Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fare Thee Well

Perhaps it has appeared, and rightly so… perhaps true, that I have given up on my blog. This seems to be the case as I’ve run 5 races and had not a single word on the blog. Excuse… check… I was busy. So to sum up my races… I ran the duo Pikes Peak races. In the Pikes Peak Ascent i was in the mid 30s (I think). The following day I was 6th in the marathon giving me first place overall for the duo. 2 weeks later I was 3d in the American Discovery Marathon on the Front Range in 2:40ish, 1 week later I was 3d at the Imogene Pass Run in 2:24, and then another 2 weeks later I was 25th in the Great Cow Harbor Race (NY) in 34 minutes.
So that being said… in a very short, hopefully concise, and most likely quite boring fashion …I am planning on stopping the blog. At least for the time being. I’m not giving up on it. I’m stopping it… huge difference.

The reason is simple: I’ll have time to write about my races and other adventures. Maybe in the future I’ll start writing on a blog again but for now I think it best to stop it altogether. That and I’ll have time to run and do other adventures.

Fare thee well, Timmy

Monday, August 9, 2010

Outdoor Retail Treadmill Challenge Salt Lake City

I drove down last week to Salt Lake City for the Oudoor Retail (OR) Treadmill Challenge. SportHill was participating in the Expo so I went down to show off their apparel. Checkout there website at http://sporthill.com/

The race is a 15 minute race run on a treadmill set at 10% grade. Whoever goes the farthest distance in the allotted time wins. The advantage to some and disadvantage to others is that there are only 2 treadmills so pairs of runners race off all day long. The runners later in the day have the advantage of knowing what pace they must go to beat the previous runners.






Photo taken by Ricky Gates

The race is more of a show than anything else. It is difficult to know exactly how far ahead (or behind) you are at any given moment. My goal was to put forth an honest effort and run over 2 miles. I was pitted against Tony Krupicka with favorites Max King and Ricky Gates scheduled for the last slot of time. The race is more of a mind game. Time slowly drips by like waves beating against a shoreline. The waves will wear down the shore but it seems like it takes forever. With about 5 minutes to I took off my jersey as it felt too sweltering hot inside. Results:

Tony Krupicka: 1.92 miles Ricky Gates: 2:06 miles
Me: 2:09 miles Max King: 2:14 miles

9 for 9

Grin ‘n’ Bear It

Sorry folks about my lack of posts for the last month. I’m going to try and blog a little more and put up some more interesting pictures. I’ve had a great high volume month of training with many long runs and a few short races. On July 17th I ran my 9th consecutive Grin ‘n’ Bear it race in Crested Butte. This race was also the 9th race that Lynnette has been at. I won the race making it my 9th consecutive Grin ‘n’ Bear it win, and my 9th consecutive race I’ve won when Lynnette has been present at the race. The race is just an easy 9 mile race, 4 ½ miles out and then 4 ½ back. I gained somewhere around 1700 feet I think… more or less.

The race usually does not have stiff competition but I always race myself. I ran 1:07:12 compared to last year’s 1:05:40. I was quite happy with this time. Sure it was a 90 seconds slower but it was hotter this year as well. I have the course record set in 2005. This year’s time was my 4th fastest time. Here is a breakdown of the past 9 years with notes:

2002: 1:10:??
2003: 1:12:??
2004: 105:44 Tied old CR
2005: 1:04:23 No hill work, only speed gives me new CR
2006: 1:11:29 Recovering from a burnt out season
2007: 1:07:27
2008: 1:08:32 Fit! Take 2nd at Pikes Peak in 2:19:33
2009: 1:05:40 2nd fastest time ever, Win Leadville 100 in 17:27 and Pikes in 2:12:32
2010: 1:07:12 Fit… wait and see….

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hellacious Trail Challenge

Summer… how it escapes us. Time is like a bird, like a raven, like an eagle flying majestically… It flies.

After getting back here I raced the 1st ever Hellacious Trail Challenge put on by the Boulder Running Company in Colorado Springs in the last weekend of June. The race was a 9.2 rolling and rocky race through the meandering trails in Palmer Park, Colorado Springs. There was some solid completion as Tommy Neil, Peter Maksimow, Logan Wealing, Justin Ricks, and Gerald Romero all toed the line with me. 200 meters into the race Tommy, Peter, Logan, Justin and I all went the wrong way. When I say we went the wrong way I really mean the entire field went the wrong way, but the rest of the competition was corrected by race officials. We realized our mistake and looped back. This added on ¼ of a mile onto our race. Interestingly enough, this meant that the top 5 runners were now the last 5 in the race. We came up on the tail end of the racers and 1 by 1 we had to pass them all. Finally, near mile 4 we passed Gerald Romero who was in the lead. At this point Tommy took the initiative surged ahead and got a 50 foot lead on the rest of us. I was in 4th about 30 feet behind Peter and Logan. Justin Ricks was another 20 feet behind me. Then I felt like the race started.

I felt twice as good and surged ahead and easily caught up to Peter and Logan. Another minute I was with Tommy. I know the trails in Palmer Park very well because I used to train a lot there. It was fantastic as I just glided over the rocks and the trail. I took the lead and put on a 30 foot gap over Tommy. But then with 1.5 miles to go the trail did a short u-turn and a trail arrow pointed between a road and a single track. Tommy and I took the single track. This was of course the wrong way though. I did not realize it until a minute late. Tommy and I accidentally cut off about 100 feet off of the course. We kept running and finished. I won in 59:05, Tommy was close behind in 59:29. I told race directors how we had accidently cut the course and showed them on a map. They sent someone to the tight corner of quandary and uncertainty to direct traffic. The cut had not given us an advantage and as we had already added on a ¼ of a mile at the beginning there were no concerns. I was declared the winner. Tommy was 2nd, Peter 3d, Logan 4th, Justin 5th, and Gerald was 6th.

The race was the first time I accidentally ran more and less of the course. I figure overall our version was 9.5 miles. It was great.

Monday, June 21, 2010

50th running of the Mt. Washington road race

Things could not get bigger for this race. It was the 50th running of the race. It was the only qualifier for the World Mountain Championships. The elite athletes were coming out of the wood words to run this. Going in I was confident I was in shape and ready for a solid race. The race climbs 4650 feet over 7.6 miles up to the top of Mt Washington on the mostly paved road at an average 15% grade... actually 11.58%.

I flew out Thursday morning and stayed with Marc and Jane Chauvin in North Conway, only 20 minutes drive from the base of Mt. Washington. Marc is an accomplished mountain climber and guide who has been all over the world. He is blessed man with his beautiful wife Jane. They were amazing hosts who made me feel welcome and at home.

On Friday, I ran up Black Cap to the summit at 2400 feet or so, thanks to Marc’s suggestion. Granted it was only 1.3 miles up but the view was tremendous and offered a panorama of the White Mountains. It was an easy laidback day. Then Saturday...

It was warm out 75 or so at the start of the race. This was expected. I went out with the leaders. Everyone looked decent. The air was silent yet pounded with the consist roar of heavy breathing, mimicking the pounding hearts. A few flies joined the race. I planned on maintaining pace yet it seemed that everyone else sped up. In reality, I was slowing down, and maintaining. I felt good just unable to go with the first pack, or the second pack for that matter. I plugged away hitting mostly 9 minute mile pace.

In the last 2 miles I finally felt good and felt like the race was starting. I passed a few runners and was able to finish in 1:09:44 in 25th place. This was an average of 9:11 per mile. The winners averaged 8 minute miles.

Stuff to think about… I’m fit but need a lot more training and base under me. This is a good place to be. I’ve got 2 months until Pikes Peak. 2 months to prepare to run well.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

2010 Sage Burner 50K

The Sage Burner 50k run… 5000 feet of climbing, 31.6 miles, 250 runners (in both the 25 and 50k) a beautiful course surrounded by snow capped peaks. Prior to the race I had planned on running leisurely with Duncan for the first half and then making the second half the real race. As race day approached I scraped this plan. I wanted to race. It was a warm day by 7:30… starting time. It was much warmer than last year’s perfect weather and overcast skies. I casually meandered to the front of the racing pack expecting to set a pace and have Duncan close the gap. Yet the eventual winner in the 25k would not have this… he took the lead and started hammering. I thought he was running the 50k so I set in 10 seconds behind him and maintained. All I was thinking was that he was going way too fast for the 50k. At the 25-50k split he went one way while I went the other. I was a little surprised. Lynnette was helping out with the race and was at the split, so I exclaimed to my beautiful wife my surprise that in reality I need not race the other guy. For the next mile (down Water Treatment) I laughed at myself for thinking that I had to race other guy… of course he was running the 25k. I figured I had built up a 2 maybe 3 minute lead so I just relaxed and ran.

I got out to Skull Pass (half way mark) in 2 hours even. It was now 9:30 in the morning and the sun felt blazing. I learned I now had close to an 8 minute lead over Duncan who was in 2nd and 3d was at least 2 miles back. I felt good, was maintaining solid eating and drinking habits and figured all I need to do was to maintain. I headed up Nine-0, the highest point of the race. The trail is not steep but I felt sluggish and slow. I told myself I just had to maintain and plug away.

Sometimes in the middle of a race when no and no competition is around you just have to ignore the lies of pain, suffering, and hurt. They are not there. You may be told you are suffering but it is nothing but a lie to swallow. The best answer is usually to speed up and remember:

“Come Suffering, come Pain
Let me teach you the Truth
You are uncouth
I’ll make you tame
You are a lie
and you will die”

I remembered… and kept running. The sun blazed down. I kept drinking but I felt worse and worse. Finally at mile 26 or so (bottom of Josie’s) I threw up about 40 oz of liquid. I felt much better. Drained…yes, tired… sure, but ready to keep running. The temperature was now about 75 degrees.
I kept running expecting Duncan to come up on me but he did not. I crossed the finish line in 4:23:06. Almost 9 minutes later Duncan was second in 4:32:05. Race results are here: http://www.live-timing.com/report.php?r=20013&rp=391398 and here http://www.western.edu/student-life/fitness-center/sage-burner

Recovery has been good. I was dehydrated after the race but I’ve quickly recovered. I feel fantastic and have had several awesome post race runs. 3 weeks until Mt Washington.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Black Canyon Ascent

After getting back from NY I have felt much better. I feel like I can finally relax and run for the love of running. This of course is key, it is pivotal for one to enjoy running. If someone is running under a false guise, if they are forced to, or if the love is gone… then what is the point?

Since I felt good I decided to race. I needed a good race. One that was not too long, one in which I could go compete, race, and have confidence in: a solid confidence booster. So I decided to run the Black Canyon Ascent this last weekend. The BC Ascent follows the paved road from highway 50 up to the south rim of the Black Canyon. It is 6 miles long and I think it gains about 2000 feet.

I promptly arrived at the start 40 minutes prior to the race. The day was overcast yet warm enough for a perfect race. I won the race back in 2007 in a time of 43:17. The course record is about 40:09 by Simon Gutierrez. My goal was just to run smart, solid, and consistent. I went out at a fast but doable pace and knew by mile 1 that I would be able to win if I just kept it up. Bt mile 4 I realized I was at a really good pace because I was over a minute ahead of Bernie Boettcher. I won in a time of 41:16. Bernie was second in 43 minutes. Ben Tobler was 3d in 45 minuets. While training partners and friends Ryan Burch and Scott Drum were 4th and 5th also in 45 minutes. Results are here: http://www.sjmr.org/
About Mile 1.5

The race director Scott Shine and the San Juan Mountain runners http://www.sjmr.org/ did a great job putting on the race. They even provided hot food at the awards… (thanks to Natural Grocers and the other sponsors) which I can’t say I see often. In addition to the normal goodies after races like fresh bagels cookies, fig newtons, apples, cliff bars, etc. they also had wonderful delicious breakfast burritos… I ate 5 of them at the awards… I was a little hungry.


Finishing a great race.

Lynnette and I after the race

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

DNF at Bear Mt.

Yes, that’s right, I DNF at Bear Mt.

I finally make it through the end of the semester. I knew I was pretty tired from all the school work, running, and work so I had decided to tone down my race schedule… but I figured I could run one 50 mile race. The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 mile race in New York has an amazing beautiful course with plenty of running over watermelon size rocks, scrambling up cliffs, route finding, and amazing views. With over 14,000 feet of elevation gain it is one of the hardest 50 milers in the country. I was looking forward to it. I flew out Thursday afternoon and arrived in the evening. First thing I found out was my rental car was canceled. This was a little perturbing, disconcerting, and aggravating but I figured I’d just have to wing it. It was already midnight and I only wanted to sleep so I found a nice little grassy park near the airport, pulled out my sleeping bag and pad, and went to sleep.

I woke up at 7. It was Friday morning and I needed to make it 60 miles so I could race the next day. Normally I might hitchhike but in a metropolitan area with 15 million people that would prove most difficult. I decided the best thing for me to do was take public transportation. So… I hopped on a bus that took me from LaGuardia Airport to Manhattan. From there I jumped on a subway to Penn Station. Penn Station is similar to Grand Central… it is huge. From there I asked the train station ticket office if they had any trains that went up north to Bear Mt. They did not and sent me to Amtrak. Amtrak was on the other side of Penn Station. Amtrak sent me to NJ Transit which was also elsewhere in the station. NJ Transit said I should check with the Port Authority (the main transportation authority in the area) and gave me a phone number to call. I called the number and they gave me another number to call. I then called that number and they affirmed that they had a bus going to Bear Mt. and gave me directions to get to the Port Authority bus station which was a mile away.

I rode the bus up to Bear Mt State Park. Upon arriving I realized my grave mistake of not bringing any food with me as there were no restraints or grocery stores nearby. I walked 2 ½ mile to the nearest gas station, got some food, and walked back. I camped out that night and got plenty of sleep.

Saturday morning 3:30 am wake up. I felt ready for the day and had no problem getting up. I was feeling rested and ready. The race started 15 minutes late at 5:15. Within 5 miles there was a lead group of 8 of us. Geoff Roes, Leigh Schmitt, and a few others. Max King had opted not to come out and race. For the most part we just ran along content not to push the pace.

Even so I felt lethargic and slow… I did not feel how I normally do during a 50 mile race… that is strong and ready to compete. The reason: I think it has to deal with a lack of solid training leading up the race and a stressful semester. Anyways… I got to mile 20 and I felt like I had been running for days… mentally I was not ready for the race. My pace got slower and slower and I had no energy. I managed to jog to mile 28 where I opted to pull out simply because I did not want to beat up my body anymore… mentally I was not in the race at all. I was ready to be done. This is never a good place to be in a race but it did confirm to me that I need some solid base under me. Summer is almost here. I could use the time. I need to rest up and get my racing legs back under me. It'll happen.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Boston

So the Boston trip…

It was a perfect day: 50-60 degrees during the race with a northerly wind. I felt really good. I was ready. I went out and ran the first half in a perfect 1:13:39. This was perfect, I was not pushing the pace, just sitting in a pack running along. I was probably about 100th place… right where I wanted to be. I figured I’d come back in a 1:14 or 1:15. This would be perfect because Boston’s 1st half is entirely downhill. Therefore, clocking a similar yet slightly slower 2nd half is the equivalent to negative splitting there. I went through the half figuring I’d run 1:27 maybe 1:30 if I slowed down by a lot. I felt confident clicking off 5:30 miles: click, click, click… and then my calves tightened up entirely. I felt awesome, I was not straining, my breathing was controlled, by body felt great, except for my calves they were too tight to run. I knew the race was over for all practical purposes so I just settled into a shuffle and finished the race in 2:56, yes it was a slow shuffle. Might not have been the most pretty marathon but I finished it. Lesson learned: when running downhill on asphalt, even at an easy pace, if my legs aren’t ready for such pounding I can forget it.

Oh well, it was an excellent first half.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ode to Signal Peak

It has been a busy last month. The mid march marathon in Salida feels like 3 months ago. Two weekends ago I went down to the Springs to help out at the Boulder Running Store there in Colorado Springs.
It was great hanging out, talking to people about different training techniques, diet, race schedules, etc.
Cody Hill and his wife Lori are the managers there. They also went to Western State and are great people. Their team there is awesome. I’ve always shopped for shoes there over the years (sometimes buying as many as 4 or 5 pairs at a time, no joke) and they have always helped me find the best shoes. If you need some shoes, check out the Boulder Running Company. http://www.brccoloradosprings.com/

In addition to being excessively busy I’ve decided to drastically modify my race schedule for the next year. I dropped some races and kept others, while picking up new ones. As of now my main focus will be the US National Mountain Running Champs in New Hampster, Oh wait, I mean New Hampshire, in June. Then I’ll be running Pikes Peak in August. No 100 mile races scheduled for the year… That was the biggest change.

I’ve been preparing for the Boston Marathon; it is next week. The last few weeks have been stellar for training in Gunnison. The mud has dried up and the trails are beautiful. I’ve been running up Signal Peak quite a bit. Duncan http://www.duncancallahanrunning.com/ and Ryan http://www.ryanwburch.blogspot.com/ both have recorded 25 summits this year. I’m only at a mere 10.

A week ago I ran to the top with Duncan. It was a perfect day where we seemingly summited without any thought to work. It was pure joy, the mountains were buried in snow and we thought about how perfect God’s creation is. We commented on Signal Peak and how it is always so fun to run up it. Like always when I run with Duncan we entertained ourselves and came up with a song, an ode if you will to the tune of “O Tannenbaum,” which has been very much expanded here:

Oh Signal peak, oh Signal Peak
Oh how I love my Signal Peak

Oh Signal peak, oh Signal Peak
You are not a heap
Oh my signal Peak

Oh Signal peak, oh Signal Peak
Oh how I love my Signal Peak
Upon first ascent a rock you must take
Keep said rock or throw in a lake

Oh Signal peak, oh Signal Peak
Oh how I love my Signal Peak
From the top of your Knoll
Your views are so delightful
Oh how I love my Signal Peak

Oh Signal peak, oh Signal Peak
Oh how I love my Signal Peak
From miles around I can see
From the top I look with glee

Oh Signal peak, oh Signal Peak
Miles on you I log
Cody ran to the top, He’s my dog
Oh how I love my Signal Peak

Ever so grand is your view
Ever so soft, with a light hue
Swift are your trials
Dogs way their tails

Oh Signal peak, oh Signal Peak
Oh how I love my Signal Peak
You rise above the valley small
You summon me with a call

Oh Signal peak, oh Signal Peak
Oh how I love my Signal Peak
The views so beautiful
You are there when I need to mull

Oh Signal peak, oh Signal Peak
Oh how I love my Signal Peak
Your trails are so swift
My thoughts low, you lift

Oh Signal peak, oh Signal Peak
Oh how I love my Signal Peak
While buried in mud and snow
Present you are wrapped with a bow

Oh Signal peak, oh Signal Peak
Oh how I love my Signal Peak
Your views are so grand
The grandest in all the land

Grand are your views
Ever so soft, with a light hue
Swift are your trials
Dogs way their tails

Oh Signal peak, oh Signal Peak
Oh how I love my Signal Peak
You have many a rhyming line
But for more, must wait for right time

Oh Signal peak, oh Signal Peak
Oh how I love my Signal Peak

God made thee Signal Peak
Made thee by God in comparison a heap
All honor and Glory to Him
My song is but a lame whim

On the gift from God of Joy
Love of Signal Peak would be a ploy
Love of Christ, joy in surrounding
Honor to Him Love resounding

Monday, March 15, 2010

Salida Run Through Time Marathon

Finishing the marathon.

It was time for the first race of the year: The Salida Run Through Time Marathon. In case you are wondering this is a half road half trail marathon with close to 3500 feet in gain. I had been wondering for several weeks what the conditions of the course would be like. Two years ago we were running through knee deep snow and last year the course was dry and fast. In the last week it was evident from course condition reports that the race would be muddy and snowy.

Thoughts prior to the race: I wanted to go out and have a solid first half effort. At the very least I could compare split times with last year. I wanted an honest effort.

The race started and I found myself running a tad faster for the first mile than I had anticipated… whatever happened to me warming up? Oh well… I thought, and kept the solid pace going. By 2 miles in I had only 1 runner in front of me (the eventual ½ marathon winner). I made it up to the second aid station (6.5 miles in) right around 50 minutes which was about one minute faster than last year. I knew it was solid, yet I also knew that the course would be muddy and snowy slowing me down later. I did not really care I wanted a fast first half.

The road conditions only got better: the road turned to a sloppy mud fest. Oh Boy! I enjoyed running along. Mud splashed my legs, I felt fantastic. The course veered off the main road and up a snow covered jeep road. I was expecting to be slipping a bit on the hard pack ice but it was not bad. It was just warm enough to melt the top layer of snow enough to provide traction. I kept an honest pace knowing that I’d be rolling into Turret in a few minutes (mile 12.1). I hit Turrit, in 1:25. This surprised me as I was about 2 minutes ahead of last year’s pace. I left and timed myself back to second place. I had about a 5 minute lead.

When I say second place it was actually a battle going back there. There was Andy Henshaw (4th at Leadville last year), Nick Clark, and Ryan Burch (13th at Leadville) all battling it out. I kept a solid pace going back to mile 17.2 (2:03, I think) where the course took a nice turn into the woods on old jeep roads. It was around here that I decided to just finish up the race. I had pushed it enough and the snow, ice, and mud were slowing up the running. I had a 5 minute lead and mentally I did not want to push it any more. I’m in the middle of some solid training and know when it is time to call a good day of racing done and just finish the race. I did just that: kept running without pushing the pace anymore.

I had about a mile to go and quite suddenly I realized I would indeed need to make a quick pit stop. I jumped in the bushes examined some rocks and left. I finished in 3:13:17. Andy was second in 3:18:15, closely followed by Nick in third 3:19? and Ryan in 4th in 3:20? These times are estimate as the website: http://www.salidarec.com/ccrc/Run-Through-Time-Marathon.htm is a little off. Congrats to Keri Nelson who won for the women running 3:30ish?


(The picture shows the legs after the race... and after i've had a minute to remove some of the mud.)


After getting back to Gunnison I took Cody out for a walk the next day and i taught him how fly. Even if only for a 1/2 second. Proof is in the picture:



Next up is THE Boston Marathon. I’ve got the endurance now, I just need some solid speed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Training Update




Hi everyone, Just wanted to write a quick note letting you know I'm back from my trip to Mars... or was it the moon... i forget… i was paying more attention to getting married a guess. The picture above shows Lynnette and I the day before our wedding.Training is going solid as we have experienced a rather mild winter here in Gunnison until this last weekend when it snowed almost 2 feet outside. I’ve been taking our dog Cody,




out for runs and he is getting fit. Of course all he does all day is sleep so that might help. He is a Jacksonian Lab in case you are wondering. He is also currently for sale at 50% off at $7.2 Billion, but hurry because his value is always increasing. So the next race I’ve got is Salida Marathon (http://www.salidarec.com/ccrc/Run-Through-Time-Marathon.htm) in about 3 weeks. My first 3 hour run of the year was a few days ago with Ryan Burch. I promise more later but that’s it for now… fare thee well. Timmy