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Showing posts from 2014

Bonking on the Volcanic 50k: Mt St Helens, WA

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"They sent a chopper after me," is how my first few text messages to friends and family went. It was an epic race with a hell of a story for an ending...but more on that later.


The forecast for this past weekend for the Volcanic 50 showed highs climbing into the 90's at 2k to 3k feet of elevation. Higher up it would be cooler but only slightly. Add to the mix a course with very little shelter or shade, 20mph dry hot winds, switchbacks up exposed pumice/sand canyons...and well what we had was a recipe for 'epic' and a fair amount of DNFs. The Volcanic 50 website said something about this 50k running more like a 50mi. I'd say it ran like a 50k around a volcano plopped in the middle of the Sahara desert. Modest elevation gain and loss was upset by the frequent technical trails and/or lava fields. So when my buddy Chris high-fived me at mile 29 for a race well run, little did I know that last 2.5 miles would be my undoing.


In the finish area after the race…

100 Mile Proposal Maps

Running Arizona, Like a Lunatic.

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As is usual with weddings, there is sometimes the need for recovery oriented activities on the day after. Such was the case in Arizona this past weekend when after a very late bed-time of 12AM (midnight is late for a 35 y/o middle aged man such as myself), I set my alarm for 5.30, and settled into bed for a few hours of sleep. 5.30 came around, my alarm went off, my wife elbowed me in the face when I didn't hear it, and then I proceeded to groan for 20 minutes before throwing a leaky gallon water-jug in my too big REI day pack along with 3 cake-pops from the wedding and some trail mix from PCC. At this early point in my run, life felt like a run-on sentence.

Pictured above are Kristi and I's premium Luna Adventure Sandals, my footwear of choice for this adventure run.

I wasn't optimistic about this run as starting out I didn't really have a proper way to carry enough water for the Arizona heat and elevation...and let's be honest...this was 5 hours after the end of …

Running with a f*#@ing backpack: a discovery in chi running.

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As I've posted before Danny Dreyer's hallmark chi running technique has vastly improved my running performance and comfort. Fresh off a PT appointment (where I'm basically learning to use my ass muscles more when I run, walk, or climb) I was running home with my typical pack full of Kristi Helgeson's home cooked "sack" lunch (packed in heavy-ass-glass estrogenic-free Tupperware). I was practicing my "ass-form" and also trying to run in such a way that my "day-pack" wouldn't wobble and violently jiggle me right off the sidewalk and into an oncoming buss. In essence, I have been noticing on several of my runs to and from work (with packs full of business casual non-sweatified clothing and yes my heavy ass lunch) that running with a pack efficiently forces me into a very nice and proper chi-form of running. I've also noticed that ideally if I can cinch my pack up high enough to align the bottom of my pack as close as possible to t…

Cowbells and Wild Flowers: Sun Mountain 50k Race Review.

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Basically I earned myself a spot in the Saturday 50k by ringing a cowbell and calling numbers over a walkie to the finish crew. And this my friends was my reward:
The Sun Mountain 1k, 25k, 50k, and 50mi is going to go down as my favorite trail trace of all time. It may be beat sometime soon, but for now it holds absolute reign at the top. And this even after an amazing time at the Yakima Skyline Rim a few weeks back. The 50k course was indeed "very runnable" as many who were there were fond of saying. Not overly technical my only very slight complaint was found in the rare but occasional mountain bike eroded downhill trails. That said the erosion was minimal for an area heavily used by bikers. What makes this my favorite race so far was the combination of North Cascades scenery, well pitched high quality trail, and perfect weather. I would like to say it was a bit too sunny for my glowing white body but that would be a disservice to the great weather this race often…

Yakima Skyline Rim 25k Race Review

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Can't really beat a shot like that from Glenn Tachiyama. Check out his website for photos to purchase here.

Yakima Skylinehill Rim 25k was one tough 25k. I finished in 3:23:54 but not before the basalt ridden course had thoroughly tested my trail sandals. I haven't run on a more hazardous rock than Eastern Washington basalt - it feels like coral. The Luna Oso mid-sole is tougher than many a trail race shoe and came through it all looking only slightly less pretty. Many regular minimalists put their old, heavy clod-stopping, brick-like trail runners back on for this race. But not me, Luna's were my best choice even for this tough race. I'm pretty proud of finishing this tough 25k in the 72nd percentile with my Luna's strapped firmly and securely to my two soft-skinned feet.

I'll start this off by saying that Yakima Skyline 50k and 25k is destined to be, if it is not already, a Rainshadow Running classic. It was indeed warm, dry, difficult and amazingly…

Running for Recovery: Training for my first 100 mile ultra marathon.

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I run for a lot of reasons. One of the chief reasons is that it augments my mental health. When I run my body feels good and my brain feels better. Plus it lets me eat a little more...pizza which is one of my favorite things. That and running a local 50 miler is a far easier task today than just getting through a day was 15 years ago. So I run.

Something else related to me and my various addictions: I'll have the temptation to grasp on to my 100 miler just like I grasp onto that entire pint of Ben and Jerry's. Whether it's the IMTUF 100 or Stagecoach 100 or Leadville I'll grasp onto a far off goal like a distraction I cave and lose sight of the clear and ever present moment.

What's fun about running is being on the trail and how I feel while I'm doing it and immediately after. So may I stop grasping and just start doing. May I be in the moment more with eyes on the horizon less. The last time I got fixated on a good horizon view in the WR50 my foot…