Friday, May 29, 2009

A Great Montage Running Clip...

This has been making the rounds since its release..Check it out and share it with your non running friends..maybe they will get the trail bug as well!..Enjoy Tony

UltraRunning from Matt Hart on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 3 Western States Running Camp-Screaming the downhills

Having a long day on Day 1 of Western States and not getting home until 7:30 after hanging out with Rena, Mark Murray, Jen Pheifer and others at the school. I took it easy Sunday morning and focused on returning to day 3 Greengate to Placer High School.

Monday had less crowds with only about 160 folks running this stretch..This stretch total mileage from the bus drop off and run to GG was about 22 miles. Everyone took it easy on this stretch in the early on and I did the same. The legs where warming up after about 4 miles and then some of the best cruising on the WS trail takes place as you enter Auburn Lake Trails and continue on to Browns Bar. Here I got to see a lot of different types of runners. For some it was their first day and others it was their 3rd and last day to run. You could tell who was there all three days by their running style. It seemed a bit more focused on steady movement. I was taking some mental notes of this form. I was starting to feel like I was now part of the Western States Running Family...I was staying within and not wasting effort on running too hard, fueling at the right times. It felt nice..
After slowly climing up quarry trail to hwy 49 and began the downhill to NoHands Bridge I was running with three others in front. The 3miles are gentle and runnable..I decided to test the legs here and open it up..I flew down for a mile and felt great! This told me alot about my condition. I was happy with that test and took it easy to Nohands and then up robie to the finish. It was by no means fast but that was not the point. The legs and mind where fine. It gave me a bit of hope leading up to my pacing duties from Foresthill this year and as I hit the full on training cycle to Western States 2010.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Western States Training Run-Day 1 Robinson Flat

Western States Memorial Weekend Training Runs...A tradition like no other. I have run days two and three but never the first day. Robinson Flat to Foresthill. Really was a fantastic day!

With all the advertising I arrived early in Foresthill and had a chance to hang out with a ton of folks as we waited to get on the bus for the ride up to Robinson Flat. Saturday is day one and is comprised of 32 miles of running. Beginning at Robinson Flat at about 6000 feet we head down to tradional aid stations Dusty Corners, the old mining town of Last Chance, a nice pause at Swinging Bridge, Up Devils Thumb, ramble on down from Deadwood to El Dorado Creek (SWEET!) one more climb to aid at Michigan Bluff and take it to the barn through Volcano Canyon to the finish at the elementry school.

Foresthill School--Registration Area:

I would guess we had about 300 people taking part. I saw many friends along the way...The biggest enterance was the ELITE Runners...Seems Graham Cooper's dad driving a sweet Lexus SUV was shuttling a group of top runners from Drivers Flat to Robinson. The Lexus SUV arrives at the school and out pops top contenders at this years race either top ten or age group placers....Skaden, Cooper, Lantz and others jump was like a Hollywood Production! How funny the joke was they all just needed their Superman Capes to complete the picture.

Robinson Flat was covered in Snow and we had a train of folks moving through the snow fields for the First Mile.

SNOW at Robinson Flat, Me, Mike and Karyn Hoffman hitting the snow!

We where rewarded after that mile with spectacular single track downhill running with stunning views on our way to Dusty Corners.

Me and Rena at Dusty Corners Aid--9miles in.

I had missed Rena after we got off the bus but no worry, there was time to talk to new folks from all over the country..So many just amazed at these trails and telling me they where jealous to have this so close by. The party was moving along past the first aid station at Dusty Corners..Rena got there about a minute before me and it was really slow for the first 9miles. I was feeling ok but legs did not feel too fresh...(I had two back to back speed workouts during the week). Dusty Corners to Last Chance was stunning..

I thought it would have more climbs but really was gently rolling downhill to Swinging Bridge..I started to hear folks along the way my quads are hurting with all this downhill.

Swinging Bridge was about 16miles into the run as we all took time out to grab cold water from the waterfall..cold and it tasted good. We would need it as we began the climb up Devils Thumb. This was MY CRATER MOMENT of the day...My calves where tired and I slugged it up Devils in about 52minutes..SOOOOO SLOW. I was wondering what I could do the rest of the way. I am thankful for the aid station at Deadwood..I had run out of gel by then and needed this station to get some energy back in.

Taking a Dip at El Dorado Creek...

The downhill to El Dorado Creek was in the max heat of the was only about 70 but still sunny and warm..I got the legs moving again and felt good running down to the Creek. Come race day that creek will save many as you have a chance to cool off the body and legs. This proved the same for me today...I moved up Michigan Bluff after my dip feeling good. I was way off schedule as I hit MB but managed a solid 1:30 down and up the canyon to the school..I even had a strong sprint down foresthill road. It was a long day...but nice to be out among friends..Taking today off then back to the training run on Monday from Greengate to the WS Finish.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hours in the Canyons, No Time for the Road

Yesterday marked one more day in the Canyons. I was signed up for Quicksilver near San Jose yesterday but bagged that after a week of driving back and forth during the work week from that area. I just could not face another 3 hour drive this week. So a 50minute drive to Michigan Bluff and a 6 hour run was the ticket.

This week had me suffering during all the climbs today. The legs had no energy no matter what I did. This included a few more gels and a slower pace. Most of these low energy efforts on these long runs come from two sources. When I get too busy at work I tend to not eat well during the week, either not enough calories or quality (sometimes both), the second habit I have been getting into has been work long hours, return home if I am travelling and not go run as much during the week. These low quality fitness weeks really hurt me. I have been thinking of altering this a bit with some early morning runs instead of immediately starting to work at 5am etc..
I have also developed a haibt of not wanting to run at all on the roads near my house..this builds to lower miles during the week. Again a slight change in attitude can cure this.

The rest of the day in Michigan Bluff was nice as I had some aid station support set up for runners heading on to Foresthill. Always nice to help out.

Looking forward to the first day of the Western States training weekend in two weeks.
The run from Robinson Flat--if there is no snow, to FH will be nice. It should be a zoo out there and I get a chance to meet some new runners...