Sunday, March 28, 2010

3/28/10: Running with the big guy!

I've been thinking about running the Muir Woods Marathon the weekend before Boston for a while now. It probably ... correction, definitely ... isn't the smartest idea, but as I'm already in San Francisco that week, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity for a beautiful run through the Marin Headlands.

Now here is the amazing part. Dylan and Brome have been trying to get me to do the Birkie 50K cross-country ski race for a long time. One of the deal sweeteners they threw in was that Brome would do the Muir Woods Marathon with me if I agreed to the Birkie. Dylan has also threatened to run a 50 miler with me.

So here we are today, and I just signed up for the race two weeks out. To my knowledge Brome has never run a race longer than a 10K. I think he runs somewhat regularly and know he plays lots of ultimate, but he certainly hasn't been training for a marathon.

Does that stop him? Nope! Big papa Brome signed up, too. His first marathon. Signing up two weeks ahead of time. Not just that, but it's a trail marathon with 4.5K feet of climbing. But he's not letting that stop him. Brome, you're a monster.

I for one can't wait to run with the Big Guy. In my next 3 races I'll be running with Brome in Muir Woods, Dylan in Boston, and my Dad in the NJ marathon. It's going to be great!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

3/7/10: Seneca Greenway 50K

Yesterday was my third trip to the Seneca Greenway 50K. I really love this race. It's incredibly well organized, I like the course, and it only costs $20!

Man did I end up having a tough day. My last few races have gone well, but yesterday was definitely a relapse of the 2009 debacles. A hadn't run much for a little while with the Jackson Hole ski trip, my legs were still shot from said ski trip (skiing Jackson is tough!), and deep dish pizza for dinner the night before had its revenge. What they say is true: Chicago and ultramarathoning truly don't mix together.

The short of it is that the first 15 miles went pretty smoothly. My legs were tired and much of the first half was covered with snow and ice still, but I made decent time and was averaging around 8:20-8:30 miles. I also got to run a bunch of those miles with Greg Zaruba, which is always a good time.

The wheels started exploding off in the 4 mile loop around the lake with my usual stomach problems. I came into mile 19 in big trouble. All I could really do was back off the eating/drinking and try to plod forward and get the thing done.

It was pretty rough, slow going. I did manage to get a bit of food and Coke down at mile 25. I was in a world of hurt in the last few miles and ended up throwing up a mile from the finish. Well man did I feel good after that! I flew through the last mile to finish in 5:37.

So it was a slow time, but I was really happy I persevered finished. I hung out with the VHTRC crowd for a while at the finish and nursed myself back to health. Big shout out to Zaruba who ran 4:36 in really tough conditions. He's a monster.

Today I felt pretty good and ran another 16 miles. The weather was awesome! It was about 60 and sunny, which felt amazing after a long and cold winter. The trails were all clear and dry around DC, and it was fun to hit the dirt again.

I'm looking forward to training hard, getting back on the trails, and enjoying some early spring running. Get out there and run, everybody!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

3/3/10: Jackson Hole

I just got back from a trip to Jackson Hole with my Dad. It was our twelfth annual winter trip out West! While we went for the skiing, we also did some running, which I suppose makes it fair game to post here.

Jackson Hole is tucked up in the northwest corner of Wyoming close to both Idaho and Montana. It is very close to Yellowstone National Park and basically right in the middle of Teton National Park.

It was a really beautiful place and unlike any other place I have been. The whole area is very remote and doesn't have the usual built-up feeling you get with ski towns.

We got in 3 days of skiing and also went out for 3 runs to shake the legs out. Nothing like running at 6,000 feet after a long day of skiing!

I would love to come back to ski Jackson again and would also love to come back in the summer. Maybe someday I'll make it out to the Teton ultras on Labor Day weekend.

(Looking up the mountain from the base)

(Looking over the surrounding mountains from the chair lift)

(The ski was such an incredible blue. The pictures don't really do it justice, but you can definitely get a sense for how beautiful it was)

(Looking out from the highest point at the top of the Tram at 10.5K feet. In the distance you can see the Grand Teton)

(Dad at the top of the tram)

(A happy skier)

(More of that bluebird sky)

(Looking across the mountain)

(Looking out over the Snake River Valley)

(Grand Teton in the distance again)

(View of the surrounding area while I was out on a run. I came to a few spots that were even more scenic, but unfortunately my camera lense had frozen. It was about 10 degrees.)

(View of Jackson Hole while driving from the airport. What is amazing is that you can barely tell it is a ski area. Jackson has so much extreme terrain, trees, chutes, and out of bounds skiing, that you can barely tell it apart from the surrounding mountains.)

(The Grand Tetons again on the drive to the airport)

(The airport is actually nestled in right by the Tetons. You can see them just behind the airport. It made from some really scenic flights in and out.)