The Ultra Experience
Friday, December 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The second lap started great. Beautiful and isolated the back part of the island is surreal. I was moving well and having a nice time. As I started up the big climb I became worried that in my lack of preparation for this race I failed to put enough foot and salt in my bag. I got to the aid station and ate some potato chips killing too birds with one stone and was off. It looked like Scott had somehow pulled ahead and was now 10 minutes up and Tim was 7-8 minutes back.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
I took the first few miles easy. It was less crowded than I remember. I wasn't in the big sub-24 group but in front of the main pack. It was nice. I found myself alone heading up most of the first climb. As the trail became steeper, the snow which had fallen began to stick. It was beautiful. Once we got to the ridges above tree line we were in the midst of the clouds with a fresh skiff of snow. We must of ran through at least 10 miles of snow! I felt like I was holding back but I got to Francis Peak m19 early. I backed off the next few miles and got into cruise control. It felt great. Early in the race there is this sense of optimism at the task of tackling 100 miles which makes those miles go by easily and enjoyably. Soon the temps started to rise but I don't think it ever got much above 70 degrees. I entered Big Mtn m40 feeling great. It was great to see my crew and get refreshed. Jeremy took some video of me which is posted at the bottom. You can see how fresh I look entering Big Mtn.
video footage over this section. Unfortunately this was where I hit rock bottom. I felt so sluggish heading up Bear Pass. Plus it was shockingly cold already. I pushed through my second low point and got to Upper Big Water m62 late and a little nervous.
I was very pleased with my race. I PR'd on a very difficult course by running a smart and hard race. My crew was awesome, all the volunteers were superb, and the race was well organized. My planning was effective and training sufficient. No regrets and very happy with my race!
Here's the sales pitch....YES I ran in the Altra Lone Peaks the entire way. I was planning on swapping shoes at Brighton but they exceeded my expectations and I ran the entire race in 1 pair! They were literally amazing. I'm involved with the company so I'm a bit biased but the fact that I was going to swap at Brighton but didn't says a lot. Truly the most comfortably and versatile trail shoe on the market...ok, soon to be on the market. This was a huge test for the shoes and they passed on every level!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
With this being my 4th 100 mile attempt, I hope to learn from previous experience and maximize my present fitness. In Wasatch'07 I ignorantly went for a sub-24. I came up with horrible blisters and shuffled in for a painful 29+ hr finish. At the Bear '08 I ran a solid first 60 miles but went overboard on my caffeine intake and blew up quickly. Regrettably I dropped at mile 70. I wish to this day I would have slept it off for 2-3 hours and go on to finish but in the moment I chose to DNF. At the Bear '09 I was in the worst shape of all but ran a very smart and conservative race finishing in just over 27 hours. I gained a lot of confidence from the way I ran that race.
For Wasatch 2010 I have decided that my main goal is to PR. I am arguably in the best shape over this four year stretch yet hope to run a smart race like in '09. My goal time is 26 hours. I think it would be too much of a gamble to go out at a sub 24 split. I feel confident that I can run 26 hours. I'm young and will have plenty more years to go for that sub-24. I intend to start VERY easy and be consistent in my pace from start to finish. I have never been more excited for a 100 mile race. Bring Wasatch On!
Anticipated 2010 Splits:
Big Mtn- 2:00pm
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
We started at 5 am. Pace was conservative but we were loaded up with water. A friend had some water at Bountiful B for us but with temps in the city reaching near 100, we weren't taking any chances. I had the Osprey Raptor 10 which carries 100 oz and a 20 oz handheld. The run went perfectly. The 3 mile section before Bountiful B aid was horrible. Very overgrown and rough. Aside from that section the course was great. We stopped and talked to some forest service folks, several other runners, and took 5-10 minutes at most of the aid stations. We ran the last 10 miles in due to our slow start. I felt great the whole way. It took us just over 10 hours. My race day split needs to be an hour faster but minus all the stops, talking with people, and a 12 lb pack on my back slowing me down, the pace was pretty close to what I need to run on race day. At the end I was tired but had zero issues. No stomach problems, no blisters, no real leg fatigue. It gave me a lot of confidence heading into Wasatch. Can't wait until Sept 10th!
After a 2 day rest, I went out for another run. I ended up doing a tough loop from Aspen Grove on the back side of Timp. Up Primrose Cirque, a quick and cold jump into Emerald Lake, down to Timpanokee, then back via the Alpine Loop singletrack trail. An absolutely amazing 18 mile run. I was happy with how my body felt only 3 days after the 40 miles on Saturday. I saw 43 mtn goats and a bull moose on the run. Sweeeet!!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Next Morning we hiked over Smith Forks Pass then cut cross country to the base of Anderson Pass. Dropped the packs for an ascent of Kings then back down. Headed along the Highline Trail over Tungsten Pass. Camped and caught a bunch of fish at North Star Lake.
Last day we hiked up Porcipine Pass but instead of descending, we cut across to an unnamed pass above Upper Red Castle. It was unstable rock hopping at its best. The descent to Red Castle was rough going as well but truly one of the most beautiful passes I've ever been to. Caught a bunch of fish at Upper and Red Castle lakes (some big beautiful Cutthroat Trout!) then off we were for home. Hard to say for sure but we hiked around 40 miles including 5 passes and the highest point in Utah, Kings Peak. Awesome trip!
Sunday, August 8, 2010
With no taper and a laissez-faire mentality entering the race I had three goals: 1st-Feel good the last 30 miles. 2nd- Run with Wasatch in mind. 3rd- If possible run sub-13 hours. I can gladly say I accomplished all three.
I started slow and tried to be relaxed up the first initial climb. Talking with fellow runners is nice knowing of the silence to come. I took one spill while drinking on my way down into Rock Canyon but hurt nothing except the ego. I picked up my Nathan HPL 20 and some trekking poles at AS# 3 (16.5). It worked better than expected! I'm not a huge fan of refilling or tracking water intake from a hydration bladder but the poles were awesome. Maybe those crazy Europeans whom I've been mocking all these years are onto something!?
Lightning Ridge was as beautiful as ever as the sun rose over the mountains. Dave Hunt and I commented that the time seemed quick while the effort seemed easy. What a great feeling! I continued seeming to float over the next 20 miles. I ran out of water half way from Windy (29.6) to Little Valley (38.8) but I was hydrated enough that it didn't create a problem. I took every chance I could to splash water over my body at streams and aid stations which seemed to help. I dropped my pack and poles off at Little Valley and drank as much as I could handle. BenCorrales met me just outside of Little Valley to run with me to the finish which was awesome. I really focused on nutrition and re-hydrating between Little Valley (38.8) and Bathtub (45.8). With clouds rolling in and a recently graded road, the section just flew by.
At Little Valley (38.8) Mick, who was in 2nd place, had 15 minutes on me. At Bathtub (45.8) he had 9. I wasn't too concerned about catching him until a few miles later when Jeff, a runner heading out to get his pacer, told me he was 5 minutes ahead. I was still feeling quite good and with 12 miles left in the race I decided to start pushing. The next pacer, Jarom, told me he had 4 minutes on me. By the time I got to the top of Dry Fork (52.5) I had dropped Ben my pacer and had cut the lead to 3 minutes! I pushed all the way down Dry Fork. My heart jumped when I finally saw a runner ahead of me. I rested for 30 seconds before surging...only to find Mick's wife/pacer whom he had dropped. It was a bit demoralizing. I started to slow down realizing that I still had 7-8 miles to go.
At the final aid station (56.3) I realized I might have pushed too hard those last 10 miles. The aid station folk said Mick left 3 minutes earlier and encouraged me to continue the chase. I had some road shoes in my drop bag that I threw on to help me those last 6 miles but it wasn't to be. A mile down the road I pulled over and sat on a bridge for 2-3 minutes to regroup. I had run hard all day and probably a bit too hard those last 15 miles. Not too shabby having your first problems of the day merely 5 miles from the finish. I trotted down the road taking several walk breaks trying to soak in the day. I smiled as I crossed the finish line (62.2) with a huge PR of 12:09:01 and 3rd place overall finish.
Considering that Katcina was in it's ninth running, my time was the 6th fastest ever run...it's just that two of those six times were in front of me! At least it was behind two awesome runners. Congrats to Jay for lowering his own course record down to 11:27! And to Mick whom I couldn't catch for 2nd place. He consequently held it together and crushed me over the asphalt. Top 5 rounded out with two great local guys in Dave Hunt and Roger Smith finishing 4th and 5th respectively. What an awesome day!
Several factors added up for my success, some I controlled others were just luck. I kept my heart rate and effort well below threshold nearly the whole race, I ate and drank consistently as well as appropriately, I cooled off my body at every chance, the 20 mile mtn section with trekking poles was amazing, my blisters were kept at bay due mostly I believe to my expensive (worth every penny if you blister easily) Drymax socks, and my new shoes are the greatest shoes I've ever worn in my life (no they were not Hokas but more on these new prototype trail shoes soon!). Things I can't control but went my direction: Cool temps all day, newly grated road from Little Valley to Bathtub, and....I just got lucky with a great day. Results here. Let's hope that Wasatch 100 brings similar results!
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
My legs felt fine and I felt like they could have kept going, but my lungs got crushed. My legs did feel a little slow but they weren't painful like the breathing. I seriously need to consider some tempo runs, speedwork, or something as I felt like I was at an all-out-sprint for most of the race. Definitely a fun little race though and it had some awesome prizes.
Congrats to Western States 100 finishers and winners alike.. Totally epic and one for the ages!
My pre-race picks: Actual Stats:
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
I'm not sure what went wrong. It was almost like that perfect storm where everything combined at the right time to make it a catastrophe. If one or two things had gone wrong I probably would have salvaged things. However, I think I wasn't quite recovered from Timp Marathon (+all the running I did last week/the week after Timp), I never run as well in heat, I went back to caffeinated gels for the race which I think had an effect on the shortness of breath/hyperventilating, my legs had some nagging injuries that flared up, and I had lofty goals. When you put everything on the line early in a race you are committed. I did that and fell short...which is ok. I really wanted to break 9 hrs but it wasn't my day. The guys I ran with all day finished great. Shane, Dave, and Karl 3rd-5th. Kevin Shilling won with an incredible time of 8:05. Course seemed at least 15-20 minutes slower than last year due to conditions (gaging this can be a crap shoot though and no excuse for my performance). For me it was frustrating because I felt like I was better prepared than any other year yet I ran my worst time. At least last year I knew I was in crappy shape whereas this year I trained much harder and felt way better entering the race...yet I still ran slower. Squaw 2010 will haunt me for awhile I'm afraid. Full results can be found here:
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
It's always difficult to gauge the results of a race but it seems like there are fewer competitive guys in the race this year but the chase pack is large as always. Meltzer is out, the MRC guys are injured or focused on different races, and I'm unaware of any green uber fast marathoner or Colorado guy showing up. If I'm missing anyone please let me know and I'll get this list updated!
1st- Kevin Shilling. Great shape as always and after last weeks miss turn should be able to get the win.
Allen Belshaw- Not sure if this guy is in top shape but with 2 previous Squaw wins you can never count him out.
Brian Beckstead (myself)- feeling good and ready to rip this one.
Fritz Van de Kamp
Surely there are some more that should be or are consistent top 20...help me out!
Ladies race should be a solid competitive field. Competition includes:
Birgitta Johnson Mitchell