"Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense."
- David Blaikie

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekly log: April 21-27

Week 1 of 6 in preparation for Bighorn 100.
  • Mon - 11 mi (am: weights. pm: twin FF loops at 44:20 and 43:55. Focusing on neg split.)
  • Tues - 13 mi (am: 11 mi double hill workout 51, 48. pm: 2 mi recovery run)
  • Wed - 16 mi (am: 4:20 start from Seawell. 6 single track, 10 mi on pumpkin 21:03, 20:44, 20:07, 19:47)
  • Thurs - 13.5 mi (am: 5mi. Saw first box turtle of the season. pm: 8.5)
  • Fri - 10.5 mi (pm: 2 pumpkin loops at 18:10 and 17:40 followed by a FF loop at 45:10. 82+ degrees!)
  • Sat - 10 mi (am: 10 mi. 4:20 from Seawell)
  • Sun - 26 mi (pm: 17 mi single track, 10 mi gravel roads. 4 pumpkin loops toward the end: 20:55, 19:52, 19:37, 18:39. Some heavy rain toward the end that was fun.)
Weekly total: 100

Pretty solid week on the trails of Carolina North Forest. A few more miles than I've done in the past, but enjoying my time "out there" and feeling pretty good. I focused this week on keeping my pace up and negative split most runs. I'm also keeping the total number of runs per week down to 8 or 9, which is at parity with my training for Jurassic Coast Challenge. So the plan here is more miles than JCC training, but same avg pace and same number of runs. That forces some longer harder runs. We'll see how well I can maintain this strategy heading into week 2...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Elbow Cay, Bahamas

Last week of rest before the buildup for the Bighorn 100 in Wyoming! This week was also my wife's birthday and with our 10 year anniversary right around the corner we decided to celebrate with a few nights on Elbow Cay in the Bahamas.

Elbow Cay is a six-mile long cay in the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas. Originally populated by British loyalists fleeing the newly independent United States of America in 1785, it survived on fishing, boat building, and salvage but seems increasingly oriented toward tourism now. The main village of Hope Town surrounds a beautiful protected harbor with a red and white striped 120ft lighthouse built in 1863.

I somehow managed to squeeze 44 miles in between the rum drinks and Cuban cigars. Running barefoot on the sand definitely worked some new muscles! My calves sure are sore and tight. Running around the island was a great way to see some of the areas outside of town, but we got some strange looks from the locals.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

La Sportiva Crosslite

I've been on a trail shoe bender the last 12 months, trying almost a dozen pairs across brands Montrail, Inov-8, New Balance, and La Sportiva. I've mostly settled on the New Balance 790s for training and racing, but after slipping around in the mud so much at the Jurassic Coast Challenge last month I decided to add something into the rotation that would give me better traction when needed. Enter the La Sportiva Crosslite. The description is spot on:
"A featherweight racing shoe with a burly outsole for wet and muddy conditions. Features: Simple mesh upper with integral scree guard Wide-spaced lugs promote shedding of mud and grass."
The toebox may be a little too narrow for me, but I'm going to put them to the test with the upcoming Bighorn 100 training cycle and see how it goes... may need to make a few alterations.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Red Rock Canyon

I typically wind up in Las Vegas at least once a year on business. This trip I decided to rent a car and make some time to explore a bit outside of town.

I was absolutely stunned by what I found at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

Red Rock Canyon is just a few miles west of Las Vegas and sits on some 197,000 acres within the Mojave Desert. It was only 20 minutes drive from the Strip, but a completely different world.

They pretty much called it like they saw it.... There is a spectacular red rock canyon that I ran straight through. Views like this really make me want to pick up a good geology book.

Supposedly there are wild horses, bighorn sheep, and wild burros roaming free but I didn't come across any. I did see a few rabbits and some spectacular wild flowers.

Over the past few years there have apparently been several efforts to develop this area. One plan even called for 8,400 houses in a master-planned community within the park. Concerned citizens got together and confronted the developers and won.

Toenail Removal Process

And now a brief intermission from all the pretty pictures from exotic running locations. Here's what ultrarunning is really about...

I've settled on a pretty straightforward approach to removing toenails that have been damaged on long runs. By damaged, I mean fluid has built up underneath the nail separating it from the connective tissue. If it gets infected this can be very painful. And if you don't remove the damaged nail it can obstruct the path of the new nail, which gets a little wonky. So, I just pull 'em off. The process is 1) soak in the tub, 2) grab one side of the nail with pliers, and 3) pull. Afterward I'll put on some antibacterial ointment and a band-Aid. Viola.