the breakdown for the week.

Monday: Off.. Took the day off work also and just relaxed. Even went to the movies.

Tuesday: Run 6.25 miles on the treadmill @ easy pace; 45 mins lifting weights

Wednesday: Easy run at Green Mountain to the top and back (4.5 miles)

Thursday: Run 6.25 miles on the treadmill @ easy pace; 30 mins lifting weights

Friday: Run road around Green Mountain the home over the top of Green Mountain (9.5 miles) Sore throat starting

Saturday: Run around Green Mountain for 12-13 miles. Turning into head cold

Sunday: Hike Pikes Peak via Crags route (14.5 miles, 4400 feet of gain, 8.5 hours, suffered due to feeling like crap from the cold, it was a long day but willed myself through it.

Total miles ran this week: 38.50 miles

Total hours for the week: 16 hours (8.5 spent on Pikes hiking)

It was a productive week overall, it was nice to get my 1st 14er summit for 2008 out of the way. That will make me 1 out of 3 for the year, not a good start. I was pretty much uneventful hike but I did suffer due to the head cold I had. Pounding head ache and could not breath because I was stuffed up. Hope this goes away, I want to put in over 60 miles this coming week running. We will see. Here is the link to all the pictures from the hike on Pikes. I am not going to write up a trip report like I usually do because this is such a common mountain for a lot of people. One thing that I will say is that the road and the building on top sure is an eye sore on such a pretty mountain.

Have a great week.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Log for the week of 5/5-5/11

This past week I have been trying to keep around 6 hours of running total with some cross training thrown in. I don't think that I have been cross training enough. Anyway here is the breakdown for the week.

Monday: easy 15 min swim to loosen up

Tuesday: Run 3.25 miles on the treadmill followed by 45 mins lifting weights.

Wednesday: Run 8 miles on the road to Bear Creek and back

Thursday: Run 8.5 miles on the treadmill (2 easy,2@ 7:30pace, 2 easy, 1@ 7:30pace, finish easy) then spent 45 mins lifting weights.

Friday: Run 13.5 miles on the road to Morrison and back.

Saturday: Run 7.5 miles on big loop around Green Mountain with Ben

Sunday: Hike up road going to Guanella Pass from the Grant side with Ash and Braden. We hiked about 5.5 miles in 3 hours with about 1200 feet of gain.

Total miles ran this week: 40.75
Total hours for the week: 11.25

Overall not a bad week coming off a race. My hip that was giving me problems at the race is still hurting. It is like a dull constant ache in my right ass muscle. I have been working on it with the tennis ball and going to start lifting again more regularly. Hopefully that is all that it will take. I am thinking that it is either a slight pull that will go away if I just take an easy for a while or it is some muscle imbalance. If the latter then the weights and cross training should help with that.

I am still on the fence about the next upcoming race in WY. Not sure if I want to run the marathon or try my hand at the 50 miler. I am tempted to do the 50 because I really would like Ashley to be there for my 1st 50 and she is not going with me to Utah in June for Squaw Peak. We will see what happens between now and then, it all comes down to what training I can get in and how the hip feels. Here is the link for the race in WY if you are interested.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Collegiate Peaks 50 mile attempt.

Leading up to Race Day:

Since the end of Greenland 50K a few weeks ago I have been thinking and mauling over this race. It will be my first attempt at completing 50 miles in one shot. The most I have ran so far in my short running career of 3-4 years is the 34 mile race in Moab last Feb. So this not only going to be a physical challenge for me but mostly it will be a mental challenge. I have never faced such distances before.

The week leading up to the race I changed my training plan from running pretty much every day to just running 2 times this week at a very slow pace. You can see this in my Log on the last post. My thought process behind this was to try and give myself some sort of taper and go into the race as refreshed as I could. I think this came back to bite me in the butt. Looking back on my log I was reporting feelings of being sluggish and tired all week. I also was not sleeping or eating well due to the lack of running. I seem to control my diet better when I am running regularly. All week long I have been worried about how my belly was going to act during the week and got all kinds of advice, I was throwing up at my last race, and was putting all kinds of stress on myself. With not running in the evenings like I normally do it gave me so much time to sit and think about the upcoming race which in turn created more stress. By Friday everything felt blah and running on Saturday morning did not appeal to me like it normally would. Looking back at it now, it seems that I have sucked all the fun out of the week leading up to the race.

Race Day:

Link to the race site:

As I woke up on Saturday morning at 5:15 am for the 6:30 am start I was thinking how I did not want to get out of bed. I slept fairly well considering the box hotel room bed that Ashley and I were sleeping on. Normally I would be jumping around with excitement on race morning but that was not the case today. After eating 2 pieces of bread with peanut butter and a banana we headed over to the race start a few blocks away. It was about 25 degrees out with clear skies and about a 5-10 mph wind in the open. I was wearing my GoLite running shorts, long sleeve shirt, and my GoLite jacket. Hopefully it will warm up quickly after the start because I was freezing cold.

At 6:30 am as the sun was finally starting to warm the earth up a little a large group of us runners headed out of Buena Vista east into the mountains. The first 3 miles or so was mostly on roads that were rolling mostly in an upwards direction. I started in the back and took my time. It seemed like my legs did not want to run this morning. My plan was just to take my time and get to the 25 mile turn around before the cutoff time of 5 hours, this means averaging 5 mph or quicker.

The first 10 miles is mostly all uphill with a gain of about 1300-1400 feet. These 10 miles were for the most part very uneventful for me as I just jogged along about a 6.5 mph average trying my hardest not to hammer the beginning like I always do. I made sure that I was drinking lots of water and a little bit of HEED along with eating a little something at every aid station. I wanted to make sure that I try and keep my energy levels up since it was going to be a long day out on the trails.

Here is a picture of the elevation profile. The first 25 miles you read it from left to right. The second lap or 25 miles you read it from right to left.

At about mile 10 the course takes a big downward direction with a few short climbs for the next four miles. I decided that on one of these down hills at about mile 12 that I was going to just let gravity take me and build me a little bit of a time buffer for the cutoff. As I was flying down the hill doing 10-12 mph I felt a pop in my right hip that stopped me dead in my tracks. I felt like someone was stabbing me in the hip with a big ass needle. I started walking and within a couple of minutes the pain turned into a pulsing ache that I could handle for now.

Mile 14 to 18 was the next big climb of about 1000-1100 feet. This climb was not too bad, I was able to keep a pretty good jog up the hill except every 15 minutes or so the stabbing pain would return in my hip and force me to walk for about a minute or two. Overall it was not bad, I was dreading the downhill and flats that remained from 18 to 25 the turn around point.

The pain that I had in my hip from mile 21 to 25 which is mostly rolling downhill was BAD. It was causing me to walk a lot more than I am used to. I think I may have pulled or strained something and the pain in my hip was getting worse and worse the closer I got to the finish line. The pain was also causing me to change my stride which was causing cramping in my whole right leg, what the hell?? It took all my will power to jog the final downhill to the turn around to where Ashley was waiting for me.

As I came in I was so upset and pissed off. I told the guy working the race that I was unsure about going on and may switch over to the 25 miler. He told me to let him know because they want to make sure that they account for everyone. Ashley made me lay down on the grass and she tried to stretch out my hip. It hurt so bad that I had tears running down my cheeks as she was stretching me. At that point I threw in the towel per say. It was done, I did not want to cause anymore damage than what I already did. I collected my finishers metal for the 25 miler and was told my time was 4 hours and 10 minutes. Not to bad considering that I was holding back to run another 25 miles. When I dropped from the 50 I was in about 6th or 7th place and was feel good with the exception of my hip. Oh well maybe next time I will get my first 50.

Quick Reflections of the Race:

Looking back now at last week and how I was feeling about everything has prompted some interesting thoughts.

1) I think I cut my running volume way to much for the week. I should have kept some of the volume and just cut out the intensity of the run.

2) Is it possible for my mental outlook to physically affect how a body part is feeling? I think so, I think that I was so worked up about this race all week that when something did not go my way it was magnified by 100 times. As I got closer to the turn around the worse the pain was.

3) I cut my salt intake on this run by over half compared to Greenland 50K. My stomach felt a lot better as compared to before.

4) I think after the soreness goes away in my right leg and I get back to training that the volume of running 60-70 miles a week is about right but I need to increase my total hours spent cross training. Get back to hitting the weight room and pool 2-3 times a week. I may have to start going before work to get this extra time in.

Thank you for reading and have a great week.


Log for the week of 4/28-5/4

This week I am attempting to taper for an attempt at my first 50 miler on Saturday. It was the worse week that I have had all year. I was so worried about my race that I was stress eating without even realizing what I was doing. By Monday 5/5 after the race I was up 3 lbs in one week!!! Below is my log for the week.

Monday: OFF, very tired and sluggish

Tuesday: Run 7 miles up and down Green Mountain 3 times. Fell on downhill and banged up right knee.

Wednesday: OFF, only 5 hours of sleep last night

Thursday: Run 5 miles on treadmill at very easy pace, right knee hurt a little

Friday: OFF

Saturday: Collegiate Peaks 25 miles in 4:10. Was supposed to do the 50 but quit and only did 25 due to pain in right hip and leg. Race Report to come soon.

Sunday: OFF, my right leg is sore!!!!

Total miles for the week: 37 miles

Total hours for the week: 6.5 hours

As I was looking back through my log for the week I have notes on almost everyday on how little sleep I was getting and how bad I ate every day. I let this 50 mile race get into my head. That is not like me, I was so stressed out about it that it was no longer fun. I think it is time to step back a little from my goals and reevaluate what I want them to be this year. I need to keep it fun or I will lose my mind.

On a side note I found out last night that someone died in the race on Saturday. Trying to find out more information.