Monday, May 29, 2006
I am writing this blog on a plane from Seattle to Traverse City, MI where I’ll be reporting on the Michigan Coast to Coast Expedition Adventure Race for Checkpointzero.com. Yesterday at noon I finished the NORBA NW Regional Championship/WA State Championship 24-Hour Solo Mountain Bike Race. The plane seats, although well cushioned cannot comfort the pain I have in my ass from 24-hours in the saddle. This morning when I got out of bed my eyes were almost swollen shut. My hands, feet and legs are also still noticeably swollen and I am dreadfully tired even after a full nights sleep. All this pain for a chance to be the NORBA Regional and Washington State Solo 24-hour Mountain Bike Champion. I’m writing a full race report for Mountainzone.com in the next day or so but here are the basics.
First and foremost – THANK YOU goes to my crew. Ultra distance endurance sports are selfish endeavors in many ways. Asking someone to give up their Memorial Day weekend to help you accomplish your goals is a LOT to ask and I can’t thank my crew enough - they are special friends. Krissy Moehl, Matthew Noel, Chantrelle Johanson and lil’ baby Wilder were amazing – by far the best crew ever. Without their help I could not have done what I did.
This year’s course was 15 miles long, one mile longer than last years loop. The trail is mostly smooth flowey single-track, with occasional rocky sections and a couple steep up hills. “Devil’s Up” and “Devil’s Down” were the hardest parts of the course because they were very steep and had lots of loose rock.
Because of my great crew I could focus on the goals, staying steady, riding my race and riding as many laps as I could. In the end I managed to ride 18 laps, 270 miles and win the Men’s Championship by two laps.
I have to thank my sponsor Hammer Nutrition/E-Caps for their continued support! Their products fueled me through this race – they make the best products out there. Also my Turner bikes with FSA components performed so well my mechanic actually said "the bikes are perfect? Are you sure? Dude I'm bored".
Bikes: Turner Nitrous and Turner Flux w/FSA components
Fuel: Mainly Hammer Perpetuem, HEED and Gel
Pills: Endurolytes, Race Caps
Glasses: Rudy Project Rydon
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Last weekend was HUGE for DART-nuun and it’s team members. Cyril Jay-Rayon, Ryan VanGorder and Jen Segger won the Explore the West 24-hour adventure race in Southern Nevada. A race that Cyril, a very experienced adventure racer said “was the toughest 24 hour adventure race I’ve ever done”... not a real suprise knowing the race was put on by Team Sole's Paul Romero and Karen Lundren. In Oregon DART-nuun team members Glenn Rogers and Aaron Rinn won the US 24-hour Rogaining National Championship – smoking the competition and clearing the course of all CheckPoints but one! Lastly, Krissy Moehl and I won the 8-hour US Rogaining National Championship. TRIOBA Sprint Adventure Race in Ellensburg, WA. The TRIOBA adventure races are the local Washington adventure series put on by the Yeager brothers. Great guys, great races = great training. This photo is DART-nuun Team Members Tyler Patterson, Jen Vangorder (1st place 2-person category), RVG, Cyril, Seegs and myself (1st place 4 person coed).
This week I actually get to taper for the NORBA Northwest 24-hour Solo Mtn Bike Championship. I can't wait for it to be here. 24-hour mtn bike races are tough work, very very punishing on your body. My goal this year at Spokane is to at least beat the amount of laps I rode last year and break my personal record of 238 mtn bike miles in 24 hours - I figure if I can do that then I will place well. Last year this was the NORBA Nationals and I rode 17 laps, could have ridden 18 but I didn't need to bother to secure 6th place. So as long as I get more than 18 laps this year I will consider it a success.
Some Basic Taper Principles I try to follow:
· 60-90% reduction in training volume
· Cyclists and runners reduce or even eliminate high-intensity effort
· Eliminate weight training
· Two days before the event take a rest day - no training at all
· The day before do some speed bursts during your easy level 1 session
Flipping through an old notebook today I found this quote I had written in it: “The limits you are living with right now, in every aspect of your existence, have been created by your mind."
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
This weekend just for fun Krissy Moehl and I decided to race in our first ever Rogaine – and no it’s not about the hair (or lack of).
What is a rogaine? “Rogaining is the sport of long distance cross-country navigation in which teams of two to five members visit as many checkpoints as possible in a set time limit. Teams travel entirely on foot, navigating by map and compass.”
So we headed down to Antelope, OR for the US Rogaining Championship. There were two major categories, an 8 hour event and a 24 hour event. Even though both of us wanted to compete in the 24 hour event we chose the 8 hour event for two reasons: I have a big race at the end of this month; Less than a week before Krissy raced in the Miwok 100k. So an 8 hour event sounded perfect. We raced as team Montrail Melee.
Krissy had never really navigated before, so we attempted to make the beginners class held the night before the event. We caught the last hour of it and it was enough for her to get the basics and she picked it up extremely quickly.
Race day we received the maps two hours before the race started and began to plan our route. I have to thank my teammate Glenn Rogers for helping plan and mark up my map - it really helped when I was dehydrated and couldn't see straight! Glenn along with another DART-nuun teammate Aaron Rinn won the 24-hour event... this after having just competed in the Might Mo Expedition Adventure Race in Missouri - tough guys.
We decided on the East side of the two maps to focus on and planned our route through the terrain. Next thing we knew we were running up hill for our first CP (checkpoint). It was close and within 4 minutes we had our first CP! Since you can visit the CP’s in any order people started running in every direction and after the first few CP’s we were racing pretty much alone, running into a team here and there. We hit the first few CP’s with little issue and were moving pretty fast, running everything possible and fast hiking the steep climbs. There was a main road that ran between the two maps we could run when it made sense. The travel was mostly cross country on off camber slopes with loose rocks. Running this type of terrain is very hard on the feet but we left with just a few blisters and sore feet.
I had no idea if Krissy was really interested in navigating or would just be along for the ride, either would have been fine with me. From start to finish she was analyzing the map and the terrain, making suggestions, offering opinions and pointing out features. It was so great. Often I’d have my head in the map and she’d be able to point something out that I hadn’t noticed. The entire race we deciphered the map together, this was a true team effort.
Everything was going well until CP 42 (I might have nightmares about this CP). We hiked up an old creek bed and the draw to the saddle where the CP should have been. I knew we were in the correct location and every feature around added up, but there is no CP punch. Later I heard another navigator say he walked up to the saddle, looked around and left right away knowing that he was in the right spot and the CP punch was not. I simple do not yet have that kind of confidence in my navigation. I could not fathom that there would be a missing CP at the US Rogaining Championship so I figured I must have made the mistake. We spent another hour traveling up and down the ridge looking for it while I swore a lot. After reassessing the area from a high point we ended up back at the same saddle, certain that it was the right place. We had to cut our losses and moved on. We found out after the race the CP was some 400 yards away in the wrong place.
At certain CPs on course with a big “W” next to them on the map there is water to refill with. After a few hours and almost out of water we arrived at the Northern most CP. There was supposed to be water there, but there was nothing. Later we found out that we arrived earlier than they had anticipated and they simply hadn’t gotten water up there yet. We had at least another 8+ miles of cross country terrain (read: no trails) to cover and 3 CPs before we would see another CP with water. Two hours later we were both out of water and feeling really light headed and dehydrated when we ran into the CP with water. H2O never tasted so good!
With our bellies full and our batteries recharged from the nuun we shared we reassessed our route. If you finish past the 8 hour time limit you are docked 100 points for every minute over the 8 hours you go. We shortened our route and planned to hit the CP on the back side of a cool jagged rock peak. After climbing to this CP faster than we thought we would we were able to hit another one on the lake close to the HH (Hash House/Finish). From there Krissy noticed there was a low point value CP just a short distance up a creak from the road on the West map I had not even looked at. We put a "burn on" as I like to say and started running hard. We arrived at the CP so fast we almost had time for one more further out the road, but we would have had to have been perfect and super fast to get it. We decided it wasn't worth the risk and we ran into the finish with a time of 7:35 and 960 points.
…and we won - we were 1st overall, even beating the all male teams! (didn't hurt that I had one of the fastest female ultra runners on my team) so.. we’re the US 8-Hour Rogaine Champions! Pretty sweet!
Shoes - Montrail Highlines
Electrolyte replacement - nuun
Backpack - Gregory Stimulus
Fuel – Hammer Gel, Perpetuem, Endurolytes
Post Race – Recover-Ease, Recoverite
Tuesday, May 9, 2006
It was a great experience supporting Krissy. I drove ahead of her to the support areas. She would come running through and slow enough to drink Balanced Drink, or eat an alvacado (yep alvacado). I had a lot of fun getting to know all the other support people, the wives, girlfriends, friends that make up the ultra community. There was a strong showing of Pacific Northwest ultra runners. On the mens side of things Dave Mackey went out fast early in the race only to drop after some cramping calf issues. Scott Jurek of Seattle (7 time Western States 100 mile winner) took 2nd in 8:42. My buddy Justin Angle placed 9th in 9:05 in a talented field of 350+ ultra runners. Dean Karnazes (ultramarathon man) put up 10:22 and finished 34th.
The woman’s side of things was where all the action was. Krissy was racing against two of the best female ultra runners in the US, Nikki Kimball and Bev Abbs. She ran her own race and was 10-15 minutes behind both girls at times. I picked her up at mile 42, and paced her the last 20 miles to the finish. She was looking strong in 3rd place at the Bolinas aid station where I started to run with her. I ran the uphills in front to give her a rabbit to chase and she took the front for the downhills. The course was amazingly beautiful running a trail cut into the side of the ridge over looking Stinson Beach. Before reaching the next aid station at Pan Toll she passed Bev. That was great motivation and shortly after leaving Pan Toll we could see Nikki. This is apparently unheard of as only a few woman have ever caught Nikki in a race (she was undefeated on US soil last season). Eventually we caught her and gave her quite a scare. Her pacer screamed, “Krissy!”. This lit a fire under Nikki and she put it into another gear, hammering down the hill and pulling away. Nikki won the race and set a course record in 9:10 crediting Krissy for pushing her to the record. Krissy came in just over 5 minutes behind her in 9:16. Both of these woman are amazing athletes.. they have inspired me.