Tuesday, July 27, 2010

2010 Goals - Mid-Year Update

As July comes to a close I can only reflect on how more then half of the year has passed and I've yet to accomplish MANY of my 2010 Goals stated back in January

  • Finish a 100 miler
Another DNF at MMT has really put a crimp in that plan as it was the only 100 I had planned on signing up for this year. Updated goal - focus on boosting my mileage for McNaughton 2011 in the spring
  • PR a 5k (22:02)
With 2 5ks past where I got to run with many of my friends past. And only 1 remaining on Thanksgiving, i don't know if this goal is reasonable any longer either.
  • PR a 50 miler (10:51)
This goal is still very attainable and i'd like to think i'll be able to do so come September at the Vermont 50
  • Read a book a month
I was doing well while there was snow on the ground. Since warm weather has hit it's been pretty pathetic. My only thought is if we get some early snowfall and i can make up for the lost time.
  • Update my blog bi-weekly including month end updates on miles/fitness levels
Same as the book a month. I WAS doing well, but have kind of fell off the wagon. Ideally helping crew at the VT100 and spending a week in the woods along the LT will help rejuvenate whatever I've been lacking.
  • Run more miles then beers i consume.
  • Run 1300 Miles: (Year - 1300, Month - 108.33 +/- ,Week - 27 +/-)
I figured i could combine these two. So far, i'm ashamed to say that i'm probably only 1:1 for my beer:mile ratio. It's nothing i'm proud of, and it's something I can work on. My goal is slowly slipping away and the mileage debt I'm creating is becoming insurmountable. Here's to a big August and a bigger September with Pisgah and the VT50 in there.
  • Weight Train - 2-3 days a week (After a co-worker ventured into the wild world of P90X and had me join him for only one work out, I've decided it needs to be part of my routine. Will i be knocking out a full 90 day routine? No way in hell. After doing just one nights exercise, i couldn't move my arms right for a week. A true sign of how ridiculously out of shape my upper body and core are.)
While it hasn't really been a "work out" a coworker approached a buddy and myself and asked if we would be interested in "The 1000 Push-Up Challenge" which is as simple as it sounds. 1 Month, 1000 push ups. Which breaks down to approx. 40 a day. No big deal, until of course you fall behind a day or two. In June, three of us participated and succeeded, now in July the number increased to 1200. As i write this I'm well ahead of that number with 1600 being my goal on the month. It's been a pretty simple task to add to an already hectic schedule and the results have been noticed by the people around me. I'd like to think that someday I'd find it comfortable to do 100 push ups a day for a month. I'll get there.
  • Thru-Hike the Greenway again. Or join D&H on the LT for a week.
Hurray, ONE goal I've actually accomplished!! I've not only finished my second Thru-Hike of the MS Greenway, when this posts I'll be mid-trip along the Long Trail. I suspect approximately 25 miles south of Killington Vermont. While the hiking hasn't counted in my running miles i'd like to think the time on my feet with a 40lb pack helped a lot at Pittsfield last month. And if i play my cards right I'll be able to carry that residual fitness into Pisgah and Vermont in September.

Here's to the rest of 2010!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pineland Farms 50k RR

Sunday May 30th 2010
(Grant and I Before the Start)
With a lot of apprehension about Grant's bruised foot from the day prior we take to the starting line. Today tackling 10 times the distance, but with food protection. We laugh about how they say to train and wear gear that you are comfortable with. I'm wearing a pack that i've never worn before. Grant is wearing my double water belt, a hat, tights, and socks he's never worn before. It's OK though, this is all training for the Pisgah 50k this fall where the goal is to sub 6 hours.

We laugh about how the trail is much softer in shoes as the people around us give us quizzical looks. After we hit the first "4H" aid station we go into the same contoured trail section and make the comment that the stones are nicer with rubber underfoot. It's about here that another runner falls into pace with us. His name is Jay, a local guy, it's his first ultra, he's a marathoner, and a triathlete (1/2 iron mans). As we get into the Yurt 1 aid it occurs to me that i'm the vet of the group. I had spaced that as many time as Grant and i have run/hiked together this is still only his second ultra. The 3 of us talk about how the fields are going to get hot, and how good the salt/potatoes taste. After more generally chatting about the course and ultra-running Jay decides to stick around with us.
As the morning wears on the fields are starting to heat up, but the 4H aid station has watermelon. one of my favorite foods. I thank them profusely and grab about 1/4 of a melon's worth of slices and continue down the trail. As we head back through the Grove we look over at the 25k start. I Yell towards Leah, Loni, Dustin and Heather in the shoot to no avail.
(Dustin & Heather Pre-Race)
(Loni and Leah Pre-race)

We grab a boost, give Jay a pre-charged hand held, grab some fruit and push on. I couldn't believe Jay had come into his first ultra with no water belt, no gels, no nothing. Turns out he had forgotten everything on the kitchen table at home. With a field being re-seeded on the south side of the course we got to avoid on of the fields that was a cooker in the past. It's not until a little after 10am and almost 13 miles into the run that the sun finally burns through. We instantly can feel the heat coming through the trees. Round and round up and down. Getting glimpses of other runners above or below us in the switchbacks but never really knowing if they were ahead or behind.

Jay broke the long silent spell with a, "does he always do this?" commenting on how grant was pulling away from us on the downhills with his power full stride and us closing the gaps on the climbs, but never enough. I respond with a simple, "he's still learning, he's strong as hell on the downs, we'll see how he holds up in the second lap." Grant runs ahead to change shoes while i top off my water at the final mile aid station and the three of us spread out a bit for the first time. I run through the field alone until i catch up to a woman and state,"great day huh?" "If this was my job you wouldn't be paying me enough' "my name is julie, i'm number 630 and i'd like my check at the finish line." She snapped back. This lady was toxic and i did everything possible to get away from her as fast as possible.

Two miles into the second lap Grant still holding a steady lead continueing with his power runs down the inclines. Jay turns to me and says, "we're going at a good clip right? those two ladies aren't anywhere near us." No sooner did he say that i looked over my shoulder and said, "well her comes one of them." She passes us like we were standing still. Her strength 17 miles in was impressive. I laugh and ask if Jay has any other statements he'd like to make.

Jay and I chat about family and jobs for a bit, miles just ticking by. Until we realize that Grant has now put a size able distance between us. I tell Jay to go head, my sugar was getting low, I was starting to crash and was walking way more then i should have been. He catches Grant by the next field and i put down 3-4 GUs and tried to close the gap. I knew there was some climbing ahead and that's where i'd make up the most time. It took me almost 5 miles to catch them, but i did and we fell in line together once again.
Grant was finally starting to feel the pounding in his knees and was slowing considerably. The 3 of us chat about how the race has gone, and how much longer we figure we'll be out here. And we wonder if we'll have a chance at catching our 25k counterparts. As we went back through the Grove again Grant decided to change back into his other shoes as they had more room in the toes along with more padding that he hoped would help his knees. We passed a few people, got passed by a few. Leapfrogged others for the next 3 miles. Grant would start falling behind on the climbs, but would power the downs and catch back up.

At some point, i don't know exactly where Grant and I left Jay in the dust. Might have been at the last mile aid station but we started trucking through the field. As we make the last climb we see Leah ahead and Grant starts to turn it on. I go, "you seriously going to make me sprint this?!" to which i got no reply, only he started running faster. With a loud expletive i started sprinting him down and we ripped out into the finishing shoot and shot across the line within a second of one another again. It was a good day, the others had been enjoying their beers in the sun for some time. While the rest of the gang had shown up for the Picnic and music. It was a good day. Not a PR, but not a bad time either. 2011 plans are already in the works. I can't wait to earn some more cowbells.

(The Gang Post Race Celebration)

Sunday's Results
Dustin - 25k -3:43:10
Heather - 25k - 3:43:10
Leah - 25k - 3:43:10
Loni - 25k - 3:49:47
Grant - 50k - 6:16:22
Josh - 50k - 6:16:22

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pineland Farms Barefoot 5k -RR

Saturday May 29th 2010

(The Gang right before Heather starts the 10k)

(Grant and I at the start)

Grant and I were both a bit nervous at the start. Him because he doesn't want to be injured for the bigger task at hand (the 50k tomorrow). And what nerves i have are because i haven't run a 5k in my Vibrams since there was 8" of snow on the ground.

The RD says something, but there is too much clatter and with a ring of the cow bell we are off. I laugh and say how funny the sound of us running across the pavement. Normally at the start of this race you hear the clomp clomp of shoes and then the rumbled of impact as we get onto the trail. Now with the group barefoot, you only hear a slight patter and huffing and puffing.

Having the training base of running barefoot Grant immediately takes off, weaving in and out of people. I try to just keep him in eye sight quickly shooting past people and then falling in stride with them. I hear a shout and look below to see Leah coming back from the turn around on her 5k. Trying to keep up with Grant had become harder then i had expected as i huff and puff into the first water stop. His training has been focused on shorter distances and at a much faster pace. I gulp down what i can and pour the rest on my head and past a few more bare footers before catching up on the next climb.

The course turns and runs along the contour of the field, some grass, some rocks. Grant gets startled by a rock that had been kicked over and snuck up on him in the grass. "I don't know which is worse, running on the rocks or in the soft grass and being surprised by one." At the turn around we fall in stride and quickly patter down the hill. The difference between his stride and mine is immediate. Even with the minimal protection my Vibrams gave me, i could be much more liberal with the terrain I could comfortably run over.

Grant still pretty upbeat states, "Wow there are a lot of rocks!" and "Hey did i just beat you going UP a hill?" We fall in line with another runner who tells us we're flying. The final bend and then the long climb back up to the start and i hear "i'm outta air." "Don't worry, you'll catch me!" I say over my shoulder and push on. As i patter ahead encouraging the runners. I overhear a conversation of a woman and a fella.
Her- "i'm holding you back, go ahead"
Guy -"hey we're in this together"
It couldn't help by make me smile and boosted my spirits for the final 1/4 of a mile.
Grant who had fallen back only a few yards was keeping up fine now. I say over my shoulder, "So Grant, You have any gas left? we going to sprint this?" Silence, crap, last turn and THERE HE GOES! The look on our faces explain it all.

First Day Results:
Heather - 10k -1:05:28
Leah - 5k - 34:38
Grant - BF5k - 26:09
Josh - BF5k - 26:10

Sunday, July 18, 2010

June Recap

The month started out with yet another Ultra. My 3rd trip to Pittsfield for the Peaks 54 Miler. It was a standard crazy Vermont day. A day that provided thunderstorms, clouds, sun, heat, humidity, and finally after the sun went down, coolness. Steven joined in for the last 16 miles and Rik and I crossed the finish line for our 3rd consecutive finish in a row.
(Team Robert Post Race)

The second weekend had the Hillsboro Trail Runners hosting the first "Beer Mile." Where the object of the task is to drink four beers and run four 1/4 miles the fastest. It was pretty fun. 6 starters, and 4 finishers, and only i had to do the puke penalty lap. Another one is planned for the near future.
(Beer Mile Pre-Race)

The same weekend my lovely girl's extremely loving family threw her an epic Birthday Party. Band, food, dancing, dress up, it was pretty crazy. I'm not at all surprised why she's the way she is with the family that she has surrounding her.

The 3rd weekend featured my good friend Sherpa John's wedding in Plymouth Vermont. It was an amazing wedding. Great location, great people, and he couldn't have found a better woman. It was an honor to be part of it. Hell i even got to play the part of the cowboy in the recently revived Village People Tour

And in the last weekend of the month i was able to get back out on the trails with a pack. Dustin, Heather, Leah and I decided that they'd join me on finishing up the MS Greenway that i had to depart early from earlier this year. The weather held out for the most part, they were able to work out the kinks for their upcoming Long Trail hike and we got to spend two amazing days on the trails.

Looking forward to July i've got a really light month planned. A few 5ks here and there, helping out at the Vermont 100, then I get to join up with Dustin and Heather a week into their Thru Hike on the Long Trail. Lots of stories in the making i hope.

~catch ya on the trails~

Book List:

I don't even know why i have this in here anymore. I just really have a hard time reading in the summertime. Perhaps this section will return when things slow down again.

By The Numbers:
Miles Run: 75.4

# of Runs: 11
Average Miles: 6.85

Month Starting Weight: 172 Lbs
Month Ending Weight: 168 Lbs
Weight Change: -4lbs

Race Results:
Peak 54 - 16:02

Upcoming July Events:
Clarance Demar 5k
Hillsboro Balloon Fest 5k