Thursday, April 30, 2009

Looking back to 2007 WS100

I've been on call this week and have already had two call-outs. So far this weeks mileage is like last weeks, BAD! Looks like the next three days will be huge.

I was drifting a bit at my desk so I looked in the old My Documents files to see what I had forgotten in there.

The first photo shows you how you should looks at Michigan Bluff, HAPPY! The remaining photos represent what you look like at the finish of States when you don't eat enough or run very smart from then on.


Monday, April 27, 2009


So this week was a little crazy, and I don’t mean running wise. My wife Lily was away for the week on her 40th birthday trip to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. The solo daddy thing was hard, but fun. At the start of the week my 5yr old daughter told me she would go easy on me. The catch was that she required an Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen later in the week.

The run I was looking forward to the most was yesterday, (Sunday). I ran with my friend Rob Evans of Team Fleet Feet Fair Oaks/ and Prudence L'Heureux. Prudence also had her adorable collie Sophie with her. Sophie was the fastest of us all on the trail. Prudence and Rob are both long time trail runners with a lot of experience. Prudence won Where’s Waldo 100K last year. Since I had to bail on Waldo last year after entering I pulled her ear as we ran about the course. I hope to return to Waldo next year.

The plan was to run Foresthill to the Rucky Chucky crossing, sometimes called the Call Loop. Rob stated it would be an “easy” run, I felt the run would not fall into my definition of an easy long run. But with the week being low on mileage I was looking for some quality running.

So two miles in I had my first close call with an injury this year. I rolled my right ankle really bad on a descent. I heard a pop sound, which scared the crap out of me. Amazingly there was no pain and I was able to put weight on it right away. I walked it off and soon got to running again with no real pain. I think the pop sound was my tight ankle losing up. When my body parts are tight the joints pop a little as I get warmed up.

So we proceed to bomb down the canyon. Rob shouts that we are not walking anything today. Now if you have run the Cal loop you know there are a few short steeps that can hurt. Regardless I walked the first up, but the rest of the day we ran everything. We end up making the river in 2:13, if the GPS was right it was 16 miles. Now if I could only run that fast at States. Prudence put the screws to us once we hit the river road. I was becoming worried I was going to pop, but thankfully the river crossing appeared to save me.

I was able to finish the run strong and run out of the river back to the car at the top of Driver Flat Rd. I’m happy with how the body held up. Besides the ankle I’m not sore today. It appears the tempo/quality running is paying off.

Once home I had some swelling to the right side of the ankle but no real pain. I’ve started icing and taking Vitamin I for it and I think I’ll be OK.

So what caused this and why am I not descending like I used to on trails. I think it’s the road shoes. My Moto’s are just too high off the ground which makes my foot slip too much. So I’ll be buying a pair of Asics Trail Attacks today to get them broken in for the weekend. I have used them before and trust them.

I had been contemplating this for a while, but this run showed me I need to make the change. The Moto’s work great on mellow trails, like the AR50 trail. But when it comes to rockier trails and downhill running you’re going to suffer, or hurt yourself.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Canyon run and other Misc. babble

So I had my first training run on the Western States course since last Fall. It was a great day on the course for running. I was able to hook up with the very talented Jon Olsen and friends, John and Hoa for a solid run. The guys went to Last Chance and the base of the Thumb.

I had planned to go to the base of the Thumb, but cut the run short as I descended the Thumb to get home. I sent my wife to Playa Del Carmen Mexico for a week for her 40th birthday. She was leaving a day earlier than planned so I wanted to see her before she left later that night.

Besides a solid training run which told me where I was in my training, I got to see a lot of peeps I hadn’t seen in a while. I also met some new people, which is always nice, (HELLO TO EVERYONE!).

Top of the list of runners out on the trail that day was Kelly Ridgeway. Kelly is an all around cool person and outstanding runner. You can find her blog in my favorites. Kelly did the Costal Challenge this year which should tell you how bad ass she is.


First thing learned, Jon Olsen and friends are super nice guys, and they are very fast. I need to train with those cats more often.

Second, this was the first warm/hot run I have done this year. I think I need to find a way to intake more carbs. Food intake is always an issue with me, but I was drinking a ton of CLIP2 and other food during the run. I noticed near the end I had the energy to run, but I was a little zapped. It could have been the heat but CLIP2 has more protein than carbs.

The body held up better than ever, I never red-lined even as I ran/hiked the canyons. I checked my SportTracks log and found it was my fastest ever in the Canyons.

Shoes: My Nike Moto’s did fine as usual. I did notice my feet were taking more abuse than usual. The shoes I was wearing were old, but I have noticed it before on the gnarly trails. Looks like I’ll have to find some trail shoes for The Big Dance in June to be safe. I’ve eyeballed the Cascadia for a long time so maybe it’s time to check it out. I used the Asics Trail Attack in 2007, they just re-did them and they look nice.

This training week I completed 70 miles. The core workouts were a solid tempo 12 miler, 7 miles at ½ marathon pace. The Canyon run (map said 30, GPS said 28) and the 15 miler I did the following day. So far the consistent 60+ miles weeks have worked well. I’m happy to have the mileage and be injury free. The goal for the next few weeks will be to continue this mileage with good quality runs to see what shakes out.

Also if you like to read blogs check out Craig Thornley, Andy Jones Wilkins blogs, they have been writing some good stuff lately.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Change of Plans

I had earlier posted my intention to do the Bishop High Sierra 50 mile in May. Now due to events I did not take into consideration (like what happened with my Miwok entry) I will now do the Silver State 50 mile. I look forward to trying myself out on a difficult course I have not run before. It's supposed to be the best training around for the Big Dance.


Monday, April 6, 2009

AR50 Pictures

I just got these pictures forwarded to me from a friend. They were taken at Beals point. I like the disembodied hand (my wife) handing me a PBJ slice.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

American River 50 Mile

First off I had a blast at this race, one of the better events I have done in a long time. I think Julie Fingar did a great job.

I wanted to “train through” the race for my ongoing prep for the big show in June. Consistent 65ish miles weeks since before Way to Cool with two thirty milers was starting to drag on me. The snap was gone from the legs and mind since last weekend.

I read through my training bible for guidance. I read over some of the articles which state some times you have to just listen to your body. So this week I did one 10 miler on Tuesday to shake the cobwebs out, followed by 2 miles on Friday. I find no running at all the day before a race leaves me feeling funky on race morning. 2-3 miles easy with stride outs really seems to help me. All other days were off with just stretching and my strength routine.
Race morning

Everything went well, bathroom break, food etc. I had slept a lot the past week and it helped.
I hooked up after the gun and ran with some friends from the area which was a great way to let the race unfold slowly. We were all looking to run approximately the same time so we helped each other to stay true to the pace this early in the race.

I hit all my predicted checkpoint times for a 7:30ish finish except for Rattlesnake Bar.

Planned time:

Nimbus: 2:35ish
Beals Point: 3:45
Rattlesnake: 5:45

Race Time:
Nimbus: 2:31
Beals Point: 3:34
Ratttlesnake: 6:00

The biggest problem of the day was a sloshy tummy which came on at Twin Rocks. It made me go off drinking for approximately an hour or more. This was my 1st experience with this phenomenon; I have to say I don’t like it. Once I began to process again I got back into gear. But I was now down big time on my water as well as salt and food. I felt a little twitch at Horseshoe Bar which told me to watch myself.

I picked a few people off here and there from Horseshoe Bar to just past Rattlesnake Bar. I ran with my mantra of “run your own race” going on in my head to keep me from going crazy near the end. I caught Scott Dunlap of trail running blog fame just before Rattlesnake Bar. He had taken a tumble and was hurting a bit, which was worrisome to me. I spoke to him after the race and he said he was feeling better.

The rest of the race went as I wanted except for a little walking after Last Gasp. After training on the hill these past months I decided I wanted to run from Last Gasp on in the race. The leg twitches had me walking a few times, but I ran 90% of the hill.

The finish was a blast hanging out at the Fleet Feet Fair Oaks/Roseville tents. I was able to see some faces I hadn’t seen in a while and hang out in the beautiful weather.

Congrats to all that raced.

Things Learned:

I ate more than ever at a race and it helped. I think I mistakenly ate too much PBJ which kind of backed up in my tummy for a while. I think I ate 3+ whole sandwiches by Beals, in addition to the gels I was taking in. I think I know to eat more in races now, just not so much that I pay for it.

I drank straight water and one bottle of Amino Vital. This worked better than the sport drinks I usually carry which seem too sweet to me in races. The Amino Vital worked well and I will continue to use it, it is much less sweet than other drinks I have used.

Now that I’m done with AR50 its time to concentrate on taking the training up a notch until Bishop High Sierra 50 mile. Bishop will be the big test of fitness going into June. The plan until then is consistent training with a healthy dose of uphills/downhills and quality running. I’m looking forward to visiting the WS course soon.


Thursday, April 2, 2009


After Way to Cool 50K I learned some valuable lessons about my running. This is funny because you would think after 5 years of running ultras I’d know this by now. I chock it up to the fact that I finally got serious this year about all aspects of my training.

It goes something like this: I need to EAT AND DRINK MORE IN A RACE.

The week after Way to Cool I went right back into my training cycle, (it’s all about June baby). I went a little slower and no quality on Tuesday, but I was putting in the miles. I felt good; the recovery routine I’ve developed seemed to be doing the trick.

The Saturday after Way to Cool I did the annual American River 50 mile training run. The run is on the last 31 miles of the AR50 course. I always like doing this run because it’s a nice way to do a point to point long run with aid along the way.

My plan was to run slow with a friend of mine and then kick it up for the last 20 or so. I ran 10 miles with my friend and just past Beals I kicked it up a notch. The main goal was to run fast but concentrate on my eating and drinking.

Well I ate more than at Way to Cool and I felt better than ever. Even so I had a little bit of cramping, but I ran the entire last 2+mile hill which is unusual for me after 20+ miles.

So for AR50 I have consulted the training log and various texts and made out a food and drink plan. I used a friends Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Excel spreadsheet as a template. I’m unsure if I will bring the sheet with me to the race. I have been committing the plan to memory.

In a nutshell I need to be taking in appox 200-300cals an hour. Electrolyte intake and water is harder to peg but I will be drinking approx a bottle an hour of water in addition to my drink mixes. Salt tab use will be more closely monitored and correctly used. This will work better than my normal routine of “hey I’ll take on now, that’s good”.

Also I've been testing out an Amino Vital drink, Link:
So far I like what it does, more on that after AR50.

Now for the fun stuff, what am I going to run at AR50. I’ll be honest from my training I think I’m capable of running a 7:30. I think if I use my head better a 7:40ish will happen. So my plan is the following:

#1 Race smart have fun and continue the training process
#2 Don’t injure myself
#3 Better my previous best times, (anything under 8hrs and I’m happy)
#4 Run 7:30, (faster would also be ok)

I worked out a 7:30 to break down like this roughly:

Nimbus: 2:35ish
Beals Point 3:45ish
Rattlesnake 5:45

I’ll be honest I’m a little nervous about trying to race this thing for a 7:30. I don’t have a great track record for racing smart. Regardless I’m itching to do some running and hurting and to test myself like at Way to Cool.

After this April is all about the WS trail and Canyons WOO HOO!!!