Monday, October 7, 2013

October 6, 2013 - Imogene Pass Run ; UROC 100k ; Next Up

Where to start.. Well, my plan of running Pikes Peak Marathon was quickly foiled by a bout of walking pneumonia.  This was promptly followed by asthma (which I have NEVER had before).  For about 4 weeks, my training was very inconsistent and sketchy.  I felt like I had a solid base from a good summer and my hope was that this would carry me through the next 2 Races.. Imogene & UROC.

Imogene Pass Run - Coming into Imogene, I was still struggling with Asthma.  About 10min into every run, I would start to hyper-ventilate and break into gagging & coughing fits.  Kinda scary.  The night before the race, I did a 10min shakeout with my wife and it was sketchy at best.  At this point, my plan was to start the race very conservatively and just see how it goes.

The next morning at the start line it was surprising warm in Ouray.  The gun went off and I stuck to my plan.  Keep it slow.  Before I knew it, a couple miles had passed and I wasn't having too much trouble breathing.  Only a couple coughs, but no "fits".. yet.  I continued to "run the fine line" aerobically and before I knew it, I was alone running stride for stride with last years champ, Daniel Kraft.  We were cruising at a pretty good pace and next thing I knew I had started to build a bit of a lead.  I was running very hesitantly, but I was able to continue up the mountain at a good clip.  

Soon enough, I was about 2.5miles from the +13k Summit.  I continued to push, but could feel my lungs rattle a bit, so I began to pull back a bit.  I had about a 3min lead, so my thought was to relax and not jeopardize having an "attack".  The last 2miles going up were SLOW.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 15min miles.  This was partially intentional due to my hesitation to push my breathing too hard.. and partially that I was just feeling the race.

When I hit the summit, Daniel had made up the gap and was about 20seconds behind.  No bueno.  I knew this was going to force me into a battle downhill that I was hoping to avoid since UROC was around the corner... oh well.  It was time to get back to racing.

We both sped down the mountain at a "dangerous" pace.  No matter how hard I pushed down the technical, washed-out mountain side, Daniel was right there.  Finally with about 3miles remaining, I realized that I had a few min lead.. and I was dropping 4:50min/mile.  I quickly thought "I am gonna win!".  At that point, my right toe caught a rock.. and CRASH!.. I was on the ground cramping... and bleading.  Now I thought, "I am gonna lose!".  I rolled up and limped down the trail and I could see Daniel reeling me in.  That's when the adrenaline kicked in and I got back to rolling down the mountain.

As I flew downhill, I could feel blood squirting out of my knee and onto my other leg, etc.  Not good.

When I got to finish, I ended being carted off to the ER, where I received 10 stitches in my left knee.. It was ugly, but it was a win.

UROC 100k - Ready for UROC100k?  The field for this event was pretty unreal. Almost every hot-name in Ultra Running was planning on running.  Coming in my training was horrible.. battling pneumonia, asthma, & now 10 stitches in my knee.

1 week out, I decided to give it a go knowing that I would not be 100%, but wanting to compete against an amazing field of runners.

 This race ended up being CRAZY.  Not everyone started that was signed-up, but the field was still incredible.  The weather made the already difficult route even harder - - it snowed the night before, making the terrain everything from snow-covered to icy to muddy.  This course ended up being a beast!

I ran with the leaders for a majority of the first 20miles, then my race went south quickly.  I had a tough go of it in the snowy & icy sections due to traction and it sucked out all my energy - - mentally & physically.  I knew coming in, to be competitive, I needed the perfect race.  Well, that didn't happen.  After 20miles, I hiked / walked large portions of the race.  My new goal was to "FINISH". I went into full-blown survival mode.

It took me 11hrs 21min, but that is what I did... I finished.  I didn't meet any of my other goals, but considering everything, I was happy with what I had accomplished.  The mental battle should serve me well in future races.

Next Up - My recovery is going pretty well after the longest, most painful effort of my life.  My hope is to stay healthy and get some solid training before running Bootlegger 50k (mostly as training) and then either JFK 50miler or TNF 50mile Champs.  I am signed up for both.. so I am going to see how the training goes.. and then make a choice.  I am also considering throwing in a Grand Canyon Tonto Trail FKT attempt before taking some "winter" time off (+90 miles.. current record is ~32hours by Scott Jurek & Joe Grant).  We'll see how things work out... 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 11, 2013 - - Long Time No Post -- Leona Divide 50; R2R2R; Western States Pacing; Training -> Racing

It’s unbelievable how quickly time has passed since my last post… I thought I would give a quick summary of what has transpired since… then what’s next in what is shaping up to be an exciting fall…

Winter Training - - Super “sketchy” and inconsistent.  Great weeks of solid training followed by illness and inconsistency.  Not ideal, but is what it is.

Leona Divide - - Felt solid coming into the race despite the “weird” training.  The goal was to get a Western States qualifier (= top 2).  After leading the first 10miles, I went off course and lost about 15min.  I then tried to make up the time too quickly and started paying for it about 30miles in. To win, I knew there was little room for error, as Rob Krar was ready for a great race..  As such, I came in 2nd place overall to Rob.  Even though, I got my Western Qualifier, I got heat exhaustion and questioned whether I had the mental energy to run Western.. but gave it a few weeks.

Rim to Rim to Rim - - On short notice & 2 weeks following Leona, I set out to run a fast Rim to Rim to Rim with Ricky Gates, Dillon Bowman, Ryan Ghelfi, & David Laney.  This was a pretty fun outing until the brutal heat starting pressing on us a little before the top of the North Rim.  At that point, I went down in flames pretty quickly.  Coming up S.Kaibab was a nightmare.. it was just too hot and I hadn’t recovered from my heat exhaustion 2 weeks before.. Upon getting to the top, I decided that I was out for Western States.. I figured I could recover physically, but the last 2 efforts really took it out of me mentally.. so best to just chill out.

Pacing Rob Krar at Western States - - Since I wasn’t racing, I went ahead helped Rob’s pace / crew team.  The race and Rob’s performance were energizing.. and inspiring.  I was proud to be part of supporting Rob’s amazing effort.

Spring / Summer Training - - Awesome.  Look out fall races! - - Race plan = Pikes Peak Marathon, Imogene Pass Run(?), UROC 100k, Bootlegger 50k, & TNF 50mile Champs.

Big Brothers Big Sisters ½ Marathon - - As a tune up for Pike Peak Marathon, I ran a tough local trail half marathon.  The effort was solid.. and I ended up winning by about 45seconds.  I felt a bit leg weary, but strong.. perfect for where I want to be leading up to Pikes Peak.

Ready for a fun (busy) fall racing schedule.. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

December 3, 2012 – TNF 50 Mile Championships Race Report

Disclaimer - (Spoiler alert) Well before I get started, I am finding that this post is a bit different from most posts in that it is more therapeutic than informational.  Also, I am going to try my hardest to keep this post positive.  Due to the amount of time and effort that I dedicated to training for this event, the money I invested to get to the race, and the effort I put forth during the race.. it won’t be easy as I am VERY frustrated with the circumstances and the outcome. But here it goes…

The story starts on the days leading up to the race.  According to the weather predictions, the “most competitive 50mile race on US soil” was going to be run in flood-like conditions.  To be honest, this excited me.  I ran the course last year in perfect conditions and thought this new “wrinkle” would make the race more interesting and “tougher”.

At the packet pick up, I saw quite a few familiar faces… Rickey Gates, Adam Campbell, Adam Chase.. etc.  This crew gave me the heads-up that the course had been changed due to flooding in some areas of the trail and some sort of “jurisdiction” issues.  By the looks of the new map, much of the most technical climbing and single track had been removed.  The course now consisted of a myriad of turns and loops.  To be honest, just looking at it gave me a headache… but now I felt like it might actually set up even better for me.. lots of rollers.. forest service roads.. and mud.. perfect for how I felt coming in to the race.. fast, strong, and ready to climb. 

Fast forward to Saturday morning.. it’s 5am.. and time to get it on.  It’s raining.. windy.. but not too cold.  The Elite Wave is packed with a lot of big name guys from all over the world.  I always crack up when I compare my attire to the rest of this group.  They are decked-out in their sponsor’s newest, coolest gear, while I am wearing a menagerie of brands.. Adidas, New Balance, Nike, Swiftwick, Amphipod, etc. - My Flagstaff buds that are sponsored crack up when we race and love counting how many different brands I have on.. what can ya do.

As the gun goes off, we jet across the start line and quickly form a thick pack.  I wasn’t too scared about starting out hard, so within a half mile I took the lead running about 5:50/mile pace.  I kept this going for the first couple miles and as we started the first small accent, we had already established a small lead pack consisting of myself, Adam Campbell, Sage Canaday, and Cameron Clayton.  A large chase pack was about 30sec back.  For the next 4 or 5miles, the 4 of us traded lead position multiple times.  Looking at my Garmin, I was doing 7:15min/mile pace on the climbs and 5:30 to 5:50 pace on the downs & flats.  This pace was perfect for now.  I felt that eventually I would bring the pace up, but for now it felt relaxed.

As we winded our way up and over hills, the weather fluctuated between crazy and brutal.  There were several times that it was raining so hard that my headlamp beam wasn’t able to illuminate the ground in front of me.  The fog would get so thick in spots that a 10 sec gap made someone invisible… and the wind whipped the rain hard enough on the highest ridges to make trying to see painful. 

Regardless of all this.. we were racing.  Around mile 7, it was down to 3 of us.  Myself, Sage, and Adam.  We were still throwing down pretty hard… the pace stuck in that 5:45/mile on the downs & flats.. and 7:30/mile on the ups.  Sizing up Adam & Sage, I noticed that Sage was killing the uphills, opening a gap on every climb, but he was wearing road shoes and having trouble with traction - - would that hurt him later in the day?.. Adam was dominating the downhills.. flying down each descent - - would the downhill pounding take its toll?.. only time would tell.  - -  I was right in the middle… closing distance on Sage on the downs.. and Adam on the ups. 

Around mile 15, things opened up a bit.  Sage surged on an ascent.. and Adam responded on the ensuing descent.  At this point, I made a conscious decision to run my race and not get caught up in these early race surges.  I kept both Adam & Sage in sight and simply let them pull me along the trail.

Mile 17-ish - - I guess this is where everything went wrong for me, Sage, & Adam.  At this point, I am not 100% sure how big our lead was.  I know that I could see several minutes back in spots and I didn’t see a single headlamp, so my guess was around 5min-ish. 

Following the course, the trail splits and you are suppose to head downhill to an aid station, do a short loop, and head back up the hill where the trail splits from the route of origin.  The 3 of us did not go down the hill, but instead followed the markers taking us the other direction.  Honestly, I didn’t see a single marker, sign, etc pointing us down the hill.. and there DEFINITELY wasn’t a race official there to help figure out this junction (I later learned that a course official / volunteer was there for the chase pack – so I guess we out ran the officials??)  - - I would love to feel comfortable saying.. “yeah, this is part of trail racing”.. or “should have reviewed the map more closely”.. but I paid an entry fee.. I incurred a good amount of travel expenses to get to the race.. I put a lot of time into my training.. I was running hard.. oh yeah, and there was $10,000 at stake.. so for me, it’s hard to just write it off as if some kind of “trail culture” thing that I should just accept .. - - but… enough of that.

As I had no idea, we had “gone off course” I was still running hard.  Coming through mile 20 through 24, there were several sections where you could see up to 12min in front & behind due to the “out and back” nature of the course.. and I saw Sage (~7min) & Adam (~3min) in front of me and no one behind me.  

As I came through 26miles in around 2hrs 50min, my strategy was to keep the downs & flats around 6min/pace.. and the ups no slower than 8min pace.  Since the modified course was suppose to be ~46miles, I figured that would put my finish time close to 5hrs 10min which would keep anyone from catching me.. and I would have a decent shot of closing the gap on Adam and Sage if they fell off pace at all.

The next 6 or 7 miles, I fueled a lot and still had some good bounce in my legs.  My spirits were high.. but that changed as soon as I hit the aid station that I missed earlier.  For several minutes, I was explained the situation.. Sage, Adam, & I missed a turn on the first lap and if we wanted to have a chance to not be DQ’d, we would have to run a loop twice and go up and down the muddiest, sloppiest hill of the entire course twice.  This would make up the distance we missed.. but it definitely changed the nature of the race. 

So confused.. and a bit angry, I blazed out of the aid station.  I thought “well, maybe I won’t lose much distance..?”.. Then I passed Timmy Parr.  I hadn’t seen him all day long and all of a sudden he is in front of me.  What the hell!.. I asked him how he got ahead of me.. and he didn’t say much.  At this point, I kinda lost it and even considered dropping out.. I was thinking, “Did anyone run the course right?”.. “Due to the numerous amount of criss-crossing and multitudes of various runners, how would they know who cut what parts of the course?”.  I decided not quit, but instead ran the 2 loops. I was DEFLATED, so I walked the muddy hill the 1st time and jogged it the 2nd time.  … I literally went from cloud-9 thinking at best I had a shot to win and at worst earn a 3rd place finish… to crap “what place am I in”.. “who actually ran the course”.. “this hill sure is harder in the mud after 32 miles of running than it would have been when it was dryer and at mile 17”.. “what can ya do.. at least I wouldn’t be DQ’d.  Right?”

For the next 7 or 8 miles, I really shut it down running anywhere from 8min pace to 13min pace.  I was pretty much heart broken and was having a hard time dealing with the shocking realization that I was no longer going to meet my goal of making the podium as a top 3 finisher.. and that I could potentially be DQ’d. 

After being passed a few times, I finally woke-up and re-grouped.  I had Dylan Bowman reeling me in and this encouraged me to start pushing again.  The last 8miles went by pretty fast as I fought to keep Dylan at bay. 

As I crossed the finish line, I learned that I finished 6th place in a time of 6hrs 1min.  This was not the result I wanted, but I tried to hold my head high.  No disrespect to the guys in the top the 3 spots, but I am confident that I had a superb shot at the podium.  I guess it wasn’t meant to be.. I do know that regardless of my disappointment, I stuck with it and pulled out a solid day.  I’ll take pride in that, move on, and get ready for the next one. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 18, 2012 - Bootlegger 50k Race

Bootlegger 50k - - Boulder City, Nevada (Just out side of Las Vegas).. After several weeks of getting back in the groove following my GC R2R2R, I was ready to race.  Honestly, I hadn't been feeling too healthy coming in, but I felt confident that I would be able to pull through fine.  There were a good number of solid runners scheduled to toe the line.. including Rob Krar (La Sportiva Mtn Cup Champ), Chad Riklefs (Ultra Running Legend), Chris Vargo (fresh off a solid Chicago Marathon), Brian Tinder, Eric Bohn.. etc. 

Per the website - - "The 50k course consists of two 15.43 mile loops with a total of 4386 feet of elevation gain/loss. The terrain breakdown is 28 miles of single track, 1.5 miles of dirt road, and about 0.5 miles of pavement. Much of the single track trail is technical, yet there are some fast and smooth sections."
My Description - - Technical, Sandy, Rocky, Rolling.. Challenging.

The Race:
Right before the 7am start, the weather was "crisp" and cool, but the sun was already glaring.  With each deep breath, you could smell the desert plants. - -  Time to roll. 

The race started right on time.  A large group barrelled down the first quarter mile.  A few minutes later we already started to spread out. The first mile is downhill and thus fast.  Chris Vargo & I came through around 5:20 pace.r... and began to open a slight gap on the field.

After the fast first mile, you begin the longest climb of the day.  Coming into the race, my plan was to keep the first lap steady.. then on the second lap I wanted to use this climb to create some distance from the field.

Keeping the climb very relaxed, Rob Krar closed the slight lead Chris & I had.  I could tell that everyone else felt our pace was too fast and was going to stay back and "feast" on us when we fell apart.

Topping out the climb, I decided to start pushing the pace consistently. Due to HUGE variations in terrain (rocks, sand, hills, turns, etc), it wasn't so much about pace as effort.  The "consistent push" had us clipping miles from 5:20 to 6:15pace. 

We whipped through each well stocked aid station.  I chose not to carry water or fuel, so I stopped for about 30sec at each aid station and did my best Kobayashi impression.  I am sure the volunteers thought I was a real lunatic, but I subscribe to the NASCAR theory of "pit stops".. extra time is wasted time.   

Rob, Chris, & I kept hammering our way through the mix of creosote & cactus.  I knew at about mile 10 when both Chris and Rob were still right with me that this was going to be a LONG day that would not be won by any early surges.  As such, I settled in and kept the pressure on. 

Before I knew it, we had completed lap 1.  Our time was right at 1hr 47min.  Course record pace was around 2hrs 3min. 

As Chris, Rob, & I set out for lap 2, I felt myself picking up the pace a bit heading towards the Long Climb.

Time out - - funny story at this point.. A 50 something year old lady was walking down a 2 lane path directly towards us.  Chris and I were hammering along pretty steady.. this lady wasn't moving an inch as we hopped off the trail to get around her.. she then yelled, "Get the fuck out of my way".  I kinda laughed.. mostly in disbelief.  Maybe she had a rough night at the tables???  

Back to the race,...  As we start climbing, I started putting out some solid effort.  In no time, I had about 1min lead.. and by the time I hit the top, I had close to 2min on both Chris & Rob.

To ensure that I didn't just "give back" the time, I put the pace on 6:20s.  If they were gonna catch me, they were going to have to earn it. 

Three miles later.. here comes Krar.  That guy is one tough S.O.B. 

When he catches me, I asked him where Chris went and he said he had fallen off pace... so now after over 2hrs of battling.. it was down to 2. 

At this point, my stomach went south.. and I pulled over 4 times over the next 1.5hrs to "relieve some pressure".  Not ideal, but I guess it happens.

Rob and I steadily hammered the next hour and we were quickly closing in on the finish.  I kept opening small leads, but lost them everytime I had to make a pit stop.  Finally, with about 4miles to go, I had quite a bit left in tank, so I decided to put in a hard surge.  

That surge pretty much secured the win.  I had about a 2min lead .. and 2miles left to run.. and I was feeling really solid. 

I cruised in the next few miles assuming I would finish around 3hrs 40min.  As I rounded the final turn, there is a 200meter stretch where you can see the finish.  My watch read somewhere around 3hr 39min (+ a few seconds).  - - I had a shot to break 3hrs 40min!!

At that point, I turned on the gas a little.. then a little more.. then before I knew it, I was in full blown Carl Lewis form zipping towards the finish.. When I crossed the line the timer read... 3hrs 39min 52sec.. it was worth the extra effort.

Post Race:
After the race, a good number of the 50k and 25k finishers hung out and enjoyed a beer (provided by the race), a burger (provided by the race), and race recaps - war stories -highlights (provided by the race).

I would highly recommend running this race.. it was well organized and tough, but had a great laid back vibe.

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29, 2012 - Recovery Week = Hurricane Run + Elden FKT

After the thrashing I took in the Canyon during the Rim to Rim to Rim, I figured it was time for a Recovery Week.  The Sunday after my run, I had to go to Miami for work all week, so the timing was perfect.

I ended up running pretty easy all week.  Keeping each run right around 1hr.  The highlight was running 7miles on the beach the evening Hurricane Sandy blew through.  I should have probably stuck to the treadmill, but I had never run during this type of weather, so I decided to take my chances.  If nothing else, I had the beach to myself outside of the 5 surfers contemplating riding the giant waves.

After a week of running on Miami beach, I was SUPER STOKED to be back in Flagstaff.  On Sunday afternoon, I decided to head out for a long run.  My plan was to leave my house, run 7miles of trails over to Mt Elden Lookout Trail.. Summit Elden.. then Head down the road to home. 

On my way over to Elden Lookout Trail, I was feeling pretty good, so I decided to run the extra half-mile to the trail head and see how close I could get to Eric Bohn's Elden Lookout Trail FKT. 

As I got to the trailhead, I stopped for a quick stretch then headed up the steep, rocky trail.  I could really feel the "rest" in my legs.  I was able to push very consistently up the entire climb.  Before I knew it, I hit the summit as my watch read 35min 35sec.  Just good enough for a new FKT.

The way down I kept it pretty chill and was home in blink.

All together, I was very happy with both the rest week and how solid I felt on the Sunday run.  Now it's time to press the training hard for the next 3 weeks (incl Bootlegger 50k) before starting my taper for North Face 50mile Champs in San Fran. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

October 26, 2012 - GC Rim to Rim to Rim FKT Attempt 2012

Coming into this run, I had established a few "rules" for myself as follows:

(1) The run will be completely self-supported.  Everything I use, I plan on both packing in & packing out.  I plan to have a couple people pace me out from Phantom up S.Kaibab to the finish, but they will provide zero support.  

(2) Once I start my watch it keeps running until I finish.  No "pauses" for bathroom breaks, mules, pictures, etc.. - - no exceptions.

(3) I will start touching the SKaibab Kiosk.. run to the NKaibab Kiosk.. and run back to the SKaibab Kiosk..  

Getting to the Canyon:
After a quick bite to eat, I hit the road around 4:30am.  It was still very dark and after having to come to a stop for several large elk crossing the road, I decided to take it slowly.  By the time I got to the park, the sun was up and the temperature had climbed from 27 degrees to around 40 degrees. - - it was heating up quickly.

The Run:
After putting on my shoes and grabbing my water bottle and gels, I started the short "warmup" to the South Kaibab kiosk.  Once I got to the rim, I took a few deep breaths... I knew I was in shape to have a stellar run, but knowing that the Canyon has a tendency to throw curveballs.. I wondered what was in store for me today.. Well, only one way to find out.. Let's go.

I started out down S.Kaibab feeling very solid.  My plan was to stay relaxed on this section.. opening up on the few flat sections and trying not to push too hard on the more technical sections.  This portion was a real blur.  Before I knew it, I could see the Colorado River... and a couple mule trains.  I hit the first mule train about a 1/4 mile before the bridge and it cost me about 2min.  A bummer, but could have been worse.  

After the first mule train, I zipped down to the bridge where my watch read.. 51:59.  This was right around where I thought I would run, so at this point, I am really pleased.. My legs feel good and I am on pace.  

After crossing the Bridge, I hit the 2nd mule train.  This time they are stopped and blocking the entire trail, so I have to run down to the river and around the group.  This cost me about 90seconds.  Not too bad, but a real pain none the less.  

Though the Mule Trains can be a nuisance, my biggest concern is the heat.  At the bottom, it is already HOT.  I am only 1hr in and I can feel the heat.  As such, I stopped for water at Phantom in hopes of staying ahead of the "dehydration curve".  

Crossing the Canyon, I expected to feel really good and open it up.  For some reason, that didn't happen.  I kept a solid pace, but I wasn't able to push it.  As such, I ended up running from the River to Cottonwood in 1:05:37.  This stretch was very hot (~+90 degrees).. but nothing compared to what I was going to see on the NRim.

As I transitioned into climbing, my plan was to really work.  As I hit this section, I could immediately feel the sun beating down on me.  It was INTENSE.  I kept pushing, but I knew this was going to take it's toll.  About 25min into the climb, I started feeling my right calf grab.  CRAP!.. It was WAY too early to start cramping.  I pulled the pace back a shade, but hoped if I kept the fluids up, it would disappear.  

As I continued the climb, the cramps continued.  At this point, they were minor, but still very concerning.  To make things worse, it was only getting hotter.  Even the last few miles up the NRim were simply put.. HOT.  I got to the NRim from Cottonwood in 1:22:04... At Halfway, I am slower than expected, but still on pace to break the current record.. My time = 3:19:42 - - Time to try and tough out a solid 2nd Half.

On the trip back down the NRim, my hope was to push the pace a little.  When I started attempting this, I LOCKED-UP.  My right quad was not happy.  I ended up walking for several minutes while my leg "unlocked".  Once I worked this out, I decided to pull back a bit and just keep it moving.

As I struggled my way down the NRim, I started thinking ahead to the SRim.. If I was having this much trouble now, what was the SRim going to look like... most likely UGLY... but I tried to stay positive and hope that I might somehow push through and still get the record.. only time would tell. - - My split at Cottonwood from the NRim = 1:03:58.

As I pushed my way across the Canyon, still fighting the heat, I managed to keep a decent pace and I avoided any serious cramping episodes.  Before I knew it, I was about halfway through Box Canyon and I saw Caleb Schiff.  Caleb was here to help pace me out.  

As we started running together, I was able to keep a pretty good conversation, which was refreshing.  It also was an indication that I wasn't "pushing" the pace the way I would have liked... but I was just not able to put any "hard" effort into my running at this point or I would begin to cramp.

Steadily I made my way to Phantom where Eric Bohn was waiting to help pace me out as well.  I took a little extra time and downed as much water as possible at Phantom.  Both Eric & Caleb informed me that there shouldn't be any Mule Trains... but it was going to be very hot getting out.  

Refreshed and hopeful, I started running again.  My total time at the River = 5:28:10.  This meant I needed to run 1hr 24min or faster.  Considering my fastest times running SKaibab are around 1hr 10min, this is very possible, but considering how I am feeling... highly unlikely.  In the spirit of "never giving up", I forged ahead putting it on a pace that would get me to the the top ahead ahead of the record.

I felt as if I was a turkey being roasted in an oven as I pushed my way up the switchbacks.  About 25min into the climb, my legs began to cramp.  Severely.  It was this moment that I decided to give up on the record.. and start "Survival Mode".  I stopped running and started hike steadily.  About every 10 to 20 steps, one or all of my leg muscles would start cramping uncontrollably.  It was PAINFUL.  

I suffered my way through the hottest portions with Eric hiking close behind me.  We chatted a bit, but eventually, I was no longer able to talk and started getting dizzy.. and worried.  Forging ahead, my mantra was "keep moving".  I was worried that if I stopped, I wouldn't be able to get going again.  It was pretty darn miserable.

After scratching and clawing my way up the hot switchbacks, I eventually made it to the top to find Scott Bajer, Ludo Pierson, & Jay Donosky cheering me on.. I finished in 7hrs 36min 56sec.  This was about 1hr slower than I expected to run, but I had no issues with the run.  I knew I left it all out on the trail.. and had conditions been a bit more cooler, I am sure that I would have been really close to the record... but it just wasn't meant to be.. this time.  Maybe Next Time?

Post Run with Eric Bohn (left) and Caleb Schiff (Right):
Photo by Ludo Pierson

Saturday, October 20, 2012

October 20, 2012 - R2R2R Results -- Full Write Up to Follow

It was a BRUTAL day in the Canyon.  I battled +95 degree heat most of the day which led to massive cramping.  At the halfway point, I was around 3:19.. and on pace to break the record, but shortly before, the cramps had started.  The second half of the day was pretty rough, but I managed to get out in 7hrs 36min.

It's almost 24hrs later and I am still cramping.. CRAZY!!..

I will have a full write up in the coming days.. it was a wild day for sure.