Saturday, April 14, 2012

Glacier Ridge 50k race report

Here is a brief summary of my race at the Glacier Ridge 50k this morning. I put together a list of objectives prior to the race, so here is how I think I fared. This list was assembled in order of descending priority.

  1. Finish - yup.
  2. Have fun - again, yup.
  3. don't bonk - didn't
  4. eat frequently - I usually eat every 30 minutes but found this was making me a bit queasy, so I eased it back to every 45 - 60 and found that worked well.
  5. eat solid foods frequently - I usually eat nothing but gel and gatorade during a race, but that clearly has its limitations. today i ate a lot of potato chips at aid stations, chased by healthy amounts of pepsi. i even managed to get down a quarter of a pb&j. i have found that for a couple minutes after i eat, i usually get a little swirly in the stomach. I reckon this is because there is a competing demand for blood between my leg muscles, and my stomach (which is trying to digest food). overall, i think the queasiness is well worth it in terms of the extra calories taken in. so, i'll say success on #5.
  6. finish strong/balance the effort throughout the day - I definitely did finish strong. I don't think i got passed all day, and was able to hold off a young woman at the very end who made a charge. we had kind of a cat and mouse thing going on the last 5 or so miles and turned it into a friendly rivalry. I credit her with helping me push hard in the final miles. Mostly because I didn't want to get passed by a girl at the very end. as far as balanced effort, i ran all the hills through the first 10 miles or so, I don't quite know why. after a while I decided that this was a great way to blow up, so I power hiked most of the hills after this. overall a consistent effort though.
  7. beat last year's time - I think I shaved 20 minutes off my time from last year. I wanted to break 6 hours this year, but it didn't happen. my longest run prior to today was about 11 miles this year. not making excuses but perhaps not in ideal shape for the race. had a very strong base though, which got me through it. success on #7
  8. run the hills - did for 10 or so miles but wisely decided that this was a great way to turn the last part of the race into a death march.
  9. beat Andrew - FAIL....hung with my friend Andrew through the first 20 miles, we were pushing the pace hard. some context, Andrew is a 2:50 marathoner, ran 22 hours and change at Western States last year, and is a fantastically talented runner (and a great guy). Having said that, he is as competitive as they come and I wanted to beat him bad this year. we pushed REAL hard from ~ mile 15 through 20 and I decided that the pace was not sustainable for me, so I fell off the back. Lost him after a few miles, but in the back of my head I kept hoping to reel him in before the finish. he was done by the time I finished, he didn't know what his time was but said he hadn't been done that long before I showed up. he also said he struggled hard at the end. part of me wishes that 1) I hadn't run the hills in the beginning, and 2) I hadn't insisted on hanging with him at what I knew was a pace I could not maintain. perhaps if I ran my own race, I may have beat him? who knows. anyway, I did not beat Andrew but I'm ok with that...........he is an amazing runner and tough as nails, so i'm pretty happy that I came as close as I did.

Great day in the woods overall.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I have decided not to pursue my triathlon goals this year. I was having a lot of difficulty picking up the swimming and while I like to think that I am not the type of person to fold when adversity arises, this was causing significant problems for me. I was not having any fun at all, therefore I decided it is not worth doing right now. Maybe one day, but not right now.

Have been enjoying the warm weather immensely. I took the day off on Friday and visited an old haunt, Mingo Park. This trail can be a muddy disaster at times, but surprisingly was pretty dry. I had forgotten how difficult this trail was: while the climbs are not all that difficult, they are everywhere! The whole thing is basically either going up or down at all times. I was plugging along pretty well and was running strong, able to run all the climbs with little trouble, which is promising for this time of year. However I think the temperature started to get to me a little bit (it was 81 degrees) since I started cramping and had consumed 2 liters of Gatorade in about 9 miles. By the time I finished I was kind of in rough shape and opted not to continue for a second lap like I originally intended. This was the right call, I really don't see the point in pushing beyond what my capabilities were for that particular day, especially since it is only March. Overall, it was a glorious day in the woods.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy Smarch

A couple of things:

  1. The Chilton manual for my car FINALLY came out! I have been waiting 4 long years for this (ever since I owned the car).

  2. Overtraining: its a bitch. Only thing you can do is total rest until it passes. I am currently on day 6 of doing nothing (not counting the swimming I did Monday morning). Better to be smart about the training rather than try to knock it out of the park every time you work out. At least it is early in the season. I the future I will try to better plan my workouts and try to allow for more recovery days.

  3. Lastly, unless you've got some gross deformity you don't want everyone to see, there is no reason for men to urinate in the stall. Be a man and pony up to the urinal like everybody else. There are those who have a bit of "stage fright," myself included, but I just could not ever bring myself to relent and retreat to the stall to urinate. Something about it just doesn't seem right.

Happy Smarch!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

ahoy ahoy

Well, it looks like I'm going back to settle some unfinished business this year! Can't wait. Racing season now set in stone: this, then this, followed by this, and finally, THIS! I feel this is a reasonable compromise for a guy who swore off ultrarunning after 2011.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Keeping it casual this year, as promised. Yesterday I added this little bad boy to the calendar. I think this is perhaps the most excited I have ever been about an upcoming racing season.

Wasatch Front 100 lottery in less than an hour. By the end of the day I will know definitively what the rest of my racing year will look like.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I would really like to compete in a triathlon this year. I have always said that the day would come when I've had my fill of ultrarunning and wanted to try something new. My race calendar for 2012 is intentionally very light.......I swore to keep it fun this year and so far I am having a blast.

I would like to sign up for the Pittsburgh triathlon (international distance) in July. The only problem is that I refuse to wear anything made out of spandex. I won't do it. I'll swim in some regular style swimming trunks if I need to. I can completely understand the benefit of the spandex. Limits transition times, probably dries very quickly, etc. I'm not doing it though. Something about a grown man wearing spandex that just doesn't seem right to me.

I also will definitely not buy a new bike. I will ride the mountain bike I already own.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Racing season coming more into focus this week. My check is in the mail for Laurel Highlands 50k. So far, I've got the Pittsburgh marathon in May, and Laurel Highlands in June. As promised this year, I'm keeping it relaxed and casual. The unusually warm winter, besides throwing natural gas markets into a tizzy and giving me lots to read about in my professional life, has allowed for lots of lunch time bike riding. I am taking advantage whenever I can. If I can get two biking, running, and swimming workouts this week, plus hopefully two sessions of resistance training, I will be happy.