Monthly Archives: August 2007

Into the night I run

 

Sunset on the trail

About once a month, I try to do a run that incorporates a good portion of darkness (trying to prepare for running through the night during my 100 miler). Yesterday I left home around 6pm and ran a 32 mile loop that I finished just after midnight. I love those types of runs. It’s such a cool feeling to start running in broad daylight and know that you will still be going strong well after dark. The run tested me, I don’t think I’m fully recovered from the 100K race, but I made it through ok and am hungry for more.

A guy caught up to me just before mile 20 and just about fell over when he asked how far I was going and I replied 30+. It was pretty funny, he was out trying to squeeze in 6 after dinner. We ended up having a really nice chat, and that 2 miles went by far faster than any other two that night. It’s amazing how running with someone can do that. Other than races, I haven’t run with anyone at all this year. I do some group rides, but the running has been 100% solo. Kinda hard to find any takers for a 32 miler on a Saturday night…

Leadville 100 – Winfield Aid Station

As is becoming the norm with a lot of 100 mile races, the one I’m doing requires that each entrant do at least 8 hours of trail work or volunteer at another race. With this in mind, I signed up to work at the Leadville 100 race which is held in the mountains a couple of hours from our house. Malcolm and I made a camping trip out of it and stayed just outside of Leadville the night before the race. I got up at 4:20 in the morning and watched as 580 runners went by with headlamps and flashlights (our campsite was near mile 3 of the race course). It was quite a sight!

We made it out to our assigned station at 9:00 in the morning. This was the 50 mile turnaround point of the race (out-and-back course), and was a VERY busy location. I spent most of the day directing vehicles to parking spots in a clearing, and Malcolm worked inside the aid tent handing out cups of soda. It was a long, tiring day – but very rewarding. The location was beautiful and the people we worked with were great.

It gave me a whole new appreciation for what goes on behind the scenes during a race like this. I also was amazed at how people handled having 50 miles behind them with 50 more to go. Some were zombies, some focused, some in pain, some happy and cheerful, others were grumpy. I’ve been all of that and more…

It’s a tough race, with altitude, weather, and tough cutoff times. Out of the 580 starters, there would only be 210 finishers.

See some photos here.

Kat’cina Mosa 100K Mountain Challenge Run

That. Was. HARD. I surely didn’t expect anything less. You know it’s a tough course when the winner’s time works out to a 12.5 minute pace…

I first heard about this race last November, and immediately knew I wanted to do it. Just the fact that it was a huge ultramarathon right in my old backyard got me interested. Nevermind the minor detail that I was currently going to physical therapy 3 times a week and couldn’t run at all. On January 1st of this year, I set the course map as the wallpaper on my computer screen, and started off my training with a 3 mile run. Now, after 280 hours of training that included 1200 miles of running and another 800 miles of cycling, I was ready to give it a go.

All was not well, though. I had trained super hard through June and early July, pushing my body and legs to the max. Then I started a taper period 3 weeks out from the race where I would reduce my mileage by about 1/3 each week and get some extra rest. I fell into a taper trap. The trouble with tapering is after all that training plus a little bit of rest, you start to feel pretty good. That’s the whole point. The trap I got sucked into was one of running faster than I should have been – because I was feeling so strong. So I ended up with a pretty good hip injury from a little 6 mile run about 10 days before the race. A small muscle on the front of my right hip was damaged (probably from over-striding), and it let me know it with every single step.

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