Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wasatch 100

Quick Wasatch 100 overview. I finally felt recovered from Leadville. It was time to race another 100 miles. I drove over Thursday to Salt Lake City with Duncan Callahan and my brother Super Danny. Duncan was going to crew for me; Super D was going to crew for Duncan… and me. We arrived 2 hours prior to the race meeting so Duncan and I went for a quick run which I followed up with a subsequent nap. After the meeting we drove to the start, ate some food, and found a nice quite cul-de-sac ½ mile away to crash at until the wee early hours.

I slept soundly and was ready to race. At 5:00 am sharp we started our bid to pocket 100 miles in the rugged Wasatch Front. Little did I know that I’d be dropping out of the race 60+ miles later. The first 2 hours went by quickly as we slowly trudged from 5000 feet up to nearly 10,000. We were mostly in a fast walk and I felt controlled. By mile 8 the majority of our early race climbing was completed. I fell in step with the leaders including Evan Honeyfield eventual winner. Meanwhile Luke Nelson was leading about 3 minutes up. Evan and I ran and chatted. I ended up passing him on a steep uphill. We both were walking I was just walking a little quicker. I soon caught Luke and put a minute lead on both Luke and Evan.

The trail was overgrown difficult to follow at times. At one point the trail disappeared and I had to bushwhack and guess where the race went. I luckily kept finding the race ribbon showing that I was indeed on track. My minute lead was short lived as Luke and Evan caught up to me at mile 33. I was happy to have the company. We ran together through the mile 35 aid station which had frozen popsicles which helped revive me. I was overheating and starting to feel nauseated. Luke took the lead at mile 36 and never looked back, Evan followed and held off a charging Carl Metzler for 2nd place. I was unable to reciprocate. I arrived at mile 40 just a few minutes back from Evan and Luke. I felt dehydrated and drained. I rested about 5 minutes at the aid station getting much needed help from Duncan and Dan. I soon left but felt lethargic and slow. I was unable to run at a decent clip. I tripped and stumbled and somehow made it to mile 53. Duncan was planning on running with me from mile 60 but decided to go from 53.

I was deflated and felt like it was not my best day of running. With Duncan by my side I was soon able to run again. He kept me going and I felt ok. Then it came. There was a long downhill which although I felt good on, I lost my cookies at mile 58. Then again at mile 60 and 61 and 62. I stumbled into the mile 62 aid station feeling horrible. I puked several more times in the next 30 minutes all while sitting in the aid. After an hour of hanging out in the aid station I finally could keep light food down. To continue or not, that was my question. I decided to call the race. I did not feel like stumbling for 12 hours and 40 miles just to walk and maybe jog a little. I dropped out.

Duncan, Danny, and I started the drive back to Gunnison . We camped out in Price and finished the drive the next day (Saturday). Once home I started feeling poor. That night I went to bed with a fever. On Sunday and Monday I slept or rested all day. I was congested and felt like puke; I still did not want to eat. My fever finally broke Tuesday morning.

Wasatch was fun but I felt horrid. I think I was coming down with the flu yet I just did not notice any symptoms prior to racing. At any rate, I want to come back and race well at Wasatch. Until we meet again, Wasatch, until we meet again.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Leadville 100 Mile Race

The morning had come after a night filled with saxophone, thunder, rain, and lightening. The former was a short lived nuisance of a Grandma in an adjacent apartment telling her grandson to play… at 9:00 pm. Duncan and I stayed with legendary Bill Dooper who graciously housed and cared for us.

I towed the starting line awake with a small touch of grogginess overwhelmed by nervous excitement, I was ready to race. We were off running at a steady yet easy conversational pace. By Boat Ramp I was leading a small troupe of runners: Ryan Burch http://ryanwburch.blogspot.com/ , Dylan Bowman http://dylanjbowman.blogspot.com/ , Ryan Sands http://ryansandes.com/blog/ , Duncan Callahan http://strategicendurance.com/ , Neal Gorman http://nealgorman.blogspot.com/ , and Jeff Browning http://www.gobroncobilly.com/ . About 100 yards in front of us were the 3 leaders: Mike Arnstein, and two others.

At Mayqueen I zipped through pausing just long enough to top off my bottle. Dylan flew through faster. I caught up to him on the Colorado Trail up to Haggerman Pass Road. Unbeknownst to us we were now in 2nd and 3d place behind Mike as the other two ‘leaders’ had paused longer at the aid station. Once on Haggerman we were certain that we were now 2nd and 3d. I picked it up a little to catch mike who was throwing down. I soon caught mike and we chatted. Then about halfway down Sugarloaf, Dylan, Burch, and Ryan Sands caught up to us. This was the pack I was expecting.

We ran together but Mike kept putting on surges. I would follow suit simply because our pace was right on for the goal half of 7:50. But at Fish Hatchery Mike ran through again without so much as a pause giving him a 40 second lead. I kept at it. By mile 33 I had my first low point in the race forcing me to slow up and give up my chase of Mike. He was now 3 minutes up. Dylan, Burch, and Ryan Sands caught up back up to me (I only had a 30 second lead anyways), and they lead exchanging the lead down to Twin Lakes. Finally at mile 37 I started to roll again and actively participated in the chase peloton. We rolled into Twin Lakes in a pack an estimated 2 minutes back from Mike.

At this point Dylan, Burch, and I casually ran over the marshes and through the river to Grand Hope Pass’s base we went. Sands was only a minute back from us. I started the climb going a little faster than my compatriots. By half way up I was 1 minute up on Dylan and Burch, yet surprisingly there was Sands 15 yards behind me. He was patient, methodical, and looked strong. I had been having some salt issues and cramps going up Hope so I took a few salt tabs. The cramps increased, mostly in my quads, so kept taking the salt tabs. I ended up taking 12 salt tabs the hour prior to the Hope Pass aid station. Each tab was 340 mg of sodium and 21 mg of potassium. This equaled about 4,000 mg of sodium and 260 mg of Potassium.

With all this salt and potassium I would think my cramps would subside, which they would in 5 minute interludes only to return with full force. At the Hope Pass aid station I knew I had to break and get my electrolyte balance back under control. I stopped letting Sands trudge on solitarily. 3 minutes uphill I could see Mike in the lead. I drank 12 oz of Coke and had the most amazing half cup of instant mashed potatoes with salt. Actually, they might have been salt with a dash of mashed potatoes. Normally I might have gagged from the high potent salt mixture. This time I devoured it. With the proper salt I set off in 5th place in hot pursuit of Dylan and Ryan who had passed through.

They crested and pass about 1 minute up on me. I descended after them with a static and nonthreatening pace. I would take it easy down hope so as not to destroy my quads. Yet, there at the bottom of hope, to my surprise, I ran into Ryan and Dylan. We trudged up road to Winfield. The road is hot, dusty, and beckons one to go loony. I made a quick pit stop and continued in hot pursuit. Nearing Winfield I knew I was sitting pretty. Sands was 5 minutes up in first place, then Mike was 4 minutes up, Dylan was 3 minutes on me, and Burch was about 1 minute up.

I stopped at Winfield for a quick break eating and drinking. My difference in weight was negligible. I had neither gained nor lost weight. I left Winfield ready to start racing. Grant, my pacer, carried all that I needed. Going up Hope we maintained a consistent non taxing hike, walk, jog. By the summit I had drained two 16 oz bottles one of water, the other electrolyte. Grant soon filled up at the aid station while I kept trudging downhill. Burch also had to stop at the aid station propelling me to 4th place. We kept a solid pace but did not kill it (indeed Duncan went over 4 minutes faster than I did). Soon we overcame Mike who seemed to be having a rough time and going through a low spot. I was now in 3d.

I ran into Twin Lakes, mile 60, feeling confident, strong, and ready to chase down the 2 remaining leaders who were now 5 to 15 minutes up on me respectively. Sully, my next pacer kept me going and eating as we trudged up out of Twin Lakes. The next couple hours went by quickly. I kept running really never feeling all that bad. We kept getting reports that we were 15, 20, 25 minutes back. I figured we were still on 17 hour pace, which was where I wanted to be. I started to slow but not dramatically… I was still good. I went through pipeline and was confident.

Between pipeline and Fish Hatchery I started to falter. I think it was a lack of electrolyte. I had been drinking mostly water and craving salt. I ended up slowing more and walking the mile into Fish Hatchery. Meanwhile, Neal Gorman passed me and Mike would pass me in the aid station. I stopped in Fish Hatchery drinking the much needed Coke yet really not eating that much.

I left Fish Hatchery feeling horrible. Slow, tried, drained, worthless. All of which were not true. Brian, my pacer did a fabulous job of negotiating my eating. He got me to eat, to jog, to drink, to go. Over Sugarloaf my energy came back as Brian made me eat 3 goos,2 gels, 12 oz of coke and 14 oz of water. This was perfect, I was rolling again.

At Mayqueen I drank some hot Romen soup, and then got going with Scott Drum who took over for Brian. 5 minutes later I puked up the Romen. From there, for the next hour and a half I could not keep any liquid nor food down. I finally resolved to run the last 7 miles without food or water. Towards the end I was able to take the smallest sip to wet my parched mouth. At times I trudged on stopping only to puke. During one of these ‘breaks’ Ryan, and Jeff Browning passed me. Scott got me through. I trudged up the last few miles of the course on Boulevard, trying to maintain and finish, which I did in 7th place in 19 hours 2 minutes 4seconds.

Sands had gone on to win in 16:46, with Dylan Bowman in the fastest non-winning time of about 17:19.
Complete results are here: http://assets.ngin.com/attachments/document/0020/6737/LT100_Run_Overall_30_Plus.pdf

Overall, solid run even with some stomach and electrolyte issues. It was great getting to race with friends and great competitors. I want to come back and challenge Leadville yet again.

Special thanks to SportHill http://sporthill.com/ and their continued support, my support team and pacers, and old friends, teachers, and coaches who showed up. I appreciate all the support and fellowship that you extend. Thank you!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Leadville Countdown

Leadville’s clock is ticking, and Saturday will be here in a moment that seems to last an eternity. I’ve been looking forward to a return to Leadville for some time and I will not be disappointed. The competition is stacked… as it seems to always be these days. I’ve put in the miles and the time of training, so to wait and trust that I am indeed ready. This week I’ve been resting up and preparing mentally for a long day. I go to bed and Leadville is on my mind. I think of all the training that I’ve put in. I wake up and Leadville is already on my mind. Hours of running, joy and pain, laughter and crying mixed with desire and heart. It will be great. I am prepared. I am ready. I am a Timmy.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Summer… It has been balanced and even, beautiful and eventful, with a small dash of spontaneity and a large dash of adventure thrown in as well. In early June Lynnette and I went out to Virginia. This was to be our 5th honey moon (I think). It was full very little running, lots of sights to see, and one solid race. We landed in Dulles Airport, drove north a few miles to the Potomac River. Here was were the 50 mile North Face race “DC” race was to be held. The following morning dark and early the race got underway just as the first daylight rays were touching the sky. I started off easy as the pace set by the leaders seemed a bit overwhelming. This was my first race in almost 2 months. I had had to deal with a planter fasciitis in my foot the previous month and was finally starting to feel good. I wanted a good race, consistent and strong. I was tied with Dennis Ball and 1 other runner in about 10th place. The 3 of us settled into a solid consistent pace and just rattled off the miles slowly passing runners.

We chatted away and slowly made up ground as we passed the slowing lead runners. By mile 20 it was just Dennis and I as we had moved up to 6th and 7th place. At the half way mark the time was about 3:17. I managed to move up one more place during the second half, running about a 3:25. I finished in 5th place in a time of 6:42:05. I was really happy with my race simply because I felt like I ran consistent. The race went by the Great Falls of the Potomac http://www.nps.gov/grfa/naturescience/falls.htm which I highly recommend visiting. It was a little surprising suddenly seeing and hearing such a force of nature.

Our Virginia trip was amazing. Lynnette and I stayed with our Aunt Rosily and Uncle Lenard, picked snow peas, visited West Virginia, went up Spruce Mt the highest point West Virginia, went to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier, and George Washington’s Mt Vernon. We also flew over the Shenandoah Valley in Mark and Sue’ 2 seater airplane (our cousin). We went to the National Mall where we visited 10 museums and to Arlington where we saw the changing of the guard.

Upon arriving back in Gunnison I promptly packed and left within days for a 2 week adventure to the West Coast. Scott Drum, Duncan Callahan http://strategicendurance.com/ , Ryan Burch http://ryanwburch.blogspot.com/ , and I left for CA. Ryan was going to run the Western States 100 mile race where I paced him. Unfortunately, do to poison oak Ryan had to drop out of the race. Ryan drove back with Nick Clark http://www.irunmountains.blogspot.com/ while Duncan flew back. Meanwhile, Scott and I drove up North. We spent the next week as a sort of running and climbing camp. We ran daily and climbed Mt. Shasta, Mt. Rainier, and Mt Baker.

At the end of the 2 weeks I felt strong and ready for some solid training. Since being back in Gunnison I had a great month of training, with lots of miles and mountains. Last week I had my last hard long run prior to Leadville. I ran the first 40 miles of the course. I finally feel ready. Leadville is going to fun, it is going to hurt, it is going to be epic.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fruita: Desert RATS 25 miler

What a great weekend in Fruita! I had had a difficult week this last week just feeling slow, lethargic, and drained. But the weekend did come and Duncan http://duncancallahanrunning.blogspot.com/ and I drove off Friday afternoon for Fruita. I had been planning on running the 50 mile race in Fruita but decided on Friday to back it off and run the 25 miler. Sometimes you just have to listen to your body. Duncan and I picked up our packets and headed off for an early bedtime at our hotel. We were big time’in it as Duncan, Adam St Pierre, and I had decided to get a luxury… a motel. I slept well and rolled out of bed around 4:40am.

We arrived at the start about 5:50 just in time to get a decent parking place. It was cold out, so after checking in I waited in the car to stay warm for the 6:30 start. Finally it was race time! I went up to the line and chatted with a few runners. I was still debating about what to whether or not to wear my long sleeve when Ryan Burch http://ryanwburch.blogspot.com/ showed up convinced me to drop it… I’m glad I did. Ryan was dong a 25 mile training run and ran the course in the opposite direction.

Shortly after I heard a countdown: 10,9,8… and then we were off. There was a $100 premium at 1.3 miles in. I was just planning on a fast run to get to it but Daniel Goding was off racing. This in turn meant that I had to really haul. I got to it in about 7:15… I guess it was a 5:20 first mile. I slowed up let Daniel have the lead and tried to recover after such a hard effort. My throat felt scratchy and my lungs felt off after breathing in the cool early air. Dylan Bowman http://dylanjbowman.blogspot.com/ was right behind me but he was content to take it easy for the first few miles. I sipped water to pacify my sore throat. Another runner came and passed us but he and Dan were only 30 yards ahead of us so I just sat tight.

After the first aid station at mile 6 (our time was about 42 minutes) I was finally feeling ready to start rolling again. There was a short hill where Dylan and I caught up to the two leaders and passed them. This was about 7 miles in. From here Dylan and shared the lead at a solid clip. The pace promised that race was now between us yet was relaxing enough not to proverbially kill us. Just before the 12.5 mile aid station was a short climb where I took the lead with a little surge. A minute later I ran through the aid station as Dylan stopped for fuel. I was feeling strong and just started rolling down the miles. The single track terrain made this maddeningly fun. I was crazy and knew it and loved it. The views of the remote meandering ribbon strip Colorado with adjacent cliff and broad precipices all the time side by side to the single track were majestic.

I had built up a 40 second lead i guessed and kept rolling. I hit the mile 19 aid station at 2:20ish. After this is an 800 foot climb up Mack Ridge. I felt a slow and tired going up the ridge, but on top I felt like I was able to start rolling again. The finish finally showed up… I ran 3:09:10. Dylan ran a great time of 3:11:50. Full results are here: http://geminiadventures.com/new/?page_id=125

Duncan ran great in the 50… he won it.
A solid weekend for Gunnison…now to get more base under me… and a 50.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Salida Run Through Time Marathon

Me, Super Ultra Running legend Bill Dooper, and Ryan Burch (photo by Burch)

Hi everyone. After some much need time off from the unknown blog world I have returned. I’m fit and ready for a great season. I’ve raced twice this year. Last month I ran the Moab Red Hot 55K. http://www.grassrootsevents.net/node/2 Without too many details I ran hard but hydrated poorly and bonked with 2 miles to go. I hobbled in the last two miles being overtaken by Dakota Jones who won in 4:02, while I came in second at 4:06.

This last weekend I ran the Salida Run Through Time Marathon http://salidarec.com/ccrc/
The race had some difficulty getting the proper permits for their traditional run therefore, they had to change the course. New this year was a fantastic 5 mile single track addition.
Lynnette and I drove over in the morning with Cody and the race was soon underway. It went out relaxed compared to previous years. By mile 1 there was the front pack consisting of Nick Clark http://www.irunmountains.blogspot.com/ , Ryan Burch http://ryanwburch.blogspot.com/ , Dan Vega, and I.

Nick and I were leading the procession. We hit the incline, which is really a 7 mile long hill with 2000 feet gained. From here I started an up-tempo pace. I was able to gain about 20 seconds on Nick but no more. At the 2nd water station somewhere near 7 miles I hit an almost identical time compared to years past. I was at 51 minutes. I grabbed a quick drink and left only to see Nick was right on my heels. I pressed on a little harder trying to put a gap between Nick and I. I got to the modified and early turn around (because of the modified course) at 1:14:20. I then timed the run back to Nick. It was 40 to 45 seconds which meant I was 1:20 to 1:30 ahead. This was a small lead but I’d take. Dan and Ryan were in close pursuit. I started hammering back to the aid station (the one I went by in 51 minutes). I felt great. Then ½ a mile before the aid station I got a side cramp that slowed me down considerably. I felt like dropping out of the race.

I slowed up and regrouped mentally. I got to the aid station took more water and left. I could see Nick now again. He had caught up and was only 20-30 seconds back again. I decided not to worry and just take it easy. Over the next 3 miles the side cramp would come in go with less intensity. Finally it left. At bends in the trail and roads I’d see Nick. I was slowly gaining on him.

I hit the 20.1 aid station at 2:19. This was where the trail deviated from past years onto the new single track. I was in my element on it and figured I had a 90 second lead over Nick. It was hard to maintain a quick pace as the track meandered constantly. The single track ran down the front of “S” Mountain in Salida and the race finished. I won for the 3d year in a row with a time of 3:05:50 about 3 minutes ahead of Nick, who was closely followed by Dan and Ryan.

At the Finish (photo from Ryan Burch)

My time for the last 3 years is as follows:

2009: 3:03:42 Course Record, fast day
2010: 3:13:17 Slow muddy slick day
2011: 3:05:50 Fast day slower course though, great time

I got to break 3 hours there one of these years…