Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's THAT time again......

AR50 is on the horizon so it's time to do a taper.  Things seem to be clicking, the body has come around since Way to Cool 50K.  I’m beginning to feel fit, in past few weeks I’ve done some runs that really helped my confidence level for AR50.

The goals for AR50 are simple, #1 break last year’s time, (7:42) #2 go under 7:30. 7:30 is a 9min per mile average, going faster than that will take a perfect day. I’ve been planning and training to accomplish this, we’ll see how it goes. Like last year I’ll be paying close attention to my food and fluid intake. I think that had the biggest impact on last year’s race for me.

My training group is in taper mode also. We have a few people suffering with the ITBS Demon, but most are good to go. It will be odd not to have the weekly group runs after AR50. They have been fun and helpful to my training. If all goes well I plan to recover after finishing and get back down the trail to support the group. I think a few of them are going to surprise themselves at AR50.

Pre-Race Rituals

As I posted before I have a few rituals I follow for races. This AR50 the rituals will be in full effect. Purple has been chosen as the color for the toes. The Cheetah and I will be painting toes this coming weekend in prep for the final race day coat.

Recent training group discussions regarding my over abundance of chest hair will require some “manscaping” in the coming week. I have decided to go for the smooth body look this go around so my un-tanned legs will be blinding in all their hairless glory.


Thursday, March 25, 2010


I LOVE movies, sadly I don't get out as much as the old days.  I love it when the teaser trailers pop up for movies I didn't even know were coming.  Check out my new favorite trailer:



Sunday, March 14, 2010

Way to Cool 50K photos

Here are a few photos from the day:  Way to Cool

2010 Way to Cool 50K Race report

So after a long lay off from racing the 2010 Way to Cool was my first race since 2009 Western States. The weather gods smiled on us with no rain, but it was COLD all day. The rain from the previous day had soaked an already waterlogged trail.

My training team looked set to go. Everyone was in a great mood and eager to try out the legs. With so much going on I had to listen to some pre-race music to clear my head. I think next go around I would rather support the team from the side lines than run the race. I kept thinking about them and what more I could say to help them on their journey.

My goals for the race were #1 best my 2009 time when a bonk had slowed me to a 4:52, #2 run 4:40-4:30. I knew the muddy conditions would slow things down, but I was feeling good about my training recently.

Start to Hwy 49

Ouch the cold made for funky legs; I was having a problem finding a rhythm on any terrain. I stuck to my plan and tried to not go out too fast. By the time we reached the turn to decent to Hwy 49 I was beginning to feel better/warmer. The trail was a muddy mess; it was going to be ugly out on the course I could tell. At Hwy 49 I was slower than 2009, not a good start.

Hwy 49 to ALT1

I have the normal pre-race rituals of most runners, eat, drink, and go to the bathroom (#2). I did all of these things so I knew I would not have an issue later in the race. WRONG, just after hitting the Quarry Road I needed to go #2, DAMMIT, more time lost. Thank god I know how to poo and go. Once I was back running I felt good. The climb to Brown Bar went well; I pushed a little to regain time but not too hard. Once on the single track I felt great and got into a great rhythm. When I found myself back with the runners I had been with at the pit stop I laid up a bit to eat/drink. Coming into ALT1 I was with my friends Kirk and Terry who I hoped to run with for the rest of the day.

ALT1 to ALT2

After ascending the hill out of ALT1 and eating I felt great so I just found my rhythm and went with it. I began to shadow John Nichols who knows the Dead Truck trail loop like the back of his hand. Just prior to Ball Bearing I was feeling good and running well. The swollen creek crossing was interesting; I figured some of the shorter runners would be swimming when they crossed it. Ball bearing went well I ran more of than in races past.

ALT2 to Browns Bar/Goat Hill

I was feeling a little tired heading out of ALT2, but when I tested the legs I still had legs, but a little tight. Just prior to Browns Bar I was having issues on the short rollers and I was beginning to have some IT band issues OUCH! I really started to slow down but I was ok with it, I just didn’t want to crater and walk the last part.

On the ascent to Goat Hill I got some twitches, a fellow runner was nice enough to give me some salt. I pooped them in and took a swig of my bottle, ooppsss not much water. On the final push to the Goat Hill aid station I noticed the salt pill was stuck in my throat. No problem I’m almost to the station. I quickly realized the pill was dissolving; I began to salivate a lot. Just as I entered the aid station I swallowed a mouthful of the ocean of spit the pill was creating in my mouth. This was when I learned a knew thing about ultra running, don’t swallow the salt pill induced mouthful of spit. I quickly assumed the position and BARF!!!!!! As always the first thing going on in mind was, more time lost SHIT! The old Ultra wisdom kicked in and I felt better after barfing. My bottle was ready and off I went, Ultra are so cool, it’s just barf and go, no time to feel bad.

Goat Hill to Finish

I hooked up with some guys and we set a good tempo on the way in. The legs felt like crap on any incline and the IT band would blow up a little, so I knew I would have some issues near the end. By Hwy 49 I just locked into a rhythm and got up the hill with my head down. Just as I came up to the finish I was about 20 sec from 5hrs. So I danced a little jig in the finish chute to finish on the button. Whereupon I was given a Montrail hoodie for being the 5hr finisher, NICE!

So I did not meet any of my goals but it was great day in crappy conditions. I later saw that everyone’s times were off so maybe I am getting fit.

Everyone in my training group finished with a smile on their face. It was an awesome experience to hang out and watch the finishes. Racing is way more fun with a group. By the end of the day I was re-charged to get back out and train.

My friend Melissa from the training team took a ton of photos; I will be posting some later.

Next up: AR50


Saturday, March 6, 2010


The first race of the year is upon my training group and me. With the normal, “I hate to taper” talk on today’s run. I started thinking about the rituals I use before and after races. Most rituals I do are for my “A” races, but sometimes I do them just because its fun or a superstition I have.

In my triathlon days it was the whole body shave down, and I mean WHOLE body. One time I did my eyebrows. During my MTB and road racing days it was hair color. I’ve done blonde, red, orange, and purple. I seem to have a personal affinity for hair rituals. Besides color I’ve done, long hair, the buzz, bald and the ubiquitous Mohawk. Facial hair is another favorite, I’ve done the full beard, goatee, you name it. My personal favorite was my 7wk old full beard I started when my daughter was born and kept till I returned to work. The final week before returning to work I shaved it into lamb chop sideburns, sweet!

More recent big race rituals have been shaving my legs and arms, (I’m 20sec faster over a 50 mile run this way). My daughter painting my toe nails has become an annual ritual, we do it whenever she wants to (a pre-WS100 must do).

I used to listen to the same few songs before every race, but I gave that up recently as I moved away from music while running. If you’re interested try “In the air tonight” by Phil Collins when you’re just getting ready to go to the start, good stuff.

Other rituals I enjoy are the post AR50 body dunk in the canal behind the finish and the post race Carls Jr. Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger.

My worst ritual, No Pre-Race SEX.

What’s your ritual(s)?