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Showing posts from September, 2017

Long or Short?

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Long or short - that has been the question I've been throwing around in my head for the last year and a half. There is an allure to the longer races - the intensive preparation and mental focus required to succeed. Skimp on one aspect of the training and preparation and you risk the entire race. The longer the race, the greater the rewards for the effort outside of just running. At the same time, there is a simplicity to the shorter races that is so appealing. No fancy prep, no need for crews - just show up with a number and run as hard as you can! The entire weekend isn't focused on the one race and the months before aren't dedicated to hours of training with minimal social life.

Last year, I thought I had a great plan for 2018. Take a break from Vapor Trail 125 and focus on running again. The Crested Butte 105k sounded like a great event and a hard challenge and I figured that would be my primary 2018 event. But then my eye flared up back in March and I really backed dow…

Go Big or....

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It's something I've never done in a race like the Vapor Trail 125. I've always been smart about pacing, holding something back until the end. It's one of the things allowed me to close so strongly last year to come within 5 minutes of Liz after being down by over 30 earlier in the race. I've always had my chart with my splits and times I would anticipate hitting various landmarks. This year I started that spreadsheet, filling in the times for a reasonable finish. But then something changed. I decided I didn't want to be bound by the times. I didn't want to be looking at a plan throughout the race and feeling pressured by the times. So I abandoned the smart, tactical approach I took the first two years I raced. Instead of racing for a reasonable finish time (17:30) I would go all in from the start and see where I ended up. The ultimate goal was a 16:30 finish time - which would be a PR by nearly an hour and a half. Would I be able to survive? Or would I blow…

Anticipation and Trepidation

The tub is in the middle of my floor and I have both light brackets mounted on my Camber. I'm slowly starting to gather everything I need for this weekend. Clothes for all possibilities. Food - at least some of it. Marking some baggies of Skratch for the aid stations. My clear glasses and lights. Dark glasses for the drop bag at Monarch Pass. Dry clothes, new helmet and gloves. My Shuffle with the play list for the roads. Each item I mark off the list builds the anticipation. Finally, the second weekend in September is here. Finally, it's time to stop talking about riding my bike and actually ride my bike. In only a few short days, I'll be joining 45 other riders on the F Street Bridge, ready to set off into the darkness for my fourth attempt at the Vapor Trail 125.

Outwardly, I'm calm. It's nothing. Just a ride. Inside, I'm terrified. How has September arrived already? It feels like only last week, I was pedaling inside on the trainer, pondering how the season…

Smoking...

Last year I ran the American Discovery Trail 10k on somewhat of a whim - coming off a small bout of overtraining and poor recovery after my 50 miler. I surprised myself with a 42:31 and the win for the 10k. This year, I was hoping for at least a little faster, knowing that the win is always dependent on if "real" runners show up. I still run, but I don't really consider myself to be a real runner right now. More a dabbler who occasionally goes a little faster then others. But I'd been hitting some decent paces on my intervals and showing some solid splits for the monthly Neilson Challenge. So I was pretty confident that I would be able to break 42 minutes this year. One thing that I forgot about - or tried to ignore - was the fatigue still in my legs from the Breck Epic. But riding fatigue is different then running fatigue, right?

I wish... Sleep was an elusive creature last night, between a neighbor's dog barking at something (the bear maybe?) the oppressive hea…