Monday, August 31, 2009
-No rest for the weary. I think I can significantly lower my hundred mile PR at Oil Creek in October. After spending so much time over the past few years worrying about Hardrock and Leadville, it was almost comical looking at the course profile for OC. Really looking forward to that race, we'll see what happens when I switch from PBR to Yuengling and Iron City.
-I've told anyone who would listen that once I completed the Hardrock/Leadville double I would attempt the Rocky Mountain Slam. So 2010 has the makings of an epic year: a PR attempt at Boston followed by Bighorn, Hardrock, Leadville, and the Bear. All depends on whether or not I get into Hardrock again, I have a nagging suspicion that I'm due to flunk the lottery one of these years...
-Speaking of epic years, I just took down the "to-do" list from my office wall. Austin marathon. Salida marathon. Grand Canyon R2R2R. Desert RATS. Collegiate Peaks. Jemez Mountain. Hardrock. Pikes Peak. Leadville. What a great year it's been!
-Hardrock is obviously the harder course, with at least nine climbs worse than Hope Pass. But it doesn't hurt nearly as bad as Leadville.
-Love this quote over here. "F.A.A. rules state that a pilot flying above 10,000’ for longer than thirty minutes needs to be on supplemental oxygen. At the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Run, I’d be well above 10,000’. For thirty hours. Running."
-Glad to see minimal whining about the course change. My heart really goes out to those people affected by the helicopter crash.
Weighed in at Winfield, ten pounds down. It was hot, but I didn’t feel like I had lost that much weight (there has been recent discussion on the e-mail list over whether that scale was off…). Was still unable to eat any solid food here, so it was more ensure, a can of coke, and a few swigs of Pabst.
Picked up Mike Safari here to pace me for a bit. A future Leadville finisher, Mike wanted to see what the big deal about Hope Pass was. We left the aid station and made real good time along the road. Soon enough we were on our way up the steep side of Hope Pass. I wasn’t feeling the greatest so again I picked a pace that allowed me to stay slow but steady up the mountain.
Saw a bunch of friends on this part of the course, all making their way down Hope Pass. Also saw a bunch of people I didn’t know cheer for PBR as I passed, it was awesome!
Got passed by a few folks on the way up but I kept at it and soon enough Mike and I were at the top. I point out Leadville to him in the distance. Holy hell did I still have a long way to run!
Shortly after the Hopeless aid station I stopped to drop my first deuce of the day. A monumental occasion, I was hoping this would clear up my stomach. Once again, I didn’t think my stomach was ruining my chances of getting a finish, but I could definitely tell my pace was suffering from not being able to take some solid grub in.
Good run the rest of the way down Hope. Had Mike hold my water belt as I crossed the river so I could take a nice dip all the way in. We headed across the grass field and soon saw Katie and Nacheaux. They had made some awesome signs and had a cold beer waiting. What a great crew I had!
In and out of Twin Lakes fairly quickly. I’m out at 5:43PM, a scathing two minutes ahead of schedule. Stomach was still giving me some issues. This section was where I began to fall apart last year and I wanted to get through it as quickly as possible.
Mike and I began the long hike up to the Colorado trail. I did cover this a lot more aggressively than Hope Pass, but I still wasn’t firing on all cylinders. Once we hit the Colorado trail, things started to improve a bit. I wasn’t exactly Usain Bolt, but I started running more and even passing some people. Got through Box Creek Pass at 7:42PM and made it a few more miles before having to switch on my light. Before too long I could hear Katie with her cowbell and I rolled in to treeline.
Mike had done a fantastic job as a pacer, keeping me moving even though I wasn’t at my physical best. We talked about all kinds of topics out there and he always managed to keep my mind off how bad I was hurting. But he was done now, and it was time for me to pick up a new pacer. My friend Clark would take the reigns here, with the job of getting me to Mayqueen with enough time to finish the final leg under 25 hours.
For the first time all day I was finally able to choke down some food. You’d be amazed at how good a snickers bar tastes when it’s the only thing you’ve eaten for 70+ miles. Took another dump before leaving but after that Clark and I tore up the road to Fish Hatchery. Yeah, it’s a boring part of the course, but it was some of the best running I would do all day. Clark kept me moving, pushing me forward and making me run most of the way. Probably ran 80% of that section, arriving at Fish at 9:46PM, 15 minutes ahead of my goal time.
Attempted to change shoes at Fish. Was planning on switching to the La Sportiva Fireblades. But I had developed a blister on my heel during Pikes Peak, and it had gotten worse throughout the day at Leadville. When I put on the Fireblades, I could tell things were gonna get painful pretty quick, I guess it’s a much tighter fit in the heel. So I changed back into the Wildcats. I would end up running 67 miles of the race in the 'cats.
Left Fish Hatchery still feeling great. Ran the road over to the bottom of the final climb of the day, Sugarloaf. I hammered up Sugarloaf pretty good, hiking as hard as I could. Managed to pass quite a few people. Soon the downhill came and I was able to run most of it. Along the dirt road and back on the Colorado trail. That last section of the CO trail always takes a lot longer than it should, but at 12:45AM I was finally at Mayqueen, the final aid station of the day.
By the time I changed into my Saucony and rolled out of Mayqueen, once again being limited to ensure, it was almost 1AM. Clark was now done, and I was on my own for the final 13 miles. Normally I wouldn’t be worried about covering a half marathon in four hours. But after going at it for 87 miles, I was kinda pooped.
I spent the entire trip around Turquoise Lake falling asleep while running, then waking up as I was falling to the ground. Sometimes I was able to save the dive, sometimes I wasn’t. I remember when I finally got to the Tabor boat ramp I saw Judy D, and I was so tired that I just curled up into a ball by her feet and tried to drop out. It must have been pretty comical to see. She gave me a coke and some caffeine pills and somehow got me back on my feet and moving slowly towards the finish line. I remember thinking that I still had seven miles to go, which at that time felt like an impossible distance for a human to cover.
The caffeine kicked in and gave me a boost for a few miles. I was soon caught by Larry D, Paul S, and Rick H. Ran with those guys for a bit before they pulled away. As we made the left turn on to the Boulevard, Paul told me that I could walk in from here and still finish sub-25. I took that as an order and walked the next 1.5 miles.
Eventually the lights of Leadville came into view and inspired me to get my ass moving. Managed to pass two more runners just as we got back onto the paved road. About three blocks from the finish I met Katie and Nacheaux, who handed me a well deserved PBR. Soon after that I crossed the finish line in 24:29:20, my new 100 mile PR.
Still looking for anyone who runs barefoot who still runs fast. The guy who finished the SF Marathon sounds like such a badass at first, but then you read that he finished in 4:48. Ugh. Though I do give props to Barefoot Ted, who finished Leadville in 25:55. Luckily for him that tiny buckle won't put nearly as much stress on his bare feet as the big buckle would...
Saturday was a blast. Took Katie's old school cruiser and met Nacheaux at Benny's to begin the day. We then hit foam fest, and I was able to visit every brewery at least once, and most at least twice. From there it was off to one of my favorite local dives, Murphy's. I think I had four Wisconsin lunchbox's here, which would contribute heavily to my Sunday hangover as well as the epic bike wreck that would launch me over the haldlebars on the way up to Trinity's one year anniversary. Don't know how I was able to ride home that night, but I do remember getting lost in the Garden.
Sunday was an early start as I helped lay the Kimchi hash. Hung out at Coach's for a bit, then took off to Pulpit Rock to man the brass monkey check. After returning to Coach's for a few more beers, we all went to O'Furry's for some wings and $3 monster PBRs. Good times!
More of the same tonight, as I'm off to the DIM hash after work.
Looking forward to Thursday's MOPP hash in Manitou. Should have quite a few visitors attending. 6PM at the Townhouse Lounge if anyone wants to show up. Great trail followed by a pub crawl in Manitou.
Friday it's off to Winter Park for Invihash. Probably won't be able to blog about that since I won't remember any of it.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Ask and you shall receive. OK, here's the pic. Guess I have a lot of computer genius friends. So let me try this: Gee, I sure wish I could hack into peoples bank accounts and move all their cash into my wallet...
Katie might be able to get back on my good side if she brings back lots of PBR schwag from Wisco. I might starve to death before she gets back though...
BLOS took a ton of great pics, which I'm sure he will post when he finally gets out of bed, probably some time tomorrow.
Great set by BJL, and a definite highlight for me when he acknowledged my Lovejoy's shirt!
Also saw an awesome local band open the show, Filthy Children. Definitely be making return trips to Colfax to see those guys!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
See the recent CNN nugget about it here. Save the whales, lose the blubber! I love it!
I also love how CNN gets a fat chick on there to argue. I'm sure she said something I should have listened to, but whenever people that big talk, all I hear is "nom...nom...nom..."
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Leadville to Winfield
It was early, 2:45AM, which on a Saturday means I should've been going to bed but instead I was waking up. I had the same feeling of dread as I did one year before. I had just wolfed down a clif bar and it wasn’t sitting right. My stomach, normally a trash compactor for anything I put into it, didn’t seem to be working right. Not the kind of thing that bodes well for a 100 mile run. As Tony would say later, "on a good day, running 100 miles is fucking hard. Period. On a bad day, it's borderline impossible." I was hoping my stomach wouldn't be the cause of a bad day.
But, truth be told, I knew I was going to finish this run. There was just no other option. I had trained my ass off over the last year. And every second loop up the Incline, every extra mile on the Intemann trail, every time I got up to run at 4:45AM instead of 5AM, it was all with the vision of my collapse and DNF at Halfmoon in 2008. I had lived in shame for an entire year, and I was ready to put it behind me. Back-to-back DNF’s would have been a crushing blow, and probably the end, of my running career, and I wasn’t going to let that happen, especially due to stomach issues.
The gun went off and I began my run down
I was feeling really good down the boulevard. I saw Keith in front of me, which had me worry for a minute that I was already behind the 30 hour cutoff pace, but there were other big buckle runners all around, so I didn't panic. Soon we were on the singletrack path around
I hit Mayqueen in 2:05. Perfect. I grabbed my iPod and downed an ensure. My stomach was still feeling a bit queasy and I didn’t think any solid food would stay down, so I stuck with liquids.
I had the Widespread Panic shows from Mile High to take my mind off running for a bit. The music drove me on, and I ran the singletrack uphill to the dirt road and then over to the first big climb of the day,
I caught up to Brooks and we left Fish Hatchery together and ran down my least favorite part of the course, the paved road. The views were fantastic though, with
I passed the purple horse stall and in a bit I was routed off the normal course on to
Forty miles in, and up until this point everything had been ass backward for me. Usually I charge up hills, play it safe on the way down, and eat everything and anything I can get my hands on at the aid stations. Here I had been holding steady on the ups, hammering by people on the downs, and had only taken in liquids over the past six hours. I swear I could still feel the clif bar in my stomach that I had eaten over eight hours earlier. I can’t say my stomach issues were hurting me, but it left me at a loss as how hard to push the next part of the course.
I decided to play it safe. Though I blame the Halfmoon aid station for my misery the year before, I think the damage was actually done while trying to hammer Hope Pass. I run from
The pace up
I didn't waste too much time at the top and begun the very steep and rugged descent. Ran well here, even though I finished all my water just before hitting the dirt road to Winfield. The dirt road run sucked as usual, breathing in all the dust the cars were kicking up. After what seemed like an eternity I finally ran into Winfield at 2:17PM. Despite a lackluster
The last 45 days have been pretty epic, with two runs up Pikes Peak, a hike up Mt. Sherman, the Manitou Lager Festival, Mile High Music Festival (I now have both Panic sets on CD if anyone wants 'em!), some new Colfax dive bars, and a combined 10+ hour improvement in Hardrock and Leadville.
Might be able to top it though, with Trinity's one year anniversary, IAH, Telluride Blues & Brews, "business trips" to Durango and Charlotte, and my first return to Pennsylvania since 2004 all coming up in the next month and a half!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Here's Safari bringing me in to Twin Lakes after crossing Hope Pass:
Clark really hammered me through the night, but had his limits and refused to rub the anti-chafing stuff on my nutsack:
This was taken at the Treeline crew access point. It's where I switched pacers from Safari to Clark. It was the first time of the race I was able to stomach solid food.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Great day for CRUD as there were a bunch of big buckle performances.
More on this race to come later. I'm off to drink.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Warning to all Jack Quinn's runners: we will actually be running and drinking here. Leave your resumes and networking aspirations at home.
They've had to change the course due to the recent Army helicoptor crash. At treeline, we'll be jumping on the pipeline to where it hits the Colorado trail. Don't know anything about the pipeline but I guess it's on the mountain bike course. Supposidly it'll make things faster and maybe a mile shorter. But who knows. Either way, the 25 hour mark for the big buckle stands, and Ken said if anyone runs a course record tomorrow it will stand. Sucks, but it's nothing compared to the loss of four American soldiers.
As it stands now, crews are unaffected by the change. Katie, plan on meeting me at Twin Lakes outbound and Treeline inbound. If you hit the store, pick up an extra package of ensure please. And don't forget to bring my water bottles.
Talked to Tony this morning, and he seems ready to go. Got a personal tour of The Roost, quite impressive.
Already started talking shit to Brooks. Since the course may "only" be 99 miles, I'm asking him every five minutes when he's finally gonna get the balls to attempt a hundred miler.
John Sharp is feeling good and ready. If he doesn't start out too fast he should be fine. Gonna hit High Mountain Pie for some pizza with him and a few other friends in a bit.
My friend Beverly is also attempting her first hundred. Best of luck to her!
I'm feeling ready. Let's get it on!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
My crew chief, Katie, will have access to my blog, so depending on how much coverage she can find this may or may not be updated between now and Sunday morning...
Good luck to everybody running (especially Kara!), crewing, pacing, and/or recovering!
Oh yeah, and kudos to the Pikes Peak H3 on their 600th run! Someone drink a beer at the red dress for me!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The book, which I loved, has caused quite a few people to look into the minimalist footwear thing. I'm not sold on it, and think it's a fad that will go away soon. Yes, injuries among runners haven't dropped with the advances in footwear over the years. But we've also seen such a huge number of runners who now do team-in-training type stuff and train so horribly they're setting themselves up for injury no matter what they do or do not wear on their feet.
But who knows. I've been injury free for my 20+ years of running, and those years were built on a foundation of high school cross-country (racing two to three times a week in the Nike Waffle Racer) and following that with track season, spending winter and spring running around in circles in track spikes. Maybe that near-barefoot stuff toughened up my feet and legs a bit.
I did see a few people during the Ascent wearing the Vibram 5 Fingers. I asked each person how their feet were doing, and each one had good things to say. Of course, all the people wearing the glove like sock/slipper things were way towards the back of the pack and I would guess they had been walking since the Cog Railway.
Bottom line in my book - the best way to avoid injury is to train smart and train hard. Shoes are a minor part of the equation. Not quite as sexy as a hidden civilization of barefoot ultrarunners, but it works.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Fast Eddy - two Trinity growlers from our Hardrock bet (he'll get these this weekend; FYI, he refused to go double or nothing straight up at Leadville!)
Paul D - I think I owe him a pint of Icehouse from blog trivia long ago.
Yeti - owe him a 30 pack of PBR due to an ill-advised and horribly lost bet from Pikes Peak; have fun drinking your beer, but remember that real men don't need a ride off a mountain!
Smut - think I owe him a pint from some "Married With Children" trivia.
In my defense, I'm not welching here, but it's been forever since I've seen any of the above peeps out drinking beer, which is where these bets get paid off.
Looking to make a beer bet for Leadville, but so far nobody I know who is running has been willing to lay it on the line...
"There are no words to describe him (Usain Bolt). He's like a created game person. He's like a cheat code. That's how good he is ..."
- Darvis Patton on Usain Bolt's 9.58 WR
Monday, August 17, 2009
Mayqueen - 6:15AM
Fish Hatchery - 8:05AM
Halfmoon - 9:15AM
Twin Lakes - 11:15AM
Winfield - 2:30PM
Twin Lakes - 5:45PM
Halfmoon - 8:30PM
Fish Hatchery - 10PM
Mayqueen - 2:30AM
Leadville - 4:59:59AM
Depending on how I feel I may take it out a bit faster and get to Winfield in under ten hours. As long as I don't get too crazy I don't think that would hurt me very much.
Have Mike Safari all ready to pace me from Winfield back to Treeline, about 22-ish miles. Gonna run right through Halfmoon without stopping since that's where I dropped out last year. Wouldn't mind a pacer anywhere during the final 30 miles if anyone out there has the weekend free of plans...
Still working on my shoe strategy. Right now I'm thinking about wearing my Wildcats to Twin Lakes, doing the Hope Pass double crossing in the Raceblades, getting to Mayqueen in the Imogene, and bringing it home in the Saucony Progrid Guide Trails.
Really looking forward to getting that DNF monkey off my back.