Showing posts from May, 2016

Hartmans Take 1 - The Original Meowler

Or how to make one lap at Hartmans harder then it already is!

The Original Growler course - complete with long climbs, techy rocks and sweeping descents through the sage. It's a challenge in it's own right. So how to make it even harder? Throw in a nice little run in the middle! That was the task ahead of me at the Original Meowler - ride out to the base of Skull pass, swap my cycling shoes for running shoes to run the Aberdeen loop, then return to cycling mode to finish the race. It's the exact opposite of most duathlons and made even more challenging with the requirement of carrying all my running gear to the transition and back to the finish. To me, that sounded like a great day.

 There were 76 racers entered making for a much more mellow day then what was coming in a week. We gathered at the base area, waiting for the signal from Dave to start our journey. At 7:00, the race was on - up the double track for a bit, then onto Jack's. It was a mellow, cordial start, wi…

Growler time!

After the Meowler, it's a short turn around to the next adventure at Hartman Rocks. The Growler weekend... As usual, Nick is racing SS in the Half Growler and I'm playing race Sherpa for him all day. Then the tables turn and I get my two laps while he is Pit Boss. It should be a good weekend - the weather looks like it might cooperate for both races! But we all know what happens with Colorado weather.
I'm actually a little more nervous going into the Growler then I though I'd be after the Meowler. I wasn't as quick as I wanted on the bike - riding conservatively on the first segment because of the run. I also didn't realize how long that start loop was for the first lap. I didn't do the full start lap back in 2014 due to the weather. The Meowler was my first experience with the start for the counter-clockwise direction. Crap - the road was long! And we started in the base area, not downtown Gunnison! I'm sure that it won't feel so long with the full …

Weekend adventures

A nice, semi-mellow weekend is sometime just what is needed. While I was gunning for the podium at the Original Meowler, the weekend was also a mother-daughter trip we haven't done in a while. With a Subaru loaded full of bike and run gear, we headed out to Gunnsion for some fun. Something different for both of us.

 Friday afternoon found us at the Four-Way for a very easy ride. Mom hasn't ever ridden at Hartmans and I knew just the loop to take her on. A little tech to get a taste of the rocks on Skyline, then onto Evans loop - Broken Shovel, Lost Dog and Sea of Sage. Nothing huge, nothing scary - just flowy trails in open fields of sage. I took some time to dial the line on the rock garden and then we headed down Skyline. Slowly. Very slowly. Her brakes were getting a workout! We turned up Broken Shovel and Lost Dog - fun and easy. And then came Sea of Sage - I anticipated that it would be a good little descent for her. We stopped to wait for two groups - a mom and her li…

Getting ready

There is always the edge to balance when getting ready for an event. Have I done enough to be fully prepared? Or too much and arriving fatigued and tired? When the legs don't respond and a workout seems out of the question, the fear of overtraining looms large. As I prepare for the Meowler, it's no different. I had two big weeks of training, both volume and intensity wise. Some very long runs, hard rides and long interval sets. And then there was chasing the guys around... Sometimes I think that might be a better workout then all the intervals! Chasing the guys involves hard riding both up and down - not just down as most people do for intervals. It was a lot and I entered the last few days of hard work I was ready for it to be over. Ready for the taper and for the shorter, faster sets that peak the form. 
Only problem was - the rest didn't seem to kick in as quickly and I was still dealing like a burnt peice of bread. Panic mode - it's easy to go into a race under trai…


It seems like such a random number on the surface. Twelve. To most people it's a foot, or the number of eggs in a dozen. Nothing remarkable, just a number.

But that number has come to mean so much more to me - 12:00. As in five miles per hour or ten hours to cover 50 miles. And there comes the significance - 10 hours of moving time, plus however long it takes me in the aid stations to take care of things. Will all that add up to under 11:00 hours or is having a goals at the first attempt nothing more then a pipe dream?

I've been doing good with logging the miles over the past few weeks, with three runs over 25 miles - including the Cheyenne Mountain Trail Race 50k. I've headed up into the mountains in search of long and steep climbs and technical running. I've taken what I learned in the 50k and applied it in my last long run. Taping the back of my shoes to prevent hot spots and then blisters. Trying to eat early and often. I even did my last long run with my little ha…

Lessons on foot

After finishing the Chyenne Mountain Trail Run 50k, I was filled with mixed emotions. First being - wow, I just finished that - running 31 miles or almost all the way to Pueblo. Then second - oh crap, I still have 20 miles to go! I know the mentality of approaching Sheep Mountain will be very different then this race because of the elevation and the distance. But the lessons in a 50k are still quite applicable for the 50m

1) shoes are a given and I have time to get the perfect pair and make sure they are broken in but not broken down. But will that perfect pair still be perfect at mile 40? Should I have another pair in a drop bag?
2) socks - wool socks were the ticket for this race - my swiftwick Pursuit zeros made my feet happy. Even with a raw spot on my heel from my shoes, my socks keep my feet happy. With several stream crossings, the wool will once again be key at Sheep Mountain. So the only question there is the zeros that I normally run in or perhaps the ones? The slightly tall…