Monday, January 24, 2011

Climbing Mountains, an interview with Jacob Rydman

If you run in the Auburn Confluence area chances are you’ve seen Jacob Rydman running.  Jacob enjoys trail running and going up mountains, FAST.

Jacob who is new to ultra racing won the 2010 Sierra Nevada Double Marathon in convincing fashion.
It was his first ultra race. After meeting Jacob at Sierra Nevada I’ve followed him on his blog, Climbing Mountains. Jacob recently tasked himself with running 100 ascents of K2 in 100 days. If you know the “Training Hill” you know it is not an easy thing to do.

Jacob recently agreed to let me talk to him about his running.

How did you get into the ultra/trail running scene? I know you ran before you did ultras.

I ran for two years at Yuba College. I was recruited by William Jessup University and ran Cross Country for them. After a lay off from running I decided to run the 2009 California International Marathon. During my training I went to Lake Tahoe a lot to train. While training on the trails there I found I really enjoyed it. It’s very free and challenging to run trails.

I follow your blog; unlike many other runners you’re very open about your training. How did you come up with the idea to run K2 a 100 times in 100 days?

The trail running community is all about camaraderie. You can train with people and its fun but you still push each other, I enjoy that a lot.

The K2 ascents came about because I didn’t have any races lined up for a while and I wanted to push myself. I wanted the challenge.

How did the ascents go once you got started?

It was very hard at the start, especially during the holidays. It also took my body a while to find its rhythm on the hill. It was very demanding both mentally and physically. I am a stronger runner both physically and mentally after completing the 100 ascents. I also finished early; it took 95 days to do 100 ascents.

I saw you ran with Anton Krupicka, Scott Jurek and a lot of other ultra heavy weights at the Ponderous Posterior 50K. How did this come about and what was it like running with them?

Anton posted about the run months before. I connected with Anton about coming to the run. It just so happened that a friend of mine was heading that way at the same time. It all worked out so I went. About 90 people came out and ran. I learned a lot about trail running from the event, I took a lot away from that experience.

What are your racing plans for 2011?

Way to Cool 50K is my next event, but the American River 50 is my next goal race. I will mini-taper for Way to Cool, but American River is my goal race.

After that I will run my first 100 mile race at Tahoe Rim 100 in July. That will be an interesting race. I have no idea what to expect at that distance. For the rest of the year I know I will be racing The North Face Endurance Challenge in San Francisco.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me Jacob. I help coach a group of new Ultra runners with Fleet Feet Ultra Training. Anything you want to pass on about training?

Yes, I think you should train on terrain or conditions harder than you expect on race day. On race day you will be better prepared both physically and mentally for the race.

Excellent advice Jacob and thanks for a great interview.

Jacob is also an outdoor ambassador for New Balance.  Jacob's blog: Climbing Mountains


Monday, January 3, 2011

New Years cabin trip and 2011 event plans

So I spent the past week at my Echo Lake cabin. So much happened it’s tough to recount it all. Snow shoe hikes, night hikes, EPIC sledding and some snow running. The trip was all accentuated by one thing SNOW a whole lot of it. The previous storms left more snow than I have seen in a long time at the cabin, much less the sierras. We later received even more.

As luck would have it my long time snow shoes cracked apart the week before. I had thought of buying new boots months ago, but put it off because I’m too much of a tight wad. Luckily my wonderful wife bought me a pair of Salomon snow boots for Christmas. She saw I had circled them in an REI catalog. These are the best snow shoes I’ve ever had. The fit like over sized running shoes, not clunky Sorel’s. If you’re looking for new snow boots check them out. Running and snow shoeing in them was great.
Here is a summary of the trip:

We drove up Monday morning on clear roads to a cabin snow encased from the recent storms. The cabin had more snow than I have seen on it before. The front window was completely encased as was the front door. With us was the Brown family, who were staying for the night. Just like last years New Years trip my friend Thor and his daughter Sienna were with us for the week. All total we had five adults and six children the first night, (ouch).

After digging out the cabin we headed to our normal sledding hill along the Echo Lake Road/Trail. The fresh powder made it a bit more work, but it was great sledding after smashing it down.

The expected blizzard came in late Tuesday just after the Browns left. Tuesday was snowy and fun. We awoke Wednesday to no power and 3+ feet of fresh snow. The power came back on for an hour then was out again until 5pm.

We spent the day digging out the cabin again, hiking, and making water from snow and cutting wood. Daytime high temps were in the 20's so we drained the cabin’s water system to be safe. We kept a good fire going all day.

Johnson Pass Road which is the access road to the cabin had 3+ feet of fresh snow and was impassable till it was plowed on Thursday. I helped dig a few people out that thought they could make it out.

We made an epic snow cave for the kids during the week using the stairs and porch as a roof. When the skies cleared later in the week (Thursday) we dug out a bobsled run from the front of the house.

Thor and I did a lot of hiking over the week. We did a couple of hikes that ended in the dark. Great stuff when the snow is coming down. Snow running and snow shoes running is a great way to get in shape. I’d swear I’m in better shape than when I left.

To put the play and work on the trip in perspective, I ate HORRIBLY the whole trip. I ate candy, chips, salami and cheese, (daily), pizza and a LOT of sodas and beer, (a lot of soda). Somehow I came back 2lbs down. This was after a trip to Mel’s Diner on the way home.  Snow shoveling is the best workout ever.

All in all a lot of snow, hiking, snow play and FUN.  Here are a few pictures, I posted some video and more pictures on Facebook.

Crawling into cave from other entrance

Inside of snow cave

Looking out of snow cave

2011 Event Schedule

I had a lot of time to think about my 2011 event plans. After thinking about it and talking to Lily I changed a few things I had been planning. Here is a list of the races and notable events I have planned for 2011:

March:        Way to Cool 50K

April:           AR50 (pacing and supporting my training group)
                   ***40th Birthday Party***
                   Grand Canyon R2R2R

May:            Bishop High Sierra 100K

June:            Western States 100 (Pacing Kuni Yamagata)

July:              Tahoe Rim Trail 50 mile

August:         Squaw to Donner 50K

September:   Rio Del Lago 100
                    Sierra Nevada Endurance Runs (work the race)

November:   Lithia Loop Marathon
                    Last Chance 50 mile (pace Lily at her 1st 50 miler)

So I bailed on TRT100 for a variety of reasons. In planning it out it was becoming too much of a strain on the family for that time of year. RDL100 will be interesting and HOT! I’ve wanted to try it for some time. It’s local which is always appealing and I know the course. The heat will make the training prep interesting at the end.

I’m looking forward to pacing Kuni at WS100. He is an amazing runner and I was honored to be asked to help him. I look forward to training with him and being a part of his Big Dance in June.

I hope to add a few more things as the year progresses. My big Sierra hike/run plans never came together in 2010, so I want to do that at some time.

Lily and I would also like to do Mt. Whitney again. Mostly I just want to get out more and have a solid season of training and adventures. I turn 40 in April so I have to live it up in 2011, I’ll be officially old according to my family.