The Ultra Experience

Here's to the adventures of my life which are usually ultra marathon trail running or fly fishing but may include other trips, experiences, thoughts, opinions, or pretty much whatever I want. As co-founder of Altra Footwear my life and adventures seemingly revolve more around developing and promoting the best footwear in the world...and I love it!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tackling the Beast

I just hadn't been feeling well most of the year. I couldn't put my finger on it but my body was off kilter. After taking most of June off running I started back slowly in July but most runs would end the same...massive stomach aches a mere 25-30 minutes into each run. As I would walk back to the trailhead I would curse my misfortune but I didn't know what was wrong. Aside from stomach issues an overall drain of energy followed me wherever I went and whatever I did.

Finally towards the end of July after struggling though 35 mile weeks, my wife booked an appointment to go visit a doctor ( I hate going to the doctor!). She feared I had contracted a parasite from our Middle East trip in the spring and since my primary problem since then including Squaw Peak 50 was severe stomach pain and diarrhea, I conceded. Come to find out I had a bacteria called h. pilori which, as in my case, was accompanied with a peptic ulcer!

Within days of starting my medication I was feeling significantly better and starting to crank out the mileage. The Uintah trip gave me even more confidence when at the end of a tough week of backpacking I easily cranked out 22 miles. That only feed my momentum and now for the month of August I have comfortably run 311 miles including 96 miles this past week and feeling better then ever.

What have I decided to do with this sudden comeback? Head back to my former nemesis The Bear 100. I sent in the application today and am fully committed with one goal in mind...finish in under 30 hours. Pride aside I intend not to race this event but to run it. There is a distinct difference. Less stress, less pride, but a more controlled focus. The DNF from last years event has haunted me and I intend to get the monkey off my back by running a smart and solid Bear. There are other aspects to my sudden increase in mileage. I'll post on the biomechanical changes on my next post. For now it's time to tackle the bear!

Still feeling good somewhere around mile 25 w/ Christian Johnson. Bear 100 2008.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

B's Uintah Grand 8 Route

The group on top of Kings Peak

The Uintah Mountains were epic as usual. This trip was especially fun as I hand picked a unique route that led us over some of the most remote and highest spots in Utah. I call it the "Beckstead Grand 8 Route" as we did a gnarly figure 8 through some of the best terrain in the world. Two people bailed just days before and it ended up being Shane Martin and myself on the adventure.

The route

We ended up catching several hundred fish (I swear it's not a fish story!), hiked over 70 miles, bagged four 13,000 foot peaks in one day, went over 7 mountain passes, endured several rain lightning and snow storms, while having an awesome time all in a mere five days. Packs were max of 30 lbs and got lighter every mile for an absolutely epic trip. Pictures speak louder than worlds so check out the pics and the route!

Shane heading to Milk Lake

Also, as everyone knows I work for a gear shop but are people interested in gear reviews from my experiences? I love to support my shops but this blog is not a shameless plug. However, I do have the opportunity to try out some of the latest and greatest gear so let me know if you want to hear about the good and the bad. I wouldn't mind giving an objective analysis on the gear I use but I don't want people to feel like I'm constantly pushing my business, gear, or sponsors on people.

August 15th Snow Storm in Upper Yellowstone Basin

Anyway, it's a great time to be alive so cram it all in as summer is quickly coming to a close. Happy trails and adventures to all.
Looking south along the Kings-Emmons Ridge
View from the ridge.
Milk Lake
Fresh Spring Water!
Red Castle