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!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Portland Trail Running

Went running last weekend in Portland while on a business trip. It was pretty epic. 17 miles of amazing single-track. Went past tons of waterfalls and climbed to the top of Larch Mountain which had incredible views of Mt Hood. Loved the Oregon trails!
I'm starting to do a few more long runs. With last weekends 17 miler and this weekends 20 miler I'm feeling pretty good. Mileage is hanging around 40 per week but it's been good consistent mileage. I feeling like I'm finally getting a solid base in.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How to Hydrate

I came across an interesting article a couple weeks ago that made me question (again) the way I hydrate during Ultra's. Over the last few years I've used primarily handhelds for the following reason:

-I seem to drink more with handhelds since the water is quick and convenient.
-The whole concept seems faster and more streamlined with a handheld.
-Quicker aid stations filling up the handhelds.
-I can easily calculate how much I've had to drink.
-Water belts seem to give me stomach issues with all that weight bouncing and pushing against the abdomen.
-Backpacks are too cumbersome and bulky. Plus hard to access gear.

However this research study indicates that handhelds are less energy efficient then packs. A 6 lb pack was more efficient than a 2 lb handheld! Seems crazy but heck I run barefoot around town nowadays which would have seemed crazy 2 or 3 years ago.

So I still plan on using a handheld but thinking I will use the Nathan running vest more often to carry extra gear. I usually use a pack and handheld for long training runs which seems to work well. I would like to see how a small waist pack compares in their study. I tend to use a single handheld with a small waistpack quite a bit for races and mid range training runs. All just more food for thought when running ultra's. Check out the article for yourself. It's a quick solid read.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Final 2010 Race Calender

Well I did not get in to Hardrock 100 this year (which is a good thing!) but I did draw out for Wasatch 100 like planned! In celebration of this, I ran from the Start to Fernwood and back last night. I am very excited about getting another chance at Wasatch. I finished my first and only attempt in 2007 with a time of 29:53.44. I struggled through 70 miles of serious blisters and hope to take a chunk of time off of that finish. With the Kahtoola race last week boosting my confidence and my new minimalist/barefoot approach on running, I hope to have the best year of running yet.

It looks like my race schedule will be the following:

Bonneville Shoreline Marathon- April 10th
Grand Canyon Double Crossing- April 17th
Timpanogos Trail Marathon- May 22nd
Squaw Peak 50- June 5th
Katcina Mosa 100k- August 6th
Wasatch 100- Sept 10th-11th
?Pony Express 100/50?- Oct

I would love to do more races but having prepaid for nearly all of these races it's about broken the bank. Ultra's are expensive! Still needing to fuel the addiction and the schedule looks solid.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Kahtoola 25k 2010- 1st place 2:45.38!

This years Kahtoola 25k race was even better then last years race. I was going to do the 50k but due to sickness and scheduling I opted for the 25k. Having run this in 2009 and being in much better shape this year I new I would have a great race.

The 2010 Kahtoola Series fielded quite an increase in the 50k, marathon, and 25k yet fewer in the 5k and 10k. With the 50k and marathon starting an hour earlier, I started with the 5k and 10k runners. Within 200 yds it was clear that there weren't many elite runners. I settled into 2nd place at a comfortable clip. I stayed about 100 yds behind the leader until he took a wrong turn which I shouted out and got him going the right direction. This allowed me to catch him and we ran together for a while until I took advantage of my downhill skills. I felt like I was in cruise control on the first lap. Needless to say I won the 10k in 57.50!

I still had a ways to go so I grabbed a handheld and a couple of gels and I was off on the 5k mountain loop. It was incredible. I enjoyed bumping into the 50k runners coming down the mountain. If anything I was a little too lax on the uphill. I hydrated and gel'd in preparation for the second half of the race before the trail turned downwards. Flying down the mountain I new I could break last years time and I really began to push.

The last lap was a great confidence builder. Unlike last year I didn't swap to a traction devise but kept the snowshoes on the entire race. It wasn't bad at all especially since the course was softer than last year. However, I really wanted to break last years time so I kept pushing and pushing. With two miles to go, nearly all of which was downhill, I let it rip! My training hasn't been super high mileage but it has been consistent and quicker tempo'd this year. The training paid off as I cruised to the victory in 2:45.38. It was over 10 minutes faster than last year!

Why more people don't come out and do this is beyond me. It's a fantastic way to hit the mountains and spice up the winter. I had a great time. It helped that I ran well. The course was a bit shorter this year but with worse snow conditions and having to wear snowshoes the entire race my new course record is actually legit. When John posts the full results I'll link to it. He also took a bunch of pictures that I hope to add.

After not racing very well last year I'm hoping this was the start to my best year of running yet!