Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Next Season

i really can't decide what races to run in 2008.. i just got this remind i set myself. here is the list of 100 mile races i want to do.. but i can't do them all, so i have to start making the hard decisions.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Montrail Odyssey Trail Shoe Review

being a montrail ambassador means i'm constantly being asked about montrail shoes. i would say the shoe i suggest the most is the montrail odyssey. this is because the montrail odyssey is the most versitile trail running shoe on the market today. even the most hardened trail runner is forced to run road on ocassion. the montrail odyssey was designed as a light weight trail shoe that is just as comfortable on the road as on the trail. matter of fact... this is my road shoe. it's also my favorite light weight trail shoe (just 12oz). i even race ultras up to 50 miles in this shoe because it's light weight, stable and has a great cushioned sole for my achey knees. is it tough? i wore a pair of montrial odysseys on a circumnavigation of the sisters mountains in oregon. 45 miles and 10,000 feet of gain with a summit of the south sister and a 3,000 foot decent on a lava rock and scree... and i'm still running in them. on those hot days you'll appreciate the upper being made of very breathable mesh and on the wet days you will appreciate the gryptonite treads. the only complaint i have is that the tongue on the odyssey doesn't have a loop for the laces to keep it in place. this is not usually an issue, but after hours and hours of running sometimes it falls to the side more than i would like it to.

** the first production run of the odyssey had a defect where the lugs on the sole would fall off fairly easily because they were individual pieces. the latest versions have fixed that by making the lugs all attached to one piece.

the montrail odyssey in action! - olympic national park

outside magazine's take on the montrail odyssey

Friday, October 26, 2007

I Like To Share

"every bite of food we take is an investment we make in our bodies -- or a debt we take out."

great read on grist for parents on eating organic. a couple of quotes i liked:

"A few years ago I did a study with the Environmental Working Group where we measured umbilical cord blood in babies. We found an average of 200 different industrial chemicals in their cord blood at birth. Of the total 287 chemicals we detected, 180 are known to cause cancer in humans and 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system. So I realized that what's "out there" is in us -- even in the most inner sanctum of the womb."

"I'm working most on the food front, and my reasoning is that every bite of food we take is an investment we make in our bodies -- or a debt we take out. It's a vital and immediate impact. And it also impacts our air, land, streams, and global warming. If just 10 percent of our food supply were organic, it would be the equivalent of taking millions of cars off the roads. On farms, about 40 percent of the oil use comes from the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that are all oil-based."

i'm currently reading jack daniel's running formula. i ran into this race pace calculator from his book online. all you need is one of your race times and it will estimate how fast you would run other distances.

an episode of keeping up with gouchers (nike distance runners) where the gouchers talk about purservering through injuries. adam had a double hernia as well.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hernia Recovery

hernia is a dirty word. i have a slight feeling of shame when i admit i just had a surgery on my double inguinal hernias. i think this is because most people believe this to be a condition associated with overweight people. as this post shows (thanks sean) it's very common in runners.

i'm now 11 days off of my double hernia laproscopic surgery. they made a few small incisions, blew my stomach up with carbon dioxide and slid a camera on a stick in there to check things out. my dr then stapled a mesh patch over each of my holes. from the operative report: "A 3x6 sheet of ultra Pro mesh was then tacked to Cooper's ligament, the underside of the tranversalis fascia and the symphysis pubis. No tacks were placed lateral to the epigastric vessels or the iliacs. Laterally, the mesh was interspersed between the peritoneum and the pelvic sidewall without any clips. This laid down nicely. It covered the possible location of the femoral hernia as well as an indirect and direct hernia nicely."

so how do i feel? after a week i was a bit disapointed that my stomach still hurt as much as it did. i've had lots of friends and elite runners tell me they had the same surgery (well 1 hernia, not 2) and that they were running rather quickly after it.. one said 4 days, another 9 days after surgery. i am still not sure i could run if i wanted to. i have very localized pain, especially on the left side. a life without activity is tough for me. my life literally revolves around it. i taught a track workout on wed and had to just stand there, in the rain. ugh. i called the dr last week and asked if i could ride my bike "super easy". the nurses response was "absolutely not! not until you see the dr."

well i am just back from seeing the dr today. everything looks good and i have the green light to ride super easy on a stationary bike. i'm going to give that a try tonight. on saturday, which is 2 weeks post-op, i can start to do normal training and ramping up my efforts... albeit extremely slowly

24hrs of moab

24 hours of moab mtn bike race: world champion 24hr solo mtn bike racer chris eatough and elite adventure racer jari kirland won this years race in the desert (velonews article). jari beat my friend rebecca rusch, this years 24hr solo world champion. it must have been a good show. my buddy aaron vanderwal was there racing on a team. he gives an entertaining account (and me some props) in his blog titled "I Passed Chris Eatough - 24 Hours of Moab Report".

i know how hard this course is. to date it's the only race i've ever dnf'd. yes, i dropped. i was not prepared to race mentally or physically. i was adventure racing every other weekend with my team DART-nuun, and i had already raced in two 24hr solo mtn bike races is my first season as a mtn bike racer (placing 6th at the 24hr solo mtn bike nationals). the moab course is tough, sandy and unrelenting.. long story short - this raced ended with me weeping in my van. i did however learn some important lessons.

"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try. " - Beverly Sills

posting and thinking about this race makes me want to get back to 24hr solo mtn bike racing. maybe one early season race if i can swing training properly for it... we'll see.. maybe a may attempt at reclaiming the Northwest NORBA 24hr Solo/WA State Solo Mtn Bike Championship? more on my 2008 season to follow - so many ideas!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Delta Air Dumps Luggage Over Chicago!

i won't even comment, because it wouldn't be very nice..

Jetliner Dumps Luggage Over Chicago

Who runs this company? Delta CEO is Richard Anderson and their President is Ed Bastian.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

YouTube Gems

a couple of gems for your viewing pleasure.

early lance armstrong interview

i don't smoke personally.. but i appreciate his honesty because it's rare amongst politicians

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sean Meissner's 2007 Tahoe 72 Race Report

montrail nathan ultrarunning team member seans meissner's account of this race had me on the edge of my seat.. so i just had to post it -way to run buddy!

"So I raced the 72 miler around the lake on Sept. 29, starting at midnight. The short of it:

1st place - 10:39:xx
2nd place - 10:41:xx

As I left my hotel at 11:15 p.m., it was super windy, really cold, icy, and, oh yeah, snowing. What do you do? You deal with it.

Akos Konya and I ran the first 5 miles right at 8 minute pace, then he thought that was too slow so he went around me, put a small gap and was down to 7:30s real quick. Like an idiot, I followed along 50 meters back. I hit 20 miles in 2:28, and 50k in 3:56. By then, Akos was maybe only 10 seconds in front of me. We both started struggling (because we were idiots and ran too hard, too soon, in the snow and ice and 25 degree weather - not including wind chill). He started feeling better by 34. I didn't. I walked hills. He didn't. And obviously, I puked. A lot. He didn't.

By mile 46, he had 40 minutes on me. At mile 50, somehow it was down to 30, and I was walking a lot (guess he was crawling). Finally, at mile 54 I started feeling a bit better. By 57, I was back in the groove. 7:45s and 8:00s all around. I was powering up the hills, and cruising down. At mile 17, my crew told me they thought Akos was only 15 minutes ahead. So they drove up to where he was, and when I got there, he was only 5 minutes up the road (mile 64.5). This was at the base of the last brutal climb. So I ran hard up and just past 66, he was 1 minute up.

I caught Akos with 5 miles to go and I was flying. He looked to be struggling, but he responded. I pushed harder, and ran mile 68 in 6:30 and put about 15 seconds on him. He caught back up and we were shoulder to shoulder, flying after 68 hard miles on the icy pavement, now at 6:40 pace. It was intense. He surged again. I responded. Finally with a little over 2 to go, he made the move. I was red-lining it and I was done.

Akos won in 10:39:xx, I was 2nd in 10:41:xx. It was definitely the hardest I've ever run at the end of an ultra. It was intense, fast, and completely awesome! We were both totally wasted at the finish. We both left it all out there - I just left mine a little sooner. Very fun.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Laid Up and Blogging

i'm laying around recovering. although i heard each day you should feel considerably better, today seems a lot like yesterday. i can just barely get up off the couch on my own. it's one of those things where you can do it, but it hurts, so i probably shouldn't. anyway, being couch/bed ridden this gives me some time to blog.

the last few weeks have also given me some time to reflect about my own training and how i coach other athletes (more to come on this one). on vacation i reread nutrition periodization for endurance athletes, and started reading daniel's running formula.

karl meltzer and scott mason ( have posted some awesome trail running tip videos on "crashing is part of the deal". true dat.

karl also just did an interview with endurance planet, good stuff:

  • Play in Windows Media Karl MeltzerKarl Meltzer
  • Play in RealPlayer
  • Play mp3 stream
  • Direct link to mp3 file

  • also check out the new montrail newsletter.

    Friday, October 12, 2007

    Hernia Surgery Done!

    up at 4am. my saint of a friend cory fraser picked me up at 5am. checked in at the hospital at 5:30am. drugs kicked in at 7:37am.. dreamland. i wake with two titanium mesh patches over the holes in my abdomen. my stomach hurts... bad. i took some oxycodone and next thing i know cory and little baby colin (who just turned 2!) arrive with smiles.

    today i had surgery for my two inguinal hernias. now i'm drugged up on cory's couch. i can't situp, or stand up on my own yet so cory and his family are taking care of me. i'm lucky to have such good friends.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    Adventure Racer Denis Fontaine Will Be Missed

    i almost can't even believe this. denis fontaine, who i've raced many times on team helly hansen has died. he and some friends were apparently doing an epic training session and some bad weather caught them by surprise. two meter waves capsized his kayak - here is the article. very sad. i didn't know him well, but he was always a joy to hang out with and talk to at races.. and he was a great competitor too. at least he died doing what he loves. you will be missed denis.

    canadian adventure superstar gary robbins was a good friend of denis and he posted a good blog.

    **updated: video interview from canadian tv with one of the survivors bob faulkner.

    Tuesday, October 9, 2007

    Never Fly Delta Airlines!

    the beauty of the blog means i can rant about the injustice that happens to the little guy that would normally just go unheard. as i'm sure you are aware, the airline industry is an absolute mess.

    i was supposed to be home in seattle right now. instead i'm sitting in a stinky, loud and dirty howard johnson express in atlanta. how did this happen?

    my trip home was from portland to atlanta, atlanta to seattle. my first flight was late "due to air traffic control issues". delta refused to put me on another flight so i waited. as i boarded a flight that was bound to leave 3hrs late i said to the delta representative "my connecting flight to seattle is on time to leave at 8pm". she said "great!". i said "no, not great, i won't make it". they knew i wouldn't make it but they put me on the flight anyway. by the time i arrived in atlanta 50 minutes after my flight to seattle left they changed the story to "weather in atlanta" as the cause of the delays (the weather was clear and beautiful by the way). but this new excuse meant that when i missed my flight, they were not responsible for compensating me for their massive mistakes. i paid for my own hotel, and i fly out tomorrow morning. being a day late means i also miss work tomorrow. i have a coaching client session and spin class i had to cancel.

    thanks for nothing delta airlines.

    Monday, October 1, 2007

    vermont 50 race report

    the long and short of it.. i got smoked in vermont yesterday. i ran a 7:41 for 7th place.

    the course: 50 miles of dirt road and super smooth single track with 9,000 feet of totally runnable elevation gain. with the 50 mile mtn bike race starting earlier and over 400 runners (most ever) it was quite an energetic and exciting morning.. not to mention the longest bathroom line i've ever waited in pre-race.

    sunday morning i woke up at 4:45am feeling better than the two previous days. i was still a bit congested but overall i was ok, not great, but ok. i headed over to the start from our campground and ran into matt estes (eventual race winner who probably set a new course record), who had just signed up the day before. if you don't know this dude.. he's super fast, doesn't race a lot but when he does he puts a hurt on course records. met him at hurt 100 in january when he beat karl meltzer and broke his course record.

    the first mile had us running out of ascutney mtn resort down the road. a pack of us quickly pulled out front probably running sub 7s. i looked around and noticed a couple montrail jersey on guys i didn't know. i hung on to the back of this front group that included estes, they all knew each other and were kind of chatting. one of them introduced and it was leigh schmitt (i think), and todd walker was there as well. my heart rate was higher than i would have liked it. in a few miles the road pitched up and i quickly realized i was not going to be racing these guys. it was the last i saw of them, and it happened fast! the road started going up hill, and they were gone. i had nothing in my legs to chase, i was empty.

    the terrain changed to some really nice single track and fun running. i tried to calm my mind about the 5 or 6 runners ahead of me already. i tried to push my pace, but didn't feel good all day. i came into aid station #3, mile 12.5, my sister was there with my bottles ready to go. my nephew was cheering for me and my mom said "you are 7 minutes back from the leaders... and i love you". this was awesome.. and gave me a huge boost.

    right after that high left me my hernias started to hurt. i get some pretty bad hip pain when i run long and on this day i was getting sharp shooting pain in my right hip/glute early on. i let it scare me, and it got in my head. as i ran through the mile 26 aid station i was running scenarios of dropping. the main one that sounded reasonable was my hernias, my pain and how i didn't want to put myself in the recovery hole for a race and a day that was just not going right.

    luckily however i was able to banish those thoughts. i reminded myself that i'm not quiting unless i'm truly going to do some sort of permanent damage or simply can't put one foot in front of the other. but what turned my attitude was a combination of things; my nephew jackson didn't come to watch his uncle matt quit a race because it wasn't going his way, my mother and sister had done so much for me already to quit now wouldn't be fair, and finally the knowledge that i would learn some valuable lessons through this struggle. it didn't hurt that i was on a sub 8hr pace, which in my opinion was still a respectable time for such a a tough course.

    this course is amazingly beautiful! i was able to get lost in the fall new england foliage and just enjoy it. the race was really well done as well. the only complaint i have was the bikers. there was a 50 mile mtn bike race going on as well that started before our race. so i quickly caught up to mtn bikers and ran next to them for the entire day - this sucked. i would pass on all the uphills, they would pass on the downhills. also i think since they were back of the packers they didn't know how to, or that you are supposed to, communicate as you pass. i was scared out of my shorts a few times by bikers just blasting by me on the trail without any warning, almost taking me out... it was nerve racking. also if you advertise that you have gel at the aid stations... don't put the gel in little dixie cups! who does that? racers need to grab gels (in gel packets) and go. at the high point of the course there were 40-50 mtn bikers resting. i had to maneuver through them to the heed cooler as i was out of fuel. there, i waited in line to fill my bottle. i waited in line! that was a very frustrating time of the race for me. i only write this in hopes the race directors can figure out a way to improve it.

    ok so i ran in at 7:41 down the grassy slopes of ascutney mtn resort with my family cheering for me as i crossed the finish line! that alone made this race special, because they have never been able to make it to a race before.. i'm just sad i couldn't have raced a bit better - next time.

    october 12th i get surgery on both of my hernias. this involves putting a mesh screen over my abdominal to prevent my intestine from ever poking through again. sounds terrible... however the prospect of racing without this or any other pain or injury is so exciting to me i can't wait!

    for now i recover on cape cod with the family.. mm fudge.