Sunday, October 14, 2012

2013 Bucket List

Fresh Snow on the  Peak This Morning!
What a gorgeous fall season we’ve been having this year! The weather, although cool in the mornings, has been very mild by Colorado standards. This is the time of year when racing is pretty much done and one starts setting goals and dreaming about next year. I’m tossing a few ideas around but haven’t totally committed to anything yet, except crewing and pacing Sharon Larson in the Leadville 100 Trail Run. One thing I’m always torn on is weather to focus on biking or running. It is so hard to be on top of your game in both. It’s a fine line to balance and very hard to figure out. I certainly did not get it right this year. So I’m putting a bucket list together for 2013 and this is what I’ve come up with so far:
I’d like to run a Boston qualifier at the Avenue of Giants Marathon in May, so that gives me something to train hard for over the winter. It’s a road marathon vs. Trail marathon, something I haven’t done in a while. Always need a goal to shoot for; otherwise it’s tougher to get out on those cold icy dark mornings. I’d love to do Costa Rica’s CoastalChallenge again, but one only has so much vacation. No Leadman in the plans for 2013, but if anyone knows of a similar event, I’d love to hear about it. I’m also looking for a tough 100 mile mountain bike race other than Leadville. I love the Breckenridge 100, but it’s the same weekend as the Silver Rush.

Good to be running with CRUD Again
This week’s training: Took it kind of easy this week to recover from last week’s marathon. At the  same time I started bumping up the intensity to get ready for the Dirty Duo on Nov  3rd.

 Week training Log (select to enlarge)


Monday, October 8, 2012

Xterra Cheyenne Mountain Marathon Race Report

Team CRUD had a pretty good day at the Xterra Cheyenne Mountain Marathon and Half Marathon Saturday. Three entries, three podiums! Dan Vega won the overall men’s half marathon, Shannon Meredith won the overall women’s full marathon, and I rounded it out by winning the old farts category in the marathon. And for icing on the cake, Jeff Mulder, a good friend, running his first marathon, ran the perfect race by running the second half one minute faster than the first half. All in all, a fantastic day!

I decided to do the Xterra marathon about a month ago while out running the course with Jeff. Cheyenne Mountain State Park has beautiful trails with a nice flow of rolling hills that that were so fun I signed up as soon as I got home. This would be Jeff’s first marathon and he was running strong, and in training seemed to be doing everything right. With over 3,000 ft of climbing it’s a pretty tough marathon for a first timer.

So Jeff and I arrived at the start to a nice freezing drizzle with every indication that the weather was going to hang around for a while. No worries, just adds to the adventure. Besides I had bandages on my nipples!
Video of the start

After the first half mile or so I settled into what felt like a comfortable and semi fast pace. Shannon pulled up beside me and we ran together the entire first (of two) lap. The first hill seemed a lot longer than I remembered from the elevation profile, so I thought we must have already went over it and we were on the first of four big climbs. That was not the case; we descended a bit then started the first real climb in earnest; eight hundred feet in three miles. The descent never really felt like a descent because it was rolling with lots of short climbs on the way down. Shannon and I talked quite a bit during our time together and we were just cruising along. We ran a couple technical sections and I felt pretty good hopping through the rock gardens. Eventually we came upon the second big climb, about 500 feet in two miles. The descent again was rolling with a couple of semi technical sections which brought us near the start/finish area before heading off for another lap.

As we started the climb on the second lap Shannon must have got bored with me because she took off. Actually, it only appeared that way. Our splits show that I slowed down significantly, as my second lap was almost 15 minutes slower than the first. Shannon just maintained the same speed. At about 17 miles I was struggling a bit and just kept telling myself, only 9 miles, piece of cake. Then just 8 miles, stay loose, no worries, relax, keep going. At 22 miles the final big climb and I got a bit of a second wind. Although I wasn’t sprinting up the mountain, I did run it fairly strong. Coming down though, I was in survival mode and not anywhere near as dainty going through the technical sections as on the first lap. The entire last two miles I was looking back almost as much as I was looking forward. No one caught me so I was able to cruise to the finish in 9th place overall, and 1st in the 50+. Shannon placed 6th overall and 1st  woman. Jeff came in shortly after placing 11th overall, running a very very strong first marathon on a tough course in cold & wet conditions. A great  CRUD day indeed!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Thoughts on the Run

I definitely have not been very consistent with this blog and I realized today I haven’t updated since Leadville. I think one of the reasons is I’ve just been spending too much time on Facebook. That is definitely coming to a halt. So with all the politics of late and with the presidential elections, I got to thinking on my run the other day about the state of our nation. I am not an evangelist by any means; be it politics, religion, exercise, environment, health, nutrition, etc. There are far more than enough evangelists in every one of these areas. I tend to think that living by example is the best way of making a statement and if anyone asks my opinion or advice I’ll give it. Preaching tends to turn people off.

Recently I was on a business trip in Midwest U.S. and there was a Wal-Mart with a Subway restaurant next to my hotel. I got in late so I went over to have a sandwich. Without exception every one of the kids behind the counter was overweight to obese. When I asked if they had the Veggie Patty the kid behind the counter looked at me like I was from another planet. Do they only have these in Colorado? So I ordered a Veggie Delight and sat down by the entrance watching people walk in and out. First, I can honestly say that in the 30 or so minutes I sat there, I saw an amazing amount of potential “People of Wal-Mart” photos. But the sad thing is that approximately 7 out of 10 the people were overweight, and of those seven at least three were obese! What has happened to us? Is this typical Americans? (This was heartland America). Or is this just the typical Wal-Mart crowd? Or did I just happen to be there at a bad time?


 This got me thinking about health and nutrition. Oh oh,  here comes the preaching... I truly believe that a plant based diet is the cure to this madness. In my personal experience, it is when I eliminated meat and dairy from my diet (went vegan) almost 20 years ago, that I made the jump from mid-pack expert/category 1 mountain biker to consistent top five and 1st place finishes. And I’ve been able to keep my weight consistent without even trying ever since. At 55 years old I still weigh the same as I did in High School. I hope I’m not coming off as arrogant or preachy, these were just some thoughts I had on a run recently. That 30 minutes in Wal-Mart was such a sad eye opening experience I thought I should share what I sincerely believe to be true. I recently read a very well researched (with links to real scientific studies) at Zen Habits, called A Guide to Eating a Plant-Based Diet . He says it a lot better than I  can.

So Saturday I’ll be running the Xterra Cheyenne Mountain Trail Marathon. A very tough hilly course. And to  add to the  adventure, its suppose to snow! Oh Yea!