Sunday, December 11, 2011
Monday: 7 mile run with coworker, Joe T., and a freshmen who is probably going to tear it up in a couple years.
Tuesday: 6 miles at the Deer Flat trail by Lake Lowell. Ran in a new trail shoe, the La Sportiva Wildcat's, and did 6x2 minutes at 5k effort through the hilly section on that trail.
Wednesday: 3.5 miles from Skyview High School to the Wilson Ponds and back. This was a much needed recovery day.
Thursday: 5 miles at the Nampa Rec Center. 1st mile was a warm-up and then I progressively got faster until I was running about 6:30 per mile. This actually felt pretty good and I was wearing the Wildcat's again to try and get used to them.
Friday: Day off!
Saturday: 20.3 miles around the Wilson Creek trails on the Frozen 50k loop. This time around it was a bit colder and it was just Tony Salazar Jr. (aka Fast Tony) and myself that were running together. There were probably about 40 people out there running various distances. The director of the Foothills Frenzy 50k was out there with an aid station set up for people running the 10 miler and the 20 miler. I also found out that Joe T. was out there running, although I never met up with him.
The 20 mile loop never gets easy, but I can definately say it was easier this week than 3 weeks ago. When I combine that observation with the fact that I ran 8 minutes faster in colder weather I felt pretty good about the whole run. Fast Tony wasn't feeling the greatest physically this week so when we hit the big descent section he hung back and I just went with what felt good. It was a very fun day out there, although I can't imagine running 10 more miles when I finish the 20 mile loop on January 21st. It will definately be a test of my limits and mental fortitude.
I mentioned it was colder this week, I saw temps as low as 11 degrees F while driving to the trail. The cool thing was, the run happened to fall on a night with a full lunar eclipse, and that eclipse happened right before we took off on the run. It was really quite amazing!
Running up the trail in the dark was pretty cool. I look forward to doing this again soon.
Standing on top of Wilson Peak for the 2nd time in 3 weeks. It never gets "easy" but it was easier this time.
There are some really cool rock formations on the way down from the summit. I snapped this one, and the one below of Fast Tony right before we split up for the day to run our separate paces. Sunday: I haven't made it through today yet, but most likely I'll take one of the kiddos out for a ride in the jogging stroller or take a good hard nap. Not a bad way to end a week.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
When we finally turned towards Wilson Peak on the 4wd trail that goes up to the saddle, we chatted and tried to get to know each other a bit better. Dallas told us how he trains and if my wife thought I was a serious runner, she should listen to his 2-week training cycle, wow! He has also done about 10 ultras if my memory serves me correctly, in between being a science teacher as well and living in Germany for 10 years. Ryan was no slouch either, having a resume filled with marathons and the occaissional Ironman triathlon. This 20 mile run was part of his "taking it easy" this fall. And of course there is Fast Tony who has an extensive ultra background which includes running the Sawtooth Relay (same race I did with 6 people) by HIMSELF! I quickly found out I was in some very good company and I resolved to absorb as much knowledge I could from these much more experience runners.
(Heading up towards the saddle near Wilson Peak, the round dome in the center.)
Freezing in the cold wind, we decided to book it down and start the grueling descent off the back side of the mountain. Arriving back at the saddle we met up with another Tony, Tony Huff. This Tony was making good time and was actually the guy Ryan rode over here with from Boise, however, it was a little too cold for us to wait for him to go top out Wilson and join us so we proceeded with the descent. If you're reading this to get an idea what the route is like for this loop, know that you must save some legs for the downhill. It is one of the steepest trails you will run, and it is relentless. The elevation gained in the first 13 miles is lost in less than 5 and the quads will be crying uncle if you overdo it in the ascent.
Coming down the mountain is always a good feeling but it seriously challenges your strength and mental fortitude. Looking backwards towards Wilson Peak two miles into the descent you realize how steep it really is. Below you can see Wilson on the left side of the shot. It was hard to believe that 2 or 3 miles ago we were standing on top.
Once down the mountain we trotted back on the trail towards the parking lot. I really was feeling the bonk by this time. Something about running 1+ hrs longer than I ever have with 4900' of vertical in temperatures hovering in the upper 20's can apparently wear a person down. I was very glad to make it back to the parking lot were the four of us took a group shot for the sake of the great day we just had. Of course, you can see Wilson Peak directly behind us.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The thing about running in the winter is that it just feels right. The cold temperatures are much easier to handle on foot than by bike, and its simple; shoes, clothes, headlamp (if its a morning run) and I'm off. The cold air is refreshing after a hot summer and although I'll surely be ready for spring come Febuary I'm enjoying a change in season.
The cold season has me thinking of new ways to challenge myself and what better way to do that than to tackle my longest race ever, a 50K in the Owyhees in January (am I crazy?). I'll have more to post on that later, but for now here's a shot of my winter bliss...
Thursday, October 6, 2011
You can find Rolling H on Facebook as well... so check them out.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
The loop I chose to do is one I've done countless times, both running and biking on various bikes. It seems like this could be a regular quickie loop I'll do on the "Green Machine" Surly Pacer. It is just so much fun to noodle around on and then just stand up and sprint for the heck of it. I was having so much fun that I didn't even remember I brought the camera until I was over halfway done with the loop, so on that note, I grabbed a quick shot of the view from the top of Roosevelt Hill west of Nampa.
After topping out on Roosevelt, there are a variety of options. Sometimes I just turn around and do it again for some good hill training. Often I'll turn right and go around Lake Lowell. But today I just coasted on down to the Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge while I enjoyed the sunny weather and smooth road surface (smooth roads are a rareity in Nampa, I'm sure they'll chip seal it soon enough).
Prior to building my Pacer, I was riding around on my Neuvation and experiencing rather consistent speed wobbles going down even moderately steep hills. I can now descend in confidence, as the burly Surly goes downhill like a champ.
There were quite a few boaters on the lake today. However, I have a secret fondness for sailboats, and I feel that if I lived near a coast I'd spend some time learning how to sail a bit. I did nab my merit badge in Boy Scouts for sailing, so I guess I am an expert ;)
If you just walked outside today, you might have a hard time identifying that its late September. The high was in the 90's today and there was the normal summer haze in the air as a result of living in a densly populated valley in the dry west. However, if you pay attention to the cars and pickups putting around with all their decor, you will quickly understand that it is football season and that the BSU Bronco Nation is widespread. Case in point...
After stopping to take a few more photos (most of which didn't really turn out the way I wanted) I took the gravel/rough chip sealed dam road back towards home. The Pacer was lovely on the rough stuff, although I'm still not a fan of riding a road bike on gravel. Perhaps with some wider tires. I'm running 23 mm tires at the moment, but I think I could easily fit
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Sunday, September 4, 2011
- Les Bois Trail 10k, 40:54, 10th place
- Dry Creek Trail 1/2 marathon, 1:38, 10th male
- High Dessert Trail 1/2 Marathon, 1:47, 5th overall
- City of Trees Trail Series, 2nd place, overall male
- A Legacy of Service 1/2 Marathon, 1:26:38, 2nd overall
- Sawtooth Relay, Men's Open Team Division, 1st place
- Mohican Xterra 19k Trail Race, 6th Overall, 2nd in age group
- (non race) Wilson Creek Mini-Moab Loop, 15.6 miles and 3000' of elevation gain/loss
After lacing up my shoes and adjusting the strap on my headlamp (realizing that it's much more comfortable with a hat on) I settled my music choice on Tenth Avenue North and took off. At the end of my road, I had a choice, go up the hill and do my "Lake Loop" backwards for a nice 6 miler, or turn left and go around the block for a boring 3 miles on flat ground dodging cars and subdivision sprinklers. The choice at that point really wasn't a choice at all and I found myself churning up the hill in a gear I hadn't felt in a few weeks. It wasn't long before I realized what was happening; as Tenth Avenue North rang through the darkness and my headlamp flashed, I was bookin' it up the hill.
The thing about the Lake Loop is that in one direction, my normal one, you almost don't notice the hills because they are much more gradual and drawn out with steep downhills coming back. If you run it backwards, it is a much more noticeable hill run and the punchy uphills are met with gradual, almost inconsequential downhills. As I crested the last of the uphills on the loop, I heard a song that told me what was going on:
"You said let it go,
you said let it go,
you said life is waiting for,
the one's who lose control,
you say you would be,
everything we need,
you say if I lose my life it's then I'll find my soul,
you said let it go."
This summer I've been holding on tightly to dreams that are real and valid, but at the expense of other, more important things. For example: you may remember me declaring my goal to finish the Bible this year, well, I can tell you that I've read part of Genesis, and several New Testament books, but most of the Bible remains unread with 4 months to go. If I missed a workout this summer I was a bear to be around and quite often rude. For some people, that may be considered to be "ok," I mean exercise does have a calming effect; however, I cannot let that be my standard because God has made known His standard and that is not it. So I guess the point is that no matter how hard I train, and no matter what races I compete in and place, or even win, I will never be satisfied with life if my only standard is racing.
I think Ryan Hall said it best in his testamony that "Running [or racing in general] had become my god." I know I struggle with this all the time. I simply cannot go anything less that full speed ahead with something, its part of what makes me a good teacher I think, and of course it is part of who I am; but that simply cannot be justification for ignoring my God and putting my family in 2nd place behind myself. As I ran down the last hill on my run this morning, I thought of all the people I hadn't bothered to say "hi" to this summer when I had a chance, all the mornings I came in from a run and wondered what would happen if I ran a couple extra miles, or 10 extra miles, or "if I only had this new bike" or "that new lighting system," "I could really rack up the miles and beef up my training."
One more time I've realized that it's not about what I want or can do, it's through God and my relationship with Him that all things are possible. I cannot rely on my own body, mind, and accomplishment to find fullness in life. Ouch, the truth hurts!
Oh, and my run this morning, the fastest 6 mile tempo run ever on that loop. "Let it go..."
(Check out the following links for a better understanding of what was ringing in my head today...)
Youtube link to song and lyrics for "let it go"
Ryan Hall's testimony
Monday, August 8, 2011
(Looking back down to Boise from the 8th street parking lot at the access point for trail 4.)
(The last section of our ride took us to Bogus Basin Road via "Corrals")
(Close up shot of the Razzo, love those big 29 inch wheels!)
I managed to land some great company this time, with Mike Lapp and his father-in-law joining me. We covered about 14 miles and about 1500 to 2000 vertical feet. Looking back, we rode less than I ran one week earlier, ouch... No wonder I was so sore.
Now its Monday again, and I have put my feet to the road once again. Six miles in 43 minutes on an 85 degree day tells me my legs are fresh again and ready for the big push to a fall race. If I could just decide what that will be... I'll be looking forward to some time on the bike when necessary.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Every summer since moving to Idaho five years ago, My wife and I have made a trip back at least once a year. This year being no different, we loaded up our suitcases and headed back to Ashland, Ohio for a 12 day visit to all our family and close friends. As with most trips back, we faced a big agenda of visiting loved ones, and it seems that every time we go we end up more anxious to move back than before. I'm sure this has something to do with the nostalgia of our hometown and the comfy feeling of the small town life. But in more ways than one, this trip seemed to be resonating with the sound of coming home. Not only to our hometown, but to my "home" for outdoor lifestyle that I'm passionately pursuing the best I can. There was a great race at Mohican to do, a fantastic bike ride through amish country, and of course a brief reprieve from parenthood while Michelle and I stayed at the Landoll Castle. Before we jump into the story, here's a picture I just had to share from my "heat" acclimation I had been doing before traveling back east at the beginning of the recent heat wave they have been dealing with. It was 90+ degrees the day I ran my last long run before heading back. Needless to say, the kiddy pool was as close as I could get to a dip in a mountain stream, but it was refreshing none the less.
Flying across the country with two small kids is a test of endurance all by itself. Upon arriving we were immersed into the whirlwind tour to see as many people as we could, and see the most important ones more than once... it was exhausting but good. I took a break from the tour the first Saturday morning to race the Mohican Xterra 19k. The profile for this course looks basically like a sawblade. No real flat sections, very technical, and very steep. I managed to run almost exactly 8 min/mile pace for the roughly 11 mile race, finishing 6th overall and 2nd in the under 39 age group. Not a bad race by any means. Then it was back to the tour...
The tour also took a break long enough for Michelle and I to head back to our honeymoon spot, Landoll's Mohican Castle, for a 1 night get-away. We stayed in one of their more toned down rooms, which wasn't exactly what I'd expect from the Castle, but nevertheless, the company was excellent and the food was good so it was a blessing to be there. Next time I am bringing trail running shoes along as well. Miles of trails surround the Castle and I intend on exploring them at somepoint.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
The cool thing about the suitcase is that it'll let me fit my Sportie's for a trail race in Ohio and my bike shoes for a long ride with the father-in-law. It'll be nice to have a longish stay there this time around. Beyond the next trail race, its hard to say what kind of races I show up at this fall, but I know you certainly won't see me at too many 5k's unless I'm pushing the Bob. I'm in the mood for a challenge, so we'll see. Maybe adding a zero to the 5 would be more fun... I may end up at a half-marathon in October, and perhaps will jump in the Harvest Classic 8k here in Nampa just for "fun" in September. I'm just soaking in the blessing of being able to run at the moment. But still... a 50k on October 22nd on my favorite Boise foothill trails is beckoning me to run. I have learned from my predictions of the Mohican Mtb 100 that I couldn't attend to keep long range goals drawn in the sand, but October isn't too far away, and a few longer runs here and there could get me ready for a great day on the trails in Boise. Who needs the marathon? I might just pull a Dean Karnazes this fall...
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
My brother-in-law and his wife got in late Wednesday from Ohio and by Thursday at lunch we were on the road for Stanley, Idaho. The drive from Nampa to Stanley takes about 3.5 hours, but after you get past Eagle, the scenery just doesn't stop. It was a great way to begin what turned out to be a great trip.
We headed up to Glacier View Campground and arrived shortly before 4 pm. On the way up, we decided that our best chance to nab a great hike was to go right away and so from about 4 to 6:15 pm we hiked and ran up the Alpine Way Trail from the Redfish Lake trailhead. It is a pretty gnarly trail that gains 900 feet or so in less than a half mile and then levels out along a beautiful ridgeline for quite a ways until it veers north towards Marshall Lake. We hoped to make it to Marshall lake but it really was too ambitious given the amount of snow still up high. In many places we were bushwacking along the trail because several feet of snow still covered the actual trail. Eventually we got to the point where the trail starts to turn North and decided that we should head back before it got to be too late. Before we headed down, we stopped for some photos. I could look up the names of these peaks, but for time sake I'll just let you know they are pretty awesome to see in person.
As the night settled in, the lack of any clouds whatsoever allowed the temperature to drop quickly and we decided to hit the sleeping bags early. My only regret of the trip was not getting up to see the stars that night, they were surely magnificient and I'm bummed that I missed them. That feeling was quickly dissipated by this awesome shot I got in the morning Friday.
The plan on Friday was to hang out and rest, but it wasn't long before we were out exploring near the camp and found some interesting sights, but most of them wouldn't really qualify for blog worthiness content, however, they served to entertain and more importantly, Stoffer and I got to have some of our favorite old contests; skipping stones (most and farthest categories), precision stone throwing (pick a target and hit as creatively as possible with a rock), log hopping across the lake outlet (only one wet foot for me).
Afternoon rolled around, and when the rest of the team showed up, we headed out on a run to explore the Fishhook Creek Trail. This is the reward for the 5 mile round trip. Best 5 miles all year so far to say the least.
(Sam in his element) (Team Bazinga! minus Cynthia and Joe; Sam, Stoffer, Me, Bill, and Mike)
You'll notice this character in the photo above, and of course doing his version of fire starting below. This is Sam Collier and he is the best possible person we could have had on our team for a volunteer. He is an ultrarunner and agreed to come up with us at the last minute and fill in. What a blessing it was to get to know him and have him on our team.
After we finished our run and Sam started the fire with his um... lighter, I decided to try and take a dip in Redfish lake. Let's just say that the water temperature was slightly warmer than the North Pole and I made it to my waist and decided to just soak the lower half for ten minutes rather than go completely under. I wished to be clean, but not to be hypothermic so an lower leg ice bath was an appropriate compromise.
Race morning came and we went to the start. It was a great morning and the weather looked to be fantastic again this year. Our team had a minor logistic concern when Bill left the wrist band in his sweats and then we dropped it as we jogged to our vechicle after the race began. Luckily, Stoffer was able to spot the band when we raced back to the start and we were able to proceed without any time being lost or the dreaded "DQ" that could have been the result.
By the end of the first exchange, I was super-stoked to see Michelle and the kids up on the course. Michelle was the real hero of the trip, she watched our kids, and also the Lapp's little girl while us runners were out inflicting pain on ourselves. She did a great job just managing three little ones (with the help of her sister, Stoffer's wife, Rebecca). I don't think our team could have raced without her up there, and she managed to find fun things for the kids to do in Sun Valley all day. There's a reason why I married this woman, she is amazing!
Everyone ran super strong all morning as we managed to stay in 3rd position all the way over the summit of Galena Pass. I was really excited to run the mountain this year, I felt strong as I ran up, but was definately limited by the altitude and managed to run 8:30/mile up the 1300'+ of vertical in about 5.3 miles. It was a challenge I would love to try again someday, but next time I run this race, I really want to run down the pass, it seems that would be a bit more fun...
By the time we were on the homestretch of the race, we managed to pick up a friendly rivalry with another team. They were out to get us, but we just managed to stay ahead until the last leg where I was chased down by a sub-15 minute 5k running chick with knee-high socks and not much else on. I ran sub-6:00/mile on the final stretch, but she just was too tough for me on that day. Everyone on the team ran strong all day and we managed to come home with 1st place in the Men's division. All the teams that beat us were younger, faster, and in some way were involved with an organized running team (high school or college). It felt awesome to come home with a first place award after taking second last year. Our time was 4 minutes slower than last year's, but we faced a stiff headwind for the last 3 legs that I think accounts for that difference in time. In conclusion, it was a race to remember, but the weekend itself was even more memorable. The team had great chemistry this year and we had no weak links. It will be fun to see how everyone does as they pursue their personal racing goals this fall. I am incredibly thankful and blessed to be able to share this race with the people I did.
(Chris Stoffer, Me, Bill Rupp, Mike Lapp [with baby Evie], Cynthia Lapp, and (not pictured) Joe Terrazas made up our team. Sam Collier was our amazing volunteer, and Michelle and Rebecca did the babysitting duties for all the little ones.)