Sunday, December 28, 2008

Triple Century: Day 3

This is just not happening. Ran 20 miles on the dreadmill and only finished 6 beers.
58 miles, 30 beers.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Triple Century: Day 2

Only 10 miles yesterday, but I did manage to finish a case of PBR. That's noteworthy right?
Total so far, 38 miles, 24 beers.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Triple Century: Day 1

28 miles, 13 beers. 75 hours and 44 minutes left. Oh, look, it has started to snow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Conditions for Triple Century: Expect snow. Lots.

So here's the view from the balcony of my condo and the place where I'll be doing most of my beverage consumption for Triple Century which is only 18 hours away! Metro Vancouver has experienced QUITE a bit of snowfall over the past 10 days making travel and training somewhat difficult. The roads are quite slick and my 11km course has an increased degree of difficulty of 2.
I am not looking forward to the next 100 hours, it's gonna be hard enough to run a 100 miles without blowing snow in my face. I may pride myself on being a cold runner, but this is ridiculous. If you squint a little bit, the building behind the three picnic tables houses our fitness area, which has two treadmills. Hmmm.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Western Bound

Yay, I finally got in as a two time loser for Western 2010. So I still have to re-qualify in 2009 and I decided not to do Coyote 2 Moon as I simply cannot afford the entry fee and take vacation time off work. So Tahoe, Leadville, Cascade, and the Hood are all still viable options. I would like to tackle Tahoe again and see if I improve on my 34 hour finish from 2007.

Triple Century is still a go. I bought another 24 pack of PBR. Getting ready to close out 2008 with a bang.

Monday, November 10, 2008

H2H Leg 8: Captain Dave and his Angels

Blame Canada! M'Alice en route to a 36:47 finish, 9/82 in his division!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Coyote2Moon Spring 100?

So I'm looking at possible 100 milers to do next year and I stumbled on the Coyote 2 Moons 100 in Ojai, CA. Here's the quick and dirty stats: 26,000 feet gain and descent, 40 hour cutoff. This could be doable and you get 40 hours to run this! It has possiblities, but I better make my mind up soon...the deadline is November 15th and there are only 59 entries left.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This Week in Training or TWIT

Monday: 100 situps/100 pushups
Tuesday: long intervals with the Den, 8:45/mi pace. Decent effort, made a young guy drop after he was trying to match me on the first 5 laps, but he was done on the 6th. He should've stayed in the slower group. 125 situps
Wednesday: 100 pushups
Thursday: 60 minute night trail run, 125 situps
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Morning, Buntzen Lake/Lakeview Trail run, 2:20. Afternoon, VH3, 1:20
Sunday: 100 situps, 100 pushups

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Denied for Western States 2009

Well, I didn't get an e-mail from the RD of Western States 100 confirming I was one of 54 Two Time Losers that were picked from the TTL list to run in the 2009 version. My TTL status will now be rolled over to 2010 or 2011. So I can at least plan what my summer and fall 100 milers are going to be. Yes, you read right, I will be attempting TWO 100 milers in 2009.

Better start saving up and hope the Canadian $ recovers in time.....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My first 36 mile marathon: Golden Hills Trail

Last Saturday, i ran the Golden Hills trail marathon, my 2nd marathon in 6 days. Since I had already PR'd in Portland, I was running this for fun and get a chance to check out some California trails. The race starts at Lone Oak Rd in Tilden Park in Berkeley and is in conjunction with the Firetrails 50 miler. It ends at Lake Chabot Marina and there was a shuttle bus at the finish line to take entrants to Lone Oak as parking is limited, this shuttle leaves at 7:15am. Sharp. I decided to save on a taxi and would run from my motel to the Marina (mapquest said 3 miles) This was a huge mistake as I accidentally ran the other way (east) and got to Pleasanton which was 7 miles from Castro Valley! I really should've picked up on the obvious clues like increasing house numbers, the fact that I was running solid for 40 minutes and was still in the residential part of town. I ran another 3 miles looking for a BART station, took the Bart to Berkeley, took a taxi to the start and got there at 10:05am (race started at 9am). I don't actually have a bib on me as I was not mailed one, but I'm not banditing per se as I did register and pay for this race. I dropped off my warmup gear at the start which would be shuttled to the finish line. I briefly considered volunteering for the ultra to get some hours for Western, but the aid personnel said I could still run as the cutoff was at 7pm which gave me 9 hours to finish. It took me 6:45 although the results say 7:45 cause the clock doesn't stop for anybody least of those who ran the wrong way. Stll, I passed 5 marathoners on the course who had the hour "headstart" so that was pretty nice and my story provided a lot of hilarity for all the aid station vollies. So it all worked out. Next time, I'm gonna get a cab.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Travel Day - Golden Hills

Well, after a successful and soggy Sunday in Portland where I finally ran under 4:00 with a 3:57:40, that's a 16 minute PR from 2005! It's off to Oakland tomorrow where I will be running my second marathon in less than a week. It's not much time to recover, but I didn't get to be where I am worrying about the long term effects on multiple races with little rest time. I wonder if this makes me a maniac....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Travel Day

Tomorrow I make my way down to Portland via Amtrak for the marathon. I'm looking for redemption and a PB. Let's do it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Still a two time loser...

Just re-confirmed my status as a two-time loser for Western States 100 miler 2009. I'll be very lucky to get in next year due to this year's cancellation and the automatic re-entry of this year's start list. Well, if I don't get in, there's always 2010 or 2011.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


So, it's off to Goldendale, WA for Pacific North West Interhash at Brooks Memorial State Park. Being from BC, I'm guessing I'm the Pacific part. Should be decent trails in Washington, and with a quick stop to REI will get all my last minute camping essentials.

Hopefully my marathon training won't be too derailed by this weekend. And I got on a team for Haney 2 Harrison 100k! Woo-hoo! I asked for and hopefully I will get Leg 8, it's the shortest, flattest, fastest leg there is. No pressure!

Monday, September 15, 2008

WWR: Leg 23 - The beaver sleeps tonight

Quite a bit of roadkill along the highway, this little number happened to be outside the portapottie on one of the that's what that smell was....

After tagging Snatch, we got in the car to crew for him, I needed to get away from the damn bugs. So off we drove downhill, ever mindful of all the dust we were kicking out. Snatch had his best leg here, but of course he did, it's cooler and he's going downhill! It was dark when he tagged off Erik who blazed on the road. We met up with Van# 2 and picked up Guiness. We drove nonstop to where Creampuff was supposed to start his leg (21), got Bridget's tent and after assembling it, got in a 3 hour nap. All too soon, it was time for CP's leg to start, so we disassembled in an orderly fashion and wait for Amazon to tag him in.
CP had a great run down a road section, the clouds parted and he was seeing stars and constellations and meteor showers and things normally associated with a Grateful Dead concert.
Waited with Bridget at Leg 22 who confided to us that she was feeling nervous about the night run and also that she hadn't use the portapotty yet. Advised her that if her stomach is feeling like that and she hasn't use the toilet all day, then it was a pretty good sign that it wasn't nerves, it was something more pressing. She took the hint and afterwards felt way better. Bridget tagged CP and it was off to my Leg 24. By the time Bridget tagged me it was around 4:30am. I was cold standing around the handoff area so I kept my KK jacket on underneath my reflective vest. This was in addition to the longsleeve and gloves and toque. Overkill, I know. Tagged Bridget and I was off. Had my lamp pulled down to my waist so the light was closer to my feet. I had to dodge a few cars still pulling into the checkpoint, then be very careful on the cattle guard, a turned ankle would not be fun. It's cold initially but I started to warm up very quickly, around the 2 mile mark, CP gets me a drink and I take off the jacket and just run with the longsleeve. I ask that they give some more aid at the 4 mile mark. They agree or so I thought. I'm picking up speed and catch two runners on this section, I'm nearing the 4 mile mark just over the next hill and I actually see the1 mile to go mark and THEY'RE NOT HERE! My leg is 4.9 miles so knowing them they felt it was more important that the runner be there to be tagged rather than me being crewed but not having anyone to tag when I got there because they were too busy to find parking. Just don't let it happen again, 'kay? So now there's no one to aid me I use my righteous indignation to catch three more runners, and another one at the transition area. Tagged Snatch who starts to go. It's official, every member of Beaver's Gone Wild got to run in the dark! Dawn's just starting to break. Time for a cold beverage and a nap. Only 6 hours to go before my last leg. Yay!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Speed work @ the RD

Today was the start of theTuesday night clinic at the Runners Den. I got there pretty late, damn Port Moody rush hour traffic, but as it's the first night, it's usually delayed with all the new sign-ins.

It was intervals today and I slotted myself in the 8:00 min/mile group based on the fact that I ran a 47:07 at the Nike Human Race 10k last Sunday. It was my 3rd run of that day and I held off on my kick until the last kilometre which just happened to end up a slight hill. Over 5000 people ran this event.

The workout was (90 seconds hard, 60 sec easy, 60 sec hard, 30 sec easy, 30 sec hard, 60 sec easy) x 7 at 6 minute/mi pace. The first 4 were tough but manageable. After the 5th, my left shin was seizing up and I wanted to drop out, but somebody else beat me to it. The weird part was he came from the 8:30 group who were only doing 5 reps and when he saw that they had finished, he jumped ship back to that group even though he was kicked out from the 8:30's because he was sandbagging. Wimp.

The 6th and 7th reps felt better as it had cooled down and I was able to suck it up for the finish.

I was glad I didn't bail. However, I think I found my pace group for the foreseeable future.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

I am number 0612602

Just picked up my race package for Nike's Human Race, got my chip, and my shirt with ironed on bib number. Start time's at 7pm, then it's off to the races. Should be crazy running in downtown Vancouver. Apparently there's some sort of bus my local running store has got organized. I'm an alternate, so it's not actually confirmed I'll get a spot. Worst case, I'll skytrain to the start, then we'll see what happens. I don't know if this will be as big as the Vancouver Sun Run and I don't know if this is Nike's core audience. But we'll see.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

WWR: Leg 14 - Sea level is for Sissies.

Well, here I am waiting on Matt again and I can't believe I'm getting altitude sickness at 9494 feet. Geez, I need to suck it up, because I'll be hitting 10,300 feet at the 6.5 mile mark of my 8.5 mile leg. It's past 6:15pm and I've already told Creampuff that I'll probably be 90 minutes on this leg. The trail is dirt road and dusty, more runnable trail except for that 4.5 mile section climbing up 1200 feet. Finally, Matt comes into view and we tag off at 6:30pm .I have my big floppy hat on and a bandana to keep out the dust. Both become pointless very early on. I start with a strong jog but not less than 2 min later I have to stop and adjust the damn bandana! In that time, I got chicked by a 40ish east indian woman and struggle to catch her. She takes the descents fairly easy and I'm trying to keep up. About the 18 minute mark we hit a brief flat stretch, I was keeping her in sight and then I looked past and saw the hill. Dammit. Those were a lot of switchbacks. Now it was just a grind battling the elevation and the terrain. Dirt road may be runnable but when it's climbing for 4 miles it was a little tedious. Too often I felt I was sliding uphill as the dirt made it hard to get a solid footing for me to push off for the next step. The runner ahead of me had similar problems and was looking for the best line to run up. I found tracks made by some heavy duty construction equipment and ran on the side of the road. It helped a lot as I played leapfrog with her. I would get aid from Van1, she'd pass me. She was getting aid from her Van, I'd pass her. This went on for 3 miles. Most of the time, we were just powerwalking the hill as it was just the same pace as running. Near the top we were getting passed by a bunch of ubermountain runners. Finally we hit the crest and I've been passed 4 more times with a few more gaining. One of the crew of the guy who just passed me jokingly offers me a gel cause I musta looked bad. Well, I do like them downhills....because I starting picking up the pace. Not because of the gel, but the advil/e-cap combo I just swigged down with the last of my water. I catch east indian woman, the guy with the helpful crew and two more runners. There was a brief 3 minute section where I was the only guy on the trail and this was a little worrisome because I didn't know where the course went! I was following the dust cloud ahead of me but then the trail went left and I wasn't sure if I should go left. I look behind me and everybody I just passed are barreling straight toward me. That answers that question. I put the hammer down and see the orange pylons ahead. I tag off Snatch who continues down the trail. Take a few brief minutes to cool down (mindful of the mosquitos) and check out the awesome views at Deadman.I turn around and congratulate all those chasing me for the last two miles. Sure enough, I did run my leg in 90 minutes and good thing too, cause we had only 50 minutes before the exchange closed and we would've been disqualified! Two down, two more to go. time for a little sleep before my leg as we are now down to nine runners as Matt dropped out after two legs as he had a wedding to go to the next day. Up next, a little night running. Perfect.

Friday, August 22, 2008

WWR: Leg 4 - Burning, Man.

It's is unbelievably hot waiting for Matt. It's almost noon and the temperature reads 100 degrees F. I find a place for a quick pitstop before my leg starts and I get the handoff. My leg is 4.3 miles and is rated easy, it's flat, dirt road and is completely runnable. And it is, for the first 300 feet, then the heat hits me and the fact that I'm wearing a heavy kilt doesn't help. I'm still givin'er and it's not too bad, there is some initial cloud cover, but that gets burned off really quick. I soon find myself chasing a patch of shade, but by the time I close in, it moves west and I have to go east. There's 179 feet of elevation on this particular leg, but it's deceptively over 3 miles of uphill. I see people in the distance, but they're too far ahead of me to make any sort of ground on them. (thanks a bunch, Matt!) Get a brief breeze from a little lake and that eases the heat. Clock into mile 3 and Van#1 is helping Matt recover and ask if I need anything before I cross Owl Canyon Rd. "Ice!" Snatch grabs a handful and jams it into my bottle. I break into a hard run now and see the 1 mile to go mark. My handheld is freezing cold, then it becomes cool, then rapidly lukewarm in the space of 5 minutes! Damn! I grab sips when I can and sprint the last half mile. Take my wristband and hand off to Snatch at 37 minutes! I strip off my tshirt and blind half of the spectators with my pasty white torso. Call shotgun, get in the car and turn up the AC, baby! One down, three to go!

How the Wild West Relay was won and lost

I've never been to Colorado, but when the call came out for hashers for the Wild West Relay from Ft Collins to Steamboat Springs on the Beavers Gone Wild team, I answered! I also enlisted another Vancouver Hasher, Creampuff (he's the one in the red dress) because I didn't want to be the only guy from sea level suffering.
As it turns out, the co-captains are from Portland: Amazon.cum and Nice Snatch and their buddy, Rainer Queer from New York who picked us up from the airport after an ill advised day of trying to acclimate to the elevation and heat by climbing Beerstat three hours before!

So there would only be 5 visiting hashers and 5 locals: (it was supposed to be 7 locals, but 2 got deployed at the last minute!) Bridget, Matt, Clint, Eric and Thea. I 've done relays before, but only at 100km, this was a whole different event. Considering I was tapering for Stormy 100 mile, I saw an opportunity to get elevation and heat training in. And damn if I didn't pick the right day to do heat training. Friday temperatures were forecast to be a record high of 105 degrees F! Now given that there were only 10 relay runners and Matt had to drop out after his second leg, some of us had to run 4 times. It was me, Creampuff, Snatch, Matt and Bridget (bro & sis) in Van 1 taking the first 5 legs and everybody else in Van 2 taking the next 5 legs. Since I'm not psychic, I don't know how everybody was feeling on their individual legs, so this is the story of how all four legs went.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Stormy 100

Despite bloody blisters, stomach issues and a course that unintentionally lived up to its name, at 29:33,I became the last official finisher of Stormy 100 miler in Squamish yesbterday. I was able to finish largely due to two crews, my provider of hot n spicy pot noodles and fellow Club Fat Ass and Hasher, Rob and Lucinda blister care nurse extraordinarre! Without the assistance of these two, I would not have finished and more likely dropped out at 17-18 hours.

Talk about dropouts - there were 10 of them in a field of 30. Those that could make it through the bad patches finished, it was just that simple.

I learned so much from Tahoe and was able to apply it to Stormy. However I did spend a lot of time sitting down at Aid stations, but I was wolfing down the noodles so it was worth it. I might opt for the kimchi flavor next time.

Funniest moment - Entering Powerhouse for the first time, whipped out the cell, called Rob and put in a pot noodle order that was ready when I came in. Nice!

Dumbest call - Having a beer at Mile 50, which may have led to some sleepy moments at Alice Lake night section.

I'll have a detailed report on CFA soon. Coincidentally the finish time for Stormy was the same time as our Wild West relay team in Colorado. Cool, I can cover half as much distance in the same amount of time as a team of 10 runners.

I'm hungry again.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Havent been posting in a while...

Too busy ramping up the miles before Stormy 100 miler in Squamish.

So a quick recap: Kneeknacker 30 miler: 9:16, 15 minutes faster than last year, but took a fall and a bee sting to my left eye 5 minutes before the finish line. (Fortunately not at the same time)

Long run today for some heat training then it's off to Colorado for the Wild West Relay for heat and elevation training. My 2nd, 3rd, and 4th legs are gonna be over 8000 feet! Hoo-boy.

Then back to Vancouver to detox from all the Fat Tire that I drank during that weekend to prep for Stormy.

A more detailed race report for Kneeknacker, Wild West Relay and Stormy will be forthcoming...pinky swear.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Jogging for Jugs, 24 Hours with Team Mudd and Ranting in Squamish

So after spending last weekend pacing for 9 hours in the less than stellar conditions at Vancouver 100. I decided to have a "fun" weekend. Now my definition of fun may not quite match normal definitions, but if the looks on my co-workers faces are of any indication after telling them what crazy run I did the previous weekend, it's a pretty safe bet that it's not going to be pretty.

Saturday morning we (Doug, Cat and I) went to Point Roberts for Jog for a Jug. Basically a run around the town of Point Roberts starting and ending at the Reef Tavern. It's 11.2km of rolling hills and flat sections and instead of a finisher's medal, you get a jug (pitcher) of beer. The run wasn't too bad, although I hadn't run road in a while and certainly not anything approaching speedwork. Being a visitor, i wore my Captain Canuck top to show 'em how we roll in Vancouver.

The run started at 11:10am (I'm guessing this was to allow the Reef time to actually start serving beer at the conclusion of the race). Small uphill and then a flat road to a right handed turn. I may have started a little too fast on this section. This was confirmed as I made the turn and started sweating buckets. A little climb, crossed the border lineup, then a sudden descent. Made up some time here but I was going really hard down this section. Saw a water stop and walked through it downing a cup of cold water. Another flat section and another right turn. Turned left after an exposed road section. I'm really starting to feel the heat, maybe this jersey wasn't a good idea after all. A water stop later and the sun is out in full force. Finally I'm 100m to the finish line and I resolve to finish strong. This resolve lasts about two seconds as Doug has snuck up behind me and puts on the jets. Damn it! I elbow him in the throat, but he just shrugged it off. I guess he smelled more than the barn, he smelled the beer! I

I cross the finish line about a quarter of a second after Doug does (51:26) and I think I'm gonna hit the puke zone. This is a first, I'm gonna hurl before I even have the beer. Fortunately I was able to recover and graciously hand Doug a straw (all the better to drink with) to get our pitchers and pictures taken. We secure some lawn chairs in the patio section of the tavern and wait for friends who show up about 10 - 15 minutes later. Some friends can't stay the whole time and gave us their pitchers of beer. Well, if you insist! I think I consumed 2.5 pitchers and Doug had 3.5, but my memory is a little hazy at that point.

From Jog for a Jug, Doug and I went to the Easters Seals 24 Hour Relay at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, but not before getting something to eat at Subway. Doug was running with his corporate team BLG and I was to be pacing some of the ultras Glenn aka Mudrunner and Barb Owen, both very accomplished endurance athletes. We got to the track around 4pm, so they were running for about 6 hours (started at 10am) and it was starting to get even warmer. Mudrunner looked good, Barb, less so. Both had their aid/crew tents next to each other. I ran with Barb for a lap and then with Remax because they offered me a T-shirt and beer (no,I haven't had enough).
Went home and tried to rest, slept for a fair bit and got up around 4:30am. Damn it! I was supposed to be pacing Muddy for the night section (fortunately he had lucked out and Sukhi paced him from 8pm onwards or 50 miles!). When I got to the stadium at 5:20, Muddy was at Mile 95 and needed two laps to go to get his goal of a sub 24 hour 100 miler. In addition to Sukhi, Mike Wardas and Jen from North Shore Athletics had joined the fun as well. So with 4 pacers providing positive reinforcement, Glenn started Lap 39. We walked up the first hill exiting the stadium, past the porta potties, Glenn picked the best terrain for his feet which in this case was the grass and singletrack instead of pavement. It was a little cool but we warmed up quickly. Along the way Glenn regaled us with tales from the trail, trying to dodge frisbees, soccer balls, footballs, and drunk relay runners. We finished the penultimate lap in 32 minutes. Final lap and we're moving along at a decent clip. It was almost like Glenn was trying to drop his pacer?!? I voiced my concerns and had them confirmed. Glenn was going hard for the last little bit and rounded the track and finished in 20:36! Glenn ran a sub 24 100 miler and celebrated his birthday in grand style. Technically Glenn still had 3:24 to run additional laps, but he was having none of that! We settled into some easy camp chairs and snuggled under some sleeping bags and took a well deserved break waiting for the sun to come out.

Barb was just 1 lap shy of her 100 mile goal and the other ultrarunner, the Lone Wolf called it after 80 miles. There was a brief panic when the race organizer and the lap counters at Money Mart only had Glenn at 75 miles, but Mrs Mud produced the log book with every lap split written down to the second.

After the award ceremonies and the 24 hour relay had concluded, I decided to head out to Squamish for Bonkfest II: The revenge! I got to the Powerhouse loop around 12:40pm and the sun was really bearing down. I knew that since Bonkfest started at 7:30 - 8:00am, that they had completed one lap and were well on their way for Lap 2. So I headed out with my Nathan Pack and started climbing Nine Mile Hill. Now on Saturday, there was the Test of Metal Bike race which is about 67km long and has some of the top mountain bikers from North America competing in it. I was continually reminded about this race going up Nine Mile Hill as I kept seeing discarded used gel packets along the trail. Ring Creek rip was somwhat worse as there were quite a few water bottles left.I picked up as many as I could find, but this proved futile as now my hands were covered in strawberrybananachocolateorangemochavanilla gooey sticky gel. For all the bikers who couldn't be bothered to stash their empty gel packets in their spare pocket, please refer to the second picture. Nuff said.

Next week is the Brick workout in Squamish again, where we will run on the Test of Metal course for about 38 km on Saturday and 28km on Sunday. Should be a blast, I think everybody will get bonus points for garbage collection if last Sunday was any indication.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Vancouver 100

So long day and night this past Saturday. Got a 3 hour 15 min training run on the Stormy 100 mile course, granted I was only on course for 1:45, but it was good runnable trail. Then I found out the RD has to change the course due to the actions of some relay members from last year's running. Sigh. Hopefully not too much has changed.

After finishing at 11:30am, drove back from Squamish to Horseshoe Bay to see the winner of the Vancouver 100km, Bill Dagg, at the halfway point. After he refueled after seeing his crew, I ran with him for a little while until we saw the next runner. This turned out to be 40 minutes later! I ran back with two more runners, Neil and Mike. (whose gel flask had blown up and leaked its contents all over his shorts, eeeew) I relaxed and got some food and then after hanging out for a bit, headed back home to get ready to pace my friend Jess for the last quarter of the 100km.

I met Jess and her other pacer Michelle at 1am Sunday morning at Cleveland Dam. Jess had some knee problems and had to change into her road shoes as her trail runners were giving her too much grief. This had reduced Jess to a walk. A strong purposeful walk, but a walk all the same. It took over nine hours in wet miserable conditions but Jess finished with a smile on her face and a song in her heart. Well, okay, maybe not a song per se.

Next up for me is Jog for a Jug in Point Roberts, WA, then it's back to more night running at the 24 hour relay this coming Saturday.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


So the inaugural running of Bonkfest was a moderate success! 8 fearless souls or is that 16 calloused soles(?) started at 7:08 am Saturday, May 31. We were supposed to be starting at 7:00am but due to unforeseen circumstances (grandma's unscheduled ER visit) I arrived a little late for my own event.

A full write-up can be seen at :

Tomorrow, I and a bunch of likeminded individuals will be hitting the Baden Powell Trail from Grouse to Deep Cove for some night time training. The first 10km is the most technical part of the trail and would be a challenge in the day time, much less at night. I need to do some trail running/walking for my upcoming 100 miler in Squamish:


Friday, May 16, 2008

Bonkfest preview

Didn't get to make it to SF this weekend for Bay 2 Breakers for some great trails, beer, and old friends. So I did the drive to Squamish for a pre Stormy training tun, specifically Bonkfest which I'm hosting as a Flash event with Club Fat Ass next Saturday. Bonkfest is essentially multiple loops of Powerhouse which goes up Nine Mile hill via Mamquam Forest Service Road, up Lava Flow trail, down Ring Creek Rip , down Powerhouse Plunge and back down to Powerhouse Aid Station. Stormy 100 miler will require you go up this section twice. Trail was in decent shape, granted, 7.5 miles is a fire road, but 6 miles of that is a hill. Lava Flow trail is very rocky, and Ring Creek Rip was a blast of shaded downhill singletrack. The initial Powerhouse plunge isn't that bad, even though it's rated most difficult for Mountain bikers, for trail runners, it's a lot of fun. But crossing the road to the second part of the Plunge is very fast downhill switchback running with the usual mountainbike obstacles. A little crushed gravel road to the Powerhouse falls and you're back. 3:14 for me, but I did start at 1pm and I took a lot of pictures. Hopefully Ring Creek Rip will be a little more cleared come race day.

Monday, May 5, 2008

My ego and my noggin took a bruising at Miwok

But I did end up finishing in 15:20 so it's not all bad news. Short story: I couldn't keep anything down and relied on water and nuun for the last 20 miles. My sodium levels were dangerously low and I had multiple full blown cramping sessions that oddly came after going up a long hill. My only bright spot was that my pacer, Yvette from SF, wouldn't let me quit. Unfortunately she had to go to a party in Oakland at mile 58 and I was alone again for 4 super slow miles. Fortunately there was no one on the course I could actually drop to so I had to suck it up to the finish line.

I got this little bump at the 22 mile mark, soon after leaving Pan Toll Ridge Aid Station. I hit a low tree branch and knocked myself loopy for a minute. Oh, well. I'll do better next time and you better believe there's going to be a next time!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Getting Race ready

Bags are packed, race gear in tow. Now all I have to do is survive the drive to SeaTac airport to catch my flight tomorrow. I've just shaved my head to the scalp to be more "aerodynamic" on the trail.

My back feels a little tight and I'm not sure why. A good reason why I'm not taking my Nathan 2l pack with me. 2 handhelds in my dropbag will have to do at Pantoll. I have a pacer at Mile 49.5 who is supposed to meet me at 2pm (8:20), hopefully I'll meet her there.

Club Fat Ass should do okay at this race. Gary, the Repta Bros should finish in the top 25%. I'm hoping for a sub 14, sub 12. We'll see.

Going to hang out with the Gypsies H3 while I'm in SF Thursday. One day to recover and shop for some coconut juice and I'll be good to go.

Send me your positive deep thoughts...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Navigating the Suburban Rush

So last Saturday I volunteered on the navigation section of the Suburban Rush in Port Moody. While this could be considered to be an entry level adventure race, there were quite a few experienced teams out there who are sponsored by Helly Hansen, Steed Cycles and other outdoor brand names. We (Jordy and me) were in charge of marking trail (mini green road flags and green ribbon) and 7 markers each with its own distinctive stamp. Racers were given a map where each of the markers were laid out and it was up to them how they were to approach each marker. Our job was to be creative enough to lead them to the marker, but not be completely obvious. Since I had a week to go before Miwok (more on this later) and I knew some of the side trails around Buntzen Lake I was given a few markers to set as I saw fit as long as I stuck to the map. Our first mark was #3 which was through a little bushwack and popped out into a little alcove near the lake. I ended up getting poked in the eyebrow by an errant branch. #6 was easily the roughest one as it involved clambering over a slippery log section, through a few downed trees and very narrow singletrack with steep switchbacks. Jordy had prelaid #5, #4 (which was on the FU George trail) which 4 teams and 2 solo runners missed completely. I suggested Mark#1 be in the middle of several uphill log sections that you had to scramble up, but if racers could see beyond the flags, they could bypass the trail and climb up a small fireroad and access the mark that way. By far the most frustrating and easily missed mark was #2. I placed it on the right side of a steep downhill with flags clearly pointing upwards, I designed it so that if someone was going downhill, they'd get tunnel vision and would miss it, but if you were going uphill, you would easily see it because you would be walking this section. Good times. It was a lot of fun directing racers all over the course and looking out for them as well. The only gripe I have was we were not able to assess penalties as quite a few teams did not follow the "You must be within sight of your team member at all times" rule. So for example, on Marker 6, the slower member of the team would wait at the bottom of the hill, while the stronger or less fatigued member would power up the hilly switchbacks and the way the marker was placed, they were more than 10 feet apart. Unfortunately we didn't have team numbers or a camera to take pictures for evidence. I think we should go on a yellow card, red card system for rule infractions. A ten minute penalty may not seem like much, but when the difference between 3rd and 4th place is 7 minutes, I think it'd be a good idea. Okay, rant over.

Miwok is only 5 days away! And I still don't have a plan! Well, other than running it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

More running than I'm used to...

Well, it was a somewhat successful weekend. Had a great time with the Seattle H3 and managed to score a place to sleep but completed Mt Si 50 mile, my first 50 miler of the year!

I was supposed to run it in my Streaks, but 10 minutes before race start I changed into my Asics 2120s because the trail was essentially either fireroad or crushed gravel. I was hoping for a 10-11 hour effort but I ended up with 8:39:47!

This was a very fast course and very, very runnable. Too much so, that because I wasnt wearing a watch, I had no idea how fast I was actually running until the 27 mile when a woman I was running with clocked us at 4:15 for 27 miles! Oops! I'm running faster than my normal marathon times but I still have 23 miles to go! I was sure I was going to bonk, but it didn't happen. My quads were tightening a lot on the turnaround, but I made sure once I had my food and electrolytes I was moving again.

Made new friends with Pocahomo and got reacquainted with Linda Barton, a girl I was playing leapfrog with at Chuckanut. As it turns out, I'll see her again at Miwok!

Speaking of which...I got my race bib in the mail today! I'm number 200.
Well, time to rest up and get some more calories. Hopefully I'll figure out this blogging thing soon.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Going in blind

Well, it's travel day tomorrow. I'm off to Seattle, well Redmond, WA to pick up my race package and find a place to stay for the Mt Si 5o miler. I'll think I'll check out the Seattle Hash if I can make it in time. But shelter tops my priority list right now.

I have never run this race before. I don't really have a strategy per se, reports on this race are few. I'm bringing pb sandwiches, Nuun, my GUs and coconut juice. I hope that's enough to sustain me.

The race should be very runnable as the course appears to be a mix of road and crushed gravel so it'll be the Streaks race day.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Diez Vista 50k - Musings


I actually did my report on DV on another blog posting, in case you haven't seen it yet:

So now that's it has only been 4 days since the race was completed, I thought I'd have a few comments, random deep thoughts:
  • Maybe next year there could be a more indepth course description on the website, pictures, maps, elevation chart, that sorta thing.
  • speaking of pictures, did you see the guy filming the whole race on various sections of the course? Hopefully there will be some finish line photos.
  • The Montrail Streaks worked great....on the rocky, bare sections. Not so much on the slick roots and rocks. Not that I was racing really hard in those sections.
  • Nutrition worked great, only had used 2 aid stations and even then it was just to grab M&M's and water.
  • Volunteers rocked! Especially taking care of those that had to drop out of the race.
  • Everyone keeps asking me, "Where did you get the gaiters from? Dirty Girl Gaiters. I was trolling the internet looking for Dirty Girls and I found this website, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
  • My running has improved a lot from last year. Setting a PR by an hour is huge. I'm very happy with my performance.
  • Okay, next time is Mt Si 50 mile in Snoqualmie, WA. I have not done a strategy for this race, I've never done this race before. I'm not sure I should be doing this race. But since I already paid my fee...I may DNF a race, but I try not to DNS.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Trying new things-just before a race

Well, I'm mostly over my cold. Got two decent days of bed rest out of it. Came to a decision today. Last Saturday, I bought a pair of Montrail Streaks, they're a streamlined trail running shoe. Normally I've been running in Hardrocks and Continental Divides, but they seem really burly and they're fairly heavy. The Streaks have all the protection and support that I've come to expect from Montrail, but I swear, they're lighter than my road shoes. I wore them on Sunday on a 20 mile road/crushed gravel trail and they worked great. I took a few side detours onto some singletrack and they really responded well. I was thinking I would wear them on the 2nd half of DV and stash them in my drop bag. Do the technical part on my Continentals and then cruise with the Streaks.

However, on Wed I ran with the "unofficial" Knee Knacker training group going out for its first run of the season. Damn, there were at least 15 or so out there - the biggest on record for a first day. This course went out on the Baden Powell Trail - which is usually the benchmark for all my trail runs. Train on the BP, everything else will feel like a bike path. The shoes worked great for the trail, I was sliding a bit in the shoe, but I hadn't tightened them from Sunday. There was a little slippage on the terrain, thankfully no one saw me as I slid twice on two separate logs. I'm blaming the ice and snow. Thursday I ran from Sasamat Lake up towards the DV ridge and had no problems at all, especially coming back down.

So instead of changing them at 25k, I'll wear my Streaks for the full 50k. I can also minimize my drop bag.

So my goals for DV are to PB, which would mean running faster than 7:38 and to DNF (DO NOTHING FATAL) after all, I still have to run 15 miles the next morning and I've got a 50 miler the next Sunday!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Pre race handicapping

Around 2:30pm today, I noticed a tickle in my throat that was not going away. Damn. Took a cough drop, but that only temporarily alleviated the suffering. Not good for someone who has to talk on the phone all day, but I managed to get through it. I think I'm coming down with a cold, that 21 mile road/trail run I did yesterday probably brought my immune system down and I was more susceptible for any kind of nasty bug lurking around.

Fast forward nine hours, my throat has swelled up and swallowing is very painful. I might need some bed rest and plenty of fluids. This doesn't look good for Diez Vista 50km on Saturday, but it might be a blessing in disguise.

In previous races, I started out too fast, felt okay in the middle and then faded near the end, my pace degenerating into the "zombie shuffle". This year I've adopted an initial slower pace at the start, gradually increasing my pace and going all out in the end has yielded some impressive results.

I was treating this race as a training run (although it's one in which I would like to set a PB!) for Miwok 100km in May and also tempered by the knowledge that I have a 50 miler the next Sunday after Diez Vista will mean that I have to readjust my goals.

Well, I'll know more depending on how I feel tomorrow.


My first posting

Hey, everybody!

This is a little surreal. Early in my running life, I've written updates, stories, recaps etc on all the crazy races and runs that I do and have sent them to all my friends who, by now, must have regretted giving their e-mail address to me.

As I kept evolving as a runner and as an individual, the stories kinda dropped off as I found other things to occupy my time.

But now that I've discovered (okay, lurked for years) blogging, I now have a creative outlet to express my thoughts, my fears, my demons and maybe try to figure out exactly why I keep going when every fiber of my being is screaming at me to stop!

This probably isn't going to end well. So let's begin.