Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Some modifications for the Long Trail

i'm no fan of irene.  the same day i flew back east to attempt the long trail unsupported was the same day hurricane irene decided to decimate the lovely state of vermont.  the green mountain national forest is still closed.  i had planned on starting on thursday sept 1st.  i just spoke with the green trails club.  she said that there are big suspension bridges out and that the southern section was most likely impassible.  they are having a big assessment meeting on friday, so i'm pushing my attempt back to probably sunday sept 4th.  this obviously isn't enough time for them to repair washouts or fix bridges along the trail, but at least i'll have more of an idea of what exactly i'm getting into.  this certainly makes a record run less likely, if not impossible.  but i'm here, i'm physically and logistically prepared, so i'm going to push off into the great unknown with 6 days of food.  consider the already high chance of blow out exponentially higher now.  i've had to change my entire mental focus for this, but with risk comes reward.

along the same note of having to modify my expectations on the long trail, i stayed up late modifying the backpack i'm taking with me.  seeing as though ultraspire doesn't make packs this large, i went with a mountain hardwear fluid 32 backpack. it's a great start, but with ice axe hooks, compression straps, a hood with a heavy metal clip, etc.. it had to be cut up a bit.  this is part of the fun.

some of the surgery shots:

the 360 coming soon...

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Millwood Project

Wolverine Cirque, one of my favorite places to be

the entire slope around me was alive, buzzing.  the pollination process seemed to be a thriving business as i walked into the wildflowers on the east side of kessler peak. i was in full bushwhack up to my waste and the cuts my legs had sustained in the previous days were getting constantly scraped.  however the sun shining on my face and my surroundings overwhelmed the pain with a feeling of connection and well being.  everyone should experience this.  few actually do.

View Millwood100_revA in a larger map

"everyday i'm shufflin" was my mantra for this project. i needed a final week of hard training applicable to my next adventure. so i donned a 25lb backpack and set out to hike up/run down this 100 mile course through my back yard that no one has been able to complete.  this course, of course has seen a handful of attempts.  last year chad and i tried to do it in four days and bailed after i aggravated an injury from my run on the colorado trailjared campbell (it's creator) and ty draney tried to get 'er done in two days, unsuccessfully.  and on my second to last day friend jay aldous made a bold attempt at a single push.  30 hours was his goal.  although jay is an amazing runner, that is a time i don't think is possible on this course.  he bailed after 25 miles.  there is just too much overgrown trail, bushwhacking, climbing (44,000ft of uphill) and for me a bit of navigation since some of the trails i'd never been on before.  that was the exciting part of doing the millwood as my last push before the long trail.  this course took me to places i may never have gone.  on one of my many hitchhikes back to my car a young man who grew up here said "by the sounds of that course, in one week you've summited every peak i've ever climbed in my entire life here".

The only company i had all week. Chad joined me on the 2nd half of sect 8

it was a solid week of training by any measure.  my pack was heavy and i went very slow.  i will at some point attempt to complete this route faster.  it can certainly be done in one push... however you'll need some thick skin, a good support crew and two months to recover.

i took some video.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

2011 Coaching Endurance UltraRunning Video Part 1

i take footage as often as i can. i recently had my hard drive die with about 60% of what i've taken this year. rather than cry in my cherios i decided i would simply take what i did have and make a video asap, before this footage was lost too.