LooseCrew-JeffO: August 2007


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Friday, August 31, 2007

Running again

Last night I rode my bike four miles and ran about two miles. I didn't feel too bad. No swelling afterwards. Feels good today. So I might start with 1-2 miles per day building gradually.
The injury sight is still a bit painful to poke, so there's still some healing. Since this sort of tissue takes 6-8 weeks to be fully healed, I plan to take it easy. The point is to heal with minimal scar tissue left behind. Some walking/running each day will increase circulation and therefore the amount of nutrients that get to the injury site. Beyond that, I shouldn't get too bold. I want a lot of racing years ahead of me.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Getting There

Tuesday, I road my bike 5 miles and walked 1 mile. My ankle hurt quite a bit the rest of the evening. I have to keep it wrapped to keep it from swelling back up again. If my heart is above my ankle, it just ballooned-out.

So it was odd when I woke up this morning and it seemed remarkably better. Certainly not healed, but it feels like I can suddenly run again. I don't want to do that yet, but it feels like I can.

This weekend I get to crew for Paul. The shoe is on the other foot. He's doing a much better job of communicating what he needs us to do than I did for my crew at Leadville, and I'm taking notes.

Paul is doing the 24Hr of Triathlon at Cherry Creek Resevoir. He's done the Hawaiin Ironman several times, but this is his first 24hr tri. Unlike Leadville, there's no driving around to do. That makes it infinitely easier.

More plagiarism from my friend John Wright's blog (please don't bill me, John)... two clips of Anton Krupicka at Leadville...

Anton 2006
Anton wins LT100 2007

Plus more goodies from Al...
Al - Running in the night
Al - Sugarloaf 2007
Al - Hopeless Aid Station 2007
Al - Hope Pass 2007
Al - Winfield 50-miles 2007 - DNF

This will make you laugh...

Chris!!! Dude!!! You ARE the man!!
Chris Labbe 25Hr Buckle

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Peeved @ Me I-yam

The mentality surrounding the LT100 is really not ideal. Can't remember if I've already mentioned this before The Race or not, but I do believe in giving up - when prudent. It's just that people so often think of running 100 miles as so insurmountable that you have to approach it with an attitude of never giving up - that's the only way! Well it's not the only way. You can actually condition yourself sufficiently to go the distance without having major hardships. With only two years of training, I'm not there yet. This was extremely difficult for me. My conditioning was so marginal at this point that a small series of mishaps is all it took to derail my train.

Tania P pointed some things out to me. I'm going to paraphrase her advice, though.

You should do what's healthy. Don't destroy yourself in one race, and then miss the next 5-10 because you're lame, and then after being lame for so long you've lost your conditioning and have to start over. Think long-term.

In light of that, I should have quit at Fish Hatchery. My mortal sin is that I'm not repentant - I'm so glad I made it over Sugarloaf! It was SO COOL to be there after all those miles!! My only defense is that I wasn't aware of my ankle injury yet. The nerve damage and endorphins covered it up.

The doctor at the clinic was not proud of me. He's really sick of the parade each and every year. He doesn't find our quips about insanity to be funny. It's not a joking matter to him.

But seriously, I didn't know I was injured beyond my left IT band, which wasn't a full-blown crippling injury (but thank goodness it can heal while my ankle recovers).

Elite ultra-runners are so personable and approachable. You often get into a conversation with someone you don't know and they're just the nicest person. Then you find out you're talking to someone like Kirk Apt, Jeff Beuche, Eric Bindner - elite runners - and they don't have any chips on their shoulders. That's because if you do ultras for very long, your chips will get knocked off.

An ultra can be a single event, but really life is an ultra, especially if you wear the title of "ultra-runner". It doesn't end with one race. It's a process that includes all of your races and all the non-running events in your life. Every race you do, you need to be looking at the next race on your schedule.

I, of course, had no more races scheduled. All I had was a list of events I'd maybe like to do if I'm not crippled. So my approach was not the healthiest. Each year I choose one event that is my Primary Event. Everything else is just training for That.

Scott Jurek DNF'd at Mont Blanc. Nobody's going to call him a quiter. He's one of the most elite runners in the world. He's not going to scuttle his schedule by destroying himself on one race. He may set a course record in a week somewhere.

So maybe I need to approach next year with a full schedule for after Leadville and an attitude that I can DNF - it's OK?

This year, I had no real problem the first 60 miles. It was those last 24 that things went critical-mass. Sure there was building stress before mile 60, but there wasn't much penalty felt.

So I can run 60+ miles without a problem. This next year I need to keep pushing that limit out to 70, 80, 90+. But not at the penalty of obsessing over it to the detriment of my relationships, my job, and my health in general.

Socially, I'm very clumsy. It's been hard for me to crawl out from under my rock and stay out here. Repeatedly I feel embarassed, but I can't quit because of that. Sometimes I'm so clumsy I think I should not inflict my clumsiness on others - that I'd be doing everyone a favor by crawling back under my rock. But I'm not going to do that - sorry. Running has brought me out into the light. I've met other socially-clumsy people who I adore. Maybe they need me the way I need them? So this is another one of my "ultras" I don't want to DNF. By continuing to run 100-milers, I hope to help myself in this other "ultra" to keep going, no matter how painful.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Biking at Waterton Canyon

My ankle keeps swelling up when I'm vertical, so I have to wrap Ace bandage around my ankle and take ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory.
I went on a sedate bike ride at Waterton Canyon Sunday afternoon. My quads are fine. Clipped into my pedals, my ankle feels okay.
So it looks like there's a lot of mountain biking in my future.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

LT100 2007 - Aftermath


3 DNFs @ Mayqueen 1 -- 6:30 drop-bag-only
10 DNFs @ Fish Hatchery 1 -- 6:00 drop-bag/saw crew but no crew-duties
Treeline -- 1:00 + 4:00 porta-potty /
crew missed me
4 DNFs @ Halfmoon 1 -- 2:00 no drop-bag/no crew
49 DNFs @ Twin Lakes 1 -- 7:00 + 16:30 crew – wrap knee, get jacket for rain
1 DNF @ Hopeless 1 -- 3:30
86 DNFs @ Winfield -- 2:00 + 11:00 crew
0 DNFs @ Hopeless 2 -- 4:00 + 1:00 waiting for Paul on trail
74 DNFs @ Twin Lakes 2 -- 0:00 + 20+ Dave took pack – Paul delivered
21 DNFs @ Halfmoon 2 -- 4:00
Treeline -- 5:00 ??
17 DNFs @ Fish Hatchery 2 -- 8:00 + 4:00 porta-potty

Total accumulated AS time = 105, approx. = 1hr, 45min
Total time out Start-to-DNF = 26hr (1650min)
Total time running = 24hr, 15min (1455min)
% time traveling = 88%

If I had managed my AS times better: total AS time would be 2-3min. ea. X 10, and 5min. ea. X 3, equals 45min. acceptable.
My average speed until I DNF’d was 18.35 minutes per miles.

I could’ve traveled another 3.5 miles for free, if I had moved through the AS’s quickly. That would’ve put me beyond Mayqueen with 12 miles to go.
The stops did something else far worse, though. They caused me legs to congeal, and that slowed my pace coming out of each stop. There’s no telling how fast and how much further I could have gone. We’ll never know. I just feel confident that I could have finished, especially in light of the fact that I’d finished the last major
climb heading for the finish.
If the things I had control over had been done right – sleep the days before and get through aid stations quicker – I would have finished, even with my injuries.
On the other-hand, if the bad-luck things hadn’t happened – kicking the big rock, my left IT band blowing – I also would have finished, even with lack of sleep and bad aid station management.
I guess it just wasn’t my day.

Photo before the most severe swelling set in and the initial welts sprea
d out.
When I got back to the motel, and took off my Dirty-Girl gaiters, shoes and socks, I had a surprise. There were two purple marks on my shin – one low down on the ankle. At that time, I couldn’t remember kicking one rock, much less two, but nothing else puts marks on your shin like those. The top one didn’t hurt, but the bottom one was swollen. Then out of the vagueness of my memory, I remembered “the rock”. How at the time I marveled that such a big rock could so easily go airborne with just the flick of my toe. I remembered the painful smack as I batted it hard with my left leg. The mystery is how I wasn’t specifically aware of this bruiser.
However, in long ultras, the endorphins are flowing and everything starts to hurt to some extent. You get used to accepting things and not thinking about it.
This photo, the original marks have spread out into a swollen mass.
The other thing was I damaged a nerve. After the race, the top of my foot was numb. During the race, I thought I had shin-splints, which I haven’t experienced in nearly 30 years. Apparently, instead of hurting at the injury site, shafts of pain went bolting up each side of my shin-bone for the rest of the race, just like shin-splints.
In this last photo, you can see the swelling of the left foot, and there was another blunt-trauma welt on the right achilles tendon. The achilles swelled, but it was nev
er a factor in the race.
I crushed the ligaments and sheathing just above the foot. The sheath is called the Superior Extensor Retinaculum. The muscles that control the foot, the Extensor Digitorum Longus, and Extensor Hallucis Longus, slide under this sheath. Everything in that area sustained a nasty crushing blow. So for 65 miles I had damaged tissues sliding through damaged sheathing. Laying there on the bed, it was purple, red, and swollen until the skin was stretched shiny. Paul and Dave helped me to build a pile of blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags. Later, Doug and Bonnie came by and fixed up an ice pack. Even though I had gone a long time without sleep, and had just gone 84.1 miles, I couldn’t sleep. Too much discomfort.
The biggest thing was my lungs. My airways kept filling up with phlegm and I’d wake up hacking. It was too thick. I had to turn left, hack, turn right, hack, turn on my hands and knees, hack, always turning the head this way and that. Then when totally exhausted, I’d settle down for another 10-15 minutes of sleep. All that hacking gets the blood pumping, though and then the ankle starts to throb.
I planned well enough to bring oxycodone, but I couldn’t find them. I searched the car about 5 times and the motel room, but didn’t find them until Monday morning. Kind of late then.
Ken Klouber said it looked broken and told me I shouldn’t even be standing on it. He told me to go to the clinic. Later, Marilee said basically the same thing and wrote out the doctor’s phone number.
So I got it x-rayed, but it was negative – no bone chips or fractures.
In the LT100 store/office, I met a guy who’s feet were swelled way more than mine. Each and every toe was swelled to the max. He finished. He had 3-5 layers deep of blisters. That’s what all his swelling was about.
I could stand but not really walk, per se. I would stand until I got the nerve for one more hop. It was pathetic and slow and hurt just to watch.
I took a pain killer before bed Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Tuesday, the Wash Park gang were very supportive. Christine and Molly baked me a cake that said, “We’re Proud of You, Jeff”. Very thoughtful. I’m lucky to have such great friends.
At dinner, my ankle was swelling and sore so I grabbed my ankle as I stood. When I let go, there were indents from my fingers nearly ¼” deep. My flesh was full of coagulated goo. This is the stuff that filled my legs and turned to cement during the aid stops during the race.

Thursday I got a massage. LuAnne worked for 90 minutes to squeegee the clay out of my lower legs. I joked to her that I could probably mold a miniature of Mount Rushmore on my ankle. LuAnne is an amazing woman. She has a heart of gold. She put me to sleep massaging my legs and when I woke, she was singing softly to the music she had playing.

That night was the Denver Trail Runners pot-luck picnic after the run. I didn’t show up in time for a walk, but my ankle was really bothering me anyway. It was great to hear about everyone’s race at the Pikes Peak Ascent and Pikes Peak Marathon the same weekend. Again, I’m lucky to have so many great friends. These people are the cream-of-the-crop. They’re kind and generous and warm, and they live life all the way.

I’m not close with my family. They think that people like me – mountain climbers and trail runners – are narcissists. They criticize what I do – always have – and at the same time they marvel. They think the discomfort and injury I cause myself is a mortal sin. Fine. I guess I’m one of those damned trail runners. (Sounds like the theme of my next tattoo – which is another reason they think I’m going to hell. Hah!)

Maybe I’ll look back on this and be glad I didn’t finish? Maybe this will trigger “an enlightenment”? Who knows? Maybe this was meant to be – Karma. What happens in life doesn’t matter – what you do with it is what counts.
One bad thing about a blog is when you fail, everyone knows. But the good thing is that, without privacy, I can’t wallow in self-pity. I have an example to live up to.
Life is an ultra. It sometimes beats you, but it better not be because you gave up. Life is love, interaction, experiencing the extremes, reaching where you’ve never reached before, exploring the unknown. I guess that’s what they mean by “touching the void”. There’s an infinity out there, so you can’t explore it all – it’s limitless. All you can do is sail to the edge of the world and jump off. Then somehow return and tell about it.

Namaste, everyone!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

LT100 2007 - Treeline to DNF

Treeline isn’t named after alpine treeline – the opposite: the forest breaks and there’s a wide-open flood plain meadow in the headwaters of the Arkansas River.
Hallelujah, my CR-V was actually parked on the shoulder of the road! Paul and Dave had my lounge chair set up. I didn’t need my hydration bladder filled. I needed electrolytes and protein drink, and I needed to do a deep-knee squat. My CR-V tailgate was perfect to hold onto and pull myself back up again. Then we were off again. It still took longer than I wanted, but maybe I was getting too antsy about it. I didn’t pay attention to my watch so I don’t know how long it was. By then I’d lost my sense of time. Everything seemed to be taking too long.

Pavement. It was a long, easy road, though monotonous. I wanted to get over Sugarloaf, but that would have to wait. I at least held steady with the other runners around me.

Fish Hatchery – I had to run to the nearest porta-potty. The pause that refreshes. Four minutes. No toilet paper, but I had some in my rear pocket. What a Boy Scout.
One of my goals was to reach Fish Hatchery without throwing-up. Success. There was so much vomit on the trails and roads by now. I started to be mindful that what I ate would taste pretty good on the way out too. Muscle Milk and Safeway strawberry nutrition drink both taste pretty good. I imagine they’d be fine the other direction. Luckily, I never got to confirm that.

Less than a marathon between me and the finish.

I was starting to get pissed at how long the aid station stops were taking. My crew was talking and I suddenly started leaving. Doug, my next pacer, said, “Where the hell do you think you’re going?” I answered, “I’m getting my ass over Sugarloaf.” Then he asked me if I needed sport drink. Holy shit! Yes. As a matter of fact. Man I was so shit-faced at that point. That would’ve been an unforgivable, critical mistake on my part.

After refilling my hydration bladder, Doug and I headed out.
Doug had the hardest job of all. I was still lucid until we started the climb of Sugarloaf. Pretty much instantly, I was in a stupor. I didn’t fight the stupor, but instead tried to use it to my advantage. I just concentrated on working my legs up the mountain in a steady, efficient pace.
Doug is a personal trainer. He’s used to constantly nagging people. Somehow, though, I think I was the biggest challenge of his life. I can’t believe how hard he worked. He probably got tired of hearing his own voice, but I hooked my trailer to it. He talked me all the way up – and it was a merciless long way up, in my condition.

About 2/3 of the way up, two women passed me – probably a runner and pacer. After they passed, I ramped-up my pace one notch. For several seconds, I was elated that I was doing it! Just as I was thinking I’d hold this for several minutes and then ramp up another notch, my vision started strobing off. Woah! Full-stop! I didn’t say anything to Doug about what just happened – that would’ve required effort to communicate. Instead I just told myself not to do that anymore.

My hope was that I’d get a 3rd-wind. My 2nd-wind was coming off Hope Pass. I needed a third wind. I was frustrated because I had consumed so many gels, Muscle Milks, nutrition drinks, and assorted other food, and kept from throwing-up. Where had it gone? There should be resurgence. I waited in vain.

We finally reached the summit and headed down the other side.
Leadville has three major climbs – Sugarloaf, the Colorado Trail on the flanks of Mt. Elbert, and Hope Pass. You do each twice. I had done it! Statistically, if you get over Sugarloaf, you’ll finish.
Somehow, there was no more speed in me. Not even downhill. My legs were concrete.

Two years ago I paced Paul G. It was his first 100. He DNF’d here. I was having memories of that. The only consolation was that I was moving three times faster than he was at the point where we dropped down the S-turn. Problem was, Paul had been down to about ¼ mile per hour. So 3x’s faster still wasn’t 1mph! Come-on 3rd-wind! Where are you?

Doug and I reached Hagerman Road. It was smooth. What a relief. I was looking at my watch. It was looking bad. My body was not responding. I really think the lack of sleep was the single biggest factor. But oh man, the pain at that point. I was drowning in pain. My legs were swollen. The cement had set. My mind started changing. For the first time, I was seeing my fate, and I couldn’t believe it. Not me! I’ve always picked ridiculous goals, and I achieve them all.
Sorry if this sounds self-serving, but I’ve always been my own biggest fan. I’ve been on mountains in blizzards and run out of water with miles of desolation between me and safety. The hair stood up on the back of my neck with the certainty that this time I’d gone too far. I made it without even feeling much discomfort! I had Guillian-Barre where I was a virtual quadriplegic. The doctors told me I might eventually run again, but not like I used to, and I’d never climb mountains again. Yeah? Four months later I solo’d Mt. Wilson. In April, it’s still winter on the Wilson sisters. I’m not even sure the LT100 was harder than that. I went dumpster-diving for a couple of years pulling computers out, fixing them, and building a lab where I taught myself networking and computers, quizzed-out, and change careers. The equivalent of a college degree in 18 months. That wasn’t physical, but it was probably harder than anything I’ve ever done or ever will do.
I’ve learned that excuses are usually why people fail. Good excuses guarantee failure. They don’t require it – it just makes it easier to give up when your excuse is a good one.
So pardon me for being cocky. “It’s impossible” tends to mean I’m going to succeed – no matter what.
Not this time.

A woman wearing a blanket over her shoulders appeared out of the darkness. She tried her best to cheer me on, but Doug had already pulled out his walkie-talkie and told Paul to come up and get me.
The course follows Hagerman until it drops steeply off the side down into the forest. The trail from Hagerman road to Mayqueen is the worst trail on the entire course. My legs weren’t there. It had been hours of waiting for some sign from my body that there could or would be a 3rd-wind. We got nothing.
Instead of a 3rd wind, my vision started strobing off and on again like it had the other side of Sugaloaf, even though I was now poking along sedately on smooth Hagerman Road.
I was just stretching it out in the vain hope of a 3rd wind, but in the absence of such a surge, it would’ve been stupid and dangerous to head down the trail and into the forest below.
The woman in the blanket – whoever she was – impressed me. She’s got a heart of gold and a spirit like the sun, but it couldn’t change my situation.
Paul brought the CR-V up, but I insisted of walking until I got to the exact spot where the trail drops off the side.
I mumbled something to the woman about being a mountain climber. The mountain isn’t going anywhere and neither is Leadville. Some people who get to where I was vow never to do another 100. But I was going to do Leadville every year, and one year I was going to do it under 25hrs. Even in my state, I felt like a diehard ultra-addict. Life is running. Everything else is just waiting to run. I want to run forever. I wish I didn’t ever have to stop.

Hey, ignore how horrible I felt. Here’s how insane I am: I was still having more fun than I had ever had in my life. Not just overall for the day, but even at that moment that I fell on my hands and knees and started coughing and hacking with pulmonary edema so hard I almost passed-out and drool was running out of my mouth. The Leadville Trail 100 is all it’s cracked up to be. It is awesome and tough. Whether you finish or not, you will certainly intimately know yourself when you’re done.

Friday, August 24, 2007

LT100 2007 - Winfield to Twin Lakes

Near Winfield, I saw tons of friends. Luis, the guy I gave a ride from Denver Int’l Airport, was way up near the front, so I hadn’t reached Winfield yet when we passed. Chris L, Christian H and Christian R were likewise way up front.
This photo taken by my friend John Wright, who was waiting at Winfield to pace a friend.
After turning around, I saw Anita F, Jeanie, Cammy, Dan B, Kasandra, Xy, Javier, …
As I climbed up towards Hope Pass on the return, it became heartbreaking that everyone I passed was going to miss the cutoff at Winfield.

I took two ibuprofen at Winfield. They did wonders. From Winfield to Twin Lakes, nothing hurt! I felt nearly 100%!!
Paul G was pacing me over Hope.
The climb up Hope Pass, though, was a concern. I was horrible. Lack of sleep destroys stamina and power. It doesn't always destroy speed for short stuff, maybe not even power for a quick burst, but after 50 miles of mountains, I had no power.
The procession of people still coming down from Hope Pass was frightening. These last people would be getting into Winfield nearly two hours after cutoff. How they managed to leave Twin Lakes under the cutoff and end up at Winfield two hours late is a mystery to me. I guess I wasn’t the only one to end up with a bad day?

Luckily, the north side of Hope Pass was not so steep. My knee only bothered me when I tried to run down the steep stuff. I flew down from Hopeless aid station near the pass.
On the slippery black mud, I tried to take advantage and ran like a skater. Downhill, the mud was an asset. This is why I train in all kinds of weather. One of the reasons so many people DNF’d at Winfield, or later at Twin Lakes, is they couldn’t deal with the mud. It was thick and extremely slippery.
The only bad news is that Paul stopped at Hopeless to get me some soup. I ran for maybe 15 minutes without seeing him. I got concerned that he may have slipped and fallen, so I stopped. I lost time. I ran some more and stopped again. Finally he came. I gobbled the soup and then started running again. The soup tasted good and hit the spot, but I lost valuable time when I stopped. Also, in spite of the soup tasting good, my stomach had already grown upset and I had repeated little convulsions. It was always triggered by air in my stomach. It was impossible to keep air out of my stomach. And every time I tried to belch, instead there was a series of convulsions. It was very hard to get the air out without hurling. I tasted that soup for three hours afterwards, but I never threw-up.

At one point, before Paul had caught up with me, a friend and I were running together. He commented, “I don’t know about you, but I’m going home with some hardware!” I replied, “You damn right we are!”

We came out onto the river flood-plain and Paul pulled out his walkie-talkie to let the others know our ETA.
The river crossing was very good, again, and I wished I’d had more time to loiter in it.
After the river crossing, there were several other crossings before we headed across the meadow. Unfortunately, the meadow was flooded by all the rains we’d gotten. I’ve never seen water on this meadow. Elk graze there. The trail had been worn deep in spots. Between the trail sometimes sinking like a narrow ditch, and all the deep elk footprints, the swamp we had to pass through was treacherously pitted. You couldn’t see through the water because it was black and stinky with fermented elk dung. It was GROSS. Like trying to run through a sewer without tripping.
But I did trip, and I went down. I got totally stink-ified. Then Paul tripped, but managed to somehow stay vertical. As we headed to Twin lakes, there were two tiny stream crossings. I just threw myself into one and rinsed off.
We got to Twin Lakes as the sun had set. People cheered and a couple of people commented how can anyone still be running like that after 60 miles?
My legs were tired, though. It wasn’t so much a feeling of tiredness as a feeling of trying to run with cement in my veins and muscles.

I checked into the aid station and immediately checked out. Then I sat in my lounge chair. My crew brought all sorts of stuff, but not a drop of my pre-mixed sport-drink. Dave vanished with my entire pack to take it back to the crew vehicle. I was stuck. To save time, and because my feet were perfect, I decided to skip the shoe and sock change after the last river crossing. Bonnie had grabbed food for me, and Paul said he'd run my pack up to me.

Lesson 4: Never, ever, EVER let go of your pack! I don’t care how good-intentioned they are, your hydration pack is your race. If your pack is so gone you can’t see it, then the only tool you have left is hope – that you’ll see it again and in a timely way.

You’re better off using whatever sport drink they have in the aid station. Don’t let your crew fill your hydration bladder – do it yourself. It only takes me a couple of minutes during a marathon to fill my hydration bladder, grab some gels, and grab some other item of food. Two minutes. How was it taking 20 minutes with a crew (Twin Lakes out, Winfield, Twin Lakes in)? That’s the mystery. And no matter what, it has to be my fault as much – or more – than anyone else’s. What makes a crew efficient is communication from the runner. I obviously screwed that up early and often. The best I can figure is that there was too much talking and not enough running. I was getting into a stupor, so my mind was not functioning well. Answering easy questions was getting difficult.

Bonnie, my second pacer, and I climbed for about a mile and still my pack had not arrived, even though we were climbing very slowly so my food could digest.
My injuries were flaring. Every time I stopped, not only did I lose the time I wasted while stopped, but the inflammation slowed me down afterwards from coagulation. It was imperative that I not be forced to stop very long.
Bonnie and I were about at the point where we leave the road and take the singletrack. I told her I wasn't going another step until I had my pack. A couple of minutes later, Paul came and I was on the way again.
Slower than ever. It was like concrete in my legs. A concrete truck has to keep turning or it will set-up. I had to keep my legs moving, but the aid stops were killing me. I needed to get moving. None of these stops should've taken more than 3-8 minutes, instead they were all lasting more than 20 minutes. Oh well, we were all new to this angle of the LT100, so we were all learning the hardest way possible.
When you do your first 100, your legs will swell worse. If you become a chronic 100-miler, then your legs will start to get used to it and swell less each race. It’s just like any other conditioning. Anton Krupicka’s feet don’t swell up like basketballs. Jerry B’s feet didn’t swell up after I paced him at Hard Rock. One of these days, neither will mine.

After eating, I took another ibuprofen. For some reason it had absolutely no affect. My legs were swelling and hurting. They were sluggish. Five miles before, running into Twin Lakes, they were working fine. Now was the first serious sign that something wasn’t right, and it wasn’t correcting no matter what I did.

My left IT band was now hurting even on flat terrain. Bonnie had diagnosed it accurately the first instant she heard of it and had wrapped it before I had climbed over Hope Pass. That’s one reason the Twin Lakes outbound aid stop took longer. Now it seemed to need blood, so Bonnie unwrapped it. After a few minutes, we wrapped it again.

In the pitch-black woods, we couldn’t see anything unless our lights were shining directly on it. We kept thinking this hill was the last, but then we went down and back up again.
In spite of the sluggishness of my legs, stream crossings were not a problem. My feet had no problems tip-toeing across the rocks.

By mile 60, I knew my legs were experiencing the beginning of the end. Would I make it in time? It was getting to be impossible to run. It had degraded into a walk-a-thon.

We finally made it to Halfmoon Road and then Halfmoon aid station. I was tired of gulping air from the poorly-designed drinking bite-valve on my pack. Bonnie found an empty gallon water jug and filled it with sport drink. AWE! I could take big gulps instead of little sips. That was great.

In the tent, I saw several people I knew. I asked one, from Boulder, how she was doing. She replied, “I SUCK!” I said, “No!” She said, “YES!” She later finished Leadville under 29 hours. She passed me on Sugerloaf.

We didn’t waste any time at Halfmoon aid. It was one of the few efficient aid station stops the whole race long.

On to Treeline.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

LT100 2007 - Mayqueen all the way to Winfield

I inserted a couple of photos into yesterday’s posting.

Recapping yesterday, I’d have to include…
Mistake 1: I didn’t get enough sleep leading into the race.

Mayqueen was a clusterfuck. I was told that each aid station had one person yelling out bib numbers and another grabbing bags. That bags were all laid-out in numerical order. That way your bag was handed to you as you entered the tent. Well it didn't work that way. Most people didn't mark their bags nearly as well as I marked mine. So finding any number at all was nearly impossible. So where to start looking?
Finally the overwhelmed - and only bag-person - handed me my bag. She was doing her best but there were nearly 600 runners that started the race.

The lack of sleep was obvious. I'm afraid I don't remember very much. I'm used to waking up at 6:30am. The first 20 miles are barely there.
I don't remember the trail from Mayqueen to Hagerman road – about two miles. It's gone. I remember that last ten feet of trail as I came up to the road. I remember most of the road, then we turned onto the road up Sugarloaf and I zoned-out again. Amnesia.
My memory started to turn on – although still not all the way – coming down Sugarloaf.
I don't remember kicking two rocks, but after the race there were two big bruises that were unmistakable. I had kicked a rock into the air with my right foot and batted those rocks with my left ankle. I was wearing my Dirty Girl Gaiters so I couldn't see the lower, worse one. Since I was so sleep-deprived, I don't remember one of those rocks. I barely remember the worst one. Does that tell you how sleep-deprived I was? I didn't feel sleepy at all – I was pumped. My brain was dazed, though. One of the rocks I kicked up crushed the ligaments between the bottom of the shin and the top of the foot. Between the endorphins flooding my body, and everything starting to hurt everywhere, the knot on the front of my ankle hid under my gaiters.

Basically, I woke up running down Sugarloaf about the time I must've kicked one of those rocks. I remember things much better after that. Everything before that is a vague dream.
Coming down Powerline on Sugarloaf, I wasn't sure how fast to go. It's so freakin' steep. Powerline is an extremely ugly piece of work. The buzzing power lines overhead, and pine trees lopped off 6 feet above the ground so they don't grow up into the lines, and serious erosion created weaving, convoluted ditches. You can't just run down one hump. One hump ends and you have to hop over to another – carefully while falling hell-bent. Then again. Hop this way then that.
While I was doing all this, my left ankle would give me a twinge to tell me it was made of glass. It would shatter at the slightest twist. Yikes, thanks for the warning. How am I going to go another 80 miles without the slightest twist?

Fish Hatchery. I had a drop-bag but my crew met me. It was nice to see them. I wanted to move, though, and not stand around talking. I headed out to hit the pavement and make some time.

My crew was supposed to meet me at Treeline, but they didn't show. I even spent 4 minutes in a porta-potty, but even after that, they weren't there. I could see hundreds of cars were parked to the southwest. Too many cars – too many people. It looked like we all drastically underestimated the traffic at this point. I couldn’t have warned my crew because I had no idea. Apparently neither did they. I thought the crew vehicles could drive onto the shoulder of the road, but that wasn’t possible. It was a healthy walk from the CR-V to the road, and they couldn’t make it in time. I’ll know next year, but this time I was FUBAR. So I headed for the Half Moon aid station up into the forest.
I was low on electrolytes. I wanted a Muscle Milk from my crew, and a fist-full of e-caps. The aid stations didn't have any e-caps. At Half Moon, I screwed up. Since I had missed my crew, I should have gone after salt. Instead I took my usual two gels and filled with half sport-drink/half water. By the time I got to Twin Lakes, I had an electrolyte crisis on me, even though I'd been given two e-caps by another runner during the run. Wow I was sweating during the day, even though the temps never got past the mid-70's and it was partly cloudy.

Mistake 2: I didn’t fix my electrolyte situation at the Half Moon Aid Station.

Twin Lakes was so cool. The crowd cheered as we ran down the steep trail towards the aid station.
Oh, man the outside of my left knee was hurting on the downhills. Slight downhills weren't a problem, but steep ones were very painful. Lucky for me, one of my crew was a sport therapist and wrapped me up. Unlucky for me, I was now very late, the rain was early, and it would've been foolish to run south over Hope Pass without a jacket.
Here's where I got stupid. My Crew brought my heavy GoreTex jacket, but I didn't want the heavy one. I wanted the ultralight. Well, the CR-V wasn't anywhere near the race course.
There were WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE! If you're not involved directly in the race, please get out of the way!
So my crew vehicle was inaccessibly far away. Stupid-me, I forgot I had a cheap Tyvek jacket in my Twin Lakes bag. Instead, I took the heavy GoreTex jacket.
Total time was over 20 minutes. An aid-stop disaster. If the crew vehicle had been right there it would've been half as long. I mistakenly thought that even with traffic, runners would've been spread out enough at mile 40 that crew vehicles could all park in the lot we run through south of town.

Mistake 3: Main crew vehicle wasn't available at Twin Lakes. Only in hindsight could any of us figure out that we had a possible advantage we didn't use - we had two vehicles with crew tags. The minor vehicle could have reserved a space in the main lot. Then when the main crew vehicle came by, they could've traded places.

The river crossing was great. Before crossing the river, you have to go across several puddles and smaller canals. Then you hit the main river. It was crotch-deep and cold. It felt SO GOOD! It didn't last long enough, though.

Heading up towards Hope Pass, the rain left an inch of black mud as slippery as grease. It was very treacherous. Somehow this didn't bother me. Everyone complained about it, but I'd been training in every kind of weather, so it was normal to me. The lack of sleep certainly slowed me down going up, but then I was on the other side. That's when the ligament in my knee slowed me down.

Eventually I made it to Winfield. Dave and Paul had a sweet spot for my CR-V, with the lounge chair set up. Dave had thought to buy a bag of ice (brilliant) and threw it on my right quad, which had taking up the work my left couldn't because of the bad knee.
I couldn't sit long. Paul followed me through the aid station. I checked in, looked for gels and anything else I might be able to eat, but I was too nauseous.
The aid-stop took too long, and the affects of sitting were counter-productive.

Lesson 3: The fluids that normally build up in ultra-runner feet/ankles/legs will coagulate if you hold still. The more 100-milers you do, the less this happens, but your 1st one it is critical not to hold still. Just like a cement truck, you can't let the concrete stop moving or it'll set-up. After that, you'll never be able to mantain the same fast pace. Every time you stop, your pace will fall down a notch. If you stop way too long, you'll lose several notches of pace. One extremely long stop can destroy you.

After the first half, I felt fine.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

LT100 2007 - Start to Mayqueen

I didn't sleep well leading into the LT100. I didn't go to bed early enough. I was getting about 6-7 hours of sleep. This is fine for some people, and I can do this if all I do is work in an office, but when I'm doing extreme physical stuff, 8 hours of sleep that include some REM is essential. I don't think I got any REMs the few days leading into the LT100, and I got no sleep the very night before.
A full dose of Sominex was two tablets. Thursday night, I took three. I still didn't get REM, but I did sleep, even though I woke frequently. The walls of the Anytrails lodge are paper-thin. Every vehicle that went by, especially those obnoxious diesels with the roaring exhaust and rattling engines, woke me up.
Friday night, I repeated the dose, plus I downed a beer, which I had said a couple of hours before I wasn't going to do, but I was so wound-up I drank one with dinner.

Lesson 1: I don't care if you have to take freakin' narcotics, take something strong that will knock your ass out. You can use prescription meds two nights before the race, but the night before is risky. Narcotics take 10-30 hours to wear off. The night before the race you should probably only use OTC meds.

Two of my crew came early on Friday. That wasn't just awesome, that was almost essential. They went to the LT100 meetings with me, and we had a last-minute meeting-of-the-minds.

The other two crew-members came late. So very late that it ended up hurting very badly. I had needed to go through the crew vehicle (my CR-V) and show them where everything was. I never had that opportunity.
Friday night, I wasn't sleeping but my eyes were closed. The sound of my CR-V came and it parked. I was wide awake then. No one came in so I assumed it must've been someone else. Then I heard voices. The walls of the Anytrails Lodge are paper-thin, and you have to have some windows opened at least a tiny bit for ventilation. I don't know how long the voices talked out there 30-60 minutes. Finally they came in. It was my crew.
Without having had the opportunity to meet with them during the day and go through the crew vehicle, I started trying to do a last-minute data-dump for them. Too much info too late at night. I don't know if anything I said could absorb. There were items in my CR-V which I needed during the race that I told them of and they apparently never knew those things were there.

Lesson 2: Do a dress-rehearsal with your crew and crew-vehicle before the race. Don't wait until Leadville – do it in Denver.

The evening before, I thought to ask if they could bang on everyone's doors at 2:30am, since everyone at the Lodge was running. So at 2:30am, we got our wake-up. That allowed us to get dressed, get downtown, check in, get coffee, eat my measly breakfast of two trail nut bars and drink a Muscle Milk.

The weather was perfect. Perfectly perfect. I was wearing a yellow sleeveless jersey and a long-sleeve over that, with a fleece headband over my ears, and my bicycle gloves. Some people wore tights, but that was overkill. Tights are harder to take off, and since we're running, legs shouldn't get cold – they're doing all the work.

There was no moon. It rose at noon and set at 10:24pm, so it was long gone in the late morning.

There were too many runners. I didn't push it at all. Probably should have a tad while heading down the "Boulevard". Once we got to the singletrack around the lake, it was a traffic jam. It wasn't too bad at first, but about four miles from Mayqueen it got severe. Several of us were wasting energy putting on the brakes or running slower than our most efficient speed. Passing was possible, but there were about 100 people to pass, literally. You couldn't see the head of the line. Until finally I got a glimpse. It was a tall blonde walking with her arms out to each side blocking the entire trail. I thought, “Wow, how rude. She can clearly see not a soul ahead of her and can hear a stampede behind her, yet she has the gall to block the trail. I'd move aside in such a situation.” Then a woman next to me said basically the same thing I was thinking. I told her it was one person blocking the trail, but we had to wait a bit for the trail to bend just right and then finally she saw that I was right. So she said to hell with it and started running off-trail alongside everyone passing everyone. I followed. The trail became too impossibly narrow and we had to duck back in, but then we did it again and got in front. Wow, so much easier to trot along without effort – much faster than everyone else.
The bizarre thing is, I think the woman thought she was doing all of us a favor. Often new people make the mistake of heading out too fast and run out of energy. She should have realized everyone's most efficient speed isn't the same as hers and just let everyone run their own race.
I probably lost 8 minutes to traffic, and because of all the breaking, I lost energy too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


As you all probably already know, I DNF'd at Leadville.
Very long story. I'll tell the whole thing, but it'll be strung out over however long it takes.
Rest assured, friends, I'm not down-and-out! I'm certainly not the bubbly guy I would've been with a finisher's buckle, but I TOTALLY DON'T feel like a loser!

Sorry it took so long to post. Between the race, and no sleep, the pain of injuries, no Internet access, going to the hospital,...

More later.

Friday, August 17, 2007

11 Hours to Start

During the medical check they found me to be clinically insane, so that means I passed the medical check!

Bib# 344
Official weight: 165lbs.

I headed to the Proving Grounds coffee shop with my friends and we jabbered away in the most hyper way.
Coming down the sidewalk, I saw Chrissy Weiss, who I'd never met before. She was out of earshot, but she saw my lips say her name. She shook her head and waved. When she came by she held out her hand to shake but I gave her a hug - which really took her off guard since she has no idea who or what I am. But you know me, that's what I do. So now I've officially met Dirty Girl Xy.

Anton Krupicka is here.
Jeff Bueche decided not to be, even though he's paid and registered.
Spent the day with half my crew. The other half arrives this evening while I'm asleep. I talked to one of them on the phone several minutes ago.
My drop bags are delivered.
I ate a buffalo burger for lunch. Dinner will be lighter fare.

I'm nervous! It's not much from worries about the race - it's more from racking my brain to make sure I've dotted all my I's and crossed all my T's. It's the prep that's driving me bonkers. I'm so wired I don't think I can sleep. I'll be glad to get running.

During the pep-talk, I was irritated. I had better things to do than listen to attaboys. I already know I CAN finish the LT100. The question is - will it pan-out that way? A lot can happen over 100 miles. I've done everything necessary and I know this body and mind can get it done. But injury is a possibility. It's kind of like Russian-roulette, but with a revolver that has a 100-round cylinder and a dozen bullets sprinkled throughout. There's a luck-factor. I don't want there to be a luck-factor but there's nothing I can do about that. All I've been able to do is minimize the negative factors and maximize the positive factors. So now all I can do is "do what I do" and "hope".

Wake-up tomorrow will be 2:30-2:45am - phone and knocks on the door.
Mandatory start-line check-in before 3:45am.

20 Hours to Go

The Anytrail Lodge is not nice, by any stretch of the imagination. Most of the people who stay here are like me - guys who are used to camping. Compared to camping, Anytrails is a luxury.
Here's where it shines: The guy who runs the place has done the LT100 numerous times. I get to stay here 5 days for only $200. And there's WiFi, cable TV (I don't even have that at home), microwave, and refrigerator.
Right now I have to get my medical check-up and weigh-in. During the race they'll weigh us again at Winfield. If our weight is too low by then, they'll make us stop and rehydrate. They might also DNF me. So for the med-check weigh-in everyone does this before they eat breakfast. We want to be our lightest to avoid getting yanked at Winfield.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Wow, found this link at a friend's blog.
Haven't run in the Bridger area, but hope to in a future life. I haven't seen anything yet that so succinctly shows what trail running is all about. The views, people, ...

Today is my last day of work until next Tuesday.
Tonight I have to pack my car. I hope there's room for my bike, but I doubt there will be.
Got one last massage from "her High Priestess-ness". it feels kind of awkward to me to recieve such physical euphoria and not be able to return the favor. It's my nature to reciprocate. But I pay her well.
Gotta pick up Luis at DIA tomorrow, noon. We'll grab a late lunch.
Drive to Leadville, hopefully in time for the pasta dinner (yep, the carb-loader is 1 1/2 days before rthe race).
See what today and tomorrow will be like? Lists. Running through my head. Frantically trying to make sure not one thing is amiss. I'll be a bit crazy, I'm sure.
When you get right down to it, though, the only critical things are myself, my shoes, running garb, and a hydration pack. and lights! That's all. and a cap. and sunblock. That's all I need. and sunglasses. and...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Three and a Half Days Left

Three-and-a-half days left.

Here's a photo from 9 days ago I forgot to post.

I guess I'm supposed to be getting more nervous, but the opposite is happening. I was nervous before the training camp.
This is a macro example of what always happens with smaller races. I tell ya, the best moments in life are the minutes before and after the race starts, and the first several miles as I get into my groove.
Wouldn't be the same in towns or paved races, but mountain trail races are the best. It's like the feeling I used to have as a kid waking up on Christmas morning.
I'm not sure how well-prepared I am. Maybe I'll forget some stuff. I just want to get going. It's hard to concentrate on work.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Wiens Beats Landis

Wow, Floyd Landis got beat by one of Colorado's own stars, Dave Wiens.
I heard Lance Armstrong was going to be there, too, but I don't see him in the stats. Wiens' bib was #1, meaning he was the defending champ from last year. Landis, being new to the race, was given a high #1220 because he was a newcomer.
Curiously, the top 6 riders coming into the last aid-station DNF'd! WTF?! Are bikers so competitive that they'll quit completely just because the won't place? Were they possibly protesting Landis, for whatever reason? Was there a major accident? All I know is bikers are a different breed. Their psyches and attitudes are way different from most runners.

All my tweaks and pains seem to be finally melting away. The cost, though, is that I haven't been getting in the walking I had planned. Only about a mile a day.
I'm not in the mood to deal with traffic on I-70 late on a Sunday, so it's easy to stay in town and sleep in.
There's lots of packing, planning, prep-work to do besides training. My living area is not a pretty sight. Gear and clothing are scattered everywhere. There's bags with markings, bags without, duct tape and Sharpie ready to slap a new label on another bag.
I soaked my socks and other white items (used to be white at one time) in a strong concentration of bleach and stain remover, with a dash of detergent. By all rights, it should have dissolved my socks! but did it get them any whiter? Not that I can tell. New socks should never come in white. They should come in various shades of beige, tan, brown, gray, etc.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Tweaks & Niggles

I've been eating, and my weight has climbed.
I've got a history of my body going through irregular periods of weeks or even months where I have little appetite or I eat everything in site. I know my psyche sometimes causes me to eat more leading into a big event. Somehow my body listens and says, "Oh boy, we better stock up - he's gonna do it again!" Kind of like in Jaws when he says, "We're gonna need a bigger boat!"
So whether it's one of my old cycles, or a more recently trained response, I'm not resisting. The hungrier I get, though, the more likely I am to eat healthy stuff like field greens, apples, corn-on-the-cob, nuts, salmon, etc. Less beer.
As far as meat, chicken is what I prefer. For beef, I eat the equivalent of two burgers a week. Not that I actually eat burgers, but that's how much beef I consume in some form or other, whether in Mongolian beef, or any other form. Beef takes a long time to digest, causes gas and indigestion, and FARTS! Since I don't eat much beef anymore, I'm not an old fart - just old.
I used to love lean pork. Hard to find lean pork. BBQ places tend to have the leanest meats. Pigs, though, are scavengers, and even lean pork is not ideal meat.
Fish is awesome nutrition, but I don't love the flavor, and it's expensive in Denver, being so far away from the ocean.

I've been having a few dreams. They aren't really nightmares. They're boring little dreams. It's raceday (or night) and I'm in agony. I just keep going. My mind is doing its battle with the demons, my feet hurt more than I ever knew possible, my body hurts more than it ever did, but I just keep going.
A pacer is never in these dreams, and there's never any contact with any other racer. If there's another racer, they're a vague entity off to the side.
The agony I endure within these dreams could define it as a nightmare, I suppose. But in these dreams, I'm not even close to giving up. Even though within the dreams I'm at the point of a physical/emotional breakdown, my mind in those dreams is not considering a DNF. My mind is only obsessed with how I can keep myself going, by whatever trick and brute force I can think of.

During the race I'll have Winston Churchill's voice in my mind, ..."We will never surrender."
And other mantras...
"I would walk 50 miles, and I will walk 50 more!!"
"I don't suffer from insanity - I enjoy it. If there's a fine line between genius and insanity, I'm a phuqing idiot."

I have this important goal: No matter how decrepit I get along the way, I want to cross the finish in a full-on sprint. God, I hope I don't injure myself to make that not possible. They like to give you a group hug - starting before you cross the finish, so I may not be allowed to sprint all the way across. As long as I get it going for a bit, though, that would be fun.

I've been feeling some pains. Below my right knee, either in or on the bone, it hurts. When I bend down, there's a painful pull happening on the inside of my left heel. I've been doing almost nothing the past couple of weeks, so these new pains don't make sense.
Since I've twisted my right ankle Sunday, and my left ankle twice a couple of weeks ago, I occasionally get a hint that my left ankle isn't quite right. The right ankle feels fine, but it too must be less than 100% strength. I think the lack of activity has caused the endorphins to reach a low. No longer can the tweaks and niggles hide behind a cacophony of euphoria.

Eight more days of healing. Five days from now, Lucy works her magic on me the last time before the race. Honestly, she treats you like an alter and she's the high priestess. I could use some more of that.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

90-Minute Massage

Lucy worked her magic on me again with a full 90-minute massage. Wow, what a difference an extra 30 minutes makes. I was a hypnotized drool-monkey.

Last night was 5.2 miles slowly around Wash Park. I ran with "English John", our Texan with the English drawl.
Lucy said I looked pale. Not sure why - I've been eating, my pee is clear, and my weight is fine. But for some reason my body is demanding tons of food. I'm starving but I'm not hungry. I don't feel particularly empty or hungry, but I can tell my body is demanding FOOD! So looks like my weight is going to go up. So be it. My body wants it - it's gonna get it.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


I drove up to Guanella Pass and slept in my CR-V. I got there late and went to bed even later.
I had a very bad day down in Denver. Nothing tragic, just that I never seem to have enough hours to do stuff. My computer lab has been gradually getting into such a situation that it has become impossible to get any work done. I took apart half the lab and reassembled it better. Now I have more room.
In the process, I had an avalanche off the top of my little refrigerator that shattered my coffee pot all over the carpet. And a bag of sugar and a bag of flour also spilled everywhere! I got the sugar and flour cleaned up, but I just don't have enough time (time, time, time!). I gave up. The coffee pot has been scattered all over the carpet since yesterday morning and I haven't gotten home yet to clean it up.
To save time, I ate at McDonalds (see how desparate for time I was?)
On Guanella Pass, full-stop. Scheduled quiet-time for myself, whether life wants me to or not.
I watched the DVD Slow Burn. (I loved it!)

I hadn't planned on a climb of Bierstadt, but I needed altitude, and it's an easy 14er to climb. I'd neglected to bring food or sport drink, but I scrounged and found three Safeway Nutritional Drinks, and my film canister was loaded with e-caps, so I was good-to-go.

So in spite of a lousy Saturday, I ended up squeezing in my altitude training.

During night training, I discovered that just a small reduction in light slows me down a lot, because the footing is hazardous. In spite of slowing down, I still trip, stub my toes like crazy, and twist my ankles.
I also figured out another problem. Heading out to Mayqueen, I'll be dropping my flashlight and headlamps (flashlight in hand, headlamp on head, another on my belt). I will need them again at Twin Lakes miles away! So another logistical problem. I solved it by buying more flashlights and headlamps! What a gear-glutton!
So at 1am last night, I tested them all.
The new Petzel Tikka Plus, with 4 LEDs, was the brightest at the distance I tend to stare at when running.

The Black Diamond Spot, also with 4 LEDs, one allegedly "super-bright", was not as good, even though it cost about $6 more.

My Zipka is still an excellent special-purpose mini-lamp that attached to either my head or my wrist. It's not so bright but still nice.

My regular, old Tikka is my waist lamp.

I have a Brinkman flashlight that is super-bright, but it uses a zenon bulb that eats batteries. I can only use it to spot-check. If I leave it on, it'll eat up $15 of lithium 3-volt batteries in about 20 minutes.
I bought a new 3-LED PrincetonTec Attitude flashlight. It's not as bright, but I can leave it on. It should last all night.

From the start line, I'll probably have my Tikka waist light, my Brinkman zenon, and Black Diamond Spot.
Going the other way, I'll have PrincetonTec Attitude, Zipka, and the Tikka Plus.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Stirrin' up Mud

I'm enjoying my taper. No stress.

I ran well at the Tuesday Wash park run. Felt great.
I walked a mile yesterday.
Tonight is the DTR run in the foohills. I'll walk and jog. My left ankle is still healing from twisting it twice last Saturday, so I can't jeopardize the healing. Running around Wash Park is flat. Gudy Gaskill trail is not. So I'll concentrate on getting some good circulation going and leave it at that. It's time to leave - and it's raining, but you all know I'm amphibious, right?

Check out all the hoopla on Scott Dunlap's blog. Apparently Scott Jurek was asked a pointed question in an interview about Dean Karnazes and the answer was not "gentile". Now there's all sorts of mud-slinging stirring up everywhere. Yikes!
This seems more a clash of basic personality traits than about any right-or-wrong. And much of this "problem" has nothing to do with any ultrarunners - it was created by the showbiz media industry that sells "stuff".
I just hope people measure their words. What we say and do reflects on the image of the ultrarunning community. Whether we're elite runners or not, our comments and behavior collectively define what ultrarunning is. Regardless of our differences in style, let's all love running. What goes around comes around.