Monthly Archives: June 2012

Trail Run

Went out with Shubi and Gombu for a little trail run.  Hiked up Evergreen Mountain, then headed over to Elephant Butte.  Very warm temperatures, but got in a little bit of breezes.

I have a slight headache going on, that could just be due to the heat, lack of calories, lack of caffeine or maybe the increase in elevation.

Going to Frisco to hike and then long run-whatever that  means!!-Saturday.

I am in the West!

I arrived in Denver in the afternoon, smooth, fast uneventful flight out.  I spent my time waiting for my ride, reading a new blog:  The Mediocre Athlete.  OMG.  She is freaking hilarious! And a good writer, and definitely NOT a mediocre athlete, by any standards.

At the Denver airport, you could smell smoke, although it was hard to tell if that was smoke in the distance, or just the weather, Gombu says that it was just the weather.

I immediately noticed I was in the West, as my hands went extremely dry.  I also have noticed it with my eyes also.  I will probably try out my contacts and see how they do.  I might be wearing my glasses for the time out here.

I seemed to eschew the whole  “avoid alcohol, drink lots of water” advice immediately.  I had a Mojo IPA at the Boulder Brew House, at the airport, then had more beers with Shubi and Gombu, at their local hangout.  Sigh.  Perfectly fried sweet potato fries.  (Perfectly fried potatoes is like a Holy Grail search in the restaurants around where I live.)

No worries, I was also drinking water, and am continuing to drink water.  I may have straight hair by the end of this journey, due to lack of humidity.

As we drove west, on the highway, I was treated to a spectacular view of the Rockies-a true welcome to the West! (It’s too bad I didn’t think of trying to snap a picture.)

Today is a mellow day.  Gombu is going to show me some trails later, I’m going to visit the grocery store to lay in some supplies, and enjoy the great outdoors.  But there will be pics later!

Last Run at Home

Today, Monday, is my day off work. I work Tuesday and Wednesday, and I know I am not going to get a run in after work-need to spend as much “me” time with the husband and the pups. So I got out this morning for my usual 10K around the block, the last one before heading West.

Deer Trail off the road

Neighbor’s Barn

a Toyota Landcruiser for sale.

Just what I see daily on my run

Amish Barn

It was a very animal free run.  No Scooter the dog, no beagles, only two of the Gump dogs; no cows in the pasture, no goats in the pasture.  Must have been in the alternate meadows.

I listened to the Dirt Bag Diaries and felt very light on my feet (although Garmin didn’t seem to agree with me.)  A nice wind was blowing, there was low humidity.  A good run to shake out the legs and calm the nerves.

I fly to Denver on Thursday, and get to hang out in Gombu’s basement until July 4.  I don’t really have any plans made for this time.  I believe we are going to attend the Arapahoe Basin Trail Race on July 1 before picking up Baby Saquatch at the airport.  It’s a 4.8 mile race-around 12,000 feet.  (Note:  I plan on pretty much hiking this!!!)

On July 4,  Eric and I will pick up Cam and Slim and head off to Leadville!!  Yes, home of the Leadville 100 Race.  Current plans are to hike Hope Pass, and the next day, to climb Mount Massive, one of the 14’ers.

After that, we will head further south, to the San Juan Mountains, to see as much course as we can, before heading to our base camp in Silverton.

I am planning on blogging this whole amazing journey, as I don’t think I will be off the grid so much-just during the daytime hours! Stay tuned!

Date Deprived

I have no concept of what the date is. Or, if I know what the date is, no concept of the relation to the date.

I thought I had not written a blog post in “a long time”.  In turns out, it was just this past week.  Was it just last weekend that I paced at Mohican?

I leave for CO on Thursday. I’m pretty tightly wound. I would say, welll, I am wound.

I think I will feel better once I arrive in Denver and get to my friend’s house.  Once I am on the ground, in the West, I want to lay on the deck, at his house, and see if I can decompress.

Tomorrow is my day off here, of work. I need to finalize my packing, and spend the day with my husband.

And run my 10K loop around the block, because I haven’t run in about five days, and with all my tension and non-running (aka called working the weekend) I need to run.  I have to say good-bye to my little neighborhood, I will be gone for 3 weeks! I will miss the green woods of the east.

Then I work Tuesday and Wednesday, then Thursday I fly West.

But do not worry!  The internet works in the West also, and I’m pretty sure my friend has internet at his home, so my blogging will be updated.  I will be interested in blogging about the altitude, as a lowlander, and my thoughts on the Big West. 

Maybe Monday’s blog will be an update on the plan out West!!

Mohican Recap

I had a nice time pacing fellow VHTRC’er Mark McKennett to his fifth 100 mile finish at the Mohican 100 Race.

I tracked Mark down at the Fire Tower, and began pacing him there. This was 10 pm Saturday night.

Mark did very well, hiking with a nice power walk, about 16 minute miles.  Now, if you are a non-trail runner, this probably sounds incredibly slow.  Remember, this is night time, and we have head lamps on-and Mark has already completed 66 miles.  Oh, and this is on a trail, with roots and rocks.

We got back to the start/finish, and started the final loop. Mark actually ran a bit of this, I think because he just wanted to get done.

The wheels fell off, around the Fire Tower.  His toes were really bothering him, and we were at a very slow walk.

Mark was a good trooper, though, no whining from him, and I complimented him on that. Other than mentioning his feet hurt, that was about it.

I did the typical pacer routine-I chattered on and on about everything and nothing. Mark was very quiet.  He did tell me at some point it was fine for me to talk, he was just too tired to respond.  I also told him he was fine to tell me to “shut the fuck up” whenever my chattering was too much for him-which allowed me to tell the “shut the fuck up” story about two other ultra running friends.

This was my first return to Mohican since crewing there in 2009, I believe.

My constructive criticism:

The course was very well marked.  Lots of signs, and colored arrows on the ground.  I don’t see how you could go off course. Well done.

Runner Tracking-the race had a new tracking system set up.  When I arrived at the Start/Finish HQ of the race, I could punch in Mark’s bib number, and see where he had checked in on the course.  This was very helpful to find your runner out there.

Volunteers-all the volunteers were very nice and helpful.

Aid Stations-this has nothing to do with the volunteers-the aid stations were pretty poor.  Poor on food and organization.  Now this was late into the race day, 10 pm at night.  No aid station, other than the Covered Bridge, had any hot food.  There seemed to be plenty of oranges, watermelon, and bananas.  There was usually some chips and PB&J sandwiches.  The only item I tried to eat was a freshly made turkey and cheese sandwich.  There just was not enough-and at some AS, no veteran volunteers.  When a runner is late into a 100 mile race, it is hard to eat. And that is when the runner needs calories.  The only thing Mark was eating was watermelon (little calories there) and turkey and cheese squares.  One AS was just a wreck.  I was cutting watermelon with the dullest knife ever.   I then was able to fish a fresh banana out of their stash still below the table.

I am glad I paced at the 2012 race.  I have mentioned before, if it seems the race shows steady improvement, I would run it again.  I will not be back for the race, plenty of other races to spend my $$ at.

It was good to see friends out there, and see Mark Carroll finish his 10th Mohican, 1000 miles of Mohican!!

Pacing at Mohican

So this is what it feels like to not be running on a Saturday morning!  I cleaned the bathroom and the living room, and got the rest of my packing organized for the West. I took a rather nice  nap in my hammock outside.

I did not run this morning because I am planning on pacing a runner tonight at the Mohican 100 Race.

Mark is a fellow VHTRC’er.  He kind of fell into the runner bib, because Max, another VHTRC’er became injured and cannot run the race.  Mark emailed me about the race, and I gave him my opinion.  I also mentioned pacing him.  

100 Mile races have “pacers” for safety reasons.  A runner can typically pick up a pacer  about mile 50-60, or up.  Older pacers usually have the option of a pacer at the 30 mile mark.  The safety factor is there, because, as the sun goes down, the runner is tired after so many miles on the feet.

A pacer is supposed to be support.The runner is the one who should be leading.  The pacer is there to talk-or not talk, to make sure the runner is eating and drinking and peeing.  The pacer is not to be carrying the runner’s gear or water bottles (referred to as muling) in most races.

My job, when I arrive, is to join  Mark on the trails in the middle of the night.  I will chat him up, tell him stories, jokes, monitor my watch and make sure he is still eating and drinking on a schedule.I will also be quiet if he wants me to. Some runners don’t want to hear chatter late in the race.

I wanted to get another long run-or, with pacing, more time on my feet before heading out West.

My plan is to try and get a “bead”on Mark about his mile 50 or so. These days, with technology, it might be more easy.  The Mohican 100 does not have a live update, as many 100 races do.   But cell phone coverage is much better, even in the Mohican State Park/Forrest area.  Mark  tweeted when he came through his first loop in six hours.  I am anticipating a second loop of eight hours due to the heat of the afternoon.

It is only 1.5 hour drive for me to Mohican.  Hopefully I can learn where Mark is on the course, then I can go run him down, either backwards on the course, or chase him down.  That way, I get some running in before I join him.

Late in a race, in a 100 miler, there is much more walking than there is running.  So I need to be prepared with my own water, food, clothing, for a slower night.  Also, it should not need to be mentioned, LIGHTS!!!

I am pretty excited about going to Mohican.  I’ve been avoiding the race for several years (long story not worth the negative  karma) but getting to the race late in the game will be fun!

I will see many many friends in the 100!  Mark Carroll, who is going to finish for his 10th time this year!  Ron Dukes, who is going to finish his first Mohican!

So I am going back to my lounging here.  I’d like to leave now, for Mohican, but that would expend alot of energy too early.

So, there should be another chatty post tomorrow night about my experience over night!

Packing

Okay, I am behind in my packing and my lists.

I have to have lists for races. If I don’t have lists, and items checked off, I have no idea if I brought the item.

This is one of those “travelling” races where you have to bring everything. I am flying to the race, so I don’t want to have the airlines lose anything crucial.

The good part about this race is my friend lives out West, so I am going to ship a box out before the race.

Which means soon. So I need to get the lists made, so I can pack the box, so I know what stuff is where!

Shoe Update

My Montrail Bajads were shredded after MMT.  Evidence below:

I called Montrail.  I got a very bored phone representative who asked me why I didn’t return them to the store that I had bought them out.  But she gave me a RA (return authorization) number and cautioned me that the shoes had to be clean.

So then I hopped onto the website where I had bought the shoes, Road Runner Sports.  I discovered, since I am a VIP member, there is a 90 day Test Run Policy. Huh.  Well, it’s been less than 90 days since I bought them, so I read through the fine print; sure enough, just return them, for either a refund or exchange.

I believe the shoes went out last Friday or Monday, and I just got an email from Road Runner Sports saying they recieved the shoes and credited my account.  Awesome!

I know many times it is better to patronize your local running sport.  My closest running store-which doesn’t stock trail shoes-is 47 miles away.  So I buy most of my shoes, and gear online.

So what shoes go to Hard Rock?  I have been wearing a pair of La Sportiva Raptors with good results. I wore those shoes for some rocky miles on the Laurel Highlands Trail.  I will also bring my spare unripped Montrail Bajadas and my La Sportiva Cross Lites.  This will be drop bag shoes, in case I want to swap them out.