12 Glory Laps in 12 Hours

12 Glory Laps in 12 Hours
Last February 20th, I hiked and skied 12 laps on Mt. Glory. 19,638 feet climbed with skis on my back and 19,638 feet skied to raise money for Camp To Belong. It's snowing again and I'm ready for the 2nd edition! Click the logo for more info and ways to support camp!

Camp To Belong - Elk Mountain Grand Traverse

Camp To Belong - Elk Mountain Grand Traverse
We're racing the Elk Mtn Grand Traverse this March, a 40 mile ski race across the roof of Colorado in the middle of the night! Click for updates on our training and fundraising progress!

Peaked Sports

Peaked Sports
Driggs, ID

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The story of Leadville 100 - The Race, Part II!

Winfield to Twin Lakes: 50 - 60.5 miles

With a full stomach, I left the turnaround aid station walking, but couldn't help but run when the cheering spectators urged me on. I ran about 100 yards and then began walking again to help settle my stomach. I ended up power-walking almost the entire 2+ slightly downhill miles back to the left turn at the base of the climb and realized I had covered the distance in 30 minutes, 10 minutes quicker than the way out. I had made the trip over Hope Pass in just a bit over 3 hours and my "hope" was to make it back over in the same amount of time. Or less. It was warm. Bright sun. Not much wind. Just before the climb, I made a pit stop in the trees which gave Jen just enough time to catch up to me (the crew vehicles were travelling along the road we were running on) and give me the one item I had forgotten when I left the turnaround: My pink floral ruffled skirt.

(The story behind the skirt: Ever since I've known Jen, she's worn skirts. Skirts skirts skirts. All the time skirts. As you may recall, she paced the last 18 miles with me at Big Horn in a knee-length pink skirt. She loves skirts. And many of the female runners out there wear skirts made for running. And they're very cute. And Jen wanted one. So she got one and has been running in it and she loves it.

Well on a few of my longer runs this summer with my running pals, the conversation has moved to this whole running skirt epidemic going on and it was mentioned that some of the guys in Oregon have been running in skirts. Maybe there have been guys doing this in other areas too, but in this case, Oregon guys were singled out, presumably by a first-hand witness. Well I'm from Oregon and I know how things are out there and I wouldn't doubt for a second that there are guys out there running in skirts. Hey, if the girls can have that much fun doing it, why can't we?

I mentioned I'd do it if given a chance. The guys I was running with said they'd do it.

So the day before the race, while we were out running around picking up some last minute items, we stopped by the local thrift store so Mike could get a "throwaway" fleece sweater. Something he could ditch at an aid station while he was out pacing and not feel bad about losing it. Well, wouldn't you know it, I found myself walking right by the women's skirt rack at one point and this darling little ruffled beauty caught my eye. It was perfect. Lightweight, just above knee length, and nice and billowy. Perfect for running. For $3, I bought it and stuck it in my Winfield drop bag before the race. Something to look forward to after 50 miles.)

Could I stand to run the last 50 in a pink floral ruffled skirt? I wasn't sure, but I picked it up from Jen anyway just as I was leaving the road to begin the climb up Hope Pass. Why not have a little fun on this sucker?

The climb was super steep. And hot! And all the runners behind me were on their way down from the summit on their way out to the turnaround and their wasn't much room on this narrow, steep, rocky trail. I caught up to a couple guys with the skirt in my hand and passed them. The skirt was great to wipe sweat off my face. I could see a long string of runners up above me as the trail opened up towards the top and could tell I was catching up to them. Just before I caught them at the top, I discreetly slipped into the skirt. They were about to get skirted.

"Sup, guys?", I huffed as I stepped around the first skirting victim. No response, just heavy breathing. I caught and passed another. No response. Maybe at 12,600 ft the humor is lost. Well I was determined to have as good a time as possible and passed a few more guys and began my loooooooong descent back towards Twin Lakes. It was still a beautiful afternoon up there. Bright and sunny and warm. I came into the Hope Pass aid station, spat at a llama, filled up my bottles, and continued on my descent, skirt flowing around my shuffling legs. It was an unusual sight for me. And everyone else, I'm sure.

I felt good on the way down. Had a good pace going. Spent almost the entire way without seeing anyone. Finally, near the bottom, I saw movement down the trail in front of me. There's my carrot. I caught and passed another runner and his pacer. When I got to the bottom, I could see three more runners ahead. Grrrrrrrrr... More carrots. We all crossed the river together and came into the Twin Lakes Aid Station together. It took me 3 hours from Winfield. Perfect. The skirt made some impressions. Good, bad, or otherwise, but I didn't care. How often do you see a guy come running by in a skirt, anyway?

I checked in, filled up my bottles, found Jen and Mike, and saw that Buddy also appeared to be having some fun with costuming.

I took in another Gatorade, a V-8, another slice-o-pizza-pie, and restocked my gel supply. I also grabbed my Headlamp, a Black Diamond Spot. It was 6:00 when I left. My earliest projected time: 4:30. Still good. 60.5 miles down. 39.5 miles to go. And I had 10 hours to reach the finish to get a sub-24. That's 4 mph. That's 15 minute miles. Easy, right? Hmmmmmm... I just had to keep myself from exploding and keep the wheels from falling off. Keep drinking. Keep eating. Keep walking those hills and running the downhills and flats. Game on.

Twin Lakes to Fish Hatchery: 60.5 - 76.5 miles

Leaving Twin Lakes, I began the 1,000+ ft climb. Nice and steady. It was getting late in the day and the woods were quiet and shadowed. I got to the top and knew I needed to get moving. I began to jog. Hmmmmm... Not bad. I still feel decent! Hah! I jogged along, walked a bit, jogged along, walked a bit. And lo and behold... another runner and pacer. I said "Hey", skirted them, and moved on up the trail. Wheeee, this was fun. I had done the 9 mile section between Halfmoon and Twin Lakes in 2 hours on the way out. I had hoped to do the same on the way back. I felt like I was doing it. And the trail kept going and going and going. I skirted another runner and pacer and finally descended back to the road where Halfmoon was. It was already almost 8:00 and I still had a mile and a half to the aid station. And then my energy level plumetted and I was reduced to powerwalking. I should've been running, but I just couldn't do it. Oh no, this wasn't looking good. I began to feel lousy. Lethargic. Tired. No energy. Heavy legs. It was 8:30 and now dark enough for the headlamp so I put on my Spot and soon I walked into Halfmoon with the runner and pacer I had passed earlier. The runner was looking tired.

A volunteer filled up my bottles with water. I had noticed over the past hour or two that every drink I would take would cause me to pee, as though my body wasn't absorbing the fluid. This is the very thing that happened to me at Big Horn and I was getting concerned. I had eliminated caffine from my diet so far into this race, but was I still getting too much sodium? Was my salt intake still too much from all the bottles of Perpetuem and Electrolyte drink? Now that it was later in the day, I wasn't sweating as much as I had been earlier, but I still thought I had a good balance. But maybe not. Maybe water was the way to go from here on. I had some gels with me, but I felt like I should get some real food in me. I had ZERO appettite, but I grabbed a couple banana slices and a handful of potato chunks. Wow, that tasted surprisingly good. I left the aid station walking. The other two guys left just behind me. A few minutes later, I tried running. Not bad. I walked a bit, then jogged some more. Pretty good. Walked a bit, jogged a bit more, this time a little faster. Wow, where did this come from?! I feel good again! Was it the bananas and potatos and water? That's the only thing I could think of. I picked up the pace and breezed into the Treeline aid station where Jen was waiting. Nice. I've gotta get me some more potato fuel. I saw Jen told her I wanted water, bananas and potatos at the Fish Hatchery in 4 miles and I'd see her in 45 minutes. I must have been running 8 minute miles. But soon after leaving Treeline, the potatos burned off and I was quickly reduced to walking again. Noooooooo!!!!! This was the most miserable stretch on the way out and I realized it would be a miserable stretch on the way back. I walked almost the entire 4 miles. Had an ever-so-slight dry-heave along the way, and just wished I could get there sooner. I needed that potato fuel.

Finally, I walked my sorry, skirted self into the aid station and met Jen. I was not feeling good at all. It was 9:55. I'd lost alot of my time cushion.

I checked in a dropped the skirt off my waist. Enough nonsense. Time to get serious. Jen brought me into the covered building where the food was and handed me a cup of potato soup. Yuk. I just wanted plain potatos, but if this is all I could get, then I better take it. I slowly sipped it and sat down on a bench with my head in my hands. This was my lowest point. I grabbed another shirt, transfered my Spot from my head to my waist and grabbed my big Headlamp to wear on my head. Jen filled my two bottles with water. I needed to get going again, but was having a hard time getting up. I just felt like I'd been run over. Jen mentioned she had found me a pacer to help get me to May Queen and then Mike E would pick up with me there and bring me in to the finish. Nice! Alright, let's go.

Kristin and I introduced ourselves and walked off into the night. It was 10:10. I had 23.5 miles to cover in 5 hours, 50 minutes. Still needed 15 minute miles. I wasn't saving myself any time, but at least I wasn't getting any slower either. This was gonna be close.

Fish Hatchery to Mayqueen: 76.5 - 86.5 miles

After eating that potato soup, my stomach was full again making it difficult to run even though we were on a paved road. Kristin and I continued our brief introduction, me stating that I may not be running much, I may start to get sleepy, and I might puke. But I really thanked her for volunteering to be out there with me. I needed it. We began our hike up Sugarloaf Pass and caught and passed another runner and pacer. I still felt sluggish, but at least I was still moving faster than others ahead of me!

Within 10 minutes from the base of the climb, I felt the potatos finally kick in and I was back. Back to a full-on powerhike. The fire was burning again and I was rejuvenated. Wow, what a feeling. I've never gone through this sort of thing before but I love it! I turned up the pace and caught two more runners with their pacers. At the top, at 12:00, I spotted three more groups ahead already on their way down. Yeah! This is what it's about! Keeping the pace slow in the beginning and keeping it up at the end! Kristin was a solid runner and we cruised the gentle slope down on the dirt road. I didn't feel like I should have been moving that fast at that point, but hey, I wasn't going to hold back much at this point and if I had it in me I certainly was going to take advantage of it!

We picked our way down the rocky, blocky, chunky section of trail and finally popped out on the road a half mile out of Mayqueen. I rolled into Mayqueen at 1:00. Three hours to go. 13.5 miles. I gave Kristin a HUGE thank you and I hope she realized how much she had helped me out. It was huge having her out there. Thank you Kristin! Mike was in the aid station tent ready to go. He handed me my bottles, a cup of potatos, and we were off. He was supposed to have been pacing another runner, but his runner had dropped out and he was able to be here for me which i was extremely happy about. We scooted out of the tent and were on our way over this final stretch.

Mayqueen to Finish: 86.5 - 100 miles

Almost immediately, we caught and passed another lone runner and began our way around the lakeside trail on the north shorline of Turquiose Lake. We made it the 6.5 miles to Tabor Boat Ramp in 1:15 and met Jen there for the last time out on the course. I picked up some ginger snap cookies and we moved on. "See you in a hour and a half, Jen!"

Mike was pulling me along. I would run for 30 seconds, walk for a minute. Run for a minute, walk for 30 seconds and every time I'd start shuffling, I'd get a cheer. "Yeah, now that's what I'm talking about!" I wanted those cheers. Then we saw a light through the trees ahead. It was another runner. We caught and passed him with about 5 miles to go. Then another half mile later when the road opened up again, we saw two more groups of lights ahead. I went after them passing them on the run and leaving them behind. We turned off of the road onto a service road along the railroad tracks that led to the base of the final climb up into the city. We reached the bottom of the climb at 3:00 with 3 miles to go. Easy. I've got this! I turned it up another notch and powerhiked the steep bottom section and began running. Look! More lights! Two more groups ahead. More carrots dangling in front of my nose. I passed them both on the uphill stretch while on the run. Where is this energy coming from?!

We turned onto Sixth Street at 3:35 and began the final .8 mile stretch to the finish. The finish was surreal. The finish gave me emotions I've rarely felt in my entire life, if ever.

And then, it was done.

We slept on the floor in the lobby of the county courthouse for a few hours after the race. We were all exhausted. Then we got up and went to find the public showers. I was still in my race clothes and was feeling extremely dirty.

This is what it's all about! (Well, maybe not all, but it sure does help!)

The story of Leadville 100 - The Race!

After dressing in my race attire, downing a light and quick breakfast of Life cereal and a Myoplex protein shake, then evacuating our things from the McGinnis Cottage, we were soon on our way to the starting line three blocks away. It was 3:15am. 45 minutes to start. I checked in, laid down on the grass inside a big white tent near the starting line to get out of the cold rain, and quietly waited for time to tick by whille Jen worked some last-minute early morning massage magic into my legs. I was ready to run.

Five minutes before the start, I said my goodbyes and made my way to the starting line.

The rain had stopped for now, but we could see flashes of lightning in the surrounding mountains. I fully expected to be in it within the next few hours. The first 7 miles to Tabor Boat Ramp (where I would see Jen for the first time) was slightly downhill most of the way and mostly on pavement or smooth dirt/gravel roads with a touch of lakeside singletrack in the last 1-2 miles. I knew it would be smooth sailing and faster than the rest of the course. It would be easy to make up some early time here while still taking it easy.

All systems go. A couple deep breaths. A countdown from 10. A shotgun blast. And we were off!

Start to Mayqueen Aid Station: 0 - 13.5 miles

The start was easy, smooth, and fast. First 7 miles in 1:05. Next 6.5miles in 0:56. My earliest expected time coming into this aid station was 2 hours. Any faster and I needed to SLOW DOWN SUSAN! I walked into the aid station tent at 2:01, checked in, checked out, and saw Mike and Jen waiting for me on the other side. "You're on the fast side of things, man, think about slowing down", noted Mike as I exchanged two bottles and pick up my new selection of gels and Shot Blocks. "I know, it's time to start walking." I knew what was coming; the 1,500 ft climb up Sugarloaf Pass topping out at over 11,000 ft. Time to start walking.

Mayqueen to Fish Hatchery Aid Station: 13.5 - 23.5 miles

I went into powerwalk mode. Everyone else was running. Running up the paved road. Running up the singletrack trail. Running up the extremely rocky, chunky, blocky climb up the trail. 'Are these guys gonna be running like this the whole day?!' It just didn't seem right. I didn't plan on running anything at the beginning that I wouldn't plan on running at the end. Gotta go slow to go fast. I let em go.

A couple miles later and we hit the fire-road that would take us up the second half of the climb. I could see a long string of runners ahead of me and could see many coming up behind me. The thunder was closer here. It was getting colder. I put my Golite windshirt on in preparation and five minutes later it was raining. Five minutes after than and it was sleeting. Five minutes after that and we were nearing the top and the ground was white and it was a rain/sleet/snow mix. I could feel the altitude, but i guessed the guy next to me from Kansas could feel it even more. He seemed to be ok at this point as we briefly chatted our way along the road at 11,300 ft.

Soon, we were heading down a treacherous, steep, rutted, loose, rocky two-track powerline road. Gotta go easy on the knees. Gotta make em last. It got warmer and stopped raining so hard so I took off my jacket towards the bottom and focused on keeping my effort nice and easy. Upon reaching the paved road, I knew it was a mile and a half to the Fish Hatchery. I'd been out for 3:50. My fastest expected time to this aid station at 23.5 miles was 3:45. I cruised in at 4:00. Perfect. "Nice job slowing down, babe", remarked Jen as I sat down in the chair she had prepared for me. I downed a 12oz Gatorade, grabbed another slice of pizza, some orange slices, three bottles this time, and prepared to set off for the short 4 mile jaunt along the exposed, flat, paved and gravel roads to our next meeting point, the Treeline.

Fish Hatchery to Twin Lakes Aid Station: 23.5 - 39.5 miles

I had been going back and forth with the same group of guys for the past few miles and surprisingly, some of them already appeared to be struggling. Wow. It's so early for that. And then the storm hit.

At first, it was just a sprinkle. I put my windshirt back on. And then my lightweight gloves. And then the wind picked up. Yup, a headwind as we made our way south. It took me 45 minutes to go those 4 "supposedly easy" miles and by the time I reached the Treeline I was completely soaked and getting cold. "AHHHHHHHHGGGGHHHH! That was absolutely miserable!" I commented to Mike and Jen as I squinted into the driving rain. They were both hundled under the super-poncho.

"I'm gonna need those woolly knickers!" My knees were freezing and getting stiff. I dropped my bottles and then my drawers and began untying my shoes. Jen reached into the magic crew bag and presented me with her woolly knickers. "Ah, yes!" They made my eyes light up. I didn't care if they were ladies knickers. They were wool and would be warm in this wet weather. "I'm also gonna need the Gore-Tex jacket." Jen pulled out her celeste-colored Golite jacket and I traded in my soaked windshirt for something more protective. I immediately felt better and off I went. Next would come the Halfmoon Aid Station 3 miles later. I wasn't planning on stopping. I had three bottles with me and enough food to get me the 9 miles to the next aid station: Twin Lakes at 39.5 miles.

During this stretch, we had a stair-stepped, 1,000 ft+ climb and it had stopped raining and I got hot so I took the jacket off. Then we began going down and I got cold so I put it back on. Then it got warmer so I took it off again. I couldn't stay comfortable! I felt good at first, but then my knees began their all to familiar rebellion. They began to ache more and more and I began to walk more and more. Even on the flats. Even on the downhills. 'No, no, no. This is not happening. No. It can't. Not this early on.' Then I ate my lest gel and finished off my last bottle. 'WHAT?!?!' Finally, I hobbled into the Twin Lakes Aid Station, found Jen and Mike, and sat down on the ground dejected. I was frustrated and worried, but happy that I had still covered the last 9 miles in 2 hours. I'll take it. Still on pace. Earliest projected time here: 6:30. Actual time: 7:30. Perfect. At least I've got a nice comfortable effort and I'm still holding a good pace.

Jen was waiting there for me with a smile as I descended the dangerously treacherous chute into Twin Lakes. I checked in and Jen steered me over to our pit location. I sat down. I downed another 12oz Gatorade. And an 8oz V-8. And another slice of pizza. I took a Tylenol. Rubbed some Tendon Rescue on my knees. Stretched. Rested. Focused. Joked around with someone else's crew who were waiting for their runner. Petted a huge wandering super-furry dog. And then I said goodbye and walked away, down the road towards the 3,400 ft climb up to Hope Pass at 12,600 ft. Hoo-Boy. I sure "hope" this gets better.

I don't run after leaving an aid station. Too much food digesting. Yuk. I feel bloated, but I know my body with break those calories down quickly and I'll be better in fifteen minutes. Going slow here to allow food to break down will be worth it in the end. I got to the river crossing and waded through the thigh-deep water. It felt refreshing. And five minutes later, the trail pitched upward. At first moderately, and then steeper. And steeper. And on. And on. And on. And then thunder. And then rain. I put the celeste Gore-Tex jacket on again. And then sleet again. And then hail. Marble-sized hail that pounded my skull. It hurt. I blocked everything out and continued my driven ascent. I was catching the group in front of me. We were out of the woods now and nearing more open areas at 12,000 ft. Soon, the weather began to clear and i could see the minimal aid station up here just below Hope Pass. There were people milling about and expedition-style tents. And Llamas everywhere. Probably ten of them. I picked up a warm cup of ramen noodles and got in line back on the trail. Second, in a line of five as we huffed and chatted our way to the summit. The weather had cleared and we could now see everything everywhere. All the peaks were white. It had warmed up considerably. Off with the jacket and prepared for the huge descent into the turnaround at Winfield.

The descent went well. Comfortable. We reached the road at the bottom and turned Right (west) for the last 2 or so miles to the turnaround. It was hot now. I took off my wool, long-sleeved shirt to prevent sweating too much. It was bright and sunny. I finally made it to the turnaround, checked in, and met Jen. My earliest projected time: 9:40. Actual time: 10:40. Okay, not bad. Still feeling good and ready for the ascent back up over Hope Pass.

Jen had a chair ready for me with all my stuff ready. Downed another 12 oz Gatorade. An 8 ox V-8. And a 12 oz Myoplex.

A piece of pizza for the road and I was off again.

Status at this point?

Time: 10:50
Place: 40th
Mental state: Focused and strong like bull
Physical state: Holding steady. No more knee pain. No aches. Just a bit of fatigue. Nothing bad.
Foot condition: Perfect. No pain. No blisters. No swelling. No toe pain. I love these Montrail Streaks and Injinji socks!

Ready to rock another 50 miles!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The story of Leadville 100 - Pre-race

This story begins last Wednesday at 3:45pm when I left work a few clicks early to go home and begin loading up the Plastic Porsche for it's big jaunt up to 10,000ft. The plan was to drive approximately halfway that night, find a spot to throw out the sleeping bag along the way, then get up Thursday morning and drive the rest of the way to Leadville.

Along for the ride with me

were Mike E

and my original SuperCrew skirt-wearing Jen.

Oh, and Fuzzy Buddy came along too.

We took off at 5:30 and made it all the way past Steamboat Springs, farther than I had planned, finally stopping at a pullout on the side of the two-lane highway to catch some Z's. It was clear and cold, but I knew the forecast was calling for chilly weather over the weekend that included thunderstorms and possibility of snow. Thursday morning, we woke up and hit the road again for the quick 3 hour drive remaining to Leadville.

We got into town around noon and immediately checked into our home for the next two nights: The McGinnis Cottage Bed & Breakfast

Next on our agenda? Drive out around the course so Jen could get familiar with it before she would have to get in the car at 4am on Saturday and begin the 100 mile journey with me and the other 455 runners and hundreds, maybe thousands of other crew members.

The directions were a bunch of seemingly incomplete, confusing, snarls of unmarked roads and incorrect details. We hardly found it worth all the time going out there, but figured it was good to at least get a look at the area even if it was the wrong way to go. We'd been warned about this and come to find out, it was just as we'd been warned. The consensus for Jen was to simply get in line and follow the leader. That was my plan too. While we were out, we experienced roughly four separate thunderstorms... in less than 2 hours... with sunbreaks in between. Sheesh...

Mike E and I went for an easy 50 minute jog that afternoon along the first few miles of the course which started right in the heart of downtown Leadville. I liked the town's vibe and atmosphere. It didn't feel like we were at 10,000 ft especially with all the higher peaks surrounding the valley we were in. It was fun looking at all the fascinating and questionable decor on the houses in town.

Jen had been feeling under the weather all week and was showing signs of deteriorating so she went to the hotel to sleep and attempt to begin to feel better. At this point, I was concerned she would be getting worse and may not be fit to crew for me which was a horrible thought. My heart was a bit heavy for her. I knew she was really looking forward to this trip and being a part of the race and to come down with a bug at just this time was very difficult for her, but God bless her, she kept her spirits up and still had faith she would pull out of the funk before Saturday morning. She had a day and a half.

Friday was a delicious homemade breakfast by Donna, the owner of the McGinnis Cottage, then the medical check for the race, the pre-race briefing, then the drop bag delivery that afternoon. We each realized there were a few things we needed from the store so we went out to the car and there it was...

Either an extremely large or extremely ill avian beast dropped a direct hit onto the hood of my car. Jen was disappointed. I was disgusted. Mike said it was lucky. So we left it there to show it off as we drove around town. I still can't figure out what could have created that kind of mess.

After running all around town getting a few last-minute items (a 3-pack of cheap, lightweight gloves, a small towel to wipe my face off during the race, fresh batteries, peanut butter, Tylenol, reflective tape, and a bling bling bright yellow-as-the-sun poncho for Jen to wear out in the storms she was sure to encounter), we got some food in us back at the hotel, watched a bit of the Olympics, and hit the bed around 7pm, ready for a 2am alarm for the 4am start. There were two other groups in the house running the race so there was sure to be much activity in the wee hours. I had a difficult time sleeping. It was stormy. Lots of thunder. Flashes of lightning all over. Rain. And then... finally... the alarm: Mike E stating "Wake the f up dude, it's time to run."

Leadville 100 - Leadville, CO, August 16th, 2008

This is what I came for.
Finishing time: 23:44:02
Place: 21st
More details and photos soon...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Leadville Adventure Begins

Oh boy...

So this is what I'm heading into...

Friday: A slight chance of snow showers before 7am, then a chance of rain showers. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 56. Calm wind becoming west between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Friday Night: Rain showers likely before 2am, then snow showers likely. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 32. North wind between 10 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Saturday: Snow showers likely before 9am, then rain showers likely. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 49. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west northwest. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Saturday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35. Northwest wind between 5 and 10 mph.

So much for summer. But I train in this kind of slop 9 months out of the year so I guess that bodes well for me? Hmpf...

See you on the downhill side of another hundy!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Countdown to Leadville

It's been seven weeks since my first 100. This Saturday, I will embark on my next, setting off at 4am from 8th & Harrison in Leadville, CO. Am I ready? Yes. Will this one be better than the last? Yes. Here's what I've learned in seven weeks:

I love Montrail's line of shoes, but the Hardrocks I wore at Big Horn just don't treat my feet very well over long distances. They're too restrictive for my wide-ish feet. I tried a pair of 11s (I usually wear 10s) and they felt slightly roomier, but I quickly learned that having a pair of what felt like clown shoes flapping around on my feet while trail running was a sure-fire way to find every single stick, root, rock, rut, and pebble with my toes. Relearning how to run in clown shoes is not something I'm interested in doing. And spraining an ankle is also apparently a very real and concerning possibility. I almost had a horrible ankle disaster. So I quickly moved on to another shoe: The Streak.

Two ounces lighter than the Hardrock and not as stiff underfoot, but still well protected. Great cushioning and a TON of room in the toebox. I've spent hours and hours in these shoes with nary a blister or any other kind of foot problems.

I also took a look at my nutrition during Big Horn and realized a few things: I took in way too much protein. I took in way too much sodium. I took in way too much caffine. Hmmmmmmm... And that one has me a little perplexed. Since when is ingesting the caffine equivalent of 28 cups of coffee good for you? In ANY situation?! And why does every flavor of GU gel except for two contain caffine?! The only ones I've found that don't are Lemon Sublime and Strawberry Banana. The PowerGels I've been using have 200mg of sodium each. The Tangerine flavor contains 2X the caffine. The black cherry Cliff Shot Bloks I've been using also have the caffine equivalent of 2 cups of coffee per package. And they're also half sugar. The PowerBar Endurance electrolyte drink also contains 190mg of sodium per serving. And although the Myoplex protein shakes I've used taste great, go down easy, and contain alot of calories, 150g of protein in a 24 hour, 100 mile race is simply way too much. So I've made some changes. Basically, I've taken a look at what each product on my race-diet list is made of and decided what it's purpose is. (Cause, you know, a life without purpose is no life at all.) I have a full selection of foods to choose from and I fully believe that a moderate amount of a variety of things is much better than a large amount of the same things. So here's what I'll use:

Hammer Gel - Although I don't particularly care for the taste, Hammer knows their stuff and they make great products for going the distance. Their gel has no caffine, low sugar, and a reasonable amount of sodium.

GU gel - Lemon Sublime and Strawberry Banana. No caffine, low sugar, and a reasonable amount of sodium.

PowerGel - Vanilla. No caffine, a bit higher in sugar, and I'll get alot of my sodium intake from these potent little suckers. And they taste like frosting. Slurp!

Cliff Shot Bloks - Pina Colada and Cran Razz. Pina Colada?! Seriously? Yup. It's a little different, but not bad. No caffine, half-sugar (boohoo), and somewhat higher on the sodium scale. But they taste great and it's something other than gel.

PowerBar Endurance Electrolyte Drink - Lemon-Lime. Yup, still gonna use this stuff, but in a much more limited quantity. No caffine, reasonable sugar level, and alot of sodium. The PowerBar products have my sodium intake well covered.

Hammer Perpetuem - Orange Vanilla. I've been training with this stuff with great success over the past six weeks and I plan on having a bottle of this stuff with me over much of the race. I've used it on ten hour training runs without problems so hopefully it will get me through another 14?

I'm also going to continue with the Myoplex protein shakes, although in a much more scaled back fashion. One pre-race and one at the turn-around (50 mile).

I plan on using a much higher quantity of plain water this time out. No messin with it. Just plain, delicious, clean, clear water.

And lastly...

Ham & Pineapple pizza slices and potstickers. What? Having real comfort food out there with me is a good thing, right?

Oh, and post-race? Hammer Recoverite. This stuff is great.

So there it is. But I've left out one other very important detail. Experience. I know what 100 miles feels like this time out and even though there's only one on the list, I can already feel the difference between the first one and the second.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Teton Crest Trail Run - Sunday, August 3rd

Southern half - Philips Pass Trailhead (Teton Pass) to Alaska Basin