"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

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fitting it in...

Running is really spilling over into the rest of my life lately, sometimes for the better. A couple examples...

Monday I went for an 8 mile run with my 8 year old, Caleb. This was his first adventure running beyond a mile or two and he did great! The farther we ran the faster he got (negative split by 30 mins!). I don't either of us had any idea that he could run that far, or that he would have as much fun doing it. It was really great seeing him discover this talent and I'm very proud of him. More on Caleb's blog.

Tues am I drove up to Washington DC for a 2 day conference called Capital Connection, where I got to listen to a bunch of early and expansion stage companies looking for venture capital investments. The Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, keynoted day 1 followed by former Governor Tommy Thompson and former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt. Top notch! After day 1 I found a little time to weave in a run down around the Capitol.

In reality, sometimes the miles just don't fit. Tues and Thur mornings my wife runs 5:30-6:30 and I have trouble getting in any miles these mornings. Wed of this week I needed to catch up on work and focus on the business relationships that brought me to DC and I didn't log any miles for the first day in a few weeks. Now I'm looking at 4 days of 20 miles per day in order to hit my weekly goal... doable, but will it "fit" with the rest of life's balance? We'll see...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Training Log: Week 2 for Hardrock

Week 2 of a 9 week training cycle for Hardrock 100.

This week's Hardrock picture (on my desktop background) served as a reminder of the many miles of uphill hiking I need to prepare for. I was expecting to identify more with the guy in yellow here, but had a great week.

  • Mon: 13 miles (am: 6 mi, pm 7 mi)
    Felt great in the am... wondering if I dreamed the whole MMT pacing thing. Afternoon run felt progressively crappy - may have been the big pastrami sandwich for lunch!
  • Tues: 12 miles (am: 12 mi).
    Retreat to forest roads for some easier footing after the rocks of MMT. 2 sets of pumpkin loops steady 18-19 mins.
  • Wed: 4 miles (am: 4 mi)
    Didn't feel like running much. All my energy is going into figuring out how to get my family to CO for the time between San Juan Solstice and Hardrock. My mental model is *Sabbatical*.
  • Thur: 8 miles (am: 2 mi, pm: 6mi stairs)
    Work! Feeling the time and energy crunch training has put on me lately. Trying to squeeze in a few miles anywhere.
  • Fri: 24 miles (am: 12 mi, pm: 12 mi)
    Feeling well rested! Snuck out early (4:20 am) for some easy miles, then 9 miles of stairs and 3 warmdown in the afternoon.
  • Sat: 25 miles (am: 19 mi, pm 6 mi)
    Felt a little tired toward the end of the am run, but coming back in the afternoon felt great.
  • Sun: 14 miles (am: 7 mi, pm 7 mi)
    Easily the best I have felt in months. The more I run the better I feel...?

Total: 100M

Feeling much more
comfortable with a couple weeks of training behind me. No tweaks and pains, or any real soreness except for a bad toenail situation from kicking a rock at MMT. Feeling ready to run each time out.

Next up...

Try to hold onto the mileage through a busy work week.
Continue to hit the stairs and start looking for some sustained downhill. Focus on stretching and core strengthening. Continue to blend in some faster paced runs.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

MMT 100 Pacing

This past weekend I paced for a second time at the Massanutten Mountain Trail 100. One day I'll actually run this race... or maybe not! The trail is really technical and slow going. In many places it is so rocky it's hard to figure out where the trail actually is! See picture...

I had a blast out there for 12 hrs pacing fellow Trailhead David "
Balto" Dirito. This was his debut at the 100M distance and did phenomenally well - 26:35 for 16th place! The weather was really rough this year - warm early in the day Sat and then thunderstorms and lots of rain throughout the evening and early morning hours Sunday. All in all just a terrific time and a great long run in preparation for Hardrock!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Training Log: Week 1 for Hardrock

Week 1 of a 9 week training cycle for Hardrock 100.

The picture here was my desktop background for week 1. I'll rotate new pictures in each week during the training cycle.

It was a little tough ramping up the miles after taking a couple low mileage weeks, but nothing too stressful and by the weekend I was feeling smooth for the long run at MMT 100. I tried to load the miles during the early part of the week and then rest a little so I would be ready for anything while pacing. Definitely sleeping more this week and focusing on getting enough protein.
  • Mon: 20 miles. (am: 12mi, pm: 8mi.)
    4:30 am start for 2 sets of loops from Seawell. Slow and comfortable. Nice temp with light rain. Afternoon was a very relaxed 1:16 Ocho.
  • Tues: 22 miles. (am: 17mi, pm: 5mi)
    3:10 in the morning all single track with the hill route in the middle. A little tired by the end. Couple pumpkin loops in the afternoon at 17:50 and 17:45.
  • Wed: 4 miles (am: 4)
    Easy 4 miles looking for the crowd around Wilson park.
  • Thurs: 5 miles (am: 5)
    Couple pumpkin loops and warmdown.
  • Fri: 6 miles (am 6)
    Freaky Friday plus a little. A little amped after taking it easy the last couple days.
  • Sat: 43 miles (MMT pacing)
    12 hours on feet and some challenging technical trails at Massanutten Mountain Trail 100. Felt great! Mini taper worked fine.

Total: 100M

Happy to be running right now and enjoying the hard work. I've literally been thinking about this race for 10 years and will not blow it now by failing to prepare!

Next up...

Feeling pretty good right now and expecting to plateau here for the next couple weeks. I think this week I'll work my climbing muscles a little more. Noticed at MMT that a 1000' climb felt like a big hill... need to adjust my views there!

My feet were pretty beat up after the wet conditions at MMT too. Need to start toughening them up a little more this week too (don't ask).

It seems a little strange to prepare so vigorously for a race that I only hope to finish. I'll work on some stretch goals this week too... right now I have no idea what place or time I should expect.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Matt Hart's Ultrarunning Video

This pretty much sums up my love of trail ultra running, particularly the Western variety.

As Matt puts it, "for me this is simply about putting my passion on display in hopes you will catch the bug. My goal is to simply inspire you to run trail... period."

UltraRunning from Matt Hart on Vimeo.

Red Rock Canyons 2009

Another great trip to Red Rock Canyon during this year's IBM IMPACT conference.

This year I lead a group of 12 other IBMers on a 2 hour tour of the area including a great jaunt right down the canyon floor. This is by far my favorite section of the Red Rock Canyon - it's about 10 degrees cooler and some light climbing is needed to get through some sections!

More to explore here, but that will have to wait until my next trip to Vegas!