Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Teton Circumnavigation For Speed July 29 2008

two days ago i finally got trevor, melissa and evans to hammer out my teton circumnavigation route (see previous post). this was my scouting run. then i figured i'd have to set the precedent and and stir the pot a bit. i'm hesitant to call it a record. first because it doesn't sound like anyone else has ever done it for speed. and second because it sounds arogant and i don't think it's a super fast time. =) but it will have to do.

so just two days after i did the run around the tetons for the first time i went at it again.. solo.. for speed. non stop watch. self supported. no drops. i started at 6:52am and finished at 1:21pm. total time was 6hrs 29mins. i can certainly run faster. and the snow still in alaska basin made the travel very slow (i fell in up to my waist once too!).

the start location

the start with my watch reading :04 seconds (get going already!)

hurricane pass in 1hr 58min 04secs

although you can't see the terrain this is buck pass in 2hrs 47 min 59secs

i keep running the stats in my mind. 34 miles with 8,200 feet of gain. and i just can't come to terms with my time of 6hrs 29mins. i've won 50kms with 6-7,000ft of gain in like 4hrs. what makes the tetons so hard and slow? well for one it was the snow and running at elevation for me. but i'm not entirely sure.

now somebody go beat 6hrs 29 mins and make me have another go at it!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Teton Circumnavigation Scouting Run July 27 2008

i finally got it done! the teton circumnavigation run i have had in my mind since winter 05/06 and have been drooling over finally happened. i have to say it was probably the best run i've ever done. i think as of now i have to give it the top spot on my amazing run list for the following reasons: the terrain was diverse and tough (snow/scree/butter), for a short"ish" run it was hard, the views were best in this world good, the company was awesome, the tetons are truly a wild place (we saw a black bear and a bull moose).. and really how cool is it to run around the frickin tetons!?!

as i've said before i plan on setting the precedent for this route and taunting the rest of the jackson and teton valley craziest to come best my time. this run however was our scouting run. we navigated, took photo/video, talked about what peak was what, had a bonk, chatted with a few folks, etc, etc.

we added about 6 miles by running in and out of the furthest string lake parking lot. this is so we could soak in string lake when we were done. jenny lake lodge just isn't close enough to the water. the route i planned started at junction of the cascade canyon trail and the valley view trail at the north west end of jenny lake and ran counter clockwise. we then headed up cascade canyon, over hurricane pass, down into alaska basin up buck and static pass then down into death canyon and onto the valley view trail past taggart and bradley lakes all the way north back to the junction of valley view and cascade canyon trail.. what a ride.

the stats:
  • 33.7miles (40 mile total with string lake)
  • 8,165 feet of elevation gain
  • 9hr 10min 24sec total non stop clock for just the loop (not including the string lake section)
trevor, mike, me and melissa on string lake (1min into the run - we saw a black bear about 2mins later)

running toward jenny lake at 6:35am

heading up cascade canyon to hurricane pass (we saw a bull moose!)

heading up hurricane pass at 10,700 feet

mikey evans rockin' it with buck mtn in the background

mike and melissa running down from static peak

trevor navigating some dodgy terrain

my gear:
my shoes: montrail streakswith teko ecopoly socks
electrolytes: nuun (orange ginger all the way)
backpack: Nathan HPL #020
bottles: thermal quickdraw
filtration: i got a chance to really test the new msr hyperflow
fuel: clif shots (still lovin' vanilla)
sunglasses: rudy project ekynox sx
jacket: the mountain hardwear ghost anorak
shorts: mountain hardwear dipsea short
my post run: amazing grass wheat grass

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Table Mountain Run

i am truly in awe of the mountains i live at the foot of.

since the devil's backbone i've been trying to let my two issues heal up a bit for my august to remember; the psoas/hip flexor and my morton's neuroma i have in my left foot.

a few of lisa's friends were going out to run table mtn. the winter i was here taking avy and ski guiding courses i had heard table was a great alpine ski tour. it certainly looked like it, so i figured it was time to check it out.. and lisa's friends were nice enough to let me join them.

mike, melissa and trevor heading up after the steep part called 'the nose'

the view is about to unveil itself

that is the top of table just poking up in the distance

the summit grins at 11,106 feet

whoa, can i touch those tetons?

from about 7,000ft we went up the nose to the summit of table (11,106 ft) in about 1hr 31min. we continued our comfy consistent pace down the 6 mile long way in 1hr 19min of awesome downhill running.

cascade canyon (that is the run up for the teton circ i have planned)

trevor and mike running the downhill from table

melissa, mike and trevor

mike chasing the nuun guy

running down towards the north fork of teton creek

*** this run gave me a look at the snow up high. if you read my blog you know i've been chomping at the bit to run around the tetons - the teton circumnavigation. i have yet to hear of anyone actually doing this.. but at only 33-34 miles i imagine many have hiked it. the question is...

has anyone ever heard of someone doing a loop around the tetons for speed?

i'll go on record now as saying i'm going to set the precedent as soon as i can manage. then set it out there on my blog and hopefully on TetonAt.com for all the amazing athletes of the tetons to come and beat!

as we looked over the terrain i went to work talking mike, melissa and trevor into doing the teton circ the very next day... it wasn't very hard!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nuun Ultrarunner Mid-Season Update!

well, here we are in the thick of it all. i figured it was as good a time as any to send an update on how our amazing crew of nuun ultrarunners are doing.

Karl Meltzer: The year started out in January with lots of snow, and even more snow! I have been training on slick conditions since the beginning of December. February was the first race at the Moab "Red Hot" 50k on Presidents weekend. I finished this "training race" in 7th. My first race as a master I finished 2nd....ouch! Next up was the Coyote Two Moon 100 in mid March. I won the race in 19:24, second place finished more than 4 hours back, I was tapered and ready for this one, and ran a great time. Next adventure was the Crossing of Zion National Park in Mid April. Jared Campbell and I crossed the canyon in 10 hours. 13000' of vertical and incredible scenery made this run extra special. We did some video that can be found on u-tube, just search Karl Meltzer. Next up the Jemez Mts 50 mile. This race was just a filler, and the first time I have run in New Mexico. Nate McDowell marks a stellar course and the terrain is technical and hilly with 12,000' of climb. I finished second behind youngen Kyle Skaggs. It was a good run, not even phased afterward was the goal, and I wasn't phased afterwards.

Western States TRack Meet, we know the deal there. I've been running around non stop preparing for the AT, the Speedgoat 50k and the drive across the country in the whereskarl.com RV. Backcountry.com is the title sponsor for this huge adventure and more info can be found at karlmeltzer.com. Matt Hart and I will be starting the AT in Maine on August 5th. LIve tracking of my progress can be found at whereskarl.com. Matt will run all of Maine with me....all 281 miles. From there I have a number of different crew friends and support all the way to Springer Mt. Georgia, 2174 miles away.

Devon Crosby-Helms: This season has been, from the start, geared towards training for my first 100 miler, Western States. I did several races throughout the early season to get my racing practice in including Pigtails 50k (which I shared 1st place female with Alison Hanks) and Orcas Island which I came in 2nd female. After I had built a solid training foundation, I set my sights on some key races to really prepare me for my 100 mile effort. I raced Chuckanut 50k in March, had a really stellar day and came in first female (race report here). I subsequently stepped up the distance and traveled down to SoCal for the Leona Divide 50miler. Good weather and pacing, as well as a great hydration (at every aid station I was telling the curious volunteers how great Nuun is) and fueling plan combined to help me finish 5th place overall, first female and only 2 minutes slower than the course record! My experience can be read about here. Western States was later cancelled, but I wanted to put my training to good use and satisfy my 100mile curiosity so I signed up for Vermont 100, one of the Grand Slam events. On July 19, I lined up for my first 100 mile and it turned out far better than I could have ever imagined. It was the hardest thing, by far, I have ever done. Through ups and downs, in a brutal year for conditions which included extreme heat and humidity, as well as terrible thunderstorms, I managed to finish on the same day I started in a great time of 18:31, good enough for 8th overall and first female! What an experience! I look forward to the rest of the season which includes pacing duties for two 100 milers, several training marathons and the WC100k in Tuscania, Italy in November!

Ty Draney: The season started with "3 Days of Syllamo" my first foray in a race back East. I entered the team competition withMr. Nuun himself, Matt Hart. Apparently no other teams wanted a piece of us so we ended up running as individuals.The relative heat (for me) and faulty route finding cost us the overall title but we ended up 3rd (Matt) and 4thoverall. (http://www.3daysofsyllamo.org/)

Nuun helped me tremendously in preparation and during the Bighorn 100. Spring is a busy time with work but I was able to pull of my best spring training ever with 2-hour trail runs each morning followed with running with my track kids in the afternoon. I drank 2-3 bottles of NUUN each day. Bighorn 100 went very well. The snow pushed us down to a slightly different course but the good weather and even better competition helped push me to a 100-mile best of 19:54:07(www.bighorntrailrun.com). Most of the race I ran with my Black Diamond Flash pack with 2 tubes of lemon-lime NUUN. I almost finished them both. (sidenote: I scored a little of the Gogi-Berry green tea "U" postrace-awesome!) For a complete race report check outhttp://www.elvaqueroloco.blogspot.com/Good luck with the rest of your races this season--let'erbuck with NUUN!

Bruce Grant: The season had a challenging start due to the fact that I was sick for six weeks, but the irresistible lure of the trails got me out to hit a number of races by March and April, trying to build a solid base before my main season goal, the Hardrock 100 miler. I managed some great results at a couple of key races, finishing 6th overall and an age group 2nd at Zane Grey, self-billed as "the toughest 50-miler in America." I went through an entire tube of nuun during that race, ensuring that my cool northern body was able to handle the heat of this arid, rocky course in Arizona. Two weeks prior to Hardrock, I peaked with a 3rd place overall and 1st in my age group at the Scorched Sole 50k in Kelowna, BC.

Hardrock itself was an incredible experience, there is nothing like the mountainous environment of Colorado and the camaraderie of our fellow ultrarunners there. I felt really good through the entire race, balancing my hydration and electrolytes by drinking nothing but 34 bottles of nuun for the entire 35 hour run! I kept rotating flavours to keep it interesting. I had a solid 14th place finish there - maybe I could have been a bit faster, but it is hard not to break and take in the magnificent panoramas from the mountaintops after climbing them for three or fours at a time. You definitely have to stop and smell the flowers on a course like this!Up next for me in mid-August will be my first 6-day stage run, the MOOSE in Ontario, followed up with the Plain 100 mile in September.

Ashley Nordell: My original focus 100 for this year was going to be Leadville in August, but after battling some injuries from mid March through the end of May, I decided to swap 100s with my husband and do Angeles Crest this coming September instead. Its been a bit of a roller coaster season of running, but I am now injury free and looking forward to the rest of the year.I began the year with the Calico 50k (2nd woman, 4:58?) in January. Then in March, my husband and I traveled to Arkansas for Three Days of Syllamo (1st woman) with fellow nuun runners Matt and Ty. It was a blast and I plan to return next year for more fun memories. After Arkansas I had a lot of problems with injuries that kept me out of some planned races. It was a frustrating couple months of trying to get some training in with biking, hiking, and even hitting the gym a little. In early June, I ran the Holcomb Valley 33 miler (1st woman, 5:33) in Big Bear, CA. It felt rough after not much training, but still great being back on the trails. In July I had the opportunity to pace and crew for Jorge Pacheco as he ran an incredible race to win Badwater in the second fastest time ever. I ran with him from Lone Pine up to the Portal and it was one of the most inspirational events to witness and be a part of-I am still in awe of his performance and perseverance.

This Saturday I am running a 50 miler in Duluth, MN while I am out here visiting family. I think I will need double the nuun to survive the humid air we don't ever get in Southern California. In August I am crewing for my husband at Leadville. We plan to spend two weeks prior to the race (the joy of being teachers) getting acclimated and hitting the trails of Colorado. Then, in September, it is Angeles Crest 100 for me. After that, Santa Barbara 9 Trails in November, and maybe one more race (not sure what yet) to finish out the year. Scott Dunlap: I’ve run 10 ultras/marathons this season so far, most of it training for the Western States that would not be. I recently placed 2nd at the Angel Island 50k (Ginger flavor Nuun) and had a good run at the Diablo 50m (12th) where I enjoyed “Berry Cola” flavor, a mix of Tri-Berry and Kona Cola that I concocted to keep my electrolytes coming in during the 90+ degree heat. I had an unexpected marathon PR of 2:47 at the Eugene Marathon (3rd in age group), much in thanks to the Kona Cola Nuun. Next up is the Where’s Waldo 100k in Willamette Pass, OR, which is the USATF 100k championships.

Kendra Ralstin:
Hello fellow nuun sponsored athletes,
Enduring the painful experience of testing our physical and mental boundaries, and more importantly being rewarded by that very experience, is what binds us together (and makes our saner friends and relatives look at us like we’re nuts). That and dropping a tablet of fizzy fruity refreshment into our water bottles and quaffing it down with a satisfied hiss, “ahhhh,” which may or may not resemble the exhalation of a thirsty French wanderer who comes upon a stash of sparkling cold champagne hidden in the clover off the side of the road.

Although lately my consumption has been limited to the electrolyte bubbly of nuun and not the mood altering kind (further research needed to substantiate this claim), I’ve become more and more reliant on nuun’s mild flavor—which is the main characteristic, in fact, that makes it possible for me to swallow it even when confronted with the ever growing sensation of nausea I have been unfortunate enough to be the ever increasingly frequent victim of. The latest example of this was in The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 mile race which I ran in Bellingham last May. Despite feeling very sick during (and after – oy vay!), I did place third (in the money, happily) behind Nikki Kimball (is there any other spot?) and Susannah Beck. I made some progress on Beck in the second half of the race but succumbed to the shortcomings of a less than robust training schedule in the past few months and settled for a respectably distant third, as I said. Word to the wise: if you want to make your 40th year and first year as a masters runner the highlight of your running career thus far, don’t marry, move, buy a house and look for your dream career (settling for nothing less in any of the aforementioned categories) all within the space of a few months.

To work on a little bit of speed, I also entered a 7.5 and 10.5 mile trail race which are part of the Seattle Running Company’s series happening every summer out at Cougar Mountain. Scott McCoubrey always does an excellent job of making everyone feel excited and happy to be there. My 6th place woman finish at the 7.5 miler as compared to first place woman at the 10 miler pretty much demonstrates the complete surrender of my muscle twitchiness to the kingdom of the slow (but steady!).

I hope everyone is having a beautiful summer and that yours is not going as heartbreakingly quickly as mine. Seeing which flowers have stopped blooming and which are just starting always makes for a melancholy awareness of how fleeting those endless summers become the older you get. “Thus runs life away.” (-Shakespeare).

For more ruminations and run-on sentences (loosely) related to my running , you can visit my blog at http://borgrunner.blogspot.com/ .

And thank you to Matt Hart, for inviting me onto this great team of folks.
Kendra Ralstin

Olga Varlamova opted for the list.. and it's quite a list!Results:
Hagg lake 50k, Feb 23 - 5:45
Old Pueblo 50M, March 1 - 11:09 8th female
Chuckanut 50k, March 15 - 6:35
Rumble, April 13 - 6:45
Miwok 100k, May 3 - 12:32
Jemez 50M, May 17 - 12:51 5th female
Forest Park 50k, May 25 - 5:50 8th female
Bighorn100, June 20 - 26:50 3rd female, 1st AG
Hardrock100 - July 11-12 (pace Mike 33:51)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Badwater Videos

some badwater videos for your enjoyment...

lisa smith-batchen

a recap of the race

the jamie donaldson 'victory' video

Monday, July 21, 2008

Shots from Grand Targhee

"people are always going to underestimate you. why not start quietly doing what no one thinks you can?"

rode up to targhee on the mtn bike from driggs today and was just going to hike up fred's (top of the lift at 10,000ft). however once i got up there the nipple and peaked were calling me. it gave me a great look at alaska basin which i trekked up a few weeks ago. it's melted out a lot. you can see in the photos what was once a massive snow field is now patchy at 10,000ft. that is great news.. but i won't be able to do a teton circumnavigation until who knows when. i'm gone most of august on the AT w/meltzer and racing through colorado w/meissner.

i must have said "wholly sh*t" 100 times on this hike. the backcountry skiing options from targhee are endless and amazing! seriously.. endless and amazing.

the tetons from the trail that wraps around the back side of the nipple

the back side of mary's nipple

looking back at fred's from the ridge (those cliffs on the left.. i'm droppin 'em!)

looking out towards the granite basin lakes

who doesn't wanna live here?

Quick Workout - Cheryl's Planks

you don't have enough time to excersise you say?... well strengthen your core in as little as 5 minutes per day using a variety of yoga plank poses.

i have historically hated to do ab work. after my double hernia surgery i decided it was time to build the strongest core i could. now i do core every day. this is my rest day core workout (or a varaition of this) that i alternate with my hard core workout - the around the world or ATW. monday planks, tuesday ATW, wed planks, thurs ATW, etc. ATW is the best all around core workout i have found, non stop effient and gets the entire core. my clients do this workout and i teach it to our weekly track group in jackson.

arnold will tell you the same, "do core every day". in his book The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding he talks about how he knows spot reduction does not work. however when he is doing abs daily he says more than any body part his abs look and at least feel like the spot reduction is working. and i mean who wouldn't take advice from this guy (funny video)?

a strong core is essential to any athlete, it's where all your movement begins. so why do ultrarunners and ultra cyclists need a strong core? here is an example: i tried to get lisa to do ATW with me yesterday.. but her abs are sore from her 300+ mile odyssey. my abs were sore after just 100 miles after the grand teton 100 (granted i had two hernias!). but i've talked to many top runners who say the same. these are athletes like lisa who already have mega strong cores... so you can see the importance of going into a long race already strong. if not your form will start to break down and you will become less efficient, etc.

i have had the pleasure of coaching an amazingly dedicated and strong coast guard employee named cheryl. i started her out with my favorite ab workout, the ATW. on her non ATW days she would do this plank set - i think it's great.. try it for a week!

"Chery's Planks"
do 3 sets holding each pose for 30 seconds this week. 3x @ 40sec next week, etc. (cheryl is up to 1 min each)


start w/30 sec each on the first set
then add 10 seconds to the next set for as long as you can hang on!

1. Pushp Plank
Side Plank on elbow -(don't try and grab your foot as it shows in the picture. legs together.)
3. Reverse or Upward Plank the push-up position with your abs facing upward, try to get your abs up as high as you can. fingers pointing to toes. this is a lower back strengthener. It is similar to 'table top' in yoga but with straight legs which makes it harder.)
4. Side plank on elbow (the other side you didn't do)
Regular Plank on your elbows (basically plank but like you are starting a push-up)

without resting start the next set. you will find this will work your shoulders pretty good too. effective and quick!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Nuns, Bruce at Hardrock & Snow King Shots

lisa is back safe and sound in driggs now. she's accomplished some astonishing things in the last couple of weeks and the stories are just amazing. i like this shot. lisa said "sister marybeth doesn't like water and now she only drinks nuun."

i just had to post this photo of nuun ultrarunner bruce grant finishing the hardrock 100. you have to kiss the rock in silverton, colorado when you finish. nuun was his only source of electrolytes the whole race - he drank 35 tablets! awesome. check out his blog for his race report.

these other two are from a 20 mile run up and out snow king in jackson yesterday. wild flowers are going off!

pure bliss

eric taft - eric thanks for showing me some new trails!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Quick Workout - Barbara Variation

"Share your knowledge freely as it has little value if hoarded."

in an effort to pass along more training ideas to the masses.. i'm going to start posting some workouts on the blog that i like and that i prescribe to my coaching clients.

i truly believe as athletes we need to do what you suck at. i suck at high intensity anaerobic efforts. these type of workouts is one way i get them in and i've got some bike intervals planned for later today too.

i just did this workout on the deck, in the sun, with my flip flops on (after some french press coffee of course). it's a slight variation of the crossfit 'barbara' workout. i didn't have a pullup bar, but i think the arm haulers are a great substitute. i love these short (about 20 mins) and intense workouts! my super busy clients love (and hate) them too.

as you can see there is no equipement needed. i call these "prison cell" workouts, because you could do them even if you were locked up.

Five rounds, each for time of: (for time but don't rush)

20 Pushups (start w/knees pushups if necessary - perfect form please)
30 Arm Haulers (video - however i try to lift the thighs up too)
40 Sit-ups (tighten lower abs and pause slightly at top to squeeze!)
50 Squats (thigh parallel to ground)

Rest precisely three minutes between each round - or jump rope for 3 min (not suggested in flip flops).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Haps.. in Photos

i rode to the darby canyon for my run

annabella = cute

the batchen's riding home from victor

trevor, me and z finishing up our wed night group run at targhee

me and gabby (and her milkie)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Congrats To the Girls of Badwater!

i have amazing friends, this is undeniable.

lisa smith-batchen; lisa embarked on a three part epic to raise $500,000 for aids orphans (lisa's 810). 1st stage: she ran 140+ miles from las vegas to the start of the 2008 badwater 135. which she did.. 2nd stage: run badwater... and this just in - i just got of the phone with lisa and she finished badwater in 47hrs 17min! so she gets a sub 48hr buckle! congrats lisa!

my DART-nuun adv racing teammate jen segger also put in a great effort by taking 9th overall at badwater. she was 5th female in 32hrs 31min! congrat seegs!

i don't know jamie donaldson personally, but she is a fellow montrailian... and she crushed this race. so i have to say - i'm impressed jamie. she set a course record by running the 135 miles in 26hrs 51min! 3rd overall. damn.

badwater results

Monday, July 14, 2008

News From My Ultra World

set a goal and pursue it relentlessly.

in the news:

  • bruce grant at hardrockmy oh my - kyle skaggs crushed the hardrock 100 course record jurek set last year running 23hr 23min on quite possibly the hardest 100 mile course on earth. durango herald article, results & olga's great photo album
    ** massive congrats to nuun ultrarunner bruce grant for 14th place in 35hr 03min! (photo on right) & roch horton 12th in 34hr 20min!

  • badwater 135 miler through death valley started this morning
    -lisa smith-batchen finished part 1 of her 810 by running from las vegas to badwater (updates). right now she's running badwater and will summit mount whitney at the end! good luck lisa!
    -i'm cheering for my DART-nuun teammate jen segger to win badwater! she is tough as nails - you can do it jen!
    ...and i can't leave out our dreamchasers ultrarunning camp champ - bob becker - go bob go!

  • the tour de france has been tons of fun to watch... and only one doper caught so far! how stupid are you manuel beltran? come on.

  • a couple of weeks ago... after our double up teton pass we hit the river for a leg soak then pica's in wilson for some fantastic mexican food. it didn't take long before the jackson buzz made it's way to our table and we heard about what jimmy chin had just pulled off solo. dood is bad ass. jimmy if you ever want a partner give a brotha a call.