Month: August 2007

I’m a Twit

Ok…I’m still not sure if this is useful, or even slightly interesting for that matter, but I started using Twitter.  What is it?  Well, think of it as a mini blog, which has nice utilities and methods to make it very easy to send updates.  For example, you can use your favorite IM client by “chatting” with a user called TwitterIM, or send an SMS text message to 40404.  There are also a ton of clients, such as Twitterific for the Mac, so that you don’t have to always use a web browser for updates.

One of the cool (?) things is that you can “follow” people, so that you can get instantly notified whenever that person sends an update — web, SMS, RSS.  One application could be to send real-time updates if you’re at a race or event that doesn’t have a webcast by using your phone’s SMS feature.

Also, you can send a “direct” message to another Twit, which will be sent to either their web page, or phone — depends on how they configured their preference to be notified.

You’ll find my page here.

Dos Lunas – New SoCal Ultra!

Mark your calendars!

Announcing the Dos Lunas 100M/100K ultras, full moon weekend of March 21-23, 2008, Los Padres National Forest trails, Ojai, CA. Over 25,000 feet elevation gain in the 100 miler. Qualification requirements for the 100M similar to that of Hardrock.  Staggered starts based on anticipated finishing time of 8:00 AM Sunday, 40 hour limit for 100M. Applications and a web site will be available in early September. Limit of 150 entrants for both events, with priority to 100M’ers.
Stay tuned for more information.

I was one of the guinea pigs for the dry run of this event earlier this year.  We only did the 100k, and it kicked our butts, so can’t imagine how much more difficult the 100 miler will be — guess I’ll find out.  Hoping that this’ll partly fill the gap that C4P has left…with Chris Scott at the helm, at the very least, you can bet it won’t be your typical run-of-the-mill ultra.  As you can see by the description above, he’s already put a twist to it by having the 100 milers run through 2 nights with the staggered starts.

The Mystery Pain

Ok…everyone’s had it at some point or another.  After a training session or race, you feel something strange in your foot or leg, it doesn’t hurt at first, but it’s uncomfortable — it just doesn’t feel right.  A little while later, the discomfort turns to pain, and your original action of ignoring it, now turns into concern.  You try and “walk it off”, but you realize that it’s more serious than you originally thought.  You wonder what you could’ve done to cause it — too much mileage perhaps, or maybe you ran/raced too hard.  So you pop some Ibuprofen and start some RICE.  Eventually, it just goes away, almost as quickly as it appeared.  What caused it?  What could you do to prevent it in the future?  Without being able to answer the “what”, how can you prevent “it” from happening again? 

Last Tuesday morning, 2 days after running 60 miles at Leadville, I woke up and my foot was throbbing.  I thought I had slept wrong, and was just pins-and-needles, but it wasn’t.  When I got out of bed, I almost screamed in pain when I stood on it, and soon realized I could not put any weight on the entire front part of my left foot.  I basically hobbled around, while walking on my heel for 2 whole days.  The pain finally started going away on the third day, and was able to walk without a significant limp.  On the fourth day, it was pretty much back to normal.  The day after that, was when I had to mark the Bulldog course, so was concerned about my “injury” returning.  I decided to bike it to try and stay off my feet as much as possible, but ended up doing quite a bit of walking/hiking.  My foot did start aching towards the latter part of the course, but think it was more due to having my feet crammed into uncomfortable bike shoes and scrambling over uneven terrain in them than because of my recent “injury”.

Either tomorrow or Thursday, I’ll be going out for my first run since Leadville, so it’ll be the first test to see how my foot feels.  Hopefully it’ll be ok, since Wasatch is only 10 days away.

Study on altitude

Interesting timing on Greg Crowther’s blog about altitude and its effects on athletes.  In 2005, when I was able to successfully complete Leadville, I arrived 6 days prior to the race.  This year, which resulted in getting timed out at Twin Lakes (2 hours behind my pace), I got to altitude only 2 days before.  Even though I felt that I was physically in better condition, I struggled whenever the course went above 10.5k’.  It took me an hour longer to climb up the backside of Hope this year, and combined with the earlier climb out to Winfield, zapped every ounce of energy I had that I needed to complete the race.  I’m certain that even if I made the cutoff, I most-likely would’ve eventually gotten timed out at one of the later aid stations.

Therefore, based on my personal experience, I can conclude that even a little bit of time spent acclimating is better than nothing.

Cool temps at Bulldog

It was unusually cool at Malibu Creek St Park yesterday during the 16th running of the Bulldog 50K Ultra. I’ve been involved with this race since I ran it as my first trail ultra in 2001, this year ending up as a volunteer, marking the course again.

The race is a 2 loop route that starts at MCSP, heads west along Crags fireroad past the famous MASH site, then begins the climb just before the first aid station, up Bulldog to the course highpoint (2500′), before descending into Corral Cyn, the half-way point in the 15 mile loop. After leaving the aid, navigating through the rock formations, runners start on the Backbone Trail, for a couple miles, before starting a steep downhill all the way into Tapia Park, the location of the last aid station before taking the Spur trail back to the start/finish area.

This year, Nancy asked me if I could mark the course, since Bill Graney wouldn’t be able to. Usually, I would be the one helping Bill, so I would follow his lead, but now, I was the one responsible. I recruited my buddy Jeff, and a last-minute addition to our crew was Michael, who would be using the opportunity to train for an expedition race he’s doing next month. We started around 11pm the night before, and didn’t finish until almost the start of the 50K, about 6 hours of hanging ribbons and drawing arrows. I think the reason it took so long was because we pretty much walked the whole course (very little running), and we spent more time hanging/painting more markers then were probably necessary. I decided to bike it, since I was still nursing an injury sustained last week at Leadville, which in retrospect, wasn’t so sure was a good idea, since the task involved a lot more hiking/walking than I anticipated, which is not very comfortable in bike shoes.

Afterwards, I got to see Michelle finish, taking the women’s race in about 4.5 hours, but could not stick around for the rest of the race, since Michael wanted to leave. I also don’t know who won the men’s race, but do know it wasn’t Jorge, who has run it for the last 9 years in a row, or last year’s winner Sal.

In other news, Scott Jurek, Karl Meltzer, and Hal Koerner all dropped from Mont-blanc — see Scott’s account here. Topher Gaylord and Dean Karnazes place 24th and 47th place respectively, and Nikki Kimball takes the women’s race in just over 25 hours. Marco Olmo, a 58 year old Italian and previous year’s champion, takes the overall win in 21:31:58.

Jamie Gifford takes the win at Cascade Crest in 20:54, and Darcy Africa takes the women’s race in 21:10, second overall. Keith Knipling, who is having a fantastic year with some incredible finishes out on the east coast, places fourth. Still anxiously waiting to find out how Olga, Larry, and Devon are doing.

Tour du Mont-Blanc, etc

According to my calculations, the race should start in about 5 minutes — 18:30 local time.  Some local US runners competing this year, include Scott Jurek (#3612), Karl Meltzer (#2771), Dean Karnazes (#1505), Topher Gaylord (#42), Hal Koerner (#3583), Nikki Kimball (#3699), Diane Van Deren (#1502), Peter Bakwin (#2207), Stephanie Ehret (#2521), Glenn Mackie (#2379).

Live updates here.

Also, Wasthington’s CCC 100 starts tomorrow.  Best of luck to everyone, especially Olga, Darcy, TC, Keith Knipling, and Van.  Also, let’s keep an eye on our local SoCal running friends, Larry Ramaekers, Devin Corcoran, and Kim Gimenez.

Finally, the popular Bulldog 50K will be this Saturday — my first trail ultra back in 2001.  I’ll be out there later tonight marking the course with Jeff, then at the start in the morning.  Hope to see some of you there.

Quick update

Just got back from Leadville to find out our friend and fellow ultrarunner Gary Hilliard (Mt Disappointment RD) has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, and is in very critical condition.  Updates on his status can be found here.

Those who are wondering about what happened to me over the weekend, I’ll be posting my play-by-play soon.  Yeah, yeah…I know, I still haven’t finished my reports for Western States or Vermont yet either.

Thanks to everyone who sent me e-mails and left me messages — I really do appreciate it.  Right now, my little DNF is so insignificant compared to Gary’s situation.