Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Looking Back. Looking forward.

As I get older and slowly near the age of senility and memory loss, I'm realizing the need to document my life and memories via photos, this blog, etc., thus the reason I'm now taking the time to catch up on what's happened in my life since last summer.

With no further ado...

  • July 2014
    • Hardrock Pacing: Having been humbled by the mountains on the HR100 course in 2010, it was with great trepidation that I agreed to pace Sharpie for 30-35 miles of the course last summer. At minimum it was a good motivator to up my mileage in hopes of being at least somewhat prepared for what laid ahead. At the end of the day, pacing ended up being a rewarding and inspiring experience... especially when Mr. Sharp ended up snagging a huge PR! (I'd like to think I had a little to do with it...). It was a physical and emotional roller coaster for 18 hours through rivers and rain and lightning and snow and heat, and I wouldn't trade the experience for the world. At one point in the race (after going through the night, and facing certain death in a lightning storm at 12,000ft) I was so overwhelmed by the magnificence of my surroundings that tears began welling up. The only other time this happened was en route to my first Leadville finish in 2009! I can honestly say, my love for running and the mountains fully returned while on that course, and I will continue to have deep reverence for the San Juans and the Hardrock course until the day I am both fit enough and fortunate enough to toe the line of that race again.
    •  White River 50: Several weeks after the above mentioned experience, I returned to Washington for my first ultra-marathon since September 2012. As my last blog post indicated, my goal was primarily to finish, and I was thinking sub-10 was a reasonable goal. When all was said and done, I finished in 9:21.xx, no worse for wear, and was officially able to call myself an ultra-runner again!
  • August 2014
    •  Pikes Peak Ascent/Leadville Pacing: August 16th was a full day. I finished my 5th Pikes Peak Ascent (1st time since 2009) on that day, and was there to see Holly finish her first! My time of 3:33.37 was my 2nd slowest ever, but a PR wasn't a concern as I was equally excited for my return to Leadville later that evening. Around 8:00pm my pacing duties for 100 mile rookie Tyson Nunn began. I was to take him through the final 24 miles of the course from the new Fish Hatchery aid station to the finish. Personally, I've never had a good experience from Mayqueen (13 miles to go) to the finish, but after my DNF at mile 97 in 2012, I needed to be there for Tyson and keep him going (and prove to myself that I can fight off the sleep deprivation, discomfort, and desire to quit) and finish strong! I'm happy to report both of us were able to successfully pull through and get Tyson a big  buckle in 24:00 flat.
    • High Altitude Beer Mile: Unofficially, Carson Rickey, Liz Sanchez and myself completed the inaugural Pikes Peak Beer Mile on the 14,110 ft summit of Pikes Peak. As usual, I vomited and it turned into a Beer 1.25 mile after the penalty lap, but the experience was awesome none-the-less. Somebody needs to call Guinness...
Holly and I ended up taking a complete hiatus from running in September and October to focus on selling our home and preparing to move into our new house which was to be complete in late November. During this time period, we apparently forgot that we were signed up for the Catalina Eco Marathon & Half Marathon in California...

What this resulted in was a 100-degree suffer-fest and my slowest marathon time ever. Granted, it was on trails, it was hot, and the course had lots of climbing & descending, but regardless, it's never a good idea to run a marathon with a total of 7 runs under your belt in the 8 weeks leading up to it. Lesson learned.

The rest of 2014 was focused on moving and making our new house a home. By late December, the dust had settled enough in our lives to enable me to focus on exercise & running again...
  • 2015 (so far)
    • I have run every day since December 23rd, 2014 which will make my run after work this evening my 100th consecutive day!
    • Due to this consistency, I'm beginning to get some speed back. While my endurance is still lacking, I've managed the following this month:
      • 18:41 5k (35 seconds off my PR)
      • 4:56 mile (PR, but downhill-aided)
  • I'm signed up for the Desert Rats 50 Miler in Fruita, Colorado on April 18th. I ran this event in 2009 and 2010 with a personal best of 8:49 on the course. I honestly believe 8:30 is a reasonable goal this go-around.
  • No Leadville in my future*. I'm pretty sure I'm the only individual who wasn't selected in this year's inaugural lottery. This is actually quite disappointing since I was hoping Pb 2015 would be my return to the 100 mile distance...
  • (*If I run well at Fruita and continue building strength, I am wildly considering trying to win a spot in Leadville by placing high enough at the Silver Rush 50. I've never wanted to race this event before, but if it's my only "hail mary" last-ditch chance to get in, I'd consider giving it a shot. This will mostly depend on my conditioning... if things continue the way they're going, it might be a solid bet.)

Until next time...


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