Friday, May 30, 2008

Our First National Park

Saturday, May 24, 2008

My Reality Show

for the last week i've been sharing a condo in salt lake city with 12 total strangers. i'm here training to be a guide/trip leader for backroads. it's been busy, kinda crazy and fun at the same time.

so far 3 guides have been asked to leave/terminated out of the group of 25 of us. there are certainly some rock stars, and some characters. with the housing situation and the possible job termination it feels a bit like a reality show.

i've been taking a lot of days off from any sort of running because i'm super busy getting trained and doing homework. yeah.. homework. that includes lots of reading, as well as preparing our 'public speaking' talks on trip routes, leadership, etc.

i got out today for a double mount olympus.. and i brought the camera!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

U... A Thing of Beauty

if you are reading this.. yes "u" are a beautiful thing as well. but this u (pronounced "you") is from the good people at nuun active hyrdation (and i must say nice work on the label brandon!). it's a vitamin water in an easy to carry and easy to use tablet. it's the perfect anytime flavored drink without the fake sugars and nastiness of most everything out there. it's got about 1/2 the electrolytes of regular nuun and a light vitamin profile. goji berry green tea is my favorite flavor so far.

although it's sensible for the every day active person or the "yoga lifestyle", i'll be working u into my race regiment for sure! it just makes sense for me. i'm not a big sweater, so the less electrolytes is fine, and why not ingest some vitamins?! i've done a few runs so far with it, both runs in slc with meltzer i had u in the bottle ~ worked beautifully and tasted fantastic.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'm Thankful and Lucky

getting ready to sublet my condo and fly away for 4 months hasn't been easy. especially with my vw eurovan dying. however i have amazing friends; giving me boxes, jumping my other car, having going away parties for me, trail running with me, picking me up when i'm stranded, and basically helping a brotha out!

i encourage you all to look around and thank those special friends in your life. if even if you have just one of these friends - you are truly lucky. i'm blessed to have many. so thank you noell, angle, fraser, copson and rossmeisle.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Road Not Taken

growing up in new hampshire meant we read robert frost. i must have read everything he's written. but through the years only one has stayed with me and it seems increasingly appropriate right now.

"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920. The Road Not Taken

today i'm off to salt lake city!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Wicked Scocha" - 12 Peaks Run

"12 peaks" is a classic pacific northwest ultra run that i had never actually done in it's entirety until today. the 4:50am wakeup call sucked, but it was a great day out there... and it was a wicked scocha too 95+ degrees. justin and i ran the whole thing in 6:33, with tom and bill joining us for a one way trip 3:07. justin would have been sub 6hrs without us acting as anchors. if you are racing justin angle any time soon, ah... good luck.
this run is perfect training for transrockies. at 35 miles and 10,000 feet of gain, it's longer with move vert than any single day of the transrockies. my hip injury is still there, but it's feeling much better and i ended this run without any real issues with it. very exciting!

here is how the transrockies will break down: (looks like i've got some speed work to do!)
day 1: 18 miles 2,737 ft of gain
day 2: 16 miles 4,579 ft of gain
day 3: 25 miles 3,335 ft of gain
day 4: 14 miles 3,016 ft of gain
day 5: 23 miles 4,966 ft of gain
day 6: 19 miles 4,947 ft of gain

115 total miles

gear: montrail streaks (they were perfect!) w/teko ecopoly socks (no blisters as usual). with the recent sun i decided to test the rudy project ekynox. they were once again amazing for the varying light exposure of running in and out of the trees.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I Bought A One Way Ticket

yeah that's right, a one way ticket to salt lake city. i've got about a week to go, then i'll be gone for 4 months of the unknown. i'm definitely someone who does well with my things and my routine... but i think this will be an amazing experience. i am staring at the two bags i can take with me on the plane (one i'll apparently have to pay extra for now!) for the next 4 months. this is tough. one will be filled with some clothes, the other.. montrails, nathan handhelds/backpacks, nuun and clif shots! the gear bag is easily 4x the size of my clothes bag!

since taking the job with backroads i've been frantically trying to get my life in order so i can leave seattle. i need to sell a car (check out the jeep grand cherokee). sublet my condo; i've already found the most awesome law student who's needs work perfect for the exact time i'm gone. that was a big weight off my shoulders.

i've bailed on running the big horn 100 miler. my hip is still a mess anyway, and simply won't be ready. but the more obvious reason is i have no idea where i'll be guiding or if i'd have that weekend off or not. backroads doesn't tell us where we'll be until june 3rd, the second to last day of our training in salt lake city.

my end date with backroads is aug 23rd. i have to get my ass to beuna vista, colorado that day so i can have one day of rest before starting the transrockies ultra with meissner. i am soo excited about this. just need to figure out how to stay fit while leading trips. after that it's either try to meet up with meltzer late in his appalachian trail assault or run the bear 100 in logan, utah. it's the last 100 of the year that looks interesting, re; hard, trail with mass vert, more single track than dirt road, etc. i really feel like i need to run a 100 before the year is over. i'm also looking to return to the hurt 100 in hawaii this time running the 100 miler. we'll see.

with the hip injury i've been riding a lot lately and it's been really fun. the running miles all depend on how the hip feels. i've been working every other day on strength exercises, which i think are really helping. yesterday i got out with the lads, green angle, jeff, mike and tom for a great 10 miler and had NO HIP PAIN!

ok, i've got coaching work to do.. and tons of packing and loose ends to clean up.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Maybe You Just Making Excuses

my pain is my motivation.

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Anorak Review

mountain hardwear ghost anorak (mhw link)
i am a big fan of super light weight versatile pieces. adventure runs don't typically necessitate heavier jackets and they add to much weight anyway. assuming you are actually running the whole time even if weather rolls in or gets windy i've found that a light weight wind jacket/shirt can provide enough protection from wind and rain in most conditions.

so this mhw ghost anorak first grabbed my attention when it was named "gear of the year" by trail runner. when i was down in portland to speak at the mountain hardwear store i was hoping to check it out, and maybe take one home. but they weren't carrying it. so i was stoked to find out it was part of our montrail ultrarunning team kit. it's only 4oz!.. and has proven to be a fantastic wind protector and seems to be pretty breathable. unfortunately there is an inverse relationship between the amount of protection a jacket provides and how breathable it is. but i've been running in the anorak when it's colder out with great results. it breaths better than i expected actually. i've been road riding in it too because it's less baggy than my actual lg team dart-nuun riding jacket... so it doesn't flap around. i think it's perfect for adventure races and i'll be taking it as my rain jacket/extra layer on my long distance adventure runs this summer. sweetness.

aditional specs
• Articulated sleeves
• Reflective patches
• Adjustable hem drawcord
• 12" welted zip with chin guard at front neckline
• Stretch ripstop with DWR finish
• Concealed zipper side pocket
• Full elastic cuffs

Monday, May 5, 2008

Kendra Ralston's Capitol Peak 55km Race Report

nuun ultrarunner kendra (borgmann) ralston won the 55km capitol peak race and was cool enough to provide a race report for me!

Kendra Ralston's Capitol Peak 55km Race Report
photos couresy of glenn tachiyama

It's amazing how much more the body can do than you give it credit for! On April 26, 2008, I took the opportunity to run in the 55K version of the Capitol Peak ultra [], directed by John Pearch out of Olympia, WA, which also features a 50 mile solo and a relay. Clear skies greeted us on race day, and only frequent mud on the trails and some snow on the ridge indicated the wet and colder winter the Pacific northwest has been enduring this year.

The nice thing about deciding that a race is just a coin in your fitness bank rather than an end in itself is that the pressure is off. As all the runners funneled onto single-track trail in the half-light of morning, it didn't really matter to me whether I went a little faster or a little slower than whatever my “ideal pace” would be. After settling down a little, I decided on which heart rate I would try to stay above and from then on the run passed in what felt like tidy half-hour increments with pleasant changes of grade and scenery and perfectly placed aid stations. When I went sailing by the first aid station James Varner helpfully called out “7 miles to the next one!” (whereupon I whirled around and grabbed a few gu's) and at the last station Carol O'Hear said “You're almost done, just stay on the trail”... it's a pleasure when aid station folks can give you these helpful hints!

I am not one of those people who can give a blow by blow of my races. I do remember that Monica Ochs, eventual female winner of the 50 miler, was ahead of me and since I was only doing 55K I felt motivated to kick my less-than-fit butt into gear enough to at least bring her back into view. I worked hard to do this and finally I saw her but she passed me again after taking a wrong turn and then my shoe getting sucked off in the mud. I did catch one guy with about 15 meters to spare, which really wasn't my intention. Okay, okay. Maybe it was. Third overall is a nice place to be. And my 5:22 time apparently broke the previous winning women's time by about 50 minutes. My Suunto T6 registered about 4860 feet of gain.

I derived a dangerous satisfaction out of this experience. It amazed me I could have such a good race off so little training. I know this can't go on forever. But once my husband and I move into our new house and a routine is once again established, I will incorporate my long runs outside of races! Through it all, nuun has provided me with the delicious electrolytes to keep on keeping on. Even when I'm nauseated, I can ingest its mild, fizzy flavor. I highly recommend both nuun and this low-key, pretty spring race. Here's to health and happiness!

congrats kendra! check out her blog here.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Rudy Project Photochromic

if you've ridden with me lately then you've heard all about my new rudy project ekynox sx sunglasses. they are, for lack of a better description... the shit. cutting to the chase and getting right down to what is blowing my mind? the impact photochromic lenses! meaning they have a lifetime guarantee that they will not break! but even cooler is the photochromic technology. i can't even tell when they are changing from clear to dark or vise versa. i step outside and they are instantly dark glasses; a late night ride to the grocery store and they are clear ~ my view doesn't change because the glasses are adjusting for me! yesterday i rode 78 road miles in my rudy project ekynox sx and at one point i realized i forgot i had them on!

if you race long distance the implications of this new tech is huge! no more where did i put those clear lenses?, or where are my other sunglasses? ~ one pair for bushwhacking through the night, one pair for the entire 24hr mtn bike race, one pair... period. having different lenses is cool, but it's so 2003. also of note the ekynox didn't fog either riding or running in them... the basics, but important.

i have a small face so i went with the ekynox sx, but the straight dope, word on the street is that the "outside magazine's gear of the year" pick for the single best pair of glasses out for athletes is the rudy project zyon. for you ski mountaineers they even come with removable attachments that make them glacier glasses ~ this could be the one pair you need for everything!.. and the rep told me exactly that saying "i'll be wearing the zion for everything; mtn biking, trail running, it's that good". and the rep is john stamstad, so dood knows gear.