Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A 100 Days in Review

As I've mentioned a few times, as well as in my first post for the 150k in 100 Days, it was never the amount of climbing that was going to be the major challenge in this challenge - it was all about time management, follow through and putting in alot of vertical when I had the chance. It was the getting in as much as I can when I can that seemed more like training than just pure fun at a moderate effort because after 10,000'-15,000' in 3 days the next few days offer no moderate effort!

The only negative effect the last 100 days had on me were the inefficiencies I've developed for "flat" running that running up and down steep hills/mountains will cause. This video posted by GZ a few weeks ago spoke volumes to me about inefficiencies in running. The first one that comes to mind is the toe lift. I don't think you can run up a steep incline w/o applying some sort of toe lift. Not a huge thing for me as I won't be doing any flat racing anyway, but doing this much incline for 100 days certainly has made flat running feel like I'm running into a 60 mph head wind.

I have become much more efficient at running up and down steep inclines, but I'm not much faster at it. This has everything to do with the fact that I did almost all of it a very moderate effort. I am a little faster at this moderate effort, but as soon as I try to put the hammer down the heart isn't quite ready for the hard effort. This is probably just a specific training issue.

So, what I've realised, or I should say verified, is that training to be fast/efficient at any race takes a good mix of training. To be fast at PPM requires some flat speedwork. To be fast on the track also requires some hill work. I'd go as far as saying that in an extreme case flat running is more important than hill running for speed on a hilly race. For example, look at 2 completely different demographics, a flat lander that never trains with hills and a hill lander that never trains flat. I think a flat lander who has a great marathon base and is capable of doing alot of speed work can do well at say the Pikes Peak Ascent or the Imogene Pass Run. And this flat lander will be "more successful" at his/her mountain race than the hill lander who just runs a ton of hills. And yes, since this is hypothetical I'm disregarding the altitude factor!

Anyway, my point being is that, for me, I have seen a HUGE deterioration in some running efficiencies that are very important in any racing and I need to do some things now to get them back. I'm quite sure my stride length has suffered quite a bit as well.

Now for the good stuff!

The biggest challenge the past 100 days was the travel I had in my schedule. This was also the greatest part. I had the opportunity to run in some amazing places that I'd never be able to on my own. NH is an incredible place to explore the mountains. I was able to take a slow, steep climb at near max effort in the French Alps in Chaminox - I actually left my breakfast on that mountain! Without a doubt, though, it was Snowdon that was the most memorable of all the places I was able to visit. Something about this area that made me feel like I was in another time. Perhaps on a clear day in Wales I wouldn't have felt as strongly about this, so I'm glad I had the damp, foggy day on Snowdon.

It's funny how, in alot of great experiences, the difficult part of it is usually tied very closely with the best part of it. I've been doing this for years and plan to do it for many more, and right now the challenge is fitting this in while still making the most of my time with my family. I feel strongly that I've done this part well. Why? Because my kids ask and plan to go on trail runs and hikes. That, my friends, is the greatest part of all of this - a life-style that seems to be getting passed on to the next generation in my family. An activity that my whole family loves to do. As this continues and the kids get older balancing the 2, family and trail running, will be obsolete. The 2 will become 1 and the balance takes care of itself.
I'll just have to figure out a way to keep up with them!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

154,003k in 100 Days

Day 100 = 2,113'.
Very early morning run to the top of Loon Mountain via the Bear Claw Trail. Cold morning with some fog, but looks like it might clear up and be nice again today.
I'm quite happy with getting through this. The 1,540' of climbing per day wasn't the hard part, it was finding the time while balancing the more important things in life that was the real challenge here. I hope to get a post out sometime this week on my thoughts on this.
Now this looks like fun! I have the bike, now I just need to sign up for some races.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

This ain't no new car warranty

What I mean is this was never about what comes first, the 150,000' of climbing or 100 days. It was all about what came second. That said...
Day 99 - 1,890'.
151,890' climbed.
This is the lake without the fog.
Beautiful place.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 98 - 1,890' = 150,000'

Another beautiful morning on Loon Mtn. A much different beauty than yesterday, but nonetheless, equally as beautiful. An amazing lake a few hundred feet below the summit, socked in with fog was the 150,000' mark. Really couldn't have asked for a more beautiful, serene spot. I could have stayed there all day with Maureen.
So, 150,000' up, 0' to go.

A much different view than yesterday morning.
Getting a little higher getting into more fog.
A few hundred feet below the summit and it's all socked in.
A beautiful lake that marks the 150,000' mark.
Socked in with fog, it's a great sight. I will, however, find my way here once things clear up a little to see the mountains surrounding this lake. A solid altimeter watch that made it possible for me to plan exactly where I wanted to ascend to this morning. It also calculated all of the 150,000' of vertical I've done in the past 98 days.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 97 = 2,572'

Beautiful, clear morning on Loon Mtn, with the leaves just starting to change. Put in an extra 350' this morning by choosing the WRONG descent trail with about 1,300' left on the way back down the mountain. After heading down about 350' and nearly crapping my pants I decided to turn around, hike back up, and take the smart trail the rest of the way down. There's a really cool lake about 300'-400' down from the summit that's a little off the trail. This will make for a great spot to run to tomorrow morning, and call that my 150,000' mark. 1,890' remaining.
Starting with the sun - my favorite time of day.
Hmmm, maybe the mixed berry drink I was carrying wasn't a good idea. Do bears like beer?

The final 300' push to the summit.
Summit Sign.
View from the summit.
This is where I took the wrong turn. You'd think the 2 black diamonds would have been enough, or even the name RIPSAW, but I guess I had to see for myself.

This is where I chickened-out on the descent - it looks alot worse in real life! If I went any further I would have written a proper resume for Team Shart.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Days 94-96 = 1,951'

Did a little research the other day on Google Earth and found out that the hotel I'm staying in is at 803' and the gondola on Loon Mtn. goes up to 3,034' for a 2,231' climb. So, with a total of 6,413' remaining in my 150,000' I decided to run 1,000' yesterday and 951' today to take me down to 4,462' remaining. The hotel I'm staying in is a ski-in/ski-out place and since there's no snow it is now a run-in/run-out place. I can now plan my 2nd summit of Loon Mtn. as the 150,000' in 100 days mark.
After 96 days I have climbed 145,538' and have 4,462' to go.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Days 91-93 = 8,730'

Friday I ran my staple 1,326' hill, then SaturdayI finally did what I've always wanted to do, a double summit on Mt. Mitchell as an up/down/up for a total of 7,404' of climbing, 3,700' of decent in about 16.5 miles. The last half of the second climb just about killed me, I was hiking like a zombie at 13,000', but was only between 4,000' & 6,700'. I love this trail and with about 3,700' of climbing in 5.5 miles it's the best vertical you can get here and takes me to the top of the highest peak East of the Mississippi. The bottom of my right foot is very sore this morning and I can't remember anything specific happening to it yesterday, but a few days off here should make it better for the final 4 days. No vertical today and most likely very little to none M-W, so I'll have the last 4 days, days 97-100, to climb the remaining 6,413'.
I climbed 14,034' in 6 days this week, with the idea of assuring the 150,000' in 100 days. At this point I could finish this all off with 2 treadmill runs, but I want to go out with some beautiful runs on late September early mornings in the colorful White Mountains in New Hampshire while attending the Nor'easter.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Days 87-90 = 5,304'

Ran the same hill everyday this week that is close to work. All 4 days, M-TH are a 1,326' climb.
On day 90 I have climbed 134,857'.
90% of the days are done and 89.9% of the climbing has been clumbed. (yea, that's my new word, it's not a typo)
If I had known this this morning I certainly would have done another 143' today. DAMN!
So tomorrow will need to be 1,643', it's never too late to catch up.
Looking forward to some good vertical this weekend for a little padding going into the final week. I recently had a 3 week period where I only ran 10 out of 21 days and fell behind a little. I did have an 8,000' cushion at that time so it helped, but can't complain going into the final 10 days right on schedule.
I should have no trouble meeting my 100 day goal since I'll have 4 full days, days 97-100, at Loon Mountain with a 2,100' vertical.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Trail to Rock

Days 85&86 = 0'
After about 5 minutes on the trail this morning Riley saw this rock and the climbing was on. Awesome morning watching him do something he's never done before, he just did what comes natural.
Kayle wasn't up for a run this morning, feeling a little sick. So I took her to do something a little more low key - a place where she could publicly spread her germs and perhaps pick up some other germs as well.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Snowdonia Wales

Damp, foggy day on one of the must beautiful ascents I've ever done - up Snowdon. Unfortunately my photos can't tell the story as the thick fog obstructed some of the things I was actually able to see. The views would have been great but I wouldn't have it any other way in this part of the world. On this particular morning I felt so truly placed back in time, more than I have ever before. This is a much different area of the world as far as hiking and running are concerned, and one that I will get back to as much as I can. The header pic shows me what I was actually runnning in. I can now visualize all the lakes inside that area.

I managed to only run 4 times in the past 12 days, but was able to climb a total of 11,824'. The 4 runs were done in France, Italy England and Wales. Probably the best 4 days of running I've ever had. Pair this with the diversity of the runs and I'd have to say it's definately in the top 5 experiences in my life so far.

Day 84 - 129,553' up, 20,447' to go.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Italian Alps