Saturday, October 6, 2012

quality over quantity

As i think about the races and awesomeness that i have been blessed to do since april i am pretty stoked how everything turned out. This year was definitely a quality over quantity season for me. It was tough because i love to race and i guess i like to suffer (as long as its not to long) so not partaking in the battles as often was sometimes tough. I did find myself enjoying the training even more than years past. I was more flexible and adventurous in my training (sounds so cheesy)....instead of doing those 3x10 min repeats and then followed by xx repeats on the :00xxx (i never actually did that much of that stuff)  i just ran and rode. and sometimes i rode a long ways with my running shoes in my pocket...then i ran or got lost, then rode home. i ran my first marathon one tuesday just training for the GC.It felt like the perfect way to do it...all by myself in the mountains with no number and i ran out of water (it was great). I spent the night on the trail one time  (on purpose in a sleeping bag). Sometimes i yell STRAVA super loud when i'm riding with friends. I saw a bear. Already getting stoked for 2013 and some really challenging projects! stay tuned.
I was in Utah for the XTERRA national championships a couple weeks was great. The weather was killer, the leaves were changing and i had a decent race..(not amazing, but solid) ...i got 2nd for 30-34 and was 27th overall. Back in colorado its CX season. I missed racing CX last season so i converted my cx bike to a single speed and am hyped to do some more races. I did the ADRENALIN CX race in highlands ranch this last weekend. They started all us SS riders 2 minutes behind the cat3 field (was only about 30-40 guys) ...I got 3rd in SS(almost had 2nd) but us top 3 ss riders passed the entire cat3 field except for one guy who was only 30 seconds in front of us. It felt good to suffer like only a CX can (taste blood, get dizzy suffering).
The highlights of 2012:
-Grand Canyon Run (rim to rim to rim) 44 miles
-Wildflower rush MTB race (crested butte) 2nd in class
-Teva Mt games (3rd place overall) kayak, mtb, run, tt
-Xterra Mt champs (17th overall, 1st in AG)
-Xterra Nationals (27th overall, 2nd in AG)
-Moab adventure xtreme race (1st place team w/Jason Michalak)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

XTERRA Beaver Creek (Mt Championships) 17th overall, 3rd place amateur, 1st in age group.

race report coming soon...

Monday, July 9, 2012

micro adventures

"You don't have to go far to have an adventure" ...ok cool. Pack the bikes leave in the afternoon, drive 1.5 hrs to Kenosha pass and ride over Georgia pass (11,500 feet) and decend towards Breckenridge. Camp...wake up and ride 3+hrs back to car. Whole trip done in under 24hrs. Adam is doing the CTR (colorado trail race) in a few this was some "bikepacking training" i was happy to join.

Monday, June 18, 2012

snake rattle and roll

Did an awesome ride on fathers day and ran across this guy. Rattlesnakes in Colorado are common especially on hot days, but I happened to be coming down a trail called "rattlesnake gulch" go ahead and laugh. I did.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ultimate Mountain Challenge

This was my first year doing the Ultimate Mtn Challenge at Teva Games in Vail. It was super fun and really good/hard  racing. It involves 4 events in two days. 4 mile downriver Kayak, 21mile Mtb race, 10k trail run, and Road bike TT. Josiah Middaugh owns this event and Travis Macy has been a close 2nd for the last few years. Both are world class athletes and it was an honor just to race with them (at least for the short bits i saw them). Obviously the real race was between them, and my race was for the 3rd place slot. There was only 5 guys entered in the UMC pro race so I really only had to beat 2 guys. The first race was the downriver kayak with an 8:20 start. I was 2nd in the water behind Travis (tt style start) and Josiah behind me. I decided just to race my own kayak (shorter style fun boat) even though I knew I would probably lose a bit of time. Travis is a world class adventure racer and knows how to paddle. He had the fastest time out of the UMC athletes and I settled for 4th..haha (26min). The water was low making the paddle a bit tricky with navigating around rocks and sticky holes. 2hrs in between the paddle and mtb race so I rested for a bit, then got a quick warmup in and headed to start line. The UMC athletes started 2 minutes behind a huge pro field. I was really looking foward to the mtb race as it was a ton of climbing and some super fun singletrack descents. (4100ft of climbing in 21.6 miles all above 8,000 ft elevation!) About 10minutes in I was struggling and just hoping to get my legs going...well it never happened and I was suffering the entire race with no power. I finished in 2:16 and felt like crap. I was worried I lost time to the 4th and 5th place guys but i still managed 3rd (way far behind Josiah and Travis) and one of the UMC guys didn't finish. Got some food in me and took short nap. (my parents watched Max and Ryder so me and Becca got to hang out all weekend in Vail...bonus!) 8am on Sunday the 10k trail run started. The Teva Games is top notch competition and it draws huge talent in each field with good prize money (very cool to see some of the best athletes in the world). Apparently the run was a tad more than 10k (i heard 7+miles) and was brutal. Straight up the ski runs for almost 1000ft in the first 2-3 miles...we gained almost 2k vertical in 6-7 miles. The fastest pro was 51-52 minutes! I had a decent race 60min on the trashed legs and finished 13th overall and 4th in my age group (which included Max King and Josiah). I was still sitting in third and had about 10min cushion on 4th place guy (Simon). Our TT stareted at 11:30...just enough time to get tight and tired! I did a 45min spin to get loosened up and rode the 9.7 mile uphill TT that started in Vail village in 35:01. Not great but good enough to seal 3rd place and a bit of prize money! Big thanks to the brands that support me and help me with amazing product. Oakley, Sperry Topsider, GU, Adrenalin Cycles.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

don't die from this

Prepping (only in my head since its wed) for some TEVA games action this weekend...I came across this quote. Makes me wonder why so many people in our world talk about doing something cool or going on an adventure but somehow fail or don't pull the trigger? Fear is the first thing that pops in my mind but maybe its less? Maybe its just people being lazy? I like the term "joy in suffering" when referring to sports or something that requires a huge effort or sacrifice. A reward feels good whether its physical or emotional...and it feels even better when it hurts and you have to dig deep.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thursday april 26th 2012. The next 12 hrs of our day would be focused on one thing...running across the grand canyon on and then back. Simple right?...its just running. As the three of us woke up at 4am we ate some quick breakfast and coffee at camp and did some last minute prep and decided what gear to wear before we took off on our 44mile run of the grand canyon well known as the "rim to rim to rim" run. It's one of those real deal bucket list adventures and fairly well known in the ultra endurance circles. Here was our rundown: Start at south rim and run down bright angel trail to the Colorado river then proceed 13.5 miles up to the top of the north rim via the kaibab trail then turnaround and run back to the river and climb up the south kaibab trail back to the top of the south rim (roughly 44 miles).

The 3 dude crew: Casey hill recently moved to Ashland Oregon and also handcrafts amazing bags from race numbers. He raced roadbikes in Europe a few years ago and is a great mountain biker. He took 3rd place at marathon MTB nationals last season and in his college days was a very fast duathlete. Jason Michalak (hairy jason) is always down for adventure and is a pro XTERRA triathlete. He grew up swimming and running and is fast at everything. We race most adventure races together. He lives in Crested Butte now and is pretty much a mountain man...even though he can't ski very good. Then myself...some Xterra, some adventure racing, running, cx, mtb. I'm up for anything that sounds fun and challenging. We all decided running the whole grand canyon would be a cool epic was.

The views on the descent into the canyon where amazing...the sun was coming up and we were all alone on the trail. I won't even try to describe the level of awesome. The 9 mile descent went crazy fast and before we knew it we where at the Colorado river. It was roughly 6:45am and we had been running since 5am. We started to see a few backpackers coming back up from phantom camp...most asked us our plans or route...shock was the normal reaction, a few seemed impressed. Which is the only reason we do this stuff, just to impress people. I'm not sure how long some of these hikers would take to get back up the canyon (9miles) as many of them did not look anything close to fit or prepared. There are signs all over the place in the Grand Canyon warning people not to attempt to hike to river and back in one day...after seeing some of these folks at the top parts of the trails it is probably a really great idea to have these signs. Of course "elite" people like us can ignore these's cool.

We filled up our packs with water at Phantom Camp and started up the gradual climb. We see a sign stating 13.4 miles to north rim (that is were we are going if you are slow)...Jason says "Wow, next time we see this sign we will have done a long marathon" Its basically 13 miles up, then 13 down....Pretty rad and pretty daunting at the same time since we have been going for 9-10 miles, plus we would have another 6-7 back up when we did pass this little sign again much later in the day. One of our goals with this little adventure was to have fun and truly enjoy the trip and hopefully all 3 of us complete the whole darn thing.

The next 13 miles up to the north rim was both harder and easier than I thought it would be...confused? We all kept eating and drinking and seemed to be in good shape after 6hrs and 24 miles. It was cold and sleeting on us at the top of North rim...we saw 3 other runners coming down so we weren't the only "elite people" out here..its ok. The steep upper descent went fast and when we filled up with water we only had 7 miles left to get to phantom camp. These 7 miles of slight downhill were brutal, and we all were feeling the real affects of 8hrs and 20+ miles of pounding on the legs...strange right? The last 1.5 miles to Phantom felt like 5. 37 miles in we refilled with water at Phantom and ate some more calories...the people mingling around the camp just looked at us like we worked at a mall kiosk. We each brought about 2000 calories of food (chews, nuun, gu, bars, rice chips, even some jerky) we knew we would need to consume 120-200 calories each hour throughout the day to keep things rolling. Obviously we would burn way more (about 8-9000 colories burned) but you can only process so much when your running or fast hiking. We felt somewhat refreshed and ready to attack the last section of our day. Simple right?...only 7 miles of climbing (mostly hiking) up to the top....brutal? Yes. It was a death march and we all had spaced out at our own paces to suffer in a solo silence of torture. Timed dragged and legs burned but we still made ok time and hit the top at 12hrs exactly. It was slightly anti-climatic since it was windy, freezing cold, and no tourists to impress with our amazing feats of strength.

We hopped on the bus and rode the few miles back to our car, lets just say the level of satisfaction was high. We made it, we laughed, we suffered, we cried (not really). We got to experience the entire Grand Canyon like few people can. It was totally worth the 3 days of soreness and limping that followed.
coming up north rim (about 20miles in)
Descending bright angel trail (south rim)

View from overlook...we ran to the other end and back.
Colorado river

almost done but suffering

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Moab Adventure Race

Just a tiny bit of rain as we woke up on saturday...the weather was looking questionable and rain is in the forecast. Coffee, donut, and oatmeal for breakfast. We staged the bike/run/trek/climb gear at take out the previous night with most of the other teams. We drove to the start about 14miles up the colorado river at red cliffs put in. Jason Michalak and myself made up our 2 person team (LIFEQUEST). We knew we could win this thing if we didn't f-up (which isn't hard in a 6-10hr race with navigation). We had all our coordinates at check in and mapped out the night before and the course seemed pretty straight foward with only one checkpoint (CP5) that might be tricky.

The sun came out as we started at 8:30...we gunned it from the start and made sure we were first "open team" in the water (solo and coed teams started 30&15min in front of us) We started the 14mile kayak in the lead and actually came out 2+hrs later still in the lead. We arrived at boatramp and made a quick transition to dry bike was windy and fairly cold at this point. We needed everything with us for rest of race so we had running gear, climbing gear, and food/water for next 4-6 hrs in our packs (camelback octane18). We made quick work of the road and started the next section (CP4-CP5) which was poison spider trail (and part of goldspike i think) CP5 wasn't to hard and we hit that and then straight back down poison spider. Jason was riding the tech sections really well on his new 29er FS and was setting a great pace. Roughly 2hrs later we are hammering on the road to corona arch off potash road. A quick change into running shoes and we are off running up the trail for a couple miles. Under corona arch and we hit the next checkpoint (CP8). Put on the harnesses and clip in to a fixed rope for a rad climb and traverse over some pretty exposed areas above the arch...pretty awesome. We had about 20+min of hard running/scrambling up and down steep slickrock to big rappel. Once we got down from rappel it was a short run back to the bikes and CP9. A number 2 pit stop for Jason since we had time (good thing)...and then a 10mile road ride to the finish. We had a good cushion by then so we just cruised it in for the overall team win. These races are super fun and killer training. My buddy Adam came and we did some killer rides on sunday (amasaback, jackson, and a stop in fruita to ride horsethief bench)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fun Run

So a few days ago i wanted to get in a hard long run in prep for our Grand Canyon (rim-rim-rim) run at the end of this month. Loaded up the camelback similar to how it will be for the 10+hrs at Grand Canyon...and headed up Mt Falcon. My goal was to run 3.5-4 hrs with some fast powerhiking and tons of climbing. Hit top of falcon in 30min without hurting to much. Cruised down steep road towards kittredge and ran Lair the bear trail (almost to bottom) till my watch said 1hr 50min...then turnaround and start the long run back. I probably only hiked about 10% of the 4hrs but i felt least i think i felt good as you can running 25miles. Some killer singletrack, good tunes, rad views of redrocks, and some sore legs. Total was 4hrs, 24+ miles, and about 6k of climbing.

Heading to Moab to do the Gravity Play adventure race this upcoming Saturday. Me and Jason are racing the 2person Open (6-10hr race) it includes kayaking, running, MTB, orienteering, rappeling....good stuff! Also planning on doing a cool bike packing overnight trip while in Moab...stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

recycled ritchey bits

So I was pulling my old bar off my MTB and putting a new one on....Ryders bike is great but he sits super high...Solution & Upgrade===The little dudes bike gets some rad carbon and we drop some serious weight. Chopped the bars down and now his weight is more even on the wheels and his bmx bike looks like a mini single speed mtb. He was so so hyped to get new bars. Here was our little project in pictures. Watch for Ryder at the BMX track this summer!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

ebay gem of the day

thanks to my bro for tipping me off to some magic on ebay...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

pumped to be stoked

So we have had killer weather lately and i have been able to get some great training in. Both running and cycling. I have upped my running a fair amount since we are going to attemp a grand canyon run in late april (rim to rim to rim=42 miles) and hopefully do a 50k in may...I have been just taking off and running trails with no real time limit or workout planned, just time on the legs mostly going up and down steep trails. Yesterday it was 70degrees so i headed to green mountain, and zorro trail to knockout a nice long run. Ran for 2hr 15min with a 1min rest to gel-water at the car before lapping green mountain a 2nd time. Felt good...gotta love Colorado.

Also picked up this kayak last week. One of my A-races this year is the Ultimate Mountain challenge at Teva Games. I know how to kayak, but i wouldn't even claim "intermediate" at this point. So i'll be in the river getting my skills up to par for the 20+ minute portion of the race. The race includes the kayak, MTB race, 10k trail run, and Road bike TT all in 2 days. Should be fun!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

Time to get ILL..

For this upcoming season i really wanted to tweak my races a bit...after primarily racing Xterra for the last 4 years I wanted to add some new challenges and fun to my racing and training. I have really taken to heart the mantra "keep training fun" over the last couple years. Sure it may cost me a bit of speed or i might not peak just in time for nationals...but honestly i don't care. If i should be doing track workouts to get my speed'll probably find me climbing some big hills or paddleboarding or doing a super long moutain ride-run with some homies. At the end of the day I want to look back and remember the adventures from both racing and training. Here is a rough idea of what i got planned for this season...looking foward to it!

APRIL- Run Grand Canyon with Hairy Jason and Casey Hill. We are attempting to do the whole rim to rim to rim. 42miles and 10k plus of climbing. Pretty excited for this as it ranks way up there as "must do" for ultra athletes. Maybe Xterra Vegas?...if I get my butt in the pool in time.

MAY- 50k trail run and some mtb racing, and sprint triathlon.

JUNE- Teva games! Super excited for this race...Im doing the ultimate mt challenge. It consists of racing 4 of the events over the 3 day festival. It includes kayaking, 10ktrail run, road TT bike, and MTB race. Josiah is the longtime running champ of this race and everyone knows how much of a monster he is. Hoping to crack top 10 and pretty sure i'll have loads of fun. Fibark festival races (hillclimb, mtb race, road race) and I think the crested butte mtb race before Jason's wedding!

JULY-AUG-SEPT - Colorado Xterra racing and maybe travel to one....hope to get into several adventure races as well as some trail run races.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012