Sunday, February 10, 2013

Louisville Lovin' the Hills 50K pre-report / Colorado Trail Speed Record Attempt News

Maximizing potential...that's what its all about.

My goals for the 2013 edition of the Louisville Lovin' The Hills 50K were pretty simple; Run strong and solid mentally and physically throughout, beat the 6 year old course record of 4:39, and hopefully win in the process. Last year I had the run of my life while battling Eric Grossman. Living up the precedent set last year would be hard to do.

I will have a much more detailed and analytic race report up early this week here on the blog, but here's the gist; I ran a really good race. I would give myself a A or A- in this race if it were a test. Last year I would have scored an A+. Placement being irrelevant, its all about running the maximum you are capable of. I ran close to that this year. Mentally I buried myself the entire day which I'm happy about. My body was physically stronger than ever in regards to musculo-skeletal system strength this year, and my cardio fitness was almost in top shape with the reason short taper leaving me at about 95% in cardio fitness. This was not an A race for the year. I'm building to peak for Umstead 100 in April. Not every race can be the race of a lifetime and you can't always be at 100%.

This all equates to running a 4:37 yesterday, taking 10 minutes off of last years time, on a shorter course, which means my pace was basically the same. I beat the 6 year old course record by two minutes, (which was also run on a different course, I believe ever shorter than what we ran yesterday). Considering last year I had the race of my life, and this year I didn't feel like I was at 100% in the cardio dept, (I was definitely at 100% in the musculo-skeletal strength dept, which helped keep form solid on technical decents...), I can't complain. It was strong and solid and I met my goals.

In the process of meeting my goals, Scott Breeden brought his "A" game and ran his best race I've seen him run ever at ultra distance. He deserved the win, and got it. He is an Olympic quality talent whom has finally got his education in the sport of ultra distance and is running what he is capable of. It's good to see him nail the ultra distance stuff finally in regards to pacing himself well and running with confidence. He is capable of sub-70 minute half-marathon times and with that physiological blessing, it's great to see what he can do on the ultra circuit while maximizing HIS potential.  

Like I said, I'll write a better race later this week but I wanted to get something out.


Much progress was made this week in the Colorado Trail Speed Record Attempt planning. My friend Stephanie will come out on day four and crew for the duration. Mike Ambrose who will also be running has some friends in Colorado, (he lives in Leadville), who will also be able to help maybe in the first four days.

Locking in crew to help shuttle tents and gear was paramount in going for the speed record. Now that we have some crew under wraps I'm happy to say this is going to happen! Like I said though, we still need help. If you are interested in running with us or helping to crew our attempt please let me know!

The journey commences on July 17th!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Colorado Trail Speed Record / Grand Slam Pacing / Backside Trail Marathon

A lack of recent blog posts certainly doesn't reflect the level of running I've been experiencing lately. January/early February has been a fruitful month here in Louisville and I feel like the old pistons are pumping better than ever.

With the help of my PT at Advanced Orthopaedics I recovered well from Hellgate and was running again in no time. 2013 was up in the air as far as race plans went, but my running was not only stronger than it has ever been, but also fun was, and is, back in full in my running.

On New Years Day, I ran the Hangover Classic 10 miler in 1 hour flat while pretty sick with a sinus infection acquired from my job as an urgent care nurse. I recovered from the race, (and sinus infection), quickly and I decided it was time to call the speed work off for a few months and focus on economy and efficiency. I got in about 8 solid weeks of speedwork during November and December and so after a week off in early January I hit it hard with some super fun long slow distance. I knocked out a 115 mile week mostly on trails which was a blast. I've been setting heart rate limits on the road at 100 Miler heart rate pacing, (140 bpm) and my speed has bumped up noticeably over last year which shows gains in effienciency as my hips, glutes, and core are all functionally balanced due to my morning workout routine band exercises.

I had originally hoped to run the Tour De Virginia again to relive the experience from last year, but as it won't be happening it took me a few weeks to figure out the game plan. I'm pretty excited with what I worked up.

Next week as always I'll be looking for the win at Louisville Lovin' the Hills 50K, the toughest 50K+ around with over 6000' elevation gain on technical singletrack. Following LLTH 50K, every March I always run the 50 Miler at Land Between the Lakes and I'm pretty happy with the results I've had there. This year however I'm tackling the 60K, (38 miles), as it's the original classic distance there. I'm shooting for the course record of 4:26 and with a good run I'm pretty sure I can break it as long as the weather cooperates and I'm feeling froggy. The reason I'm shooting for the exciting 60K this year is to hopefully go into my "A" race a little fresher this year. I have high hopes for the Umstead 100 mile on April 6 and the 60K at LBL will save my legs 12 miles of racing only 4 weeks before Umstead. The 60K course record will also pay out a nice prize purse to help pay for some of these adventures! Last year for the 50 mile I was right on the 60K course record splits so as long as pacing and fueling are flawless I've got high hopes. Its all about the weather and course conditions though...

After my "A" race at Umstead I'm going into an unstructured training period to allow for recovery. In May I would love to run a 24 hour event such as "3 Days at the Fair" in NJ to try to qualify for the USA Worlds 24 Team. Worlds won't happen for another year though so there is plenty of time to peak for a 24 hour run at another time. Last year I learned some valuable lessons about taking time off and recovering inbetween races. I always have known that we can't function at 100% all the time and trying to do so yields unimpressive race performances.

After my break from serious training in April and May I'll be pacing Traci Falbo during her Grand Slam attempt. I'm pretty stoked to get to run on some of the most storied courses in the sport, like Leadville and Wasatch without the pressure of racing myself! I'll get to truly witness the beginings of the race and then pace one of the fastest chicks in the country! Pretty awesome stuff. Currently I know I'll be pacing for Leadville and Wasatch.

In lieu of the Tour De Virginia this summer which won't be happening I've managed to come up with another adventure which spawns the same sentiment and epic nature; The Colorado Trail. I'll write more about this endeavor as it come to form. Many options are on the table; supported, self-supported, etc and so I need to gather more data. If anyone is interested in taking part in running on some of the most amazing terrain in the country for two weeks averaging 50-60 miles per day at an average elevation of 10,500', give me a shout and lets chat. I'd love to make this a group event in the same vein as the Tour De Virginia.

Of note also is the Backside Trail Marathon. I've taken on the role of race director and I hope to grow this trail marathon and half over the next few years. We have great sponsors lined up: Quest Outdoors, Smith Optics, Clif Nutrition, Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Headfirst Performance, Injinji Socks, and more! There are still spots available. The race can be found on facebook at . Registration is at

Looking forward to good times in 2013.