Monday, April 28, 2008

Max Israel's Ironman Arizona Race Report

max is long time coaching client, ironman, adventure racer, entrepreneur and just all around great guy. although i didn't train him for this ironman i worked with him all year last year. i'm posting this because i think it's a good read and we can always learn from others experiences... congrats max!
read the report here.

Ironman Arizona Race Report

Overview: I came, I saw, I melted.

Swim: 1:14:00 [4] 2.4 mi (30:50 / mi)

Swim: about 00:01:50 minutes slower than last year. Not terrible considering I did only very minimal swimming in favor of run and bike. I'll gladly give up two minutes to push this time into other areas.

Got out of the water feeling fine. Probably could have hammered harder. Did get a hard kick in the lower lip about a minute into it. Resisted the urge to grab the guy’s ankle and pull him under, though. ;-)

Bike: 6:06:12 [4] 112.0 mi (3:16 / mi)

My bike clocked this at just a touch over 6 hours, but I guess the race clock doesn't lie. My race strategy came apart here. Here is what I think happened...

Let's start with my goal: An Ironman overall PR at 11:30 based on a conservative swim, solid bike where I might shave a few minutes off my usual 6-hours and a transformative run of around 4:00. My last two IM runs were 4:40 and 4:24, respectively.

I wanted to come out of the water and be on the bike and working by 1:20, which was conservative. I did that. I then wanted to have a 6 hour bike split, but if I could do it without hammering too hard I wanted to bank another ten minutes. Then I wanted to run a 4:10 or so marathon and land right at 11:30.

It didn't happen.

Lap 1/3: Came out strong but didn't push hard. Headwind was immediate. Unlike last year, the headwind came at you as you rode out of town uphill. Chatty and smiling, didn't hammer and focused on staying comfortable. The final results aren't posted yet, so I can't get the exact split. (The three laps are all slightly different distances owing to how the move traffic around the hub.) Came around that first round and felt like I was roughly 3 minutes ahead of a six-hour pace.

Lap 2/3: Felt a bit tired coming back out of Tempe, but my plan was to have the middle leg be the work horse of the day. I found a fast looking guy and picked up my pace to match him. As the hillclimb began, I just felt like a million bucks. People were dying in the heat, which began climbing into the 90's. The wind got noticably stiffer. I passed people effortlessly climbing out of town like they were overweight school children. Turned at the top and with a steady tailwind pushed 30 MPH or so back to the bottom.

A little discouraging...All that work had really only bought me about 2 additional minutes in the bank. In retrospect, my math was probably off a bit because the distance on lap 2 was a couple of minutes longer. But that wind...

Lap 3/3: I really didn't feel like I had worked it that hard on lap 2. I had been drinking straight water roughly 1 bottle per aid station and supplementing with endurolyltes (3x per hour), around 280 or 300 calories per hour via Power gel which was the aid station choice.

I just came out onto that third lap and simply didn't have the juice to work back up that hill. I gave away tons of time. In the end, I made the decision not to force the issue. I knew I was giving back some time, but figured a retreat here was smart. Better to survive the heat and wind and make my stand on the run. I crossed into transition at 6:02 or so per bike clock. Don't know why the clock said 6:06. Shit. All that gain given back...and then some.

Run: 5:08:37 [5] 26.2 mi (11:46 / mi)

IM Arizona marathon. What a depressing marathon.

I can't say why things went so badly, but here's one possibility. Temperatures on the run course hit 100 degrees. It couldn't cope. Helpfully, I read Hammer's website *after* the race and noticed that their recommended dosage for my size in that environment is 4-6 caps per hour. I took 3 per hour. I probably missed one or two hours' worth over the day by accident.

This hurts my pride to write. I knew early that I was not going to have a good run. My plan was to try to stick a 9:00 mile for the run, with some hustle-walk aid stations thrown in there. I did this for a lot of Sundays over lots and lots of miles, practicing that pace.

I just couldn't turn those legs over, and the cramping started immediately. From there, I never got knocked down with cramps but I would start to cramp very quickly after moving my pace faster than 9:00. Before long, I struggled to keep 10:00. Then 11:00.

A few times the heat pounded on me so hard that my head swam and I simply needed to find a patch of shade to rest for 20 or 30 seconds or I was going to pass out.

What went wrong today, especially on this run? Why can't I run -- really run -- that Ironman Marathon the way I want to...the way I can run almost any other time?

Nutrition -- not enough protein in the mix?

Electrolytes -- not enough?

Weight -- is 200 pounds just too much to lug around?

Heat -- was it too much to expect that all my training was 35-50 F and race day saw 100F ? What could I have done, short of moving to the Sunbelt for training?

The Grand Columbian was absolutely a harder course in every respect, yet I did better. I don't think I was in better shape at all for that -- I'm almost certainly in better shape now. The course temp at GC was probably maxed in the high 70's on race day.

High points were the last half mile of running. Once the sun went low I started feeling a hell of a lot better. Crossing an IM finish line with a PR for me is great, but there's nothing cooler than a night finish under the lights. I ended up running with a great guy from Missouri -- a normally 10:20 guy who had been puking all day but was still great conversation and funny. We pushed and cajoled each other to pass the time and keep hustling as best we could. Saw the sun set running over one of Tempe's pretty bridges, which made me smile.

I need to regroup mentally. I'm just seething right now and want more than anything to have that day back to try some other things. I've got some ideas on how I'll spend the next month. Get some much needed time with Alex running trail and riding mountain bikes. I've got an invitation to row in a masters 8 at Greenlake, which could shake things up for a few months. Maybe I'll just do little serous exercise and just laser in on diet while I drop 10 pounds. Goddam.

This year they're changing this race date to be in November, so IM AZ will actually run AGAIN in November. That's a tempting shot at redemption.

I could also register for Grand Columbian in September. I know already that I'll be one of those places.

Note: Time not exact -- add 10 minutes or so for transition. Be warned...long post.

You Think I'm Crazy? How Bout a MARATHON on a Treadmill

well i have a coaching client... who... well i'll just share her email with you.

please note this wasn't prescribed by me as training. it was cheryl's idea, but i certainly didn't deter her!

Good morning! So, I will attempt to account my underway marathon experience below (meaning on a coast guard boat).

For the planning phase of this run, I had to choose between treadmill and running laps around our ship. Three factors led to chose treadmill over laps:
1. I have issues counting laps for a 3-mile run, let alone a 27-mile run.
2. Running laps includes a jaunt up/down an outside set of stairs (or ladder, if you will). Knowing me, 20 miles into a run and my chances of eating shit go up to about 100%.
3. Non-skid is not gentle on the joints. So, I gave up a better view for an inside excursion.

I woke up at about 5 am on Saturday morning to the sound of us breaking ice enroute to Nome, AK. I visualized the ship breaking through the ice as a metaphor for me breaking through the monotony of running 4 hours on a treadmill. It didn't help. I procrastinated as much as I could (put in a couple loads of laundry, ate a bagel, checked email, etc) before finally hitting the treadmill around 5:40.

Here are the run stats:
Time: 3:48:11 (continuous watch time, 26.2 mark was 3:40::10)
Distance: 27.0 miles
Incline: 0 (except when the ship rides up on the ice, plus the treadmill is set up in our windlass room at a slight uphill angle)
Treadmill restarts: 4 (it only goes to 60 min before shutting off, first stop was after the first below)
Head calls: 1 (about 1 mile in, my body finally decided to wake yea)
Music: 5.2 hours of my favorite songs
Tony Robbins cds: 1 (good motivation)
Camelbak: 1, filled with water (thanks Alex!)
Gels: 2
Bonks: 0
Treadmill: 1
Somewhat crazy JO: 1

Breakdown by hour (since that was the natural break of re-starting the treadmill everytime):

9:13 first mile, pace 6.5 mph, head break (4 minutes) not quite into it yet

Restart 1: got in the grove, listened to music, pace 7.0 mph (actually the treadmill shut off at 57 min for some reason so only ran 6.7 miles during this section. Took in water every 10 minutes.

Restart 2: pace 7.0 mph, this was the Tony Robbins hour. Good cd on fear vs stress (they are the same, it is just how you prepare for it), Trying vs. Doing (trying is just an excuse for failure), and the power of personal CANtations. Took in water every five minutes.

Restart 3: turned the volume up on the music and caught myself singing along to most songs, pace 7.1 mph, felt pretty good this hour...though knees starting to hurt. Took in water and a bit of gel every five minutes

Restart 4: Picked up the pace to 7.5. In the scale of relative pain, my heart was doing much better than my knees, lower back, and legs, so I figured I should hurry up and get it over with. Finished the last 5.23 miles and was happy to be done. Took in water and gel every five minutes.

I think this was good mental preparation for the Florida race I will be doing over Memorial Day weekend. It is not the most senic race, but has got to be better than staring at a anchor hawsepipe for 4 hours.

Have a great weekend!

Cathi Cannon's Cohutta 65 Race Report

massive congrats to my coaching client cathi cannon! she earned a podium spot at the cohutta 65 mile mtn bike race!! this is a great benchmark on her road to the leadville 100 mtn bike race! as you'll read in her report below... she's dropping the fellas on climbs! that brings a tear of joy to my eye. =)

cathi's race report follows..

One of the key races I was using as a benchmark for Leadville was the Cohutta 65. At one point, I had planned on doing the 100 mile course, but a lingering early season injury forced me to choose otherwise. While not the full monty, the 65, just shy of 11k of elevation gain, was still going to be a respectable day. The rain overnight and during the first hour of the race added another twist to the day; luckily the temps remained nice.

We started at the Ocoee Whitewater Center at 7:15am with a light drizzle. After a quick 3 miles down Hwy 64, we turned into the Brush Creek trails. I actually haven't ridden this section before and I'd imagine it would be quite nice and flowy if it wasn't for the thick, slick mud everywhere. All was going well until I wiped out hard on a bridge. I’m not exactly sure what happened here, but next thing I know I lay my bike out and we're sliding across the bridge... I see a pole and think "this will not be …". My bike hits it first – then I slam into my bike... Groin into the handlebars and stem. Yeowsers. I layed there a minute taking some deep breaths, but when I saw a girl pass, I was back on my feet. Time to go!

I was a bit slow at first, trying to shake things off. We circled back to the WWC, entering the Tanasi trail system. By the time I was up Bear Paw, I was able to pass the 2 girls that had passed me when I was down. Once I hit the forest service roads, I was back in my element. I was alone for a long time here, just doing my thing and trying to ride hard. Two voices were constantly in my head - Matt's voice saying "attack the hills" and Jeramie saying (in response to me wondering how he thought I'd do) "well, depends on what Cathi shows up". Early on it was the "Cathi that crashed hard and was in pain". But now it was "Cathi that was on a mission". I wasn't there to just ride; I wanted to race.

Finally the turn from 221 to 62 (the "Big Frog Loop") came, along with the aid station with our drop bags. I actually didn't need anything in my bag (my hydration & nutrition was going well & I had all I needed with me), so after some quick lube on the chain and I was off again - I has seen a pink jersey ahead and really wanted to reel in that girl…Which I did soon enough, along with 2 others on this section. That was energizing! I hooked up with a few guys that had a solid pace and good conversations for a bit.

Once back on 221, I just kept on... My legs were feeling fabulous, although the shoulder/neck pain I get sometimes was now setting in - at least that made me forget about my pelvis. The big neverending climb came and went without problem - with the leaders of the 100 mile passing me here - damn they looked fresh!

Finally the last aid station before the final singletrack section. Hooray! They didn't have any Heed, so I just kept the 1 full bottle I had, figuring it would be enough for the last 12 miles or so. About 10 minutes in, I started hearing some noise from my bike... Not the hiss of flat tires (like last weekend), but something else. Then without warning, chain suck. Ahh, so that is the sound of a bone dry chain that doesn't want to move. What sucked even more was the fact I didn't have any lube on me. Every 5-10 minutes my bike would seize. Sometimes I could get through it, but half the time I was going up a hill or over some rocks/roots, so it royally messed me up. For once I was totally thankful for every descent I could find - if I didn't pedal, I didn't have problems. I passed lots of people sidelined with mechanicals (including a friend with a snapped derailleur), but no one with lube. So basically this last section (which initially I was worried about, not knowing how tired I’d be going through it, then was excited about because I was feeling great), ended up sucking royally, taking at least 30 min longer than it should have.

Thunder Rock Express (a sweet descent) could not come soon enough. I got through that easily and was thankful for the road at the end - that signalled about a mile to the finish. Yeah! My time was 7:32:06, good enough for 5th place, earning me spot on the podium (I would have been 56 out of 100 total riders in this distance – always like to see how I compare to the guys!). I was about 32 minutes behind 4th place, so it would have been an interesting finish if that last section had gone better. One of the guys I had been riding with earlier came by to say the way I dropped him on the neverending FSR climb was impressive & that I should have no problem with Leadville. Let’s hope!!

So now... The next day...
I am definitely happy with my race - my body felt great (except for the crash of course) and I was happy with how my legs responded. My nutrition and hydration was on. What to change? Well, carry lube!! Other than that, just continue on with Matt’s plans, whatever they may be. (it's working so far!) I’ll be interested to see how this experience relates to Leadville. I’ll have 4.5 more hrs to tackle 35 more miles and 3000’ more elevation gain. Altitude will be the determining factor I think, as my fitness track seems to be right on.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Exciting News and Disappointing Reality

"You only ever grow as a person when you spend time outside your comfort zone"- Percy Cerutty

the real reason i was in salt lake last week was for a job interview. i'd made the final cut of interviews to be a guide/trip leader for backroads. they do 7-14 day cycling, hiking, kayaking and multisport trips in the most amazing locations all over the world. if it's worth spending time there, chances are backroads can guide you through your most amazing week of exploration ever. one browse through their website is enough to understand why it would be cool to guide for this organization. they are the '#1 active travel company' in the business. the trips aren't cheap and service is paramount.

i was super excited to get the call friday that i got the job.. but there was a caveat. i could not have my august to remember where i planned to run the appalachian trip with karl meltzer and the transrockies run with fellow montrail ultrarunner sean meissner. if i took all of august off, they would have to hire another guide to fill in since it's there busiest month. which means they would prefer to just hire another guide and i'd have to reapply next year... deal breaker.

how could i give these things up? i had just been in slc with karl discussing some logistics of the appalachian trail assualt. it kind of broke my heart. i first got them to give me an end date. it was aug 23rd. this meant i could still run the transrockies ultra with meissner. then i talked to karl and he was totally cool about it, and said i could meet him later in the adventure.

so after some time thinking about it and runnin scenarios in my head i decided to take the job. i will meet up with karl later on down the trail. i am sacrificing now because the job just seems like a great fit for me and will at the very least be an amazing experience. having worked for one of the best companies in the world at microsoft i was impressed with my visit to backroads offices in salt lake, and even more by the current employees.

it's seasonal employment and could be the perfect compliment to my life as athlete/coach and it will undoubtedly put me in some great locations to train! the bummer is i won't know until june 3rd where exactly i'll be. i have knowledge of the yellowstone/grand teton park area and the san juan islands so as a first year guide i'll most likely end up in one of those two places... cool with me. but i'm crossing my fingers for the yellowstone/grand teton spot as i'd be living in jackson hole - a place near and dear to my heart. plus lisa and jay batchen live there! (as a side note check out the interviews on endurance planet with jay and lisa).

so, i am heading to slc for 2.5 weeks of training on may 15th. june 4th i start guiding! things are about to get interesting.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Today I Got Caught In An Avalanche

(updated video!)

the boyz were headed to ski mount rainier - an offer i couldn't refuse. so even though i got home from slc past midnight the night before, i headed to rainier on friday. everyone has avalanche experience; among us there is one ski patrol, two avy II certs, two avy I certs, and we're all first aid certified.

colin's first day on his homemade split board (and new skins)

we stayed at lou whittaker's lodge, drove in for the 7am gate opening and were skinning shortly thereafter. the weather said sunny and warm, so the south slopes of rainier were no longer an option with all the sun they would be treacherous.. plus copson's legs "weren't up for 5,000ft of skinning" it takes to get to muir or the nisqually chutes. so we hit the tatoosh mountains right at the foot of rainier.

colin and copson skinning

colin with mount rainier

copson and our goal - the saddle left of the castle

in two hours we skinned the 2,000 feet up to the saddle near pinnacle peak. great beautiful terrain.. and it was sunny and warm. perfect right? well with the gates being closed until 7am we were pushing the limits a bit. if you ski too late in the day the sun has a chance to warm the slopes. hence our fear of south facing. so we focused on north facing slopes and thought we had a plan. we even laughed at the mountaineers group who were being led straight up a 50 degree south facing bootpack. putting us at danger below them we scoffed and quickly got out of the potential avy path.

copson with colin behind

once we gained the ridge we scoped some lines... the ridge we were looking at was northwest and we all figured it would be pretty safe. looking at the section we had to ski to drop in however i commented to copson that "this is the same aspect we were just giving them shit for climbing". i could tell he was thinking of a response or a rebuttle, but never made one. the snow was getting heavy and we felt the pressure to start skiing. i skied down first around the chute clint would ski. i was immediately concerned for some reason, spidey sense (then no sense). i stopped and kicked off a cornice to mimic a skiers load on the slope... nothing went. so i dripped in and skied down around the rock band to get a video of clint. "i like to feel like a rocket for 10 seconds at a time" is the quote after the shot of him skiing ths chute (he's the first downhill snowboarder in the video). anyway, we all skied down ~ and the turns were buttery. clint led out the second pitch to some relatively safe trees and yelled back for me to keep skiing past him.

me skiing the first pitch

i skied past him (above photo) and the slope i ended up on was slightly more south facing than we planned on skiing. i was 10 feet from the trees (avy anchors) when it let go. 80 feet wide consolidated slab with a 2 foot crown. i have been hit by sluff slides before but i saw the crown break right next to me. oh boy! before i knew it the concrete snow was crotch deep and we were pickup up speed towards some trees and a roll over. at first i thought i'll try to out run this thing but it engulfed me like a shallow wave with heavy churning snow. my next instinct was to ski out the skiers right of it, but as it started to swallow me i had less and less control of my trajectory. then it stopped. we hit a little plateau before the trees and the wet snow stopped. there i was, on my skis up to my crotch in avalanche debris. wholly shit.

picutre of the slide

it wasn't huge but it really scared me. i was shakey for the next 30 minutes or so. looking back up after we were now all still in danger. if the upper headwall let go we were all done for. so we quickly moved out of harms way and had fun discussing exactly what happened on our skin out.

we made some mistakes today and we're all lucky things didn't go worse for us. slopes that "shouldn't be sliding" were sliding all over the place. the signs were there to call it a day.. so we did. (updated video!)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Back from Chasing the Goat

i just got back late last night from a visit to salt lake city. i flew in on tuesday morning. the wasatch speedgoat, karl meltzer and his awesome wife cheryl were cool enough to let me stay with them. after some catching up, karl and i hit the office to discuss karl's appalachian assault and my role in that. talking about it i found myself awash with these intense feelings of anticipation ~ this is going to be soo cool! what an epic to be a part of. karl was fresh off a 47 mile day in zion, and he seemed as fresh as a daisy. the appalachian trail record is going down my friends, down.

karl lives at the foot of some amazing mtns, and even though the snow level is low for this time of year we had plenty of trail to scratch our hooves on! with my hip issues looming i wasn't sure how it would feel. well the last 4 miles hurt like hell. i made the call after this run to remove the extra insole. by my math my hip had gotten noticeably worse since using the extra lift.

thanks so much karl and cheryl for your hospitality!.. you guys are awesome and i'm soo looking forward to our adventure on the appalachian trail in august.

day two i took my extra insole out and enjoyed the later part of the run much more than the previous day. the lift had slowly caused massive amounts of pain in my glute. we did about 13 miles with some 3,300 ft of gain near the university... and threw a quick nuun photo shoot in there too.. sweet stuff.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Some Nonsense

right now i'm hurt and it sux. there are many good things happening in my life which i'm very very excited about. but i can't get over the fact that my hip is a mess. i have two pt's on the case... there has been a bike crash on that hip and a history of imbalance so it's muddy water. i might even have two different length legs. so for the last week i've been wearing an extra sliver insert in one of my montrails. i can't say that things have changed really. yesterday i was treated to some april knee deep powder. with some trepidation i headed to snoqualmie with my long time adventure buddy steve copson. we had some amazing turns. it's pretty awesome how some good high speed powder skiing with a buddy can make you feel. of course i had to "test" the hip out after that and an easy 2.8 mile trail run left me walking the last 100 feet. it feels like i have a torn glute muscle.

i'm headed to salt lake city to pursue an interesting opportunity... more on that later.

also check out the website. as i've mentioned i'm starting karl meltzer's appalachian assault with him on mount katahdin in maine. we'll be running 47 miles a day for 6 days covering the 281 miles of AT in maine. karl of course is continuing on in an effort to break the speed record on for the entire 2,174 miles of AT... maine to georgia baby. i like to say "if anyone can do it, it's karl". he'll have a gps with him and with this site you will be able to track and follow along from online... pretty cool.

"You only ever grow as a person when you spend time outside your comfort zone"- Percy Cerutty

i'm about to get very uncomfortable...

i had to share this passage from the cookbook wholefood by jude blereau i just picked up from the library: "It seems that we have forgotten what good food really is, where it comes from (not plastic-wrapped from the supermarket) and what it should taste like. Once look at a school cafeteria, hospital, workplace cafeteria, bakery or corner shop will show you exactly what I am talking about: food with little flavor, loaded with refined sugar and damaged fat to give taste. It is manufactured with the cheapest of compromised ingredients. Today, even fresh produce is grown to last - superficial and tasteless." She goes on, "Refined and processed foods give nothing to your body; in fact, they take away as your body tries to digest them. These foods cannot sustain you; they cannot nourish you."

when i thought about this a bit i am reminded of something i read about tomatoes. conventionally they are grown to be tough, not tasty. off the top of my head the other foods that i can remember thinking... "wow, this tastes waaay better organic" are avocados, raisins and best of all orange, red, and yellow peppers... and strawberries! oh the goodness.. i challenge you to try and go a whole day eating just whole foods. and post a comment on how you feel.

i just bought this song by saul williams from the new nike commercials. it is fantastic. listen to this song on your next run - it is impossible not to run fast! ~ "I ball my fist and you're gonna know where I stand".

Friday, April 18, 2008

Need A Place To Stay In During the Leadville 100?

a very nice couple that takes my spin class owns a great house in twin lakes, colorado. it's right located on the leadville 100 course, close to the leadville 10o mtn bike mid point at the foot of independence pass. i am considering it for some serious altitude training - check it out!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fleet Feet Bend Visit

i'm in bend, oregon to visit my friends rod bien and sean meissner. they just opened a fleet feet store in bend. it's really sweet. their best selling shoe = the montrail streak! if you are in bend make sure to stop in and check it out.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Portland v2.0 - The Mountain Hardwear Presentation

sunday ended up being a great day. it started with a run right from the hotel to forest park where the montrail marketing manager paul curran i ran the run like a girl 10k course. it was pretty sweet and had a nice bit of climbing.

later that day i had my presentation at the grand opening of the mountain hardwear/montrail store ~ it went amazingly well. what a great time. my topic = ultrarunning. the prior days presentation had about 3 people and 4 employees listening. so my hopes weren't high for turn out. plus most portland area ultrarunners would most likely be at sean meissner's race, the peterson ridge rumble 60km. i had a handful of runners say they wouldn't make it because of the race. so i was blown away! i'd guess there were 30-40 people packed into the store. with the raffle, the forest park conservancy and introductions the whole event was supposed to be about 40min total. i ended up talking for just over an hour. people were interested and engaged =) i covered the basics of ultrarunning; what it is, prominent races, gear (montrail, teko, nathan), nutrition (amazing grass), hydration (nuun), training and mental toughness... of course interjecting personal experiences using some video i took on adventure runs;

this one from a run in snoqualmie

and a longer version of this one from the rim to rim to rim double crossing of the grand canyon

paul even had to cut the questions short since we were out of time. the portland running community is awesome. they were very warm and welcoming and i met a lot of great people. thanks paul, phyllis and mountain hardwear for inviting me.

it means a lot to me that today my inbox was full of "thank you" messages from folks that attended. "Super inspiring talk about ultra running, makes me want to get out and start training lots!!" that kind of response makes the effort all worth while.

here is the slide show of photos i used. if you've run something cool with me you probably made the cut!

on a similar note.. last week i recieved word that i'm being invited back to speak to the next round of team in training runners about nutrition and hydration. that will be fun.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


the weather here has been amazing! mid 70s. tshirt and shorts for a 7 mile run right from the hotel. washington park has some great urban trails. i also stopped by to listen to mike libecki's presentation at the new mountain hardwear store. good stuff, too cold for my tender toes though.

for my encore run today i brought the camera and snapped a few. my presentation is tomorrow.. should be fun. friends keep asking if i'm nervous. not really. as part of dart-nuun i've help present on adv racing and taught navigation on many occassions. plus i'm talking about ultrarunning! a sport i love ~ cake.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Speaking At The New Montrail/Mountain Hardwear Store

recently the decision was made to move montrail directly under hardcore gear company mountain hardwear. i think this is great news. keep the core products together, and far far away from anything called bugaboo. that means montrail is moving from portland down to the bay area where the mountain hardwear offices are located. they are also opening a montrail/mountain hardwear store in portland, oregon. the grand opening is this weekend, sunday 4.13.08 and they have asked me to speak about ultrarunning. come check it out.. if nothing else there will be some cool photos to look at! =)

below is the press release they created. i had nothing to do with writing this!.. and it's hard to post because it makes me sound cooler than i probably am...

montrail announcement - mountain hardwear announcement - msn money

Elite ultrarunner and endurance coach Matt Hart is giving a 40 minute presentation on Sunday, April 13th at 2 p.m. Matt’s joining us from his hometown of Seattle where he’s an endurance coach and ultrarunning ambassador for Montrail and nuun active hydration. The ultrarunning presentation will be held at the new Montrail/Mountain Hardwear Store, 722 SW Taylor in Portland. Matt will present his experiences at events such as the Grand Teton 100 Miler and the HURT 100K in Hawaii. You’ll learn what it takes to finish your first ultra (50K) and advice for racing fast 50Ks to 100 milers. Matt says, “Don’t rush into high mileage weeks because you read that is what all the top ultrarunners are doing. It takes years to build the body to be able to handle that kind of load. Build gradually and intelligently.” Matt will discuss race nutrition, training recommendations, and apparel/footwear needs. Following Matt’s talk, Stephen Hatfield and Jeff Hough from the Forest Park Conservancy (formerly known as the Friend’s Of Forest Park) will share their favorite trail running routes and discuss volunteer opportunities and the importance of stewardship. Montrail will provide a stylish beanie to all attendees, plus we’ll have a raffle for additional prizes – including two pairs of free shoes! Raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 tickets for $20. Your raffle donation will be given to the Forest Park Conservancy. Limited seating, please arrive in advance.
Learn more about Matt at

Sunday, April 6, 2008

2008 Diez Vista 50km

i'm super busy. i was trying to write a full race report but it isn't happening. so here is the easy version. although i thought i'd be ok, i was in fact not recovered from the 3 days of syllamo. i was able to sneak into diez vista 50km thanks to bruce grant (thanks so much bruce and martha!) and took the amtrak up to save the environment thank you green ultrarunner for reminding me of that option.

i was pleasantly suprised to see hal and carly there, that was a treat. as i started out i knew it was going to be a struggle. my hip hurt and i didn't have the fire in my belly to race hard. around mile 15 i was running in 3rd, 4th, 5th with two other guys. one of them being canadian adventure racer and old friend aaron pitt. the last time i saw him we were running from a grizzly bear in nelson, bc. i felt like i should stop and give him a hug.. but instead i gave a more manly pound once we got on a stretch of double track ~ we aren't the type to stop in a race.

anyway the first guy was a local and in following him we inadvertantly ran off course... on a road to the aid station instead of the trail we were supposed to take. it really wasn't his fault as the course martial wasn't there to direct us and the markings weren't visible. before we had processed it, brian morrison showed up behind us, when he had been in front of us.. and undoubtedly pulling away from us. that sucked. i got this empty feeling in my stomach. with my hip pain and the eminent disqualification i made the decision to stop. it didn't seem worth the pain to finished unranked. it was hard on my mind to do this however as i've never done it before. but really it was a "c" race at best and i have bigger fish to fry. it would have been an even bigger injury whole to dig out of had i chose to continue.

i have to give mad props to the best performance i've seen in a while. team helly hansen adventure racer and canadian montrail team member gary robbins took 2nd place! gary raced smarter than anyone out there. he said he'd run too hard to start in 2006 and was going to run his own race. so he charged from way behind late in the race to catch everyone sans first place! and he was only a couple minutes from catching first too! awesome performance, i was so stoked for him. see the results. gary has an infectious energy for endurance sports.. and his blog frequently has me laughing out loud - check it.

top 3! nuun ultrarunner brian morrison (3rd), aaron heidt (1st) and gary robbins (2nd)

aaron pitt.. a bit worked!

rd and nuun ultrarunner bruce grant

patagonia ultrarunner (and nuun lover) jamie gifford

carly striking a pose after her 50km

mike adams

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Arrival - Montrail Streaks

today, my destiny has arrived at my doorstep. behold the montrail streak! this super light weight trail shoe will aid in my transformation from "adventure racer who likes massive climbs, bushwhacking and hardrocks" to a "100 mile speedster" (is that even possible?). oh this is going to be fun!

ok so you are asking "can he really be that excited about a new trail shoe?". the answer is "abso-f'in-lutely". i have a long history of shoe fetish. i blame this on nike.. and michael jordan. as a kid their marketing efforts really made me feel like i had to have the latest jordan. the placebo affect or not, but i felt like a better basketball player when i had them on (the same feeling i got during the first runs in the streaks)! for me it all started with the first air jordan. i still love this shoe and if i hadn't signed a contract with montrail you might see me running trail in it!