Saturday, April 2, 2016

Boise Spring Run 10k

This must be the year of 3rd place for me! I got 3rd at the Run 4 Luv 5k, 3rd at the Buffalo Run 100 miler, and most recently 3rd at the Boise Spring Run 10k on Saturday. I would like to thank all the fast guys for staying home at each of the races! It should be noted that I was 5th overall on Saturday because I got smoked by 2 super fast ladies.

After my impromptu HR test on Friday I knew I wouldn't have gas to run race pace for the half so I did the 10k so I could just run hard.

Speed stomach felt like it was about the size of a nickel at the end from running so hard. Too bad too because the food looked good. Course was long so I lapped my watch at 10k with a time of 42:05.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Blacks Creek

It was  beautiful day to be outside yesterday!  I am in the final stages of getting ready for the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 100 miler so I went out to Blacks Creek to get in some long miles on terrain similar to the course.

I started at the fork of Mayfield Road and Blacks Creek Road so I could use it as a central point aid station.  This would allow me to have water, food, and clothes options like race day.  The first leg was back to Bonneville Point and along the Oregon Trail back towards Boise.  Just before I turned around the moon set over the city and it was absolutely gorgeous.  It was an amber color above the city lights ans shrouded in wispy clouds.  I attempted a picture but it just didn't work.

The was rising as headed back to Bonneville Point and the deer started popping out everywhere.  These lower foothills are their winter range so it isn't uncommon to see them here.  I probably saw 50 deer all day.  I arrived back at my car after 14 miles and just over two hours.  I have been experimenting with OFM to see if I can reduce my reliance on carbohydrates in general and more specifically in training so I went without any calories for this first section.

I changed clothes and grabbed my pack with 60 ounces of water and 450 calories of Tailwind for the next stretch that I had anticipated would be around 16 miles.  It starts with 6 miles of uphill and then I was going to turn off the road and get on an old motorcycle trail.  After I hit the top I realized the road was now marked as a private mining operation and off limits.  It also had a foot of snow on it covered with solid ice so I just turned around and ran the six miles downhill.

On the way up I had noticed an arrow with a broadhead tip attached laying on the side of the road.  I made a mental note of it so I could grab it on the way back to show my kids.  I picked it up and ran with it for about 3 miles which was probably a pretty dumb idea if you have ever seen a broadhead.

This turnaround left me short of my distance goal so when I got back to the car the second time I ditched my long sleeve shirt and gloves since it was beginning to warm up then headed east on Mayfield Road.  Mayfield is a tiny town and this road was once the stagecoach route years and years ago.  I don't know for sure but I imagine the stagecoach route followed the original Oregon Trail route.  Just before I turned around for the last time I saw 300 elk just grazing out in the wide open sagebrush which was really cool.  I stopped and got the picture above just as the pavement ended.  The elk were about 1 mile from here and only 5 miles on a paved road from the interstate.  I was feeling very fortunate to live in a place where all of this is so close and accessible if you want to go see it.

I was happy with how I felt and how my fueling, electrolytes, and hydration went.  I ran everything except the last bit of mile 19 and even managed to run 6:30 pace for final quarter mile to the car.  I was never out of breath the whole way and was right at 100 mile race pace which is encouraging considering my overall pace.  Now I just have to figure out how to do this 3 times at that same speed!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

2016 Run 4 Luv 5k

Run 4 Luv 5k was an interesting experiment for me this year.  It was fun to jump into a fast race with other people there to push me since I don't tend to push myself to run fast very often.

The first thing was I warmed up! Crazy, I know.  I ran easy around the park for about 2 miles just trying to get then engine primed.  Whenever I try to run really fast right out of the gate my HR has a spaz attack for about a mile before being able to handle the speed and oxygen exchange.  Needless to say, this had a positive effect on my performance!

The race is so short there wasn't much of note other than I saw my two oldest daughters at mile 1 and they said hi.  I gave them a weak hand wave because I couldn't spare any oxygen to talk and they said, FINE WE DIDN'T WANT TO SAY HI EITHER!  I replied with a more active hand wave so they knew I heard them but still didn't talk.

When the field fanned out I was in third from the start and the two guys ahead were so far up that I didn't have a chance to chase anyone down.  The 10k started 20 minutes before us and were using the same out and back course so when I turned at my halfway point I got in the with the 3rd place 10k runner.  I was comfortably ahead of him through mile 2.  About this time I passed Zach.  He was running which was cool since he normally walks when he does these.  I was a mile up on him and missed a high five since I was flying and we were on opposite sides of the greenbelt.

I seemed to pull along the 10k runner for a while but he wouldn't pass me so I figured I must be holding a decent pace. Then with about a quarter mile to go he passed me and we both sped way up.  After it was over I wished he had passed me sooner since he pulled me along at the end.  My goal was 20 minutes and I finished in 20:18.

It was a fun day. Afterward I headed back out on the course to sweep the half marathon.  There were three of us so I mainly picked up trash while the others pulled flags and signs.  Michelle was at the end of the half so I got to spend time with her which was fun too.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

2016 Wasatch Lottery

I won the lottery again!  I need to recall and remember everything I screwed up last year when I DNF'd.  It was hard reading my post from last year about getting in because I didn't do anything I hoped to.  This is a new year and here's to hoping I can pull my head out and get it done this time!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Bobcat sighting!

Christine Birch was in town over the weekend and she organized a group run to catch up with everyone and get to have some pizza and brew afterward at Lucky 13.  There are always lots of deer and elk up on Highland Valley and Cobb Trails this time of year so I suggested we go there.  The only drawback was it was a bit rainy which meant Homestead trail would be muddy and we would have to run two miles of greenbelt to get to Highland Valley.  Most trail runners avoid the greenbelt like the plague but everyone was a good sport about it.

I needed some extra miles this day so I showed up early and ran a 10 mile loop alone.  It was dark when on was on the greenbelt and I thought I saw an animal cross my path when I saw some green eyes.  I was a bit leery since Derek was blasted by a skunk somewhere around here several years back but then it turned and appeared to be a coyote.  When we came back through with the larger group I was looking around to see if the coyote was still hanging around and notice this in the trees.

You can see how well camouflaged it is and I could hardly believe my eyes!  It was a very large bobcat and had apparently just plopped down in the tree after I passed it.  We all stopped and snapped pictures them moved on.  

Our run was fun.  No mud with lots of deer and elk.  Then on the way back we looked in the tree again just to see if the bobcat was still there and it was! Crazy.  I was sure it was protecting young or something since they are normally nocturnal but who knows.  It was fun to catch a glimpse of such a cool animal.  This picture was from the second time we saw it and was taken from the greenbelt with a cell phone.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Dailymile 2015 Year End Report

Another great year in the bag.  I didn't have the best race results but I never felt like I was over training or injured.  If anything, I was under trained for race specific conditions.  My best race all year was the Foothills Frenzy 50k on October 3rd with a time 5:39.  It was my fastest time by five minutes and my fifth time doing the race.  The course was a bit shorter than previous years so it wasn't quite a PR but I'll take it.  The best part about it was the fact that I ran the Bear 100 seven days before this and had a pretty solid day finishing in 28:55.  I went into the Frenzy (like I do every year) crossing my fingers for a good day and taking what the day gives me since I have usually just run a 100 miler in the previous weeks.  It kind of made me wonder what I could do in a 50k if I was rested and tapered!  I bet this year, minus Bear, I could have shaved 20+ minutes off.

Time to come up with some new goals for 2016!
Last year's report

Friday, September 4, 2015

Terrariums and Fossils

It is difficult to pinpoint when my love of the mountains and being outdoors began but I was reminded of one time in particular on a recent run with my friend Christie.  As with many long runs in the mountains conversation end up all over the place at some point she was talking about a terrarium which brought me back to when I was a kid.

For those of you not lucky enough to be an 80's kid they were essentially a glass box that you put plants, dirt and rocks in.  We had two hexagon versions (similar to the picture) that were at both ends of the couch in the front room and were used like side tables with a lamp on them.  Each week one of the chores in the house was to dust them and carefully remove the top for watering.  I don't recall when they were finally removed but in the bottom of one of them was a very special piece of shale.

In the summer of 1982 our family went to Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada.  We were there for the annual Anderson family reunion.  While we were there we had fun camping and exploring Lehman Caves.  One day during our stay my mom decided she had had enough of staying in camp and watching kids.  She told my dad she was going out for a hike and on her way out I asked if I could come.  I don't recall the exact conversation but as a parent of 4 children myself I imagine it went something like this....

I am not sure you understand what 'Mom' time is, Ryan.  It is where Mom's leave and spend time alone to relax and get away from kids.  

I was relentless and wanted to go though.  She ended up telling me I could come but she wasn't going to put up with any complaining or whining.  Check, let's go!

I don't recall what we talked about or what the trail was really like but I do remember how much fun I had spending time with my mom.  Since it was just the two of us it made me feel special that I got to go and I wasn't going to ruin it by being a whiner.  I was 8 and don't recall that I was a big whiner anyway but she would the definitive source on facts like that.  While we were out we found this piece of shale that had a small plant fossilized in it.  It was quite a find and we had fun showing it to everyone when we got back.  This piece of shale was placed in the terrarium in our house when we returned it was a weekly reminder for me of the fun time we had for years.

Me and Dad
During our trip, there was a group of us that climbed Wheeler Peak which is near the campground where we stayed.  There were two kids that made it to the top that day.  I was 8 and my cousin Pam was 9.  It was a gorgeous hike and the view from the top was amazing.  It was the end of July and there was still snow all around.  While I was looking up information on Great Basin National Park and Wheeler Peak I realized that it is the highest point in the surrounding 180,000 square miles at 13,063 feet. Not bad for an 8 year old!

When I topped out at 11,000 feet at Speedgoat in 2012 I thought that was the highest I had ever been in the mountains.  Going into the race I wasn't sure how my body would react.  I felt great afterwards and came to the conclusion that some people are ok with high altitude and some aren't for whatever reason.  I have lived in Boise most of my life at about 2,700 feet so 13,000 was a big jump that day.

Top of the world that day

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Pocatello 2 - Ryan 0 Chasing the Cutoffs at the Scout Mtn Ultra Trail 100k

Sunrise on the first climb up Corral Creek
Fun times in the mountains outside of Pocatello, Idaho on Saturday.  I had been sick all week and wasn't sure what to expect.  I thought I was doing a good job of pacing and keeping my effort level under control in the first third while I cruised along with my friend Lyndon who was doing his very first ultra.  When I got to the mile 26 aid station I figured I was about middle of the pack.  I sat down to organize my pack and heard one of the volunteers say there were only 8 more runners after me.

Ridge running before dropping into Gibson Jack
My comfortable pace had me nearly at the end and then to make matters worse on the next big climb I just had zero gas. I was fueling and hydrating fine but the effects of getting over a cold left me feeling really blah.  I didn't put it together at the time but I had also kicked a few rocks and roots on the way down to the City Creek aid station that must have pulled a muscle in my stomach when I tried to keep myself from hitting the ground.  Whatever happened, the result was pain in my abdomen that made downhill running almost non-existent.  

The Wall, The Gut, or The Barkley section in City Creek
I essentially walked all of the easy sweet downhill from Kinport Peak to the Midnight Creek aid station and from there to the West Fork aid station. I was really frustrated because this is where you need to be making good time.  People were passing me so I knew I was getting closer and closer to last place with 25+ miles to go that includes a 10 mile uphill stretch.  I resigned myself to the fact that I would surely get cut at the West Fork aid station since I was moving so slow and because I didn't have a headlamp at the right aid station.  The races rules said anyone leaving Scout Mountain aid station (mile 46) after 5pm had to have a headlamp.  Before the race I put my headlamp in my Big Fir aid station (mile 56) drop bag.  Miraculously I got to West Fork aid station (mile 41) at 4:50 just ten minutes before the cutoff.

At West Fork I asked the volunteers if I was in last place and they said I wasn't which was a relief because for the past hour I was sure they were all waiting for me and I had been planning to drop out of the race.  With 10 minutes to spare they were all pumped to get me refueled and back out on the trail which was kind of perplexing since I hadn't planned to continue.  Once I made up my mind to continue the aid station captain told me I had to stay for a few minutes.  I stood up and put my pack on and asked why?  She said I was not making sense and stumbling on my words (totally true).  I explained the reason I wasn't making sense is because I was originally going to quit and then was trying to shift gears and wrap my head around continuing!

Several miles before West Fork aid station
I asked anyone if they had a headlamp I could borrow and no one did so I was just going to go to the next aid station and ask them.  If they did...I would continue.  If not...I would be done.  It was my fault and I didn’t have time to stand there complaining.  I just didn't want to give up on myself if there was still a chance.  Just then Luke Nelson, the RD, came up and asked how I was feeling.  I said I was doing OK and needed a headlamp.  He asked the same group of people for a headlamp and someone gave him one which was funny.  I was already on the trail so he said he would go back and get it and run it up to me.  It was also funny to see him riding a single speed beach cruiser looking bike up the trail to meet me.

The six miles before West Fork I struggled to maintain an average of 24 minute miles that had an average downhill of 220 feet per mile and I knew that wouldn't cut it so I tried running uphill when I left the aid station.  There was less jarring on my stomach and I ended up running about half of the
10 mile uphill.  In the 5 miles to the Scout Mountain aid station and I cut my mile pace from 24 to 17 and went from 220 feet per mile of descent to 360 feet per mile of gain.  It made no sense but I was determined to do what I could to make sure I made it to the end.
Once I popped out of the trees and onto the exposed road up to the top of Scout Mountain I had cell coverage.  Michelle and I exchanged a number of text messages and she cheered me on which was much appreciated.  I ended up doing about 40 miles of the race solo so it was nice to have a little ‘company’ while I hiked.  (Power hiking through rocks and texting is not advised)  I had to put the phone away once I crested the top though because the downhill off of Scout Mountain is insanely steep for a short bit but then turns into the nicest switchback trail leading into Big Fir aid station.  I wasn’t lighting the trail on fire with my downhill speed but was surprised and happy with being able to uphold a respectable pace while dodging the many ankle biter rocks that seemed to always be rolling under my feet. 

Looking south from the backside of Scout Mountain
Surprisingly, I was making good enough time that I didn’t need the borrowed headlamp until right before Big Fir.  It was a PrincetonTec (POS model I believe) and it was almost bright enough to see my hand 3 feet in front of my forehead.  I was grateful that a total stranger loaned it to me and thankful the sunset gave me just enough help that I didn’t need it.  As I was rolling into the final aid station I was pretty sure I was in last place now since I left West Fork with two minutes to spare and no other runners came in while I was there.  The volunteers confirmed that I was.  They still had hot perogies and baby potatoes sautéed in butter which was amazing.  I finished them off with one of Karl Meltzer’s Red Bulls and headed out.  As I was leaving I asked Karl if this kind of performance would get me through Speedgoat 50k in a month and he assured me that I would be fine.  Sometimes it just isn’t your day.

I had two hours and thirty minutes to run just over 6 miles so barring a complete meltdown I thought I should be able to get it done.  The finish line had a midnight cutoff so I couldn't just slog in.  The sweepers were planning on leaving right behind me to clear course markings so my goal was to stay ahead of them as long as I could and once they caught me to enjoy some much appreciated company.   I don’t know how soon they left after I did but I managed to stay ahead for a few miles.  We hiked the trail up the Nordic center together chatting away which helped pass the time and quickly reached the final descent toward the finish line.  After a short single track and dirt road section we reached the highway for the final quarter mile of pavement and cruised into the finish at a fairly decent pace.  I had about 30 minutes to spare on the final cutoff I think.  I am not exactly certain of my finish time.  Luke was there to greet me as I crossed which was nice.  He presented me my finisher award and the caboose (or DFL) prize which was a cool Patagonia Houdini jacket.

Gorgeous bookend to the wonderful day
My first ultra was the Pocatello 50+ miler in 2011 and I had my worst day ever.  I have had lots of great races since then thanks to the many lessons I learned that day.  This day was worse…but I just couldn’t quit on myself.   I love setting and achieving hard race goals but the feeling at the finish is so much sweeter when I have had to overcome some sort of obstacle and push myself to the end. 

Big thanks to Luke Nelson and his crew for putting on an amazing and tough race that will not disappoint.  The trail marking was perfect even for slow guys in the dark!  All of the aid station volunteers were wonderful and helped push me on when I didn’t know if I wanted to continue.  I’ll be back and hopefully won’t have any more lessons to learn next time.

Friday, April 10, 2015

How To Get There From Here...

How To Get There From Here...The Ten Lessons That Have Served Me Well

By Coleman H. Peterson

The previous exerpt is from page 12.  I found the abstract online and need to get a copy of it to read the whole thing but I love the message.  It follows the the sentiment of my blog title.  When people have asked me what was that ONE THING that finally clicked that made me successful I often say, when you want to change more than you want to stay the same you can do anything.
I wanted to change my ways for years...but not enough to do anything about it.  I think everyone has been in this situation before.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

21 Golden Rules

Some neat things to remember:

1. No one can ruin your day without YOUR permission.
2. Most people will be about as happy, as they decide to be.
3. Others can stop you temporarily, but only you can do it permanently.
4. Whatever you are willing to put up with is exactly what you will have.
5. Success stops when you do.
6. When your ship comes in.... make sure you are willing to unload it.
7. You will never "have it all together."
8. Life is a journey...not a destination. Enjoy the trip!
9. The biggest lie on the planet: "When I get what I want I will be happy."
10. The best way to escape your problem is to solve it.
11. I've learned that ultimately, 'takers' lose and 'givers' win.
12. Life's precious moments don't have value, unless they are shared.
13. If you don't start, it's certain you won't arrive.
14. We often fear the thing we want the most.
15. He or she who laughs......lasts.
16. Yesterday was the deadline for all complaints.
17. Look for opportunities...not guarantees.
18. Life is what's coming....not what was.
19. Success is getting up one more time.
20. Now is the most interesting time of all.
21. When things go wrong.....don't go with them.

~Author Unknown~

Make it a great day! Ryan
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