Thursday, May 28, 2009

Western States Training Camp

Western States Training Camp was this past Memorial Day weekend. Rick Mayo and I flew to Sacramento Friday morning for 3 days of training on the Western States course.
We opted for staying at the Motel 6 in Auburn instead of camping at Forrest Hill. It was actually cheaper and just more convenient overall. We spent Friday buying some food and getting stuff organized for the weekend. I also was trying to get something rigged up with my shoes to get me through the weekend. I had not ran since the prior Monday due to a very bad pain under the 2ND & 3rd toe on the ball of my foot. It is a very intense pain, almost burning, I put 3 insoles in my right shoe and cut a hole in all 3 where the pain was and it at least allowed me to walk.

Day 1 Robinson Flat to Forest Hill summary

This is a 32 mile section with 2 of the harder climbs, Michigan Bluff and Devils thumb. We started out in the snow with 360 runners. It was amazingly beautiful and difficult. There is no way to sufficiently prepare for the 4 mile constant hills in the Midwest, it just is not possible. The climbs were tough and hot but I am happy with how I did on those climbs and passed a lot of people going up. The downhills were unexpectedly difficult. I could not run fast on many sections and stay under control. My Quads and Toes were hurting from the long downhills. I was able to run the last 2 miles up Bath Rd strong after 30+ miles and was good with that.

Day 2 Forrest Hill to Green Gate summary

I believe this was around 21 miles. We ran crazy hard that day thanks to Rick. I ran hard the first day and paid for it then. It is 16 or so down to the Rucky Chucky river crossing, mostly all down. We were hauling some serious ass down those mountains. Like 6:15 pace for many long stretches. When we got to the aid station at Rucky Chucky were the 4th and 5th runners to come through there and the first shuttle bus wouldn't go back until enough people finished to fill it up so we hung out in the River and soaked in the ice cold River water. The last 4 or 5 was up all the way. We ran that in 1 minute intervals which worked well. This is the first section after picking up a pacer and there definitely needs to be something left to run this section.

Day 3 Slinger Road to Placer High Finish Summary

22 miles of mixed terrain. There are many more flat sections here and if we were not on the side of a mountain it would seem like running at Wyco. There were still many tough climbs but none more than 5 or 10 minutes long. It was a good painful run. The heat was getting rough out in the open sections. We definitely got a taste of how will feel with the Quads and toes hurting so badly that last 20 or so. There are a lot of sections which will be rough terrain at night, especially on trashed legs.

I would definitely suggest anyone running in WS 100 go to the training camp. It is definitely worth it. We met a lot of amazing people there and ran through some breathtaking places. My right foot hurt a lot the entire weekend but sometimes you just have to get through it. I was very glad to be able to make it. It is easy to forget how amazing the human body is and what it can do. I was barely able to get out of bed the 3rd day but was still able to run over 20 miles pretty strong. All of these amazing people are out here doing the same thing and it is fun to be around such a strong group of like minded people for 3 days.

I am approaching Western States a little different now. It is going to be hard, definitely harder than any of the previous 100's. I desperately want that silver buckle. At the same time I know it will take my best effort, I will have to be physically, emotionally and mentally tougher to get there. The fear is there. Not being scared of the course or scared of failing, rather a respectful fear. I have 3 weeks of training left to get to where I need to be to get this done. I heard there is Silver in them there Mountains....

Here is a link to the pics from the weekend

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Free State 100k

We had a great week of camping at CLinton State Park last weekend for the Free State 100k. It was nice to spend 3 days just hanging out and enjoying the days instead of trying to get a list of crap done.
We camped next to Darin, Darcie and Jarret. It was weekend full of Mushrooms, Beer, Smores and running. I don't really have much to say about the race other than I am glad it is over so I can truly focus on Western States.

I finished about the same time as last year which is fine. I had no time goals and was simply running it to get in another long run. It was my 3rd 50+mile run in 5 weeks. The Mud, tornadoes, rain and hail made it pretty memorable. I am tired of doing those really long runs, it just takes too long to recover and get back to normal.

So, now I get to focus solely on Western States with about 6 weeks of solid training including 3 days at WS100 training camp memorial Day weekend. I have done a fairly food job of maintaining my weight but I am hooping to drop around 5 lbs before the race. I am doing a ton of core work also and trying to focus on strengthening that area.
Everything is going by so quickly right now. Both of the boys are into Baseball season full speed. Coaching Corbins team and Managing/Asst coaching tristans team has really been keeping me busy. I am back to having maybe 1 night sports free but there is a ton of stuff to do for Pop Warner football since I am on the board of directors we are already getting ready for the upcoming football season also so I am staying crazy busy, but I absolutely love it.
I am so freakin stoked for Western States, I have been running for about 3 1/2 years now, Western States means more than all of the other races I have done put together. I desperately want that Silver sub 24 buckle. I know I am much faster and stronger but just haven't put it together yet. I am saving it for this one, at least that is what I keep telling myself.
There have been a lot of tears at our house this week, our old dog Kramer is on his last leg. I brought him home over 14 years ago from the pound, I think he is a lab/Great Dane mix. He got ran over by a car when he was 1 year old, I had to borrow money in college to have his hip reconstructed. He has been in several times for other surgeries and has always pulled through. Tiffanie took him to the ER vet in the middle of the night once, he had a twisted stomach and his spleen was removed. She actually had to assist the vet with that surgery because there was no one else there at 1 AM. My kids are really really attached to him. Corbin was laying in the closet with him last night, crying, trying to get him to eat some food. He laid in his bed and cried himself to sleep last night and was almost late to school because he was trying to get him to drink his water this morning. Tristan has been carrying him outside to go to the bathroom, he can barely get his old body up so he has to have help to go outside. He has been having a lot accidents in the house and Tristan is always the first one there to clean everything up. It is amazing how they act so responsible and take such good care of him. It makes me proud to see that.