Saturday, January 23, 2010

January Long Run

I had set a goal this year to run a marathon distance or further every month of the year. Today was my attempt to run 26+ miles for January. It was really the only chance I would have considering I am busy next week with work and then scout camp on the weekend. So I went after it this morning.
I didn't prepare very well, I'll admit that right up front. I didn't eat before going out and didn't drink enough water the day before. At mile 2 I stopped at the store to purchase some goodies for the run and to eat a donut. Because I do a lot of adventure runs and ultras I have learned to eat while I run. I can also pretty much eat anything I want without it adversely affecting my condition (while I run). I won't go into the details of most of the run. If you want to read about the details you can go to my running workout blog where I track all of workouts at What I will address on this blog is the end of the run and my reflection on how I did and my look to the future.
I fought energy issues the entire run and at mile 18 I was just out of steam. My cardio was still good and I felt like I had energy, but it wasn't transitioning down into my legs; they were just dead. I was also running out of the alotted time I had to spend this morning and knew I had to be home soon. Finally, I was closer to home than I had intended at this point in the run, so I was kind of having to improvise on my route. I really felt like I could push to at least 22 or 23 miles before having to call it quites, but I wasn't even sure my legs would let me. Because I love running uphill and I generally feel better doing it I headed up towards Mt Olympus through the neighborhoods in my town of Holladay. As I wound upward to a few streets above my house my calves started to cramp (not enough salt even though I had been taking pills) and my legs were just through. I figured it was time to turn west and head home. I was able to complete 21.87 miles in just under 3 1/2 hours.

There are some important take-aways from this run.
1. Even as a 'training run' I need to make sure I am better prepared.
2. I had some serious mental battles out there today and I overcame them all.
3. My biggest concern was whether my IT Band would get inflamed. I am happy to report that I ran for 3 1/2 hours without any knee pain, whatsoever.
4. This was a really hilly route. I probably gained and lost over 2,000 vertical feet in the nearly 22 miles. If this were a normal Utah downhill marathon I would have completed it, no problem.
5. Even though I didn't complete 26+ miles I did make some major progress. I haven't run over 13 miles in a single outing since my 50 miler in October. My legs are a little out of shape. Knowing I wouldn't hit my goal today I simply pushed as far as I could, to the point where I simply couldn't run any more. This will make my legs stronger and next time I'll be able to push even farther.

Overall I am very pleased with how it went today. It was definitely one of the toughest outings I've had in a my running career and I learned a lot today. Next month will be even better!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ibex Climbing Trip

On Saturday a few friends and myself drove out to Ibex in hopes of finding dry rocks and warmer weather. The air quality in SLC has been so poor lately that it makes you want to stay indoors at all times. This this would be a welcome outing for all of us.
We got there by 11am and it was still really cold. We spent almost the first hour just trying to keep warm by playing with an old beat up car and messing around around the boulders, just not climbing them. Here is the crew getting ready to climb once the sun came out.

The car, for being basic garbage in the middle of the desert, was actually fun to play on. Here are Devin and Kyle taking it for a test drive  while I decided to jump over it after they got out.

Once the climbing actually began we warmed up and people started sending their projects like they had done it a hundred times. Jami was the first to send with completion of a project she has been trying for a few years. While it isn't rated very hard, it does have two small holds and a long reach that isn't good for the shorties, and she is a shorty!

Then we headed over to the White Arete boulder. The boulder itself was in the shade, making the rock incredibly cold. I was the first to go. Not feeling very strong I didn't have the highest expectations. But once I pulled on it felt simple and I cruised to the top. Once I was near to finishing my hands were pretty much numb and it got dicey trying to pull over the top when I couldn't feel my hands. Here I am sending.

Then it was Kyle and Devin's turn. Kyle was really struggling with the cold, but pushed through and finished the problem after about 5 tries. Devin just couldn't quite get his feet to cooperate and wasn't able to do it, but looked seriously strong. I bet he does it next time we go down.


We next moved over to the Red Monster to climb in the sun. We were able to stay warm for another 45 minutes or so then we lost the sun behind the mountain and knew it was time to go. It was a lot of fun and was so nice to get away. I've been back to work for two days and I'm already jonesing to take another road trip.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Looking Ahead

There are few things that I get super excited about and plan well in advance for; Halloween and my Birthday Challenge. It is not uncommon for me to decide what I'm going to be for Halloween in March and start making my costume by June. Likewise, I have been known to start planning my Birthday Challenge the next year the day after my birthday. This year I actually made it a few months before getting excited.
If there is anyone who actually reads this blog you will remember that my birthday challenge in 2009 was to run 37 miles, which I eclypsed by running 50 as part of the Pony Express 50 mile race. While it was amazing and maybe the most memorable, it is an accomplishment I'm still paying for with an irritated IT Band. However, it certainly doesn't stop me from coming up with ideas for birthday 2010. I actually thought of this genius idea on my way to work this morning. Here it is.
Swim - .38 miles (3.8 miles would have been cooler, but even I know my limits)
Bike -  38 miles
Run  -  38 miles

Come October it actually won't be that tough of a challenge. What will make it tough is that I will have just completed my first 100 miler race (running) the weekend before. So I may actually have to do my birthday challenge a couple/few weeks after my birthday because, most likely, I won't be walking on my birthday.  I already know where I am going to do it. I'll do it all in Lehi because of the proximity to where I want to do the running, which will be at Lake Mountain.

Anyway, send me some comments if you have any. I'm curious to know if I'm being realistic or stupid.

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010 - A Year to Remember

It is finally 2010. It is surprising to me how fast time goes. 2009 was an incredibly busy year that tested my patience, strength, and mental fortitude. 2010 will be no different. I have a lot of plans and goals, all of which are achievable if I remain focused and determined.

I've started the year off right by running the first 3 days (plus one rest day on Sunday). All of the days I felt strong with little knee discomfort due to my IT Band. I have a good routine planned for the next few weeks as I finalize my recovering and prepare for my first of the 2010 goals, to run a marathon length run by the end of January. I will also be going to Ibex this Saturday with friends, so climbing is still strongly in the mix and it should be a lot of fun. Stay tuned folks, 2010 is going to be an amazing year!