Sunday, September 19, 2010

Run Rabbit Run 50, 2010

Wow, what an awesome, awesome weekend!
As I was walking into the Bear Bar where Run Rabbit was based, the evening before the race, someone asked me if I was running. I said, "Heck no! I've been injured for over a year. I'm not trained-up. I can't run 50 miles through the mountains!"

Then Fred offered me a bib and I just TOOK it! What was I thinking? I think it was something like, "Life is an adventure - get on the frickin' boat and shut up!"

I somehow managed to have everything I needed to run an ultra in my car.
My pre-race meal was pizza from Blue Sage Pizza.
Naz A offered me floor space at his hotel room. It was his 1st 50 miler, and he did great. He finished about 2hr 30m faster than me.

Being so under-trained, my goal should have been just to finish, but instead I decided to take 30 minutes off my previous best.

Fred A. told me I had to finish. I said I can do bad, or I can do terrible, but I can't quit.

The weather was almost perfect, but like the Saturday before, there wasn't a speck of cloud in the sky and it was a scorcher. Luckily, it was a mildly gusty day, and the course gives a fair amount of shade. I took two Ultimate Direction bottles and always had water in one, sport drink in the other. So I was able to use half my water by squirting it on head and shirt. This kept the heat from bothering me at all.
I also paid better attention to my hydration and electrolytes than the weekend before. I ate regularly, used about 6 gels, ate potato chips and banana at the aid stations, and just kept moving.

The course is 50.2-50.3 miles, so it's almost exactly 50, with just enough extra to avoid any arguments.

The weather obviously helped everyone. All the records fell.

I love this course! Very beautiful, several lakes, very challenging, great people, great town.

I never felt bad during the race. My asthma hurt early, which concerned me, but it never got worse and I never faded.
Charles Danforth and I somewhat leap-frogged each other the whole race, especially the last 3rd or so. It's about time I got to know a guy whose name I keep hearing, and whose blog I've stumbled across several times.

The last 10k of the race is steep downhill, but this time I wasn't as fast. Since breaking my arm, I keep having visions of crashing. I still take some chances, but not like I used to. I actually got passed three times during that final descent. A fourth guy nearly passed me too, but I managed to stay ahead through the chute and across the finish.

My body was wrecked! I was almost in shock. I had to keep moving or I would have passed-out. Then when I was finally able to sit, I started turning to concrete, so I had to move some more. Eventually, I got some post-race pizza and one beer into me, but I couldn't stand to consume anything more, nor could I stay conscious much longer. So I went back to my car and passed-out on my sleeping bag in the back of the car. I slept right through the awards.
Around 11:15, I struggled out of bed, drove to a convenience store and bought some Gatorade. After drinking the whole thing, I drove a few miles out of town on a dirt road and slept until morning.
After Breakfast, I soaked at Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Then ate pizza at Beau Jo's back in town. I don't think I've ever eaten so much pizza in three days in my life.

Right now, I finally feel human again. Tomorrow, I'll be 100% again.

Friday, September 17, 2010

OMG! I in Run Rabbit Run 50

So I drove to Steamboat to volunteer. Fred A said they had enough volunteers - do I want to run? They have people doing half-day shifts but I worked all day last year. So he got me in.
Whoa, what a surprise. And I went through a 15 minute panic where I started trembling, wondering if I even have all the stuff for running a mtn 50.
This will be interesting...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 American Heros Run

My friend David Clark, who I crewed at Leadville, and Max Muscle put this event on. Let me tell ya - 9 hours and 11 minutes is way easier than 12 hours or 24 hours!

My poor brain just wasn't into waking up at 5:30am, though. I figured I'd wake up at some point, but it's easier to drive while awake. I missed the turn-off and had to backtrack.

The course was a 1.06 mile loop in Rogers Grove Park in Longmont, CO. My goal was to run 50 miles, which would have bettered my 9:33 finish at Collegiate Peaks 50 in 2008. It didn't happen. The temps weren't too very hot, but there wasn't a speck of cloud in the sky. At Longmont's altitude, it was a scorcher. I could have handled my hydration, electrolytes, etc. better. Still, I was surprised that my wheels did not exactly fall off. However, after hitting pace for 33 miles, I realized I couldn't hold the pace after so many hours struggling with the heat. I basically walked with Dale Perry for half a dozen more laps.

First place, Jerry Armstrong, was way, way ahead with 6 more laps than me and Chris Labbe.
Chris was hoping to do a 9min/M pace the whole time, but for some odd reason, his heart rate shot to 162, which happens to be my VO2max rate! So even though he got two laps ahead of me, I managed to get ahead of him by a couple laps. But then his legs got better, and I stopped trying, and Chris tried to sneak by me. He managed to gobble up nearly all my lead.
Then with 17 minutes left, I realized I could easily do another lap. Dale Perry said he was done, so I ran faster than I had in quite a while. Chris tried to reel me in, but after walking so many laps, my legs were stoked with energy. He finished only a minute behind.
In my best year, 2008, I couldn't have hoped to keep up with Chris Labbe, so this was a fluke. When you get old and fat like me, you gotta take what you can get. He had a bad day and i had a good day. That leveled the field.

In all, I managed 46 miles, although officially, I only got 45.8, or something like that. I'll go by my GPS, since they don't pad. GPS's can only shortcut your path. So you can fairly accurately trust you went at least as far as your GPS says.
If I hadn't given up and walked, I don't think I could have done better than 47 miles.

It was a very fun day. David Clark's family is the coolest family you could ever meet! His dad walked the entire 9 hours and 11 minutes and PR'd!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Buchanan Pass-Pawnee Pass Loop 2010

I never knew this trail existed! OMG, this one is a keeper!
Unfortunately, my son stole the SD memory card out of my camera without telling me, but the camera has 10-12MB internally, so I was able to shoot half a dozen photos. I stole others from Kari.
My northern freinds from the Boulder/Ft Collins area put this run together.

I needed altitude, and I knew there were lots of trails in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area south of Rocky Mtn Nat'l Park that I needed to discover. Having a crazy bunch of special idiots show me the way was a luxury I couldn't pass up.
Seven of us started out after 7am.
I played caboose all day. At first, it was because I have to warm up very slowly and carefully in order not to aggravate my asthma. It takes a few hours to get fully warmed-up. But I also wasn't sure what my conditioning status was at this point. I'd been working on short, fast speed-work. I've been logging scant few miles. My main goal has been to trigger my body to return to its previous state. Muscles have memory. I've seen this several times over the years in my own body where I get out of a cast and my limb is horrifyingly emaciated. But in just a couple of months, it's back to normal.
So I stuck with Cat S until we got over the first hill.

Longs' Peak in the distance

Then as we started the 2nd big climb of the loop, Kari called a pow-wow. Our various paces were too strung-out for the long day and it was time to choose sides. Three opted to turn around at the top of the pass. I chose to become the caboose for the four that continued.

Coming off Buchanan Pass

These three women kicked my ass!!!! Okay, I kept up, except for the stretch between Pawnee Lake and Pawnee Pass which had me sucking for air, but it was a race-pace effort for me to stay with them.

The scenery was so beautiful, and it just kept getting better and better.

Head up towards Pawnee Lake

The trail below Pawnee Lake is FULL of the most incredible waterfalls! There were several sections of river that were series of falls and pools. If the water hadn't been too cold, even at this warmest time of the year (for mountain water), I'd have said they were great for skinny-dipping.
I bought a SteriPen a year ago but had never used it. Since we were going light, and drinking out of clean mtn water, I opted for the 'Pen instead of my filter. It's a slick thing to have, and leaves no chemical flavors, and faster than pumping.

I didn't know at the time, but all these women kicking my ass were elite runners. Yikes! Even though I kept up with them, I'm sure it was only because they throttled-back. But the stretch between Pawnee Lake and Pawnee Pass, they dusted me off like lint and waited for me on the top. !!!
I've got a long way to go to get my legs back under me, folks. I'm fat. My weight is still 170-174lbs, and has been steady for over a year, but my belly really sticks out in the most unflattering way.

I hadn't planned on such an arduous run, but it really was beneficial.
Except for my Pearl Izumis. As we headed up to Pawnee Lake, my toe caught a root stub that punctured the shoe mesh and ripped it all around beside the outer toe. It wasn't a catastrophic failure, I barely noticed any difference, but I've had to throw the shoes away.

Pawnee Lake

The trail up the west side of Pawnee Pass goes through quite a rock pile, and zig-zags up a wall.

Steph E about to cruise on by without any effort, while I suck like dieing goat

Very strong gusts of wind were not helping, except for the few times it was a tailwind and lifted me up the trail.

Here's a shot just after getting over the top of the wall. The trail drops straight down below the spires in the foreground.

Birds-eye view of Pawnee Pass

My feet are good and no sign of my PF, but I need some serious altitude training.

What an awesome time! Everyone says it's 27 miles, but my GPS claims 26.3. GPS's tend to shortcut switchbacks, and there were quite a few, but I think 26.5 is probably accurate, and that's what I'm putting in my mileage log.

More from Charles D, who did this with Steph (one of the trailmongers kicking my ass), and another from Jim P.