Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tahoe Training Weekend

Three days to go until I line up at the Bryce Canyon 100 mile.  Threw out my back this morning as I tried to tie my shoes for one last early morning Rancho San Antonio run.  Really praying that I'm good to go by Friday, lol.  This last weekend I had a blast with running friends up in Tahoe to (hopefully) get some last minute altitude acclimatization.  If such a thing can happen...

Views as I climb Tunnel Creek Rd.

This place is like a giant adult playground!

The Tahoe Zephyr Cove Quicksilver crew.

Stuart, cruising.

Starting to lose steam.  It looked as if storms were gathering and peeps had about 5 miles left to do - including descending the infamous diamond peak.

Sandra decided to come back down Tunnel Creek with me.  Pretty much can't beat the views!

Happy to use someone else's entry for the organized TRT training run!

Meadow on the way up to lake Marlette.

Impressive aid station setup for a training run.

Nearing Snow Valley Summit.

There are some nice patches of snow on the course right now.  I had some fun doing some sliding.

Video of my try at sliding:

Video at the top:

The descent from snow valley.  I had been here once before when pacing BJB in the middle of the night of the TRT 100 back in 2012.  I had no idea how awesome the views were!

Jumping into Tahoe post run.  The best shower - ice bath combo.  Our abode had a walkway that led straight to the beach.  That was nice.

King of California showing me how it's done:

Monday, June 13, 2016

Quicksilver 100k Report 2016

Lexington Aid Station 2016:  I got fired from my duty as aid station captain.  My duties were taken by veteran Amy Burton who showed me how it is really done.  Sadly I didn't even receive the title of deputy captain which fell to the young John Paul Burton.  Lesson one: bring donuts for the volunteers!  Duke and Bjorn were there to actually do work while I sulked off to the side with my donut.

John Paul - I assume he is doing some sort of important clerical duty required by the captain...otherwise the "deputy" might have actually got away with doing less work than I did.

I had a happy french-man picture and this one.  This one makes me laugh.

John Burton ran into our aid station along with the only man in the race who could make him look wimpy and un-impressive.  Here he is receiving some aid of questionable legality from the "captain".  The "deputy" looked on.

I'm sure Chris wasn't just flexing for this photo op!

The Matt Ward.

The women's leader, Krissy Moehl asks: which way to the weight room?


Saurabh - I'm sure he was talking about triathlons or something like that.

Clyde the glide - gracing Quicksilver with his presence!

Some old guys.

15 yr old Briley.
I was sweeping the Quicksilver course when I came upon the Kennedy aid station.  The aid station volunteers wanted to know if they could send 15 year old Briley back down the mountain with me (they needed an extra space in their vehicle for a drop from the race).  So funny - poor Briley was going to get a fierce introduction to the silliness of this sport.  I grabbed some food and we were on our way - Briley eager as a pup to take off!  I said: slow down there lad - I need to see if I can shove all of these potato chips down my throat by the top of the climb.  The poor guy was completely deflated.  All he wanted to do was run and here I was stuffing my face with food.  Well, we did start down the other side of Sombroso when I started to probe him about his running credentials.  It was somewhere in here that he took a tumble down the trail.  It started to hit me that someone had entrusted the safety of this young man to me and I was already failing miserably.  His longest run before this was 13 miles - we did 15 with about 2000 ft of climbing and 3000 of descent, lol.  Needles to say, he was ready for his burger when we hit the picnic area!

Mission Peak from Ohlone College

Going up from Ohlone College

Nice views as you climb.

Rescue Copter.  I was going up the trail when I noticed the helicopter circling above.  I didn't really think much of it as there are helicopters seemingly everywhere around here.  As I was going up the trail I noticed a bunch of hikers camped out in the shade of some trees which made sense because of the really hot afternoon.  At some point the helicopter was loudspeakering something to me that I couldn't quite understand.  I later decided they were trying to tell me to clear the trail.  As I climbed I saw the helicopter set down on this open knoll where I was just at.  I assume there was someone in that hiking group that needed a rescue.

Final Stretch.

Paragliders having some fun

The Sunol.

Above the bay.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ruth Anderson 50 mile race report 2016 and Pinnacles Family Hike

I thought I would bounce back quickly from the 4 mph challenge.  As far as I knew I got out of there without any injuries or serious damage and thought I could hop right back onto the training wagon and ride it all the way through a spring of racing and culminating in my next 100 mile attempt at Bryce Canyon on June 18th.  A few days after the challenge I went out for a little test run and my whole left leg felt like it was going to fall off.  My ankle hurt, my knee hurt, and my hip hurt.  I was like, uh-oh.  I slowly worked my way out of the funk with various running strategies that seemed to hurt less, and even got myself to the point where I thought I might be able to hop into the Ruth Anderson 100k (one month post 108 miles at 4 mph challenge).  I sent out an annoying promotional email to the Quicksilver racing team trying to drum up some more runners so that we could put some teams together and make Ruth some fun.  With that impulsive move I pretty much locked myself into attempting to run 100 km on flat asphalt - basically exactly what my body was complaining about at the time.

In the lead-up to the race I was dealing with an ominous sense of foreboding.  This seemed like one of the dumbest decisions in my running.  But ultra marathoners don't have a good track record of dealing intelligently with FOMO (fear-of-missing-out).

I don't actually have a ton to write about how the race went for me except to say that thankfully I seem to have come out of the other side no more worse for the wear.  Thank goodness.  I ran conservative.  It got hot.  I got tired.  I decided to call it a day at 50 miles (a insidious option at this race).  Quicksilver didn't score one team in any distance.  But it was another great day to be alive and be able to put one foot in front of the other.  Share the pain with the other weirdos out there and hang out afterwards with the friends and awesome community of bay area ultra-runners.  I ran 8 hours and 5 minutes.  Considering I have run trail 50 milers way faster than this - it gives an idea of what kind of day it was.  Am I disappointed?  No way!  These last couple of weeks I feel like my legs, body, and soul have finally bounced back from the 100 miler.  Seems like it takes me about a month to rebound from the hole I put myself into during one of those big efforts.

Pinnacles Hiking Trip w/ the Fam

Here are some pics from our trip we just took to Pinnacles National Park:

Getting a preview of the awesome hills we are about to tackle.

Quite the variety of foliage. 

I swear I didn't know that shorcutting could result in a $5000 fine and or imprisonment.  I didn't see the sign for that until practically the top of the hill.  Seems kinda harsh.  But then again, I can imagine if everyone in California did all of the shortcuts, this place would be a mess, so it makes sense.  But rock scrambling makes the climb somewhat bearable for the little ones!

Blake says: This new Pinnacles is CRAZY!

The kids are practically pros at posing for mommy now.

On the north wilderness trail.  I split off from the fam for a little 7 mile jaunt while they scrambled through Balconies Cave.  I met them on the other side.  The trail was really fun.  A bit brushy in spots, and unnecessarily curvy with a bunch of creek hopping.  There was some sweet ridgetop running in the middle with full views of the rock formations.  

Views of the rocks from the North Wilderness Trail.

Sweet Valley descent at the west end of the North Wilderness Trail.

I got some footage of Seth bombing a rocky downhill.  I wanted to compare it with his run from three years ago at Memorial Park.  He is really impressive for a little guy.  5 years old now.  Now he is going so fast though that it is hard to get footage that isn't too bouncy.  See if you can watch it without throwing up!