Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lions and Pure Grits and Ramping up oh my.

Finally put in a solid week of training with 91 miles last week, and I feel pretty good considering.  And I felt pretty fresh today running 28 miles with 9k of climbing after taking a day off yesterday.  Maybe my body is slowly getting used to running a lot again.

A couple months ago I’m pretty sure I caught a mountain lion out of the corner of my eye on the Mt. Wilson Toll Road, a mile past the idle hour trailhead.  A couple weeks ago my wife Elissa watched a mountain lion walk across the same fire road, in nearly the same spot… on one of our most frequented running routes.  THEN, immediately after running on a trail (where there was a confirmed mountain lion attack in 1995) I come home to see this on my computer:

This situation totally reminds me of a situation I encountered when I used to surf back in the day:

While running, I know cats are out there watching me run by, usually not being interested in the slightest, and have probably seen me dozens if not hundreds of times.  When I used to surf I accepted the fact that I surfed in areas like Marina, CA, where there have been two nearly fatal attacks in the last 5 years, and that great whites have probably swam by and saw me, but weren’t interested in having me for an appetizer. 

It’s not like I’m going to give up running around for hours out in the mountains, just like I continued to surf in shark infested water.  I love exploring and getting away from the hustle and bustle of civilization, immersing myself in the outdoors grounds me somehow.  In a feeble attempt to decrease my chances of becoming a catamounts catch, I am doing two things.  First, no more running in the dark all by myself, it just freaks me out.  Second, have you ever seen those discover specials on people working in the jungle around Tigers? 

Well here’s my trail running version:

Is it ridiculous?  Yes.  Will it work?  Hopefully.

I recently purchased a pair of Brook’s new trail shoe, the Pure Grits.  I really like them.  Light, yet have cushion.  They have good traction and they are comfy.  They do have a silly split toe thing up in the front that I don’t really notice when running.  There isn’t a whole lot of protection up in the toes, i.e., when I kick rocks it hurts bad.  At first I wasn’t too stoked on their fit.  Going around fast rocky turns if felt like my foot was sliding off of the sole, not staying directly over it.  Considering how much I enjoy going fast downhill I was just about to return them, but then I cinched down the laces a bit I noticed that the stretchy material hugged my foot better without cutting off any circulation, problem solved.  I am on the prowl for good 100 mile shoes for AC coming up this July.  These Pure Grits may be the ticket, we’ll see how well they hold up at the Ray Miller 50 miler and possibly Miwok.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Looking back at 2011 & Looking forward to 2012

I'm pretty happy with how 2011 turned out.  I was stoked to win a couple races, that always feels good.  So far I've only won 50ks, one goal for 2012 is to win a longer race.

I did have my first DNF at Born to Run Ultras 100k.  Very embarassing, but I learned that racing a competitive 50 miler two weeks before attemtping to run a flat and fast 100k was not something my body was ready for at the time.  Other "big dogs" are able to run a crazy amount of races back to back to back, but not me, at least not at this point.
Running a 100 miles at San Diego, my first hundo, was something else.  It took me to a weird place that is hard to describe since I don't have a lot of experience with being "in that place" mentally yet.  Looking forward to venturing to that place again this summer.

Since I want to improve my racing at longer races I'm starting off the year at Keira's Ray Miller, running the 50 mile option... gonna be a sick course with 11,000' of climbing, tons of beautiful single track and ocean views, does it get any better?  Here's my current racing plan for '12

Feb. 25th, Ray Miller 50M

Mar 24th, Old Goats 50M ?

May 5thMiwok 100k - Looking forward to toeing the line with big dogs and most likely enjoying some of this after the race:

May 26th, Front Range 50k, it's going to be a fun, but slowwwww 50k with plenty of climbing.

July 21st, Angeles Crest 100M, bring the pain.

I'm tossing around the possibility of going back to school in August for my MSN.  If I do, I probably won't race much, or at least long races for the rest of the year.  But if I don't go back to school (yet) here's what I'm looking at as far as races:

Oct 6th, Cuyamaca 100k ? Can't go wrong running a race put on by Scotty Mills, and this is on some of the same trails as the beautiful San Diego 100 course.

Sep. 17th, Noble Canyon 50k? Some of the same trails as SD100 and Cuyamaca 100k, had a ton of fun at this race last year.