Monday, October 27, 2014

Glacial Trail 50M.. Bring Back the Memories

Well heres the good news! Im getting a lot better at not being such wordy bastard and creating 10 page race reports, which realistically who ever wants to read right?? Although Im still deciding on whether or not to keep this blog up.. I do love writing and all but with all the blogs out there, I think one fewer would be nice, and I've been simplifying my running, or really life in general I feel like- More on this later, maybe..

The trip back home- to Wisco didn't start out as planned. After having the car brake down 2 hours into the 17 hour drive, Ashely and I had to resort to flying. Which all in all ended up being almost better. I got to go on my first commercial flight, got to arrive to Wisco hours ahead of time, and even got to drive out to Wisconsin Rapids to watch my old Cross country teams race- Which brought back some pretty vivid memories.

The Night before the race!
Although Ive volunteered at glacial for the past 3 years, this year I could actually run it due to not being in XC anymore. Being back in Wisco, watching my old xc team race, visiting my old work-TJs Harbor Restaurant, and finally getting to be back home for a day defiantly felt odd, almost like the feeling that I'm actually growing up. It really put emphasis on how much really has changed in my life. That "feeling" carried over throughout the entire race of glacial, as I was really left in my own head for 46 of the miles.

Start- Butler Lake
As race morning took place, Ashley, Karen (Ashley's mom) and I drove up to Greenbush, and before I knew it everyone was lining up on the road. As I took off down the road I wondered if it was really a good idea not to wear a headlamp. I was thinking it'd only be dark for 40 minutes or so, and the trail isn't that technical..Well it actually turned out to be a good idea as a pack of 6 of us took off down the ice age trail, I ended up stealing off everyone else's lights.

Not even 5 miles in and already trekking by myself
Before you know it the sun started to come out and as I figured, Nic and Anthony both took off pushing the pace. Soon enough I took off from the pack of 4, and to my surprise I would run by myself for the next 46 miles. As thoughts started to wander I was shocked at how easy the hills felt as I was actually running all of them, which just 4 months ago I wouldn't even think about trying. This kind of worried me, "Am I going to crash and burn?" I thought.

As I reached butler in what felt like no time, I was put in smiles by all the familiar faces of Karen, Heather, Barb-The list just goes on and on, and after trying to cram 7 gels into my shorts I was off. All by myself I put in some tunes and just cruised along the hardest section of the course between Butler and Mauthe. Just as I hoped I was eating fantastic, 1 GU and 1 Roctane every hour-with no stomach problems! Although as I reached Mauthe I was craving the water since I wasn't carrying any due to the airport snatching both my water bottles...

Malthe-New Fane
As once again seeing Marty- After watching him get married couple weeks back! I pounded 4-5 cups of water and took off after being told I was in 3rd. Which I kept getting surprised at how long I was spending at aid stations..Im just too used to hundos maybe. As I crept closer and closer to New fane, I kept becoming more and more confident Id catch Nic and Tony. Just as my hopes got up I see Nic just hauling towards me 1.5ish miles away from the aid station. Shit. Oh well, the thought of catching up to him was thrown out the window. I was shocked Tony wasn't with him, but to my surprise I would come across him a mile later.

New Fane-Butler
I got to New Fane at 3:55 feeling pretty dam good, and relatively confident I could go sub 8. I then took off relatively fast- probably a little too fast being all excited to try and catch up to Tony. I was really surprised though at how close people felt to me. I was still keeping the 9 minute or so pace and soon enough I caught Tony, who didn't seem to feel the greatest. I slowly started to feel it through this section, but I started to wander off into my past. Memories flashed back, and the feeling that those memories will never be the same, almost haunted me. Visiting the cross-country meet, visiting my old work, visiting the Applebees where we all hung out at, running on the farm field trails all around my house, really started to make me have a gut feeling of wanting all of it back. My childhood slowly started playing through my head and I really couldn't believe it was all gone. A part of me wished I could go back, whether that be 5 years old or 15 years old..

Butler-Hwy 67
I reached Butler to find Ashley all in smiles, along side of her mom and Dad. With Barb screaming how amazing Ashley did- winning and getting the CR for the 50k...Although I was not very surprised since I was pretty confident she would do just that! As I took off up the stairs, more memories of all the times, the good and the bad I had at butler lake flashed through my head. I just couldn't get over that I'm an "Adult" yet, I still felt, I still do feel like a kid, and I really still wanted to be a kid. As I got closer to closer to Hwy 67, I was getting more and more rough. Although yet I was feeling pretty miserable, I was wishing at the same time that I could be doing this every weekend..Once I reached Hwy 67 I found out I was right on the edge of 8 hours, and as I reset my watch to try and get a 9:08 pace for the next 6.7 miles I lost pretty much all confidence.

Hwy 67-Finish

I started out hauling as I looked at my watch and seeing sub 8 minute pace but that didn't last too long as soon enough I saw 10 minute pace. I was pounding my gels, one every 10 minutes, since for a couple minutes I would perk up and get a little bit of relief. I would go back and forth between hauling and feeling confident that Im going to break 8, to walking up a hill thinking "ahh who cares" soon enough I was at the Greenish group camp where I saw Ashley once again with Tony next to her. What???? I screamed to Tony- only to hear it wasn't my day. Thats what I was thinking too I thought. The trail off skirting from the Ice age seemed so close, but I would  forget something before it, and tell myself "thats right its right after this!" only to find out theres another "something" before it...Soon enough I saw the sign with a mile left and looked on my watch. 1:54 PM. Dam, Ill just jog it in then, and so I did only to see the sign as I was coming in read 8:00:44. UGHH! I sighed, I totally could of broken 8, oh well..

I was still insanely happy with my finish, and couldn't believe it was all over. I spent the next several hours talking and congratulating everyone, but at the same time dreading knowing I have to make the 17 hour drive back to Colorado within just a couple hours. If only I could fly back, and spend more time with everyone I thought.. Oh how I do miss being a kid, oh how I do miss everyone from Wisco, but hey Colorado is treating me well and as for Wisconsin, I'm sure they'll be plenty of more memories being created. All I know is I need to be thankful and really enjoy the time I have now since 5-10 years from now I'm going to be wishing I was back in College and carefree..and no matter how badly I want to have those memories back, its the past for a reason

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Colorado: The life

Well what can I say, I'm still in the denial stage that this all may actually be real. It seemed just yesterday that I was still a kid, a high schooler. And now, just like that, Im owning my own place, paying for my own food, washing my own clothes, paying for all my bills but this time its different, theres no going back to the way things "Used to be" after a month in Colorado like last summer.
Its nice, but different. Im back to climbing or at least scrambling the flatirons, daily, usually. Instead of my runs being 90% roads and 90% by myself, they're now 90% trails, and 90% of the time I have company. Ive been back to searching that "feeling" the feeling you don't get back in WI. That moment when you get scared, and your life flashes before your eyes, the moment in time when you know if your foot slips you're plummeting to a thousand feet below you, and joining the hundreds of others who were so called "foolish and naive" Its indescribable and most people never reach it or fear in discomfort when they do, but its a pure moment if you search for it. You don't appreciate your life more than when you are out for a route up a crag or a 14er and multiple times through out the route you need to focus as your life truly depends on it.

Its been a while since I have raced, since Kettle Moraine 100 actually. Although I've been going to quite a bit of races recently, crewing, pacing etc, I haven't raced one. Still don't know whether or not I will be racing in September or October, I'm defiantly craving a race, but we'll see. Although I am planning on running Ozark 100, and am pretty psyched to get back to training hard. Throughout the past couple of months Ive been coming up with the "perfect training runs" or basically just pretty epic runs id like to do leading up to Ozark. Although I highly, highly doubt Id do them although its still nice to create a list:

Triple Pikes peak Descent: 36 Miles, 23,000 ft of Descent
In reality Im guessing Ill just shoot for the triple pikes peak descent, because honestly how epic is that?! 36 miles with 23k of descent?!? Although for those who are unfamiliar with it, there would be a break between each descent for when I take the train back up. Which is why it interest me so much- The planning its taking is tremendous with having to link everything train ride up with the scheduled set times. So much could go wrong, I love it. And what better way to train for a Hundo than to absolutely trash your quads!

Boulder Skyline- From the House: 30 Miles, 16,000 ft of Verticle Change
 I'm sure I'll also do the boulder skyline from my house- although its not nearly as hard as the others, its been my focus of linking up all the trails that start just a hundred feet from my apartment. 

Rim to Rim to Rim:  41 Miles, 22,000 ft of Vertical Change
If I'm lucky enough I'll get to do R2R2R beginning of October, hopefully even with some runners from back in Wisco. 

First Seven Peaks of Nolan's 14: 51 Miles, 47,000 ft of Verticle Change
This actually was my ultimate goal of the summer, but with not much weekends off, and the ones I do have usually ending up crewing/pacing at races made this pretty hard to attain. Im sure I could of squeezed it in if I really tried, hell I might even still try to squeeze it in, but what most people don't understand is Nolans isn't a normal run, or even FKT type event. Its route finding.

The finisher rate just keep on getting lower- in reality it will always be unknown but still.. Just 2 years ago there was 6 finishers, since then at least 4-10 people have tried it monthly basically every spring/summer month, and now there is only 9 finishers (Correct me if Im wrong)

The reason being? Of course it is physically hard, but just look at everyone's DNF report. Got lost. Got on the wrong ridge line. Got lost. Its simple- the DNFs happen due to route finding since most people don't realize how important it is to scout this route. It doesn't matter if you spend 24/7 online doing research about Nolans 14, there is only a limited amount of resources. Being on the route, and getting extremely familiar with the correct most efficient route is hugely important due to the fact its going to be extremely hard when your 40 hours sleep deprived. Thus why I wanted to do the first 7 of the 14 peaks, and get this route in my head, so next year I can focus primarily on the 2nd half. 

Double Maroon Bells 4 Pass loop: 54 Miles, 32,000 ft of Vertical Change
I actually spent an amazingly ridiculous weekend in Aspen, primarily with Ashley, but got to spend some time with Cassie, Mik, and Yanick. To make a long story short, I was lucky enough to do the beautiful 4 pass loop on Sunday- August 24th (Which I hope to write about soon) but probably experienced the worst 27 miles of my life. Although I still had a ton of fun, but having this horrible experience made me want to do a "out and back" style of the course. Doing it clockwise, than turning around and doing it counter clockwise.

The reason why the loop really intrigues me is the "out there aspect" After the first 6 or 5- depending the direct you take, you are fully out there. This includes no clean water, no short cutting back, no cabins/shelters, no Starbucks shops. So once you commit you really commit, either you're completing it (and going over the next 3 passes) or turning back around and going over the pass/passes you already went over. And what better way to try and do it again after you're already 27 miles in and already went over 4 major passes? Did I mention with a high majority of afternoon storms? 

Again its been a while since I've posted but I hope to start posting more often- Weekly/ Bi-Weekly especially since everything has kind of came together, and I guess you could say I am living "The Life" 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Kettle 100 - 3rd Times the Charm

So as I finished one of my last ever high school finals I quickly hurried to head down to La Grange the starting place for the kettle 100. The past two years I did kettle didn’t work out the greatest and I was hoping the third time may just be the charm of doing solid at this race. 

Nothing better than hanging around
the bon fire a night before a hundo!
Photo Ops to Jeff Dallman
I woke up saturday morning after bon fire and camping out on Dallmans Land and I surprisingly felt really good. Some unexpected not starting cars made the morning a little more hectic than usual. All I could think about is making it to emma carlin - mile 47 feeling not tired at all, which meant I actually started out slow enough. Some unexpected shipping delays made me run the first 20 or so miles without a gps watch and It was nearly months that I have ran the pace I wanted to at the start (11:30 pace or slower) 

Surprisingly I started out slow enough hitting 11-12:00 minute miles which meant I found myself in the back of the pack. I was lucky enough to have a crew- Ashley, who was amazing at getting me out of the aid stations decently fast. So I was in and out of Bluff fast enough to get up with Angela and others. As the miles ticked along I made it to Emma Carlin in perfect timing. My mom now made it out, so I was lucky enough to have my gps watch and a cooler full of ice water to sponge water over my head. 

At Emma Carlin in bound-
Mile 47
As I quickly left Emmacarlin I told myself I wasn’t going to go faster than 11 minute pace anywhere through the parries. And it was rough, it just felt so slow especially this early in the race. The race became a mind game early on by having to tell myself constantly that Ill catch up to everyone later. As Ashley filled my bottle with EFS Liquid shot gel with water, I didn’t realize that for the HWY 67 section I wasn’t suppose to drink the whole bottle especially along with a red bull. So leading up to Hwy 67 and all the way to Scuppernong eating was scarce since I already upset my stomach a little. 

Arriving at Scuppernong felt as normal-Not really tired but more tired than I think I should be. Although having Ashley and my mom at nearly every aid station made the aid stations twice as better. The next thing I know is Im at Emma Carling feel absolutely awesome. Altho I must have looked a little serious or something since I was told by Brandi to relax! Although I most have not showed it but I was extremely happy at this point and just couldn’t wait to snag my pacer at 62!

As I was hitting the mile markers before Nordic I started to realize that there wasn’t that many people in front of me. So as McRoberts-My soon to be room mate in CO- passed me in 6th I started to count and soon enough I was at Nordic with only 21 people in front of me. I couldn’t believe it! I thought for sure that Id be in the 90th place range since I didn’t pass that many people. I guess getting in and out of aid stations helps quite a bit! 

About to head out for the last 38 miles!
I was around the 13:30 range so I was thinking sub 22 or 22 something especially since I was feeling as if I’ve only run 15 or so miles. I plopped on my headlamp and Ashley and I took off. Instantly i felt bad. Not horrible but almost to where i couldn’t even think. and deep inside I was pissed as all can be. How can I go from feeling so great to so out of it so quickly?! To make things better we somehow went off course for about a half mile before realizing it. There wasn’t much walking involved on the way to Tamarack and Bluff since I didnt really physically feel bad, and Ashley’s a speedster soo there wasn’t too much walking options. 

I stuffed my face with pickles, pickle juice, and pretzels at Tamarrack and took off for Bluff. This is where everything went downhill, and it was a struggle to keep my mind to just make it to Bluff. I felt extremely tired and just wanting a nap thats all, but Ashley gave me no choice “ You get 3 minutes” I think back to this part and mixed stories come to my head..Time almost felt like once I closed my eyes, Ashley just woke me up. Other thoughts make me think I swear I dreamt about something. Either way I got up and I realized what was around me and was instantly pissed at Ashley - Which Is a good thing right?? I mean really isn’t that the test of a true pacer is that their runner hates them “during” the race? 

After finishing the Redbull and a couple of long long miles down the trail I remembered I still had a couple of Ibuprofen in my back pocket of my shorts from earlier in the race. And by couple I mean 5 or 6. I just grabbed all of them and dropped some in my mouth and put some back into my pocket.
 Instantly Ashleys says what’d you just eat? I just had some Ibuprofren I replied… How many?!? And here I am feeling the back of my shorts and trying to do some math in my head. I think I had 4. 
Im not the most expiernced person with ibuprofen, and it felt like a minute later but most likely it was at least a half an hour later where as I was saying "I think Im going to puke" I hurled over the side of the trail and lost probably a little too much fluids. As I stood there Ashley already started moving up the trail and all I could think was-What the hell?? I seriously just puked my guts out and she’s already half way up the trail! 

Yea.. I don't remember taking
this picture at Hwy 12
Photo Ops to Brandi!
Suprisngly the puking didn’t make me feel that much better but for some reason or another we were moving quite a bit better. All I did was stare at her feet for the next couple of miles and suddenly we were at Hwy 12. I was on repeat it felt like.. All I would tell Ashley and Brandi was that I had Zero Motivation. We were seriously going 20 minute miles! I couldn’t believe it, so many people kept telling me this was my race, this was my year at kettle and just in 14 miles that all blew away. They both got me up and going with Simak- Who’s running the Midwest Slam this year and his pacer who just ran the Virginia 200 miler the weakend before!

As we took off I put in my earbuds and just zoned out, Ashley and Simak’s pacer were pushing a pretty solid pace and I just had to be in my head for a little bit. I dreamt of years of running kettle as a senior, and be just about to graduate. I started to feel bad that I was going so slow! Karen and Ashley came all the way up from Indiana and I was just going to bust out at least another 26 hour or probably 28 hour finish. Soon enough I started telling myself that I wasn’t running the race just for myself anymore, and the splits on the watch started to portray   that. Along with my head- I slowly could start thinking more and more. 

The gang!
Photo Ops to Brandi once again!
As we reached Rice Lake we hung out for a tad bit before heading out. I pulled off my ear buds and had a huge smile on my face- at least from what I remember that is! I kept telling myself-Just gotta head back now thats it! Simak’s pacer and Ashley were once again pushing on the pace while Simak and I just tried to hang on. We cruised this section and even at some points Simak and I were pushing the pace. We rolled into Hwy 12 and I snagged some more of that classic Hwy 12 Potato soup. Simak’s pacer was done as he did just run 200 miles last weekend and wasn’t even planning on pacing at kettle! 

We would soon crash into Jeff Le and Karen who recommended the trekking poles for the last 14. So as I put my headlamp back on since I was using it as a flashlight previous miles within minutes my head was back to not being able to think. So I naturally started messing with my hand lamp and loosened it and what seemed instantly my head could actually think. A headlamp issue?!? Really I thought?? All those crappy miles was all due to a headlamp being on too tight… Lesson surely learned I thought

Although now that Simak’s pacer was gone, I felt as if Ashley was pushing the pace even more now. Even when I would try and take a sip of “not ice water” and dry heave immediately following, Simak and Ashley were still moving up the trail. We were moving and no puking or dry heaving was going to stop that. As we reached single digits left I immediately started doing math and questioned to Simak of sub 25. 
"Now wheres a Chair?"

We made it to Bluff, and everyone was smiles. The race is basically over at this point with only 7 miles left but its still 7 miles. Along with the same 7 miles we already did 3 times this race. As we passed through Tamarack we joined a group of people for the last 5 or so miles which made the miles tick on by with the pacers/Fun runners really pushing the pace at points. As the last mile hit Simak and I took off and we were pushing the pace along with Ashley who without I would of still been milies and miles back. As we crossed the banner it read 24:46 and I couldn’t have been happier. 

Although the next 4 hours, every minute was spent in a chair, it was still a blast watching and talking to all the finishers. Best of all was to watch Karen and Jeff Le finish especially after seeing Jeff not looking the greatest at mile 76. I couldn’t thank enough my mom, Brandy, Karen and Ashley who kicked my ass for the last 38 miles! Without them I wouldn’t even want to know what my finishing time would of been! 
Jeff all smiles especially compared to
when we saw him at mile 76!

Although I was a bit disappointed in the following days after kettle. Especially Monday morning when I woke up not even sore. Yup 100 miles and the next day I wasn't even sore which in my opinion is horrible since I now know that I could of gone so much more faster. Always next year...Maybe

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Boston Marathon Race Recap

So I finally dug up enough motivation to write up a little post about Boston. I was pretty disappointed with my time of 3:14:XX. Although I knew I wouldn't be running the most great time due to so few road miles before hand, since every time I should of been heading out for a 20 miler on the roads, I headed to the trails instead.

Late Friday night after my family and I all got done with work we headed off to New York to check out a car-A Prius I was looking at getting. Since we didnt head through Chicago till around 1am the traffic wasnt brutal and we put in a solid 7 hours of driving before we crashed in the cheapest hotel around. We'd find ourselves checking out what would be my new prius before we headed of to Framingham where we'd spend the next several nights at.

It was definatly different, heading to once again an expo-something I haven't been to in years. It was a different kind of inspiration than one around the packet pick up at an ultra. We were lucky enough to grab some coffee with Jim, a runner who I did 18 brutal, windy, and hilly miles this winter at Laura's school house get-together. We said our good byes before my mom, dad and I headed to the pasta dinner before we crashed back in framingham at what turned out to be one of the most sketchiest hotels..

So last second thinking last night made me realize I could take the "T" subway to the commons. So we decided to go to the start, which I actually preferred due to getting more sleep. Which actually wasn't the start due to having to hop on another bus. I had about an hour and half before the start so instead of heading to the high school I just laid down on some grass near all the carnival festivities and took a solid nap and before I knew it I would be busting out 26 miles on the roads to Boston.

RACE: (Read here if you actually want to read just about the running part and not my other ranting)

The start was a little hectic since I couldnt get in a solid warm up but it was awe inspiring to look back and see how many people we just in wave 1! As sunscreen was getting passed around the line started to move decently quick and before you know it I crossed the line. I looked around for some old timers who looked experience and I found 2 people who have run it 6 times before-perfect. As we were running 6:30 pace, hundreds of people would be hauling ass by on the sides. I knew not to start fast but we were still going 6:30 pace and getting passed by hundreds of people, I just couldn't believe it.

Although by the 10k mark my legs would already start to feel fatiqued-not hurting-not feeling like crap, but defiantly not feeling how they should by the 10k. I would soon find myself with a guy step for step for miles. After finally getting some conversation in with someone (Everyone else seemed to be not very talkative) I found out he used to live in Ripon, WI. Literally 10 miles away from where I live! I also found out he busted out a 2:59 at Boston next year running the last 4 miles near sub 6 pace, what a true badass so I thought I better stick with him.

As we were going up a nice solid long climb around mile 16 (The worst climb in the whole race in my opinion but no one talks about this hill) I did my first walking steps. I was scared since my last road marathon where I walked it took miles before I could run again..Surprisingly just like that I could run, it was no big deal- I totally count this toward being an ultra runner!

The net 4 miles and newton hills would be filled with a huge smile, at least in my head I was smiling! Even though I felt pretty bad, I was extremely glad I didn't feel as bad as the tens to hundreds of people on the sides cramping, and stretching. Usually Im not the revenge type of guy, but finally starting to pass everyone that passed me in the first 10k felt pretty good. I soon realized and saw a huge sign "Way to Conquer Heartbreak Hill" and I was shocked. The hill wasn't even bad especially when you compare it to mile 16 hill! As I started doing the math-which was extremely hard since I didnt wear a watch... I found out that Id be running around a 3:20..which made me feel even more horrible.

That is until a guy screamed Logan! Behind me as I turned I recognized the huge tall youngster passing me but from where I wondered. From Rails to Trails it was, he was the guy who hauled passed me at mile 24 that made me go sub 3 hours. So Id try to do the same except this time there was no way. He did make me truly pick up the pace but not to 6 minute pace. As I started to crank off some 7:30ish miles I knew itd be close to getting sub 3:15 which I HAD to do I told myself since I ran that 4 years ago! With 2 miles left and passing tens of people I realized how annoying the screaming has gotten, not to be mean but hearing WOOOO! for 3 hours gets pretty annoying. As I got into the real city of boston I heard the chants, the chant that every city screamed as we passed through.. "U-S-A! U-S-A!" Goose bumps ran down my arms like it had through every other city.

With signs stating less than I half mile I took off until I realize what was in front a small but super steep hill underneath the small bridge. It just looked intimidating but as I saw everyone else run up and over it , I thought I GOT to do the same. As we round the corner I saw 3:15 and I cruised it in just as it turned over to 3:16. I wouldn't find out later I ran a chip time of 3:14 which would of made my spirits a bit more happy. I felt pretty out of it as I looked and stumbled around. All I wanted to do was to sit down, but as he volunteers were thanking US for running, they were also telling us to walk forward. As soon as I saw an exit and took it and sat on the curb. About a minute later I would get asked to stand up jsut to "Check" which is when I would get her to laugh almost to tears as I asked "Where is the Z meeting up area" As she burst out loud laughing she pointed up to the sign above my head that stated "Z." Which is when I plotted myself back on the ground and laid against the nearest tree.

Shortly after I would get my parents who finally found me and patiently waited as I got a massage and Chiropractor work on me. I soon realized I was starving, the feeling you get when you get back to your hotel room after a hundred..All I wanted was Moes, the one next to our hotel room. The one thing I didn't know was we wouldn't get there until 8:30pm. Almost 7 hours after my race. Never again I thought as we waited hours in line for each of the 3 different subways we needed to hop on. Although the following wednesday while chatting once again with Jim who ran an impressive 3:12, I thought about it. I thought about actually doing Boston again, despite the hours of bored-ness I occurred while before, during, and after the race! What is wrong with me..

Monday, May 19, 2014

First DNS..Along with some general ranting.

As the weeks ticked by I wondered what weekend it would be. Just as I hoped not, Friday the 16th the call was made, and one of my very idols growing up-the one that has me inspired to travel constantly and really dig into my curiosity passed away. Pretty selfishly I thought of what I will be missing, my A race of the year, one that had me even hitting the track quite often, the Ice Age 50.

I think about the past, that 2nd DNF that I wondered what will become of my future the next couple of months, well I guessed pretty darn well since it wasn't all that fantastic. I wasn't that fanatic about Boston or my time I ran. Although thats alright since I'm expecting, well at least hoping the next couple of months will be different.  Im pretty pumped that Ill be heading to the crag, Red River Gorge, in Kentucky this weekend to hopefully get some solid lead climbing in.

Ill also be heading to kettle 100, which will most likely be my last official race in WI before I head off to Redstone College in Colorado. Although Dan Crouse and I will be running south down to Rice lake up from HWY P in the Northern Kettle to complete what I once classified as "Kettle 135" starting on July 4th, the upcoming Monday the 7th I will be saying Adios to Wisco as I officially welcome Colorado my home for the next couple of years.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Potawatomi 100 - Pacing

As April 5th rolled around I was heading down to Pekin, Illinois with Arun and Linda. Linda was running the 30 miler, and Arun and I were pacing-although separate people. I had the chance to pace Brandt who was looking great even at 50 miles in and was in 2nd place, only a mere 5 minutes from 1st. As he came around after loop 6-(60 miles) he was only seconds away from Travis-from Irunfar.

I hurried him out of the aid station so we would leave for loop 7 in 1st place. As I paced, I went back and forth running in front and behind of him. Since I never paced him before I had to kind of learn Brandt's running style. I quickly learned that he runs fast-even at 60 miles in he was hitting sub 8-9 minute pace, but when he would walk it was very slow, especially on the climbs. He also didn't eat very much at the aid stations, which isn't big deal as I don't either. At about mile 7 of the 10 mile loop I could tell he started to hurt.

One of the 30 river crossings
So obviously we shouldn't run loop 8 the same, and Brandt couldn't agree more. So I started to run in front of him to control his drastic change of pace and to get him to start walking faster on the climbs, mainly not to get lazy. We did slow down and I thought Travis would have caught us but surprisingly not. I just kept him on the red line. Whenever he started to hurt and slow down I would make him shove another gel down his throat even though every time he would say "ahh I don't really want one."

Brandt at the start
At mile 80, Brandt looked as strong as ever and we were cruising it in. He even said he felt better than he did at mile 50! We both were having a blast, and the miles were ticking by. Our loops stayed around the 2 our mark, and from what insight I had Travis was having stomach issues so his loops were getting slower. With one loop left to go I was pretty confident Brandt had the win but I made sure to really push the pace enough to have Brandt hating me. Although that quickly changed as Brandt rolled in the finish at 19:45 with the win and the 3rd fastest time ever, not to far from the phenom Karl Meltzer.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

NK 50K

I was glad on  March 29th that for one Saturday I actually got to sleep in past 4am. Finally not a long run Saturday, but still a hard effort of racing the NK50k. I knew several familiar names, Ryan, Marcell, Taylor, etc so I knew it would be a little bit of an effort to even get near podium. Although I was question the midwest competition this year and sadly its not very good. Although finally a big name runner from WI didn't actually leave to Colorado, Oregon, or Cali in 2013 but the long hard winter had most explaining why/how they're out of shape and unmotivated. Although Im not a huge competitive person, especially when it comes to "Fatty" races but with Boston coming up I knew being competitive was a needed aspect.

The drive down to the Northern Kettle actually went by extremely fast especially since I felt as if I was asleep most of the time. I was lucky enough to catch a ride to the actually start 31.4 miles away since this was a point to point course. As the clock hit 6am, everyone slowly started to take off and as I looked around I knew it was going to be a fun day on the Ice Age Trail. A little over a half mile into the race, Robert suddenly came strutting on by. I knew Robert relatively well due to volunteering at many of the races he directs, and also from completing against his cross country guys. I knew the race is going to be on from that point on, and shortly it was just Robert, Marcell and miles in front of the rest of the racers.

I was feeling alright, but I could tell Robert was defiantly not out for an easy training run, and Marcell was falling back. As I tried pushing the pace to keep up with Robert I took a pretty big digger and wouldn't catch up to Robert until Greenbush camp. From there Marcell fell off and Robert and I ran step for step. As we headed to Butler lake the pace was drastically increased and while I stopped for water, Robert kept on going and I wouldn't see him until the finish, or anyone else for that matter until close to the finish. With only a couple miles to go I took once again another big digger and stayed down for a while, while a speedy man would end up passing me. The last couple miles was exactly what I was hoping for as it was a race up until the final quarter mile while I cruised it in.

Beyond Consciousness

"The Lone Wolf may Die, But the Pack will Survive"