Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Great run this morning in Red Rock Canyon with the Sunrise Striders. Mike Safari still isn't walking right after his Pb100 experience! 63 minutes, 6.5 miles.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Total time so far is 90 hours and 40 minutes. Think I'll shoot for a sub 29:19 at the Bear, sneak me in under 120 hours.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Mayqueen - 2:05:56 (2:10)
Fish Hatchery - 4:05:46 (4:00)
Halfmoon II - 5:35:43 (5:00)
Twin Lakes - 7:14:02 (7:00)
Winfield - 10:53:20 (10:00)
Twin Lakes - 13:56:44 (13:10)
Halfmoon II - 15:38:48 (15:40)
Fish Hatchery - 17:32:40 (17:10)
Mayqueen - 20:43:46 (20:30)
Finish - 23:42 (23:56:01)
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Started somewhere in the middle of the huge mass, over 700 of us. Put lots of thought into the start. I’m not one to start fast, but I had been worried about all the runners headed out along the singletrack around Turquoise Lake, I didn’t want to get out too slow. I settled into a nice, easy pace and got to run with former champion Paul Dewitt for a few miles. Always great talking with him, Leadville was off to an awesome start already.
Stopped to take a leak shortly before the Tabor boat ramp. Less than a minute, but it felt like thousands of runners passed me. I jumped back in line and was lucky enough to get in right behind my buddy Ray – who most know as that guy who always wears the Hawaiian shorts and shirts. Ran through the block party at Tabor and then ran easy and chatted with Ray for a while. We were in a huge train of runners, I couldn’t see the beginning or end, but the pace felt good so I wasn’t worried. Around eight miles in I felt some hot spots down around my junk, which I refer to as “fat chick rash.” No big deal though, everything else seemed to be clicking and I could lube up the ‘ol groin at the aid station.
Soon enough we were on the road and Mayqueen loomed ahead. Tons and tons of people between all the runners and their crews. I didn’t even try to look for anyone I knew, it was so crowded. I was glad Katie and I had come up with a plan not to see each other until Twin Lakes. I was not quite so happy when the aid station didn’t have Vaseline, or any kind of anything that might help prevent my nuts from being rubbed raw.
Left Mayqueen right around my goal time of 2:10.
Mayqueen to Fish Hatchery
The stretch from Mayqueen to Hagerman Pass road is one of my favorite parts of the race on the way out (one of my least favorite on the way in, though). Beautiful trail, the sun is just coming up, the body is warmed up, life is good. Easy run along this part, pace slowed just a bit by so many other runners, but nothing to panic about at mile 15.
Hit HP road and continued to run until the dirt road that leads up to Sugarloaf Pass. I have always walked this section, even though at this point in the race it would be easy to run. Seemed like I was the only one walking, I was passed by what seemed like hundreds of runners here, all running slightly faster than my walk. No worries, I told myself, I’d see them later. In reality, a lot of the non-elite folks like myself do run this road on the way out, and are so trashed coming back in that they can’t run down it. Got to the top feeling fine and jogged down the other side of the hill. Downhill running is not my strong point, but I managed to pass a few people on this stretch and nobody passed me.
Judy Dewitt was among a small crowd where the trail hits the hardball road, it was great to see her out there. I ran/walked the mile or so of road over to Fish Hatchery. Had been eating well and figured I’d take advantage of the port-o-shitters at Fish. I jump in and do my thing, assess the crotch damage (it’s not good, especially for this early in the race), and on my way out the door who do I run into but Brandon! Technically he’s on his way out and I’m on my way in, but we’re pretty much tied at this point. He enters the crapper and I start rocking it back and forth, yelling “let’s tip this thing over.” Got a pretty good reaction from the crowd with that one.
They had Vaseline at Fish, so I lubed up. But it was too little too late, that issue was gonna be with me for a while. Downed some ensure, ate a snickers, and headed back out. Can’t remember the time. Think it was a little bit slow for the big buckle, but nothing to panic about yet.
Fish Hatchery to Box Creek/Halfmoon II/Ski Patrol/Whatever
Took some time to assess the situation coming out of Fish. I was feeling good, but not great. The body was running fine, other than the crotch thing, but I wasn’t feeling like a superstar either. I had gone in to this race thinking I would either crush it, because I was in such good shape after Bighorn and Hardrock, or I would suck and stumble to a 29+ hour finish, because I was in such rough shape after Bighorn and Hardrock. I never took into account that maybe I would have an average day, which is what was happening.
I think I left some of my race from last year on the paved road from Fish to Treeline, which I ran way too fast. So this year I took it easy. OK, maybe a little surge to catch up to Brandon, but after that we just ran together easily for a few miles. Brandon and I came into Treeline together. He stopped at his hummer for some crew support and I continued on. The lead was short lived though, as I decided to take advantage of the crappers. Very nice of race management to put the shitters on the opposite side of the parking lot, adding about 200 meters to my day. I saw Mike Safari’s wife in the crowd, and she told me he was already 20 minutes ahead of me. I was worried, as that was probably around 21 hour pace, pretty fast for a rookie who had hammered the bike just a week before.
Shortly after leaving Treeline I caught Brandon again. We ran together for a while but then he started fading ever so slowly, so I moved on. Eventually I got to the Box Creek aid station after a few miles of trying to find another gear to push to, to actually start racing, but I was just stuck in neutral at this point. Saw Jim K at this aid station, and got the lowdown on what was going on up front. No drop bag for me here, so I just threw some food down and took off.
Box Creek to Twin Lakes
Lots of running on the Colorado Trail during this section, one of the best parts of the race. I was finally starting to feel decent here, and this section was good to me. The mass of runners was finally starting to thin a bit, I had the iPod rocking, I knew I’d finally see my crew at the next aid station, and overall the race seemed to be unfolding in a good way for me. Still running cautious, as for me this race doesn’t really start until mile 60, but I finally started to make up a little time on that 25 hour pace.
Good times at Twin Lakes. Katie and Nacheaux were there, and those two have crewed for me so often they don’t have to think about what to do. Changed shoes for the first time here, went from the Sportiva Wildcats to the pair of Inov-8 I got at the CRC yard sale. Very light and I thought they would dry quickly after the river.
My buddy Head Eunuch from the Fort Collins hash was here. He’s the manager at the FC REI, and we’re always joking about how people bring back used equipment, taking advantage of the lifetime guarantee. He walked up to me while I was applying some body glide to my sack. Without missing a beat I pulled the stick, now covered with blood and pubes, out and said, “this stuff sucks and I’m returning it to REI for a refund!”
Real great to see John Genet hanging out at Twin. As well as all the CRUD folks. And while I’m at it, it was real cool to hear so many people, runners and crew alike, mention my blog. I still find it funny that anyone outside my immediate circle of friends would want to read it. Thanks to everyone for the kind words and support out there!
One of my favorite things of all time, the dreaded Hope Pass double crossing. I love it because it’s so sneaky. It often doesn’t hurt you during the crossing. People hear so much about it, about how hard it is. Then they get so motivated to take it on, and they crush it, and all is good, and then – oh shit, there’s still 40 miles to go!
My worst problem with this section came at the river crossing. I decided to submerge my legs in the cold water. This sent a shock of unbelievable pain through my groin, that water sure burned my rash. Ouch. Plus, it washed away the Vaseline. The pain was horrific, but funny in some kind of way. Things sure could have been worse after 40 miles. But I was sick of the whole issue, so I picked up a sharp stick and used it to tear out the lining of my shorts. No issues after that simple, quick fix.
Settled into a nice, steady hike up Hope. Wasn’t pushing it, but I did pass quite a few people on the way to the Hopeless aid station. Saw Tony coming back down slightly farther along than I was last year when I saw him. I yelled out a loud “Run Douche Rocket Run!” He was looking fantastic, much better than the year before. I checked my watch and it was another full hour until I saw Duncan come by in second place. And 65 minutes until I saw third place – who commented to me about my blog!
Caught Mike Safari just before Hopeless. He was already hurtin’, but not bad enough to talk some shit as I was dropping him. Good on him to tough it out and become a Leadman, I know he had a very rough second half.
Over Hope Pass, my drop down the hill was actually pretty good. That side of Hope is too steep and technical for me to do any damage, but only one or two runners passed me and I managed to pass a few other runners. Got a lot of comments from the speedsters coming up, many of them commenting on the fact that they hadn’t seen Brandon yet. Great to see Brooks near the bottom of the pass, he was killing it and would go on to finish sub 20 hours.
Ended up walking about half of the dirt road to Winfield. Cars and dust everywhere. Lots of people are bitching about the scene at Winfield, but it was just one more obstacle to overcome and it was great seeing so many familiar faces out there. It’s funny to me that most of the people whining also had their crew at Winfield, contributing to the problem.
Weighed in (only down three pounds), ate a ton, drank a ton, hung out with Natalee and JP for a bit, used the crapper, and I was ready to go. While I kept yelling at myself for having such a mediocre day, I was forcing myself to eat a ton of calories at every chance, just in case things were able to turn around.
I left Winfield just as Brandon was coming in. Damn, I was slowly starting to ratchet things up and this guy was still hanging on. Gotta give a big shout out to my Austin buddy Ken F as well, he came into Winfield while I was there. I didn’t think he had a shot at the big buckle but he wasn’t interested in what I thought and he was going balls out to get it. He would end up finishing in a heartbreaking 25:04, but it was a four hour PR for him. Left Winfield at the eleven hour mark. Half hour off my targeted time, but still within shouting distance of the big buckle.
Very solid effort back over. Jogged most of the dirt road. Great seeing so many familiar faces out there. Shad, Andy W, Sean K (who had paced me at Bighorn), the Austin Rogue crew, and too many others to name. Eventually ran into Keith G, who despite not having run for the past six months was giving the race a shot. He would end up dropping at Treeline. Always a great experience getting to see your friends in action.
Steady but controlled up the steep hill. Think one guy passed me, that was it. I was tired, but was definitely within myself after covering over 50 miles. Up and over hope, struggled a bit between the top and the aid station, but after the aid station I really cranked it up. Nice and non-technical downhill singletrack, I always do well on this part. Passed quite a few runners between the llamas and the river. And soon enough I was back at Twin Lakes. For those following the Brownie vs Brandon showdown, this section was the knockout blow as I was running eight minute miles while Brandon was on the wrong side of the mountain struggling and throwing up. JP might have a few stories about that…
Twin Lakes to Box Creek
Feeling good coming in to Twin, but the motivation was starting to lag. I knew it would take a monumental effort to stay on pace for a big buckle, much less a PR or a sub 24. Plus, I had the available excuse of wanting to conserve myself for the Bear, which was sounding like a better idea with every passing minute.
But I got a nice surprise at Twin. Brian Fisher said he was looking for some work. I hadn’t planned on picking up a pacer until Fish Hatchery, but when this situation presented itself I couldn’t say no. A North CRUD guy helping out a down and out South CRUD guy, maybe there is hope for this world yet…
Changed back into my Wildcats, threw down a PBR, and I was ready to go. This aid station, from seeing so many familiar faces, to picking up BFish, to knowing I’d see my crew at each aid station from here on in, really recharged me.
The section from Fish back to Box Creek was one of the better sections I’ve ever had in a race after mile 60. Fish really pushed me up the climb, then we ran most of the rolling trails all the way to the aid station. Can’t remember how many people we passed. Fish also helped me avoid the horrible distinction of total domination by Brooks, as I ended up covering this section a few minutes faster than he did.
Quick stop at Box Creek and we were on our way. I remember passing the point where I had to turn on my flashlight the year before, and we still had some daylight left, so I was now back on track for a PR.
Passed through Treeline quickly and made short work of the road section to Fish Hatchery. Really, really helped having Fish here, the guy saved my race. Great times BSing with him for 15 miles. I wasn’t paying much attention to time at this point, but BFish told me I had three hours to get to Mayqueen and three hours to get to Leadville to go sub 24.
Fish Hatchery to Mayqueen
Picked up Sean O’Day at Fish. Sean had had a horrendous day on Pikes Peak for the Ascent, even ended up in the medical tent after the race, but he wasn’t gonna let that keep him from his promise to pace. Pretty funny though, he showed up without water or extra clothes. When Katie asked him about that, he said he was only running 20 miles and it should only take about three hours and he’d be OK. Roadies are so funny sometimes.
Spent the entire time up Sugarloaf Pass getting the lowdown on the Ascent. Really made the climb go by quickly hearing about how all my friends did. BFish had moved me up a lot, so we weren’t able to pass runners by the bunch, but we were definitely moving faster than most at this point.
Normally at the top of Sugarloaf I’d give in to the Z monster and have to rest. But I knew if that happened O’Day would e-mail everyone I knew about what a wus I was. So instead of resting, I started running. We rocked all the way down the dirt road, and when the time came to turn off to the more technical singletrack that would take us over to Mayqueen, I just refused to stop running. At this point I knew I was having a great run, and that thought was fueling me to push myself more than I normally would.
Mayqueen to Leadville
Quick work of the Mayqueen aid station and it was off towards the bright lights of Leadville. O’Day and I crushed this part. Ran every step of the way all the way to the Tabor boat ramp. Even while in the moment, I couldn’t believe this was happening. I barely broke stride at the boat ramp as well. Gave everything I had to Katie in exchange for a single water bottle, said thanks to O’Day (who had a full day – running the Ascent and pacing me for 20 miles), and continued on, knowing I was right on pace for a sub 24. Struggled a bit once I was alone, but I was motivated by the fact that I wanted to PR as a way to say thanks to Katie, Nacheaux, BFish, and O’Day, who had really made this race possible for me. I felt that by falling apart at this point would be an insult to them. So I motored on, having some issues with route finding at times but otherwise running strong after 95+ miles.
At one point I went off course slightly, and I heard a voice call out through the night. “Hey runner, come this way.” I went towards the voice and it turns out it’s none other than Westwank of the Denver hash. Awesome to see him out there! And he had a PBR waiting for me! Another recharge of my batteries, the race went quickly from that point in. A few dirt roads, cross the railroad tracks, hit the boulevard. I hit the 5K to go fence at 23 hours. One hour to do a 5K. Any walking I had done over the second half of the race was strong enough to cover that distance in that time, but I held on to the belief that I had to run to make it until I had about a mile and a half to go. Ran as hard as I could. With about 1.5 miles to go I knew I had the sub 24 in the bag so I called off the dogs. Did some hiking and just enjoyed the moment, hoping that my friends behind me were having as good a second half as I did. Think three runners passed me on this section, but I didn’t care.
Walked to the top of the final hill. Jogged the final few blocks, picking up a cigar and a PBR from Katie to cross the finish line. 23:42:16.
Three down, one to go...
Great thing about the scene? The results list the diver ahead of Safari...
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Have a great crew once again, but I'm not going to see them until Twin Lakes. It's just not worth it to have them fighting so much traffic before things can thin out a little bit. Not having them hit Winfield either. Hope to have them follow me the rest of the way back from Twin, but who knows how drunk they'll be after sitting at the firehouse for 14 hours...
I'll be using drop bags at Mayqueen, Fish Hatchery, and Twin Lakes. Six bags over 100 miles are more than enough. I think everyone tends to forget that the aid stations at Pb are loaded with everything you could possibly need.
My pacer is none other than GZ-killer Sean O'D. He will be running the Ascent in the morning, then driving out to pick me up at (hopefully) Twin Lakes. I realize that shit can happen though, and am prepared to continue on alone if he isn't waiting at TL.
Once again, my predicted splits:
Mayqueen 2:10 (6:10AM)
Fish Hatchery 4:00 (8AM)
Halfmoon 5:00 (9AM)
Twin Lakes 7:00 (11AM)
Winfield 10:00 (2PM)
Twin Lakes 13:10 (5:10PM)
Halfmoon 15:40 (7:40PM)
Fish Hatchery 17:10 (9:50PM)
Mayqueen 20:30 (1:10AM)
Finish 23:56:01 (3:56:01AM)
$100 will have access to my FB page and this blog, but I'm not sure how much coverage she'll get in Twin.
Oddly enough, a google image search for "krispy kreme cheeseburger" brought up this one:
Monday, August 16, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Working tomorrow, which sucks, though I did volunteer to take the day since it would give me an extra day off for Leadville. Gonna run again, getting me to my original goal of commuting 20 times this year. Meeting that goal a full 1.5 months before the commuter challenge, so who knows how high that number could get this year. 40? 50?
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Hit the CC track for 6 x 400 meters yesterday, went pretty well. Stopped by the CRC afterwards to get the latest Pb gossip. Thought I was hot shit with news less than 24 hours old, but Brandon called me this morning with some even newer beta. Damnit!
$100 is currently in Wisconsin visiting family and eating lots of fresh cheese. Without her around, my dinner last night consisted of a pound of bacon and a bunch of cans of PBR I found in the back of the fridge. Good times!
Jeremy and I have a commuting challenge on the slate for this October. I think I'm gonna take it one step further and see if I can go the entire month without using my truck. More on that to follow after Pb...
Monday, August 09, 2010
“Me and my friends did acid in the woods, ‘cause there was much less chance of running into an authority figure. But we ran into a bear. And that is way more of a buzz kill. One of my friends was raising his right hand and swearing to prevent forest fires. Later, he came up to me and said, “Mitchell. Smokey is way more intense in person.”
Today is Smokey's 66th birthday, FYI.
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Friday, August 06, 2010
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Total mileage for the year (through this morning) is up to 2232. Averaging 10.3 miles a day. I like to think I'm not obsessed with round numbers, but I'm sure I'll start thinking about a whole year at ten miles a day soon...
Money spent, after the Bear rego, is $2543.00. $1.14 per mile. Thanks to the Colorado Running Company for the Top Ten comp, that's 30 less miles I'll hafta run.
56 sessions of yoga, still barely on pace to hit 100. I ended up ditching my membership to corepower, since the rock gym now offers yoga and I have a few videos I can do at home.
Monday, August 02, 2010
Anyone else wanna join me?
The crew for yesterday's run on Pikes Peak. Was very sore from my long run on Saturday, but still had a decent day on the mountain. First time I've ever ran the entire way from Barr Camp to A-Frame, and actually made it to the two mile sign before hiking. Not counting the time I stopped to talk with other runners, I made it from Barr to the donut line at the summit house in under two hours, very good for me.
Less than three weeks 'till Leadville...