Friday, October 10, 2014

RUN RABBIT RUN 100 (2014)



Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. - Haruki Murakami

After all the hours; I’m getting ready to start a journey that will last somewhere around 18-30hrs. There is a nervous calmness at the start line…I know that this will hurt and this will be awesome. I have decided I will not suffer no matter what. I will take the pain and keep my mantra and feet going…FOCUS AND JOY. If I’m focused I’ll be strong, if I keep the joy I won’t
suffer.

When the sun rose and I was done, I was really stoked to finish in 6th place (20:12) behind some really elite runners. Very happy to execute my second 100mile race well, and push through the lows and embrace the highs. Running 100 miles will hurt even when it’s going well. Your mind and heart have to be on board 100% and staying positive is an extremely powerful tool.
 
 
The run rabbit run course which covers about 105miles in Steamboat Colorado is no joke. There aren’t many easy miles (if any)…you gotta work the whole time, which for me was 20hrs and 12min. Lots of up and down the whole time adding up to a bit over 20,000ft of climbing. After the race, Jeff Browning described this course as “it’s relentless and you have be good at running almost everything to do well”. Basically one long 4k climb at the start and another 3-4k climb at mile 70 (ouch!) the rest is essentially all up and down with climbs between 1k and 2k and the rest is made up of a bunch more shorter ups and downs. Only 8 miles total is on a paved road, the rest is mainly single-track and rough jeep roads and is beautiful. The race started euro style at noon so it was nice to sleep in a bit and get final stuff prepped that morning. I double checked everything and chilled out with some music and ate 10 more donuts (not really). Mentally I was in a good place and ready to get the painjoy that is 100miles rolling. It really helped to have Becca, my Dad, and the boys around…they were as ready and hyped as I was! The start of a 100 mile race is probably a bit of a letdown if you are a spectating! Imagine world class runners starting a race at a measly jog…and within a few minutes we were all pretty much speed hiking all the steep stuff. About ¾ of the way to the top of Mount Werner, I grabbed a fresh bottle from Becca and high fived the dudes (mile 4ish). I was sitting in the top 15 or so and we had a good train of 6-9 guys running a solid (but doable) pace to the aid station at mile 12. Rob Krar was in our group and I could tell he was working way less than everyone else…he won the race. As we rolled into the aid station Nick Clark was already a couple minutes off the front of our chase pack with Zeke T. right behind him. As we left the aid station there was suddenly a weird scramble among our chase group and the pace increased to a speed I did not want to run this early in the race. Myself and Josh Vaughn stuck together and hoped a smart race of not pushing the pace early would pay off. Our new buddy Jim Rebenack caught up to us on the descent so the three of us rolled into fish creek aid station (around 17miles)…We hit the 4 mile road section and pretty much stayed together the next 30 miles. We hit the Cow creek aid station (mile 31ish) and my Dad and Becca where perfectly ready (as always) I refueled and got a few calories down. As we left cow creek I hit a bad patch for 20 min or so…I thought I would lose Josh and Jim but was able to get back on the train. We kept a manageable but steady pace, even though all of us had our own issues going on. As we rolled into Olympian Hall (mile 43) I was feeling better but also realized the last 40miles was tough and I was a little wrecked. I grabbed some coke, a fresh shirt, and a headlamp. it was just after 7pm. Becca told me the lead pack was all together and was only 15-20 minutes in front of us (not a huge gap for 7hrs into a 20hr race). This was also the only short section (4miles) you could have a pacer and it was great sharing a few miles with my amazing wife. She was a good distraction as she talked the whole time…I just kept shuffling along as I was hurting a bit on the road section. It was now dark and starting to get pretty cold. We rolled into fish creek (mile 47) and my Dad was there with everything ready to roll. I took a few extra minutes here to make sure I had enough food and clothes and grabbed my vest for the next 4-5 hrs because next time I would see my crew was at mile 65. It took me a few minutes to warm up on the rocky technical climb up fish creek. I got in a really good rhythm and really enjoyed this section. I was able to power hike at a great pace and run all the mellower stuff. I realized I had forgotten to grab my ipod shuffle, I was looking forward to some music distraction for this long night stretch, I guessed it would sound that much better at mile 65-70. Myself and Mark Hammond started the long rough dirt road that descends about 7 miles down to dry lake aid station…my legs were screaming and my quads felt trashed. I just kept running and stopped a couple times to stretch the quads and hips. It felt like we ran down that damn road for several hours (probably 1.5hrs). We finally got to dry lake and Becca and my dad had our pit stop ready to go. I sat down for a quick sock/shoe change, and got some calories down (coke and soup). I grabbed my vest and ipod and took off feeling pretty good. I was focused and ran the entire 4.5 mile descent to mile 70 at a good clip (at least it felt fast). My legs had finally rebounded. I counted the runners coming up the trail, because I knew I was top 10. Rob was hammering, then Josh Arthur and Jeff Browning. After those dudes it was a while before I saw Ryan Ghelfi, Paul Terranova, and I somehow missed Nick Clark. I rolled into spring creek aid station, gave Jason Schlarb a high five and left. I put the music on for the first time and started the climb back to dry creek. I think I ran the whole 4.5 climb back up (things will get foggy at mile 70+) I do remember feeling good, totally focused and actually felt like I was “racing”. Quick fill ups at Dry creek aid station (mile 75, just after 2am) and gave Becca a kiss, this was the last time I would see my crew till the finish. I started the long slog up that same damn dirt road, I stayed positive and new I could finish this beast ok. I definitely had several moments up that road I felt like I was barely moving. As I rolled into summit lake aid station (mile 82) I realized I had caught Paul Terranova and we walked into the aid station together. I wanted to get out of there fast, as aid stations can be a warm inviting time sucking delay this late into a race. I left ahead of Paul and had moved into 6th place. The last 15miles were tough. I just yo-yo’d the rest of the way from feeling great to crappy every few minutes and miles. Despite the rough patches I was in a decently good mood, and as the sun came up around 6:30 I took a moment to breath and reflect on the last 18hrs. It’s hard for me to explain or describe, but it’s a crazy feeling of connection, appreciation, and satisfaction. After the long descent towards the finish I finally heard the familiar loud cheer that is my beautiful wife. I am so thankful for my family and their support. Ryder and Max sprinted up the hill to me with huge grins on their faces! They had the same joy in their faces that I was feeling, I probably looked like crap. We cruised back to the finish a few hours later to watch my buddies Greg and Casey both finish their first 100's. Is was awesome seeing both of them finish such a huge day.

 
Gear:
Shoes: Hoka Huaka (first 65miles)
            Hoka Rapa Nui (last 40Miles)
Socks: Swiftwick 4inch (no swelling, one tiny blister)
Hydration: Ultimate Direction handhelds until dark
                  Ultimate Direction AK vest after dark to finish
Glasses: Smith Lowdown
Headlamp: Black Diamond icon (amazing)
 
Nutrition:
My nutrition went great, no issues at all. I drank beet juice (pure clean power) every day for several weeks leading up to race (not during race), and I keep a pretty clean diet with lots of greens, and protein. I'm not super strict but I do avoid processed foods, excess carbs, and most gluten.
During the race I used  GU gels (small sip from flask every 40-60min or as needed).
2-3 Skratch labs Homemade rice cakes (eggs, rice, bacon). At aid stations I would eat whatever solid food sounded good. (Bananas, Watermelon, mashed potatoes, Fritos, Noodle Soup) and of course I drank my fair share of COKE.
 

Friday, July 11, 2014

catch up...

So I recently saw I hadn't updated this in months. SO here goes. The last few months in a few paragraphs since I am such a wordsmith. Maybe that's why instagram is more appealing.

MARCH: Ran just enough to roll through an awesome 50k back at the end of march in Oregon. We where able to leave the boys with my parents and have a great weekend in Portland together. The race was amazing! Definitely check out the Gorge Waterfall 50k . I managed to actually look at the profile a couple days before the race and realized there was a lot more climbing than I thought (6k!). I managed to shuffle pretty well the first 22 miles and felt solid. I rolled my ankle on the only short road section of this super technical course (of course). Had to slow down and be really careful about the ankle the last 9 miles .  Still had a ton of fun and cruised in around 4:58 (15th place).










APRIL: Heading to Moab with rest of the dudes from THE ADRENALIN PROJECT  we got some great riding and team beer drinking done in style. Patrick and myself decided to hop in and race the Adventure Extreme adventure race that same weekend. Our team took home the win and even some real cash. We raced 6.5hrs of mtb, rappelling/ropes, running, kayaking, orienteering. These races are super fun and always well done. I felt flat on the run (probably still from the 50k) but fitness was ok.








JUNE:  Headed to Vail with Becca and the boys for GOPRO Mountain games. Its a huge festival party of racing and events. I have been doing the Ultimate Mountain Challenge the last couple years and its way tough but way fun. SAT was the downriver kayak race (I think 4 miles?) ..the water is was really high and ripping pretty good which is a little nerve racking when I'm an intermediate kayaker (at best...when exaggerating). Got through the kayak without flipping but got eddied out in a couple big holes so I lost a bit of time. A couple hours later we raced the (22mile) mtb race. I felt crappy and flat the whole time. Except on the downhills...which are super fun. On SUN was the "10k" trailrace. Which is really 7+miles and 2k of climbing. I felt great and pushed the pace and finished 10th overall in a stacked field. Last event was the road bike TT and I was pretty sauced so I did what I could. Overall I finished 6th in the ultimate challenge (pro)....out of 8..shhhh.

For training I have been definitely been running more than cycling and that has shows. Since training for Leadville last year...I really look forward to getting up high in mountains for long runs. Organized training for Run Rabbit Run begins this weekend with a solid hope pass run after silver rush 50mile mtb...I was also able to get up and get in a Greys and Torreys summit run. I'm pretty focused for steamboat and feel like I have a lot more fitness to gain over the next 30-60 days.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

4 passes run video

My good buddy Casey just got married...for his bachelor party we did a 28mile run of 4 passes in Maroon Bells (aspen, co) on Sat (Sept1st) and then we rented downhill bikes on Sunday in keystone. After our epic party (and yes it deserves that word), they had a truly amazing wedding in Keystone on the following Sat.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Leadville 100 run report


My amazing wife Becca at finish
The Leadville 100 run was incredible. It was my first 100mile run and 20hrs I will never forget. Back in Jan when I decided to do Leadman there was 2 major factors before I pulled the trigger and paid the entry fee for my whole summer of endurance racing in Leadville. 1st: support from my loving wife  2nd: proper training by getting a solid coach (Patrick Valentine) to give myself the best possible chance to race well. I literally logged in twice to register for Leadman and chickened out….one day after a long run I decided to give it go and committed to myself to focus 100% on these races for 2013. I had a great summer of training and really loved it. I spent more time in the “real” mountains.  Had a great time training and getting to know Travis Macy (now the current Leadman record holder).  Two quotes that resonated with me all season “the mountains are calling and I must go” and “my eyes have seen the glory”. I looked forward to my long runs (5-7hrs) I felt trashed but “full” after a long day in on the trails. I feel super blessed to be able to do what I do and spend time in God’s creation.
Patrick set up a solid training program for me that started right after I completed the AZT300 mtb race (3 days and 300miles) in April. We set up a plan of 60-70% running and a very focused bike program to keep the strength for the 50 & 100mile races. I probably averaged about 12-14hrs a week and ramped up to 23hrs for my biggest week. I wasn’t pulling 100+mile run weeks like many ultrarunners, but felt confident with my training which was a lot of 3-5hr runs at 100mile pace with lots of hiking, and a solid amount of vert in most every long run.

*Race morning weather was perfect. With everyone lined up in the corral the focus and energy from all the racers was impressive. Boom…start. We jogged down 6th street with 1000 headlamped runners. My goal was to take it easy (“Its 100miles dummy” was my motto) the first 40miles and really try to ease off and hit my conservative goal times for each aid station…May Queen at 13 miles is the first main Aid station.  It was insane…probably 1000 people screaming and cheering (its 6am!) The sun was just coming up…I found Becca and my dad easily (thanks guys) and grabbed two new bottles and a couple gels and left my headlamp. Back onto some awesome singletrack and we started climbing. It was such a beautiful sunrise as we climbed up the long dirt road…we started down powerline and I was feeling great and very comfortable running/chatting with Donnie H., Travis Macy, and Bob Africa.  All great guys. Cruised into Fish Hatchery (23.5miles) around 7:50 and was feeling good after a much needed #2.  Saw my amazing crew, filled up and ate a rice cake. Going into pipeline aid station (29.5miles) I started feeling pretty crappy…my quads felt fried already and I was having a hard time running (even the flats) I was pretty concerned but decided to just take it easy for a bit and hope it flushed out. 10miles later rolling into Twin Lakes (mile 40) I was still not feeling great and thought I might be in for a long long slug. Mentally I got boost seeing Becca and my crew (Casey, Mom, Dad, Roy, Rhonda, and the boys) I sat down and did a quick shoe change to a pair of Pearl Izumi N2 trail shoes. Got a few chips down, and some coconut water and took off towards Hope Pass. I felt like crap (still) and was thinking once I started hiking up Hope Pass I would feel better (since climbing is my strength)…after crossing the river the long grind up hope pass began. I started out slow and couldn’t get rolling. It was a slow slog up to hope pass aid station and I got passed by 6-8 people. Mentally I stayed positive and just took the punches as they came. At the aid station (lamas and all) I downed some noodle soup and coke for the first time (It tasted amazing) I crested the summit and started the descent and my legs hurt..bad. After 10minutes or so my legs loosened up and I was able to use my descending skills to pass 6-8 guys. Once we hit the singletrack section at the bottom heading towards Mayfield I felt pretty solid and passed 4-5 more guys. I caught Donnie and he was still looking good…I knew Travis and Bob were a ways in front of me. I took a look at my watch as they both passed me heading back up (8min, and 15min up). I rolled into Mayfield  (mile 50) and Casey was ready to roll! We had a fast transition and I had only lost 3 pounds. Got some more coke and soup in and took a few Tylenol. We made quick work of the singletrack and started the steep climb back up hope pass. I felt good and Casey was cracking jokes (back in the game!) We absolutely crushed the climb back up. Fast powerhiking and we caught more people. I had Casey grab me two sticks out of the woods to use for poles and it helped a ton. It was awesome seeing Alex Pashley and Chris Boyack coming down. At the top we chucked the sticks and started ripping the descent. We actually caught Bob and Travis on the descent and I decided to mellow out and not get too excited. All three of us rolled into Twin Lakes (mile 60) aid station together at 4pm. I felt good and had made the double crossing in 5.5hrs. Another shoe change into some fresh Pearl Izumi N2 shoes and we headed back out. The next 16 miles was pretty solid…I didn’t feel amazing but felt ok and we had a steady pace as we Rolled into pipeline station (mile 70) feeling ok. The next 6miles to fish hatchery was tough…I was still moving ok but mentally it took a very long time. Casey had paced me a very hard 26.5miles and was ready for break (thanks dude!) Greg was geared up and ready to roll…we left Fish Hatchery (mile 76.5) around 7:20 and I was stoked to be at this point still in daylight. We power-hiked the Powerline climb and my legs felt great. Greg was doing a great job keeping me hydrated and fed. We were making great time (passing several people) and rolled into May Queen (mile 86.5) around 9:30 or so. Greg had told me I was top 20 leaving Fish Hatchery and I was pretty shocked/stoked. We ran the next 6miles of awesome singletrack around the lake around a 10-11:00min. mile pace.  90miles in it felt like we were flying. We got to the boatramp (mile 93) and Becca was amped up and ready to pace me the last 7miles. I owe Greg a huge thanks as he kept me moving at a great pace but more importantly made me drink way more than I wanted and I believe this is why felt so solid. It was so perfect running the last 7miles with my amazing wife and she did a phenomenal job running our crew and keeping everything running  smooth (just like at home)…She was running at a good clip and my legs although trashed and hurting felt ok running the last 7 miles.  We caught Travis and had an awesome couple minutes chatting with him and Jason Poole, He knew at this point he had won Leadman title with a new record. We crested the hill and saw the finish line! I rolled across in 20:14 and was 14th overall….stoked beyond words! I had finished 2nd leadman to Bob Africa who absolutely crushed it running a 19:36 (for 9th overall) with Travis finishing a minute behind me. I held onto my 3rd place overall for leadman, and was even more happy to put together a solid effort for my first 100mile run. My crew was super, and I feel so blessed to have such awesome people and family supporting  me.
 Gear pile
 The AMAZING crew!
 Twin Lakes (40miles)
 Twin lakes with Ryder pacing
 Leadman Podium
High fives with Max
 
Nutrition: UD Bottles: Water, EFS whole race. GU for most calories. 2 homemade rice cakes, 3 honey stinger waffles, 3 packs of honey stinger chews. Chicken soup and coke at aid stations.
Gear: Ultimate Directions AK vest and Bottles. Swiftwick socks (3pair), Pearl Izumi shoes (M3, N2), Pearl Izumi shorts, Swiftwick shirt and armwarmers, PrincetonTec headlamps, Oakley glasses, Vintage Denver Broncos hat (crucial).

Monday, August 12, 2013

Leadville trail 100 mtb report

Feels good to get this done!...and even better to have a solid day of racing with zero issues. I really enjoyed the race and even slightly got caught up in the "Leadville hype" that exists during these 2 weeks. My wife Becca is amazing and did a great job helping me get ready race morning and supporting me at Twin Lakes with Adrenalin Cycles crew of Wade and Adam, and my parents. The race started at 6:30 and it was chilly (38degrees) after a 4mile descent and dirt road the climbing started up Keivens pass. I was blown away how many dudes were completely blowing up on the first climb...I even saw an aero helmet dude!. My whole goal with this 100 mile race was to ride within myself the whole day since I have this little run next weekend of 100miles. Me and coach Patrick had set-up time splits for about an 8:20 pace as we felt I could comfortably do this without killing myself. I hit aid stations at mile 25, 40, 50 ALL within 1-2 minutes of my planned split times so I was stoked and felt great. I turned it down a notch every time I felt like going harder. After the long slug up columbine (it hurt a bit for sure!) I ripped the descent and made up some free time. Hit Twin lakes (60miles) and felt great. I backed off a good paceline that felt too hard of 8 guys on the road before powerline climb. I knew we had a long grind up that beast. Within the first 5 minutes I had caught and passed 7 of them. I was able to push up powerline a bit (since I knew I was within 2hrs of finish) I wasn't feeling stellar but I probably passed 15 people so I knew I was feeling better than most. Hit the road climb and grinded that out with a couple solid dudes. My legs felt good so I pushed a bit the last 45 minutes and was able to ride an 8:10. Meet my amazing family at the line, grabbed some fluids and food. Soaked in the creek by our campsite for some mountain recovery. On sunday we had the 10k run at noon. Pretty un-motivated to run fast or hard.....so I decided to just cruise the 10k and get ready for the 100. It appeared Bob Africa, and Donnie Haubert (both also doing Leadman) had the exact same plan, it was very cool running and chatting the entire 43minute 10k with those dudes. I got a week to prep/recover for the Leadville 100mile run. I' m so stoked to give this thing a shot and am just looking forward to the whole experience.



 
Huge Thanks to the sponsors who are part of the adrenalin project like CHAMPION SYSTEM clothing (hit me up if you need any custom kits made) LIFEPROOF phone cases, SWIFTWICK for the best socks around, GIRO CYCLING for the killer shoes, helmets, gloves. ADRENALIN CYCLES for keeping the bikes running smooth and stocking the best gear, and OAKLEY for the amazing shades.

Monday, July 29, 2013

all is well

Yesterday (Sunday) wrapped up my last long run (28miles) before Leadville 100. I got in a big solid week of miles in prep for the last two events in Leadman. Aug 10th is the 100mile bike and Aug 17th I'll tackle the 100 miles run. I feel great and training has gone really good thanks to the program Patrick built for me. I'm sure I'll be cussing myself and Patrick at mile 75 of the run though.
This week was primarily two long runs (6.5hr, 5hr) and two long bikes (4hr, 5hr) much of my time was spent 10,000-14,000ft. On the longest day I chased Travis up Grays and Torreys (from 1-70) and then we did a quick drive to Jones Pass and knocked out another 13miles and 5k of vert. The guy is a freak.
RUN: 14hrs, 70ish miles , 14.5k of vertical
BIKE: 9hrs, 100ish miles, 12k of vertical
TOTAL: 23hrs

Gear Notes: Swiftwick socks all the way! amazing socks. Been putting in solid miles in the Pearl Izumi Emotion shoes and am very happy with them. Will probably rotate between the amazing Trail N2 (2 pairs) and a pair of M3 road ones. Will use the Ultimate Directions AK vest for hope pass and beyond. Planning to just start with 2 bottles for the first 40miles since there are enough aid stations. For my nutrition plan I am using primarily GU, water, EFS drink, and the occasional home made rice cake, Allen Lim style (scratch labs recipe).