Monday, June 29, 2009

New York Times Article on Bighorn 100

The full article can be seen by clicking here. I also have copied the text below.



Around-the-Clock Footrace Embraces Rugged Landscape
Published: June 27, 2009

DAYTON, Wyo. — A tiny ranger station cabin at 1:30 a.m. — with cold, muddy feet and sore muscles after 48 miles of rugged mountain trail running, and 52 miles still to go when you head back out into the chilly darkness at 9,000 feet — may seem like a strange place to find bliss.

About 600 runners competed in four distance events along the wilderness trails of the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming.

And a grilled cheese sandwich may seem like the least likely of bliss-inducers. But there it was, handed to me by an aid-station volunteer. After one bite, I sincerely felt that that sandwich, probably quite ordinary in the real world I had left behind more than 13 hours earlier, on a sunny Friday morning in Dayton at the start of the Bighorn Trail 100, was perhaps the best thing I’d ever tasted. I savored every greasy crumb.

Intensity of experience — from giddy joy to bleak gloom and back again — was the signature stamp of my participation in a 100-mile race through the mountains of northeastern Wyoming last weekend. Like the rolling green landscape itself, there was no flat, no lukewarm and no moderation , the 107 runners climbing 17,500 feet and descending about the same on mostly narrow single-track trails.

Anything, especially later in the race as mentally fatigued runners neared the 34-hour cutoff, could break through to overwhelm the senses with its power. It might be a sound. That cracking noise in the woods — what was it? Or a sight — how immense the orange crescent moon seemed, rising as you headed down the trail alone with your headlamp and thoughts at 4 a.m. Or a taste — how something as simple as a sandwich could make you swoon when your body was screaming for calories.

The result, for a plodding midpack runner whose only hope was to finish, was not triumph but awe.

And a few humbling realizations: That the Bighorn Mountains could not be conquered by a mere human being on foot. That shoe-sucking mud and thigh-deep snow banks, and steep climbs that sometimes felt as if they would never end, were things that at best could be fought only to a draw, and even then only with luck. And that as tough as you think you are, there is always somebody tougher and faster, and that the course itself, in the end, would always be tougher still.

This year’s winner, Karl Meltzer, 41, of Sandy, Utah, broke the course record, in 19 hours 15 minutes 26 seconds. His run included an encounter with an annoyed moose in the middle of the night that he said forced him to dive into the woods and hide behind a tree. Meltzer also held the previous course record, 20:12:58, set in 2007.

By the standards of a road marathon or a 10-kilometer race, that is absurdly slow — about 5.2 miles per hour, even taking into account nocturnal moose entanglements. But one of the lessons of the Bighorn, to this first-time participant at least, was that going 5.2 miles per hour around the clock in this terrain might as well be the same thing as sprouting wings — unimaginable and beyond understanding.

Averaging such a pace (I mustered just under 3 m.p.h. in finishing at 32:25:14 and was left spent in every way I could think of) meant running very fast in the places where a person could run at all to compensate for the miles where the terrain was too steep, or the trail too rutted, rough and rocky to allow anything but hiking — or for participants like me, a slow grinding crawl. No one before this year had ever broken 20 hours.

Bighorn, like most long trail races, gives each runner autonomy on how the goal may best be accomplished. The trail was well marked, and the aid stations — four to six miles apart — were stocked with food and water. But there were no scheduled breaks, only the continual ticking of the 34-hour cut-off clock in the backdrop as a goading reminder that every pause came with a price. Seventy-two people, from all over the country and a few from Canada, got through in time.

But like so many pieces of the modern West, there was also a great backstory at the Bighorn 100 about the relationship of people and the landscape.

In the late 1980s, a hydroelectric project was proposed that would have flooded some areas near Dayton and torn up the canyons. A group of residents had the idea, unlikely as it sounds, of starting a wilderness foot race (initially 30K, 50K and 50-mile distances, only extending to the 100-mile in 2002) as a way of fighting back.

The notion was that by exposing more people to the valleys and passes of the Bighorn Range, environmental defenders might be sprouted who would fall in love and write letters opposing the project and the harm it would do to the Indian burial grounds and the elk caving ranges along the Dry Fork and Little Bighorn Rivers, where much of the course unfolds. “It was wild and scenic, and we wanted to keep it that way,” the race director, Michelle Maneval, said.

Whether runner enthusiasm played a role, the electricity plan was eventually shelved, Maneval said. By then, the race, begun in 1993, had taken on its own life. Always held around the summer solstice, it requires around 370 volunteers to pull off, including 120 on the search-and-rescue squad, with 600 runners competing in four distance events.

And it all ends in a park in downtown Dayton that feels like small-town summer Saturday night distilled to its essence of lawn chairs and barbecue smoke. By then, it is hard not to feel, if only from the mud you wear and the deep-tissue ache of long distance, that you are different from what you were before. And there is a bittersweet feeling to that. You have touched the boundary of something bigger than yourself, but also lost something too, in the certainty that a grilled cheese sandwich, in all likelihood, will never again taste so sweet.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bighorn 100 Report (100 mile try #2)

Well Ashley and I headed out to Northern WY this past weekend to give the 100 miler another shot. It was a learning experence that is for sure. One of these days I will get one.

Race Description
The Bighorn Trail 100 Mile Run is an arduous trail run that will take place in the Little Bighorn – Tongue River areas of the Bighorn National Forest. Starting time for the event will be 11 AM, Friday June 19, 2009, with a 34 hour (average pace of 2.94 mph) time limit to finish the event. Runners must be prepared for potential extreme temperature variation and weather conditions during the event with possible temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the day in the canyons and being well below freezing at night in the mountains. The course is wild and scenic traversing territory inhabited by elk, deer, moose, bears, cougars, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes with the potential for wildlife encounters with runners. Crew access points on parts of the course are limited and the runner should be prepared to participate with a fanny pack and other necessary equipment to ensure their ability to safely traverse difficult remote mountainous trails in potentially unpredictable weather conditions. The course is an out-and-back consisting of 76 miles of single track trail, 16 miles of rugged double track jeep trail, and 8 miles of gravel road with approximately 17,500 feet of climb and 18,000 feet of descent.


Hot during the day and cold/windy in the night. The sunset and sunrise were perfect.

Race Report
Well it was a lot of fun, Ashley and I learned a lot of lessons that we actually wrote down for future reference. Basically there was no reason that I should not have finished this race if I would have had planned the drop bag correctly and thought out the whole race a little better. It seemed like the whole weekend was one big rush and that attitude seemed to catch up with us.

We left Denver around 11am the day before the race after Ashley got off work which would put us in Sheridan around 5-5:30pm for the race check in, which closed at 7pm, lots of time. About 10 miles outside of Sheridan we drove through a huge rain storm that seemed to be heading towards town and our camp site. We decided to stop at the KOA and pitch the tent quickly before the rain hit and before heading into town for the race check-in. We got to the KOA about 5:30pm, pitched the tent and were at the race check-in before 6:30pm, lots of time with the exception that they were already closed!! Are you kidding me! The website said until 7pm. There were still people there to weigh me in and give me my race bib but the drop bag people were long gone. No drop bag, great. This seemed to set the tone for the whole 1st day. All we could do is go get some dinner, beer and rest up for the race the next day.

The next morning after having some breakfast with Ashley, Braden, and Joe (my pacer who showed up in the middle of the night) we headed to the race start about 9am for the pre race briefing, the only problem was there was no one there. Fuck! The briefing was in the park in Dayton at the finish line not up the canyon where the race started. That was my fault for miss reading the packet. When we realized the error and got to the park as the meeting was getting over and people were leaving to go to the start up the canyon. At this point I was so worked up on the way things were going I just got quite and kept my mouth shut before I said something that I would regret to someone. Ashley and Joe went to find the race director to tell her what had happened at the check in and see if we could get a drop bag up to the Footbridge. Of course I put it away since they did not take it last night, so when she said that she would it there but needed right away I had to rush to throw some gels, Snicker bars, and a long sleeve tech shirt in the bag. This was one of my mistakes that I will talk about later. Now let’s get to the start line and talk about the race itself.

I had the following plan laid out which I though was very doable for this 100. Basically it was averaging 4mph the 1st 48 miles and 3mph coming back.

Mile 30- 7 hours
Mile 48- 12 hours
Mile 66- 18 hours
Average 3mph to the finish which would be 30 hours.

I was doing great the 1st part of the race staying on what I had laid out as a race plan. That 1st climb from the start up to Horse Creek was a bitch. It was basically a 4000ft climb in about 7 miles. I would say that the steepness of this compares to some of the easier 14ers trails here in Colorado. It just climbs and climbs and climbs. Needless to say there was a lot of power hiking up this section. Since it is all single track you kind of get stuck in a train which helps me to control my pace and not push to hard. From the top of the climb to Dry Fork is a rolling section that I ran with a 59 year old guy from Canada named Karl Jensen. Karl ran his 1st 100 miler in 1993 then took off 6 years to build his house. In 1999 he ran his 2nd 100 miler and has completed over 35 of them since 1999. Amazing!! He basically told me to slow my roll and do not run any uphills what so ever. He ended up finishing less than 29 hours. Our little group of 3 also included Doug Blackford who is a retired house builder from N.C. I spent the next 10-15 miles almost to mile 30 running and swapping stories with Doug who ended up winning his age division of over 60 with a 31:52 finish. Maybe I should have just hung with him the entire race.

I came into Footbridge (mile 30) at 7:05 right on target which would be 6pm after the huge 2 mile/2500 foot downhill. It was warm and I was feeling good. I would not see my crew until the turn around at mile 48 so I told them I should be there around 12-13 hours (big climb heading out). I figured that since it was warm and it was only 9000ft high at the turn around that a long sleeve shirt should be enough to get me to the turn around, so that is all I had in my drop bag. I was wrong! By the time I came into a back country aid station called Elk Camp (a lot like Hope Pass station in Leadville 100) at mile 43, I was frozen from the wind and the dramatic temp drop that happened when the sun went down, moving very slow, shaking uncontrollably and I lost my stomach also during this stretch. I spent about 2 hours there warming up by the fire and lost lots of other time from moving so slow trying to get there. Finally a runner came through that had an extra wind breaker and let me have it. I put it on along with a shower cap to trap the heat from my head that they had at the aid station, and my I-Pod cranking Tool and hiked up to the turn around at the Ranger Station getting there at 16-16:30 during the race, way off my pace. After getting my warm clothes on, picking up my pacer I starting walking back trying to get my stomach back. I had only thrown up twice so far and was still peeing with clear high volume every couple of hours which is a good sign. That means that I am drinking correctly. Walking back I had a cup of mashed potatoes which every 5-10 mins I would take a spoonful and wash it down with a gulp of water. I did this all the way back to Elk Camp which is where I got stuck at earlier. At Elk Camp I ate a couple of Ginger Cookies, filled my bottle and camel back, and hit the trail with Joe.

About mile 55 as the sun was coming up I got my stomach back and was able to keep small amounts of food down. We started jogging all the downhills trying to make up the time I spent warming up and walking slow due to being frozen earlier but could not make up enough time. Joe did a great job of keeping me motivated and moving forward. I would hit high points where I felt great and we would jog, and low points where I was walking even the downhills. The last big downhill coming into the Footbridge aid station was a 4000ft drop in about 6 miles. I got wrecked on this section. I was not wearing my normal camel pack but a small backpack with a bladder in it, I needed something to put my muddy/wet night clothes in after the sun came up since my pacer was not allowed to carry or mule my stuff. Of course my dumb ass never trained with this pack so by the time I got to the Footbridge my back was trashed.

I came into Footbridge(mile 66) about 30mins before the cutoff of 11am and based on the speed was I going did not think that I had enough time (4ish hours) to make the next cut off/drop point (mile 83) so I dropped instead of trashing myself. It was a good effort in my mind.

I just have not been able to get this 100 mile thing figured out. I think that course was tougher than Leadville due to hills, mud (lots of shoe sucking mud), snow and the remote nature of the course. If you do not plan your drop bags right (which I did not) you can easy pay the price. I am in good enough shape; there is no doubt but I still struggling with the food/clothes/logistics of the whole thing.

Anyway today my legs feel mostly recovered already. I have very little soreness in the legs at all. My feet on the other had are trashed from all the water and mud. It is going to take 1-2 weeks for all the open wounds on my heels to heal up. I got blisters on my heels that we popped and duct taped during the race (1st time ever!). They ended up getting a little infected. Sunday night after getting home Ashley cleaned them up and found some more blisters under the blisters. We cut them all open and disinfected them all. Needless to say I was screaming like a little girl while she did this. Nice to have a medic girl to save the doctor office trips. I am having trouble walking on my feet still today but at least the legs feel good. This is the first time that I have ever gotten bad blisters in a race or on a run. I have gotten blisters before but never painful ones.

I want to thank Ashley/Braden for crewing me and putting up with all the hours I spent training. Joe for making the drive up there by himself to pace me, welcome to the world of 100s Joe! And Paul for helping me with my training plan, I am sorry that my poor planning caused a DNF after all the hard work we put in.

I am going to take this month off from structured training, still going to run when the feet heal up, and figure out what is next. I really want to keep building and try again this fall with maybe the Boulder 100 or a 50 miler or a marathon or two. Of course I need to knock out 5 or so 14ers this month also if I can so stay tuned for those trip reports.

If you have any ideas of some good races to look at I am all ears. I am thinking about the Steamboat 50, or Blue Sky 50k, or Boulder 100, or Pony Express 100. Also looking at the Tucson Marathon in Dec to go try to run fast for a Boston time. I will be down at HardRock 100 in a few weeks to pace JT on a 15 mile section.

Ashley and I are going to talk this all over as we are driving out to Iowa this weekend for my Grandma’s 90th birthday and figure out what is next. Let me know if you have any ideas.

Thanks for reading and here are some photos from the race. Hit the trails!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Does running damage the knees?

Here is an awesome article about running and the effects on your knees. I always knew my Grandpa was incorrect but now I have the science to prove it.

You can find the webpage by clicking here, but I copied all the text of the article below for you. This was in Running Times magazine written by Mackenzie Lobby.


As health insurance premiums rise and employment rates fall, many Americans have become particularly paranoid about their health. We’re already strapped for cash. The last thing we need is to find out we have a condition that sends us spinning into a virtual turn style of referrals, co-pays, and pharmacies.

For the health-conscious runner, this is of particular concern. We rely on running and expect it will serve as a fountain of youth, the ultimate preventive measure against the effects of aging. So, what’s with the old adage that running is bad for your knees? Our beloved pastime couldn’t possibly be betraying our bodies, could it?

It’s time for a little myth debunking, anti-fear mongering words of wisdom: running will not sentence you to being confined to a motorized Rascal in your later years. In fact, studies suggest the effects are quite the opposite. Among a long list of pros is the prevention of osteoarthritis (OA), the most common type of arthritis in older adults. Running isn’t bad for your knees; it’s good for them.

Joint Solutions
Ligaments hold together every one of the many joints in the human body, and those ligaments are stiffened and strengthened through exercise, such as running. Stronger ligaments equate to more stable joints, and more stable joints lead to less wear-and-tear injuries, which means a lower risk of old injuries turning into OA later in life.

Marie-Christine Leisz, M.D., who is the medical director of the Running and Endurance Sports Injury Clinic through Allina Hospitals and Clinics in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn., area, explains why. “If you apply stress or loading to a joint, the muscle is going to get stronger,” she says. “The composition and mechanical properties of cartilage change, making it more durable. Tendons and ligaments become increasingly resilient to stress, making them less likely to tear or sprain.”

Dr. Eliza Chakravarty, researcher at Stanford University, recently published a series of studies devoted to busting up the myth once and for all. The larger study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, looked at distance runners and the prevalence of physical disability, as well as life span, compared to non-running peers. Chakravarty had 538 runners and 423 healthy non-runners, all at least 50 years old, fill out health-related surveys. The first survey was given in 1984, followed up by another 21 years later. While only 15% of the runners died during that period, 34% of non-runners did, yielding more than twice the death rate. In addition, the runners were less likely to be physically disabled at the conclusion of the study.

Chakravarty also examined the prevalence of osteoarthritis in a smaller number of participants from the original sample. The study, chronicled in The American Journal of Preventative Medicine, followed 53 non-runners and 45 long-distance runners, most of whom had been running for over a decade. Chakravarty kept tabs on this group for 18 years, from 1984 to 2002. The average age of the participant at the beginning of the study was 58 years old.

Radiographs of the knees were taken at six points between 1984 and 2002, and showed that OA was no more prevalent or severe in the running group. (In fact, a higher proportion of the control group had prevalent OA when the last radiograph was taken, although the difference wasn’t considered statistically significant.) The non-running group also reported a higher number of knee replacements than the running group during the 18-year study.

While Dr. Chakavary’s research is conclusive, the annals of literature backing up these findings continue to surface. A study done at the Helsinki Research Institute for Sports and Exercise Medicine in Finland looked at former elite athletes hailing from various sports. Not surprisingly, they found that soccer players and weight lifters were far more likely to develop OA than runners. In addition, German researchers at the University of Heidelberg found that former elite marathon runners were not at higher risk of OA than a non-running control group.

Knee-ded Facts
In her practice, Leisz is frequently faced with the question about running and bad knees. “People are always asking, ‘Am I going to end up needing knee replacements if I run?’” she says. “I want to reassure the seasoned veterans out there. Now the consensus is, no, we don’t think so.” Rather, the major risk factors for developing OA appear to be obesity, prior traumatic joint injury, and heavy manual labor. In fact, says Leisz, “for those who do not have those risk factors, running may be protective.”

Collectively, this research suggests that, in general, distance running won’t increase your chances of OA, whether you’re a weekend warrior or a veteran elite. What fans the flames, spreading this nasty myth, is oftentimes operator error. While genetics can also play a role, it is often the runners who neglect to wear proper footwear and ignore injuries that end up rocking chair-bound. So if you’re still sporting those Asics Tigers from the 1980s, fill them with rocks and throw them into the nearest body of water.

Leisz emphasizes, “You can’t underestimate the importance of appropriate footwear. The lifespan of a shoe is usually 300-400 miles.” Quoting Dr. Roger Mann’s research on running injury prevention and treatment, Leisz explains, “When running, you increase the forces transmitted up through the legs by 2.5 to 4 times your body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, you take about 1,200 steps per mile. You incur 375 pounds of force per foot plant. If you’re in a shoe that isn’t fitting you or its worn out, more of the stress is translated up through the long bones, rather than being absorbed and dissipated by the midsole of the shoe.”

A new pair of shoes won’t solve all your problems, however. Listening to your body generally will. If you have a nagging knee pain or are experiencing symptoms of overtraining, back off. The dose-response relationship is pertinent in this case. This concerns the ways the body reacts to differing levels of exposure to various stressors. You continue to reap the benefits from running to a certain point, but eventually you begin sliding down the other side of the curve. Not only can overtraining sideline you for your next race, the damage can be permanent down the road as you hit later adulthood.

There are other preventative measures you can take to avoid OA, according to Leisz. “We know the core muscles, the gluteus and the abdominals, control the motion of the femur,” she says. “If a runner has a strong core, they tend to have less knee problems. When I see a knee pain patient who is a runner, unless they can recall a specific injury, I usually go right to the core to see how strong they are. Nine times out of ten, it’s a problem with core strength.” So, it seems if you buy new shoes, avoid overtraining, and strengthen your core, you are well on your way to avoiding nasty knee problems, as well as a whole host of other issues.

It’s important to keep in mind that if you have already developed OA, you should consult your doctor regarding a running regimen. In less severe cases, running can actually help curb the condition. “One of the standard treatments for someone that is starting to have arthritis is activity because it helps the joint move longer and better,” says Leisz. Running can actually assist in lubricating joints, like oil to a rusty hinge. However, says Leisz, “If you are having a lot of pain and swelling, it probably means you are causing trauma to the joints, and then it might be time to switch to a different activity, such as the elliptical or the bike.” Also, some studies suggest that elderly adults who practice regular vigorous physical activity may encounter OA more often.

For most, the risks involved in leading a sedentary lifestyle are far scarier than the risks of running. While it is hard for some to imagine, pounding the pavement day in and day out is better for your knees than spending seven nights a week on your couch watching reality TV. You want to know how to keep your body in tip-top shape without shelling out the Benjamins for hefty doctors’ bills and prescriptions? Run smart. Live well.

Weather Forecast for Bighorn.

The weather is looking good so far. Hopefully it will hold and we will not have to deal with weather like Leadville last year, but even if we do it will be an adventure either way. Next post, race report next week. Stay tuned.

Lower part of the course (4,500-7,500ft):

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. South southwest wind around 8 mph.

Friday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 51.

Saturday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a high near 77.

Saturday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 51.

Higher part of the course (8,000-9,000ft):

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 53. West southwest wind between 7 and 9 mph.

Friday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers after midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 45.

Saturday: Isolated showers, with thunderstorms also possible after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 57. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Endurance Athlete's Translation Guide

I came across this somewhere a while back and loved it. I posted it on my blog a couple of years ago and thought it was time to break it out again with some small changes. I wish I knew who wrote it so I could give them credit but I don't.

Now you know what Ashley has had to put up with the past 2 years. Poor girl. ;o)

I put in bold and italic my favorite one, which one is yours?

Endurance Athlete's Translation Guide

"I am an outdoors type of person." Really means: I train in any type of weather. If its raining, snowing, 90 degrees w/100% humidity, or winds gusting at 30 mph. I don't want to hear any complaints cause I will still train in it and your just a big wuss for complaining about it.

"I enjoy riding my bike." Really means: with or w/o aero bars, alone or in a peleton, I don't care. If you can't do a spur of the moment 30 miler then get out of here. I will let you draft, but if you can't hang and I drop you I will see ya later.

"I enjoy jogging." Really means: Lets run hills until we puke. I have more shoes as you only mine are better because they are functional and all look the same.

"I enjoy dining out." Really means: I enjoy eating out, in or anywhere else I can find food. Don't be shy cause with the amount of food I eat you can have that main entree instead of a salad and you will still look as though you eat like a rabbit in comparison. Don't get your limbs too close though as I may take a bite out of ya. Most importantly don't expect any taste off my plate unless you can bring something to the party like more food. Eventually though if your not burning 4000+ calories a day your going to plump up and have a terrible complex due to watching me eat deserts and not gain any weight. Friends and family will eventually decide not to dine with us anymore due to my horrid table manners. Ohh, and don't ask me any questions during breakfast, Mid Morning Lunch, Lunch, Afternoon lunch, Dinner or Recovery Dinner as it does not lend to efficient food intake.

"I enjoy quiet walks on the beach." Really means: Walks on the beach warming up into a 8 mile run and then plunging myself in the ocean for a 2 miler. If you get in my way you're going to find out what mass start is and let me assure you that you don't want to find out.

"I find fullfillment in charitable work." Really means: If I am not racing I am volunteering and I expect you to be there along side me as I stand out in 90 degree weather for 8 hours handing out sports drink to cyclist going 20 mph. Just stick the ol' arm out there and hope it doesn't get taken off.

"I enjoy sharing quiet moments together." Really means: It's taper time. Just back off cause I am strategizing and in a pissy mood cause I am worried about my "A" race and can't workout.

"I enjoy road trips and leisurely drives." Really means: You have your choice of Leadville, Bighorn, Squaw Peak, Moab but don't expect to do much site seeing. If I get enough support from you we might be able to include Western States in there.

"I enjoy site seeing." Really means: Lets grab a trail shoes and get our HR's up to 90%. There's plenty of time to look around on the descent as trees and bushes whiz by you.

"I like stimulating conversation." Really means: while we are running, we can talk about food. Then we can talk about how we decided what to wear on this run based on the temperature at start time versus the temperature at the time we expect to finish, how horribly out of shape we are, how many miles we did last week, and how many we will do this week and next week. Then we can talk about food.

"I enjoy relaxing soaks in the tub." Really Means: I'm going to stop on the way home and buy two bags of ice, throw them in the tub with some water, and sit in this torture chamber for 30 minutes.

"I'm into in technology" Really Means: My HRM and GPS watch are my best friends. Until you can give me some hard data that can improve my training, don't bother trying to buddy up to me. You could one day break into the top three if I find you as entertaining on long runs as my IPOD.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Start of the Taper and Kelso Ridge

Finally!!! I am not sure if I am happy that it is time to start tapering or dreading it. I have put in some good mileage and vertical gain the past 3 weeks so I think I am ready to go. I have covered about 225 miles and 55,000 feet of vertical in the past 3 weeks on foot (running/hiking). Hopefully that will get me to my first 100 mile finish at Bighorn in 12 days from now. This week I will cover another 50 miles or so and then it is race week. I have been having these dreams where I cross the finish line of a 100 miler and just breakdown. I have never had these dreams before so I am hoping that it is a good sign, a little positive visualization. I did not have these dreams or thoughts before Leadville last year.

Yesterday Kirk and I decided to hike up Gray and Torrys for a quick peek to see what kind of shape the trails are in. There is a lot of snow on the standard Grays trail above 12,500ft and on the saddle between the peaks. On the way up we decide to take the more technical route up Torrys just to make the day a true climb and not just a hike so we chose Kelso Ridge. I have done this route before in the summer time but never with snow/ice on it. Kelso Ridge is in pretty good shape considering how much snow is still up there. Basically the bottom half of the ridge is a rock scramble just like in the summer and the top half has some snow/ice on it so one must be careful. I was happy that I brought my ice axe with me, I did need to plant it a couple of times into a rock crack and dry tool up a section or two. If you are beginner I would not do this route quite yet. Let it melt completely off then it is the perfect route for a 1st class 3 climb. Also if you do this route and are not sure where to go, just stay to the right. 98% of the time on this route if you stay right or on top of the ridge you will be fine.

Here are the photos of Kelso Ridge:

Monday, June 1, 2009

May's Numbers

Well I did not break my 300 mile mark for the month like I wanted but came close. If I would have finished that 50 miler the 1st weekend of the month and not been such a puss I would have blown 300 miles for the month away. I did get in crap loads of vertical though, I am not sure that I have ever done this much vertical with in a month before and my legs feel it. Hopefully all this time on my feet will pay off on June 19th for Bighorn 100. Here is how it all breaks down.

May 1st - May 31th

Miles covered on foot: 287.6

Vertical gain: 73,869 feet

Total monthly hours (includes weights,swimming,biking,ect.): 58:22:19

Now here is the breakdown year to date.

Jan 1st - May 31st

Miles covered on foot: 1203.49

Vertical gain: 194,928 feet

Total yearly hours (includes weights,swimming,biking,ect.): 225:35:51

I did have a big weekend both mileage and vertical wise this past weekend so that helped the numbers a lot. You can check out the details my on-line log by clicking on the link on the right hand side of the webpage call Attackpoint.

Have a great week!