FOURmidable 50km USATF Trail Championships report and reflection

About 4 weeks have past since my last race up in Washington State. Since then I have had low volume training weeks…sort of recover and taper with a few openers.  To be honest, I was a bit worried about the “lack” of training heading into the FOURmidable 50km on 2/16 but within 2 min of warming up Saturday morning, I knew I was in for a good day.    And to kick things off, my Dad surprised me at the start!  crazy

The race starts at Auburn Overlook Park and the weather was wet and cold.  Conditions wanted to snow as I sat in the van trying to decide what to wear.  The radio repeated flood warnings and swollen creeks for the area… that sort of got me fired up.  I know that when the weather is bad, a good % of the people racing kind of quit before they start.  So I wanted to put the inclement weather on my lists of things to be pumped about.   No joke, it was cold and wet and there were several creek crossings to deal with, so gear choice was super important.  Hypothermia is real.  Burning more calories because you are freezing is real.  But getting too hot can be just as troubling.

What I went with:

shoes: Altra Timps 1.5s.  Pretty much a fresh pair, had about 25 miles on them prior to the start.  They were perfect.  Great traction on a very slippery day and good cushion for all the rocky terrain.

Hydration:  I wore my UltrAspire waist pack and carried 1 300ml soft flask which was full with 250 liquid calories.  (I carried a 2nd flask in hand with the same amount of calories)

Food:  In addition to the 500 calories in my soft flasks I ate GU Chews.

Anti Chafe:  Donkey Label Chamois Balm.  it is just that good.

Shorts: Yes I wore shorts; I went with the RUHN 6″ compression short

Top:  Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship Patagonia Capilene Long sleeve  (and I actually started with my rain shell on which I stuffed in my waist pack within 3 miles.)

Accessories:  Altra Red Team Neck buff like thing.  DeFeet Gloves.  McGovern Cycles floral do anything hat.

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The race is held on fairly familiar trails to me as I think I have raced on almost all of the course before in other races before… but the course is Stacked with 4 major climbs.

Check the profile in the starva link, https://www.strava.com/activities/2153925472

The start is always a little faster than you want, and with some wide open steep downhill pavement before you enter single track, everyone is trying to get in good position.  No scrum like a cyclocross race… but pace pretty much self selects .  I have learned not to run above your pay grade in the opening miles.  I was in the top 20, right with the “predicted” winner for my age group.  “interesting” I thought…the guy is right here.  I tried not to think about racing, as we were less than 2 miles in to a 30+ mile race….”just do your thing”  I told myself.

As we entered the first bit of single track, which led to the first climb called Cardiac Hill I noticed the gentleman in my age group wanted to race.  He kept looking around and testing things….. “so early” I thought.  As we hit the first steep pitch he started hiking, I ran by him and put time into him right away.  “huh, I didnt really lift the pace…noted, he might not climb well”  Seeing that it was pretty early I eased off over the top and let the guy come back to me.  He hit out right away down this path to pavement section and he was trucking.  I went after him a bit, but then hesitated and settled into my groove.  I took my jacket off and packed it away (on the run) all the while I could see the age group competitor looking back all the time.  “ok, he is fast on the flats and is trying to drop you, keep him in your sights and stay calm” I said to myself.  And that is what I did.  In the next few miles, we ran apart from each other, but as soon as we hit a single track downhill, I was right back to him.  “hmmmm, I seem to be descending better than him too” .  all the way to no hands bridge I let him waste his energy drilling it in every flatish run section…only to bring him back.  At the aid station at No Hands, he stopped…I turned up Western States to Training hill.  I hit the bottom of Training hill (K2) alone and I ran it.  Then I cruised the rollers up top and the gentleman chased back.  Right as we started the chuncky Descent to Knickerbocker creek I let it fly.  I was having so much fun, I didnt really realize he was gone.  I crossed the creek and put my head down.

 

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From here on out I pushed.  Originally I was going to wait until the 3rd climb to get after it, but things got rolling a little early.  I focused in on myself.  Fueling, good mechanics, positive self talk.  As I climbed out of the Quarry, I started to catch “Open” runners.  this motivated me, but I knew the loop part over in Cool is hard and sloppy so I checked myself.  I topped off at the aid station before we ran what I think is basically the Olmstead Loop, and indeed it was tricky and sloppy.  I caught a few runners in this section and just stayed focused on not flailing.  Exiting that loop, I saw Bob Dickenson, “you are top 15, top 10 is just ahead”  I gave him a high 5 and started my charge.  From here you start running this sloppy double track heading back to Western States Trail.  Once on Western States it gets sort of technical and rocky in spots.  You have to be very agile to run it fast.  I caught a few more dudes and I thought I had to be in the top 10 now….But oddly all I cared about was distancing my age group competitor.  Push push push.  Now is when you really need to be very uncomfortable.

My body was starting to talk to me.  My feet had been numb from all the water crossings and that was weird, but then they starting to thaw and that sucked….It felt like i had pieces of 1/2″ dowel in my shoes.  “dont think about your feet, they are just thawing out…nothing is wrong” I repeated.

Down to no hands bridge quickly and safely. I was essentially in the  final stretch… but I couldnt remember if it was 8 miles or 4?  I couldnt remember…. “who cares how far it is, just keep pushing keep eating, keep grinding”  I actually started thinking about the sort of endurance a guy like Tommy Caldwell must have, and that made me smile.  “there is always more to give” today was my “elective hardship”.  I clawed my way up and over the trail to get to the last climb back to overlook. ” 3/4 of a mile to go” a guy told me.  I hiked hard as this last section was steeeeeep.  some more folks appeared, cheering, wanting more out of me.  I started to run again and I gave it one more push to the line.  I was so satisfied with myself right away…that never happens.  My Dad was there to greet me and the official said, you are the first Master…and top 10, great job.  So satisfied.  My Dads look just said, “wow that is impressive, but you are nuts”  My Dad and I made our way back to the van stopping briefly to talk to Ryan Ghelfi.  I got changed, got some water and some Floyd’s of Leadville Recovery mix in me and assessed what was sore and went to awards.  Screenshot_2019-02-16-16-45-46_2

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Twas a good day.  Now on to recovery. Lots of Sleep and Floyd’s of Leadville CBD #relaxandrecovery product.   50mg CBD capsule before bed and recovery balm all over my hamstrings and quads.

2 weeks easing back into things before we start the next big build up.  The Canyons Endurance 100km is on tap next, end of April

Meet Dan Timmerman of Timmermade gear

I am very happy to share this little Q and A with anyone reading this blog.  I knew of Dan Timmerman from the bike racing world and then I came across the clothing he was making and I had to put in an order. Now, he has made and is making several pieces for me that I use for running, fastpacking and back packing.  Our stories share some similarities; we make things 1 at a time to order… we are both working to undo the  things cycling did to our bodies by moving on foot. But, what I am most impressed to learn about Dan are his ethics and his actions match up…he is not a bumper sticker or a social media post.  Dan is the real deal.  Please enjoy the following, and please check out http://www.timmermade.com
Tell us  a bit about yourself, up bringing to cyclist to gear maker:
Well, long story short…started mountain biking in ’93 as a 13yo tagging along with my big bro. Continued with that through the 90s into early ’00s. Quit and did a bunch of bike touring around the west and across the country. That made me fit and I started road racing. Went pro. Didn’t much like that so switched to cyclocross. Loved it and had a stellar year. Quit again for no apparent reason. Built a yurt, got married, bought a cabin and some land off the grid. Started racing cyclocross again. Did 5 more years, 3 of which were pretty successful, but life and work on the homestead sorta took over and got in the way. Plus training lost it’s luster and I was getting towards my late 30s….time to quit again….which brings us to the present..as far as bike racing goes. Not much has happened worth noting on that front in a while.
The gear making is a separate trajectory. I learned the basics of using a sewing machine from my mom when I was young. Didn’t do much with it until later on when I was motivated by a friend who did the Appalachian trail with some DIY gear he made. I made a few things for myself but didn’t go beyond that. Later in life I wanted some wool clothing and was shocked by the prices being asked for these items so I started buying old surplus blankets and making clothing out of them. These are some of my favorite items to this day. Anyway, this gear making sorta got me sucked into the DIY/MYOG (make your own gear) internet community…well, not an active participant, but a lurker, scouring old message boards, blog pages, and youtube vids. The wool stuff is cool and was what I was most interested in at the time but the real challenge was in making ultralight stuff. This led to making stuff for a buddy. I would post pics of this stuff on social media and that, almost on it’s own, led to people ordering stuff from me. I was still racing at the time so it was sorta “on the side”. When I quit racing I decided to focus on Timmermade as a business. It’s been slow to grow into a full time gig, but I love doing it. I’m honored to be apart of the outdoor gear cottage industry. It’s really where things are happening. The big companies are just following the market, not taking any risks, while the little operations are really thinking about things and making innovative stuff that really, truly outperforms the big brand stuff….often by a long shot. When out on the long trails and bikepacking routes the vast majority of people are using small shop stuff. Not just due to performance, but also because it’s often just one person, like me, making your gear. Not some big assembly line. Not that those produce bad work but they cut out the craftsman or woman that is passionate and sees the big picture. Cuts out true innovation and customization. For example, in my case, someone can simply email me and say “I want a pocket on the top of my head” and I say “Ok, cool.” Those interactions are lost in the big industry and the results of those interactions often result in brilliant innovation. I do all of my jackets and vests in custom made-to-order style. You tell me the dimensions that you want the garment to be and I make it to those numbers for the exact fit you want because we aren’t all the same size and dimensions. My sleep systems are generally aimed toward improving performance because as a one man operation I have the freedom to do so. Better performance usually takes more time and materials. Mass production is likely to give you what is cheapest to mass produce.
what are your motivations to be an “off grid” gear maker.  What are the challenges?
First off, it should be noted that I don’t build 100% off the grid at this point. I spend half the year in upstate New York, where I live and build all Timmermade items with our domestic solar power. The rest of the year I live and work in southern Arizona, where ironically I do not have access to solar power at this point. However, as you mentioned, it is a major motivation of mine to make Timmermade 100% off grid. It’s not that I have anything against the grid, it’s just that the grid isn’t being used in a responsible manner. Humans are smart. It’s time we start being wise. It’s one thing to be smart enough to make all this technology. It’s another thing to be wise enough to use it in moral and ethical ways. Right now we are not. We are living in a human caused mass extinction, losing a conservative estimate of 12 species per day. Even in the eastern woodlands where the environment is inherently adaptable and has a long history of human influence, I can walk through my 10acre plot of forest and see at least 3 species of trees that are extremely threatened and likely to be extinct in my lifetime directly due to human activity. As we all know, 7 billion people on this planet are changing the climate on a global scale. This is REALLY delicate stuff that REALLY should not be messed with. There are so many things we do in our regular, modern homes that are so blatantly wasteful. Like refrigeration. We dump piles of energy into heating our homes. Then dump piles of energy into cooling a space inside that warm space back down to what is often the ambient temperature outside. What? We pump water from a source, purify it for drinking, pump it to our houses, pump it through our houses, defecate and micturate really high quality fertilizer into it, pump it away from our houses, dump the fertilizer in a landfill, and dump the water into waterway. Huh? Every home has dozens of laptop cords, phone chargers, and power cords using energy to convert AC to DC even though nothing is using the power. They are just there, using power for absolutely nothing because we can’t be bothered to unplug them. Anyway, in these times of apathy and ignorance where people corrupted by the idea of freedom will make up whatever reality they want to allow them to do whatever they want at the expense of their neighbors and the greater good, I want to go to great lengths to be aware, responsible, moral, ethical, thoughtful and so on….being off the grid not only usually means getting power from sustainable sources but also requires me to give thought to the way I use that power. Something very worth my while.
As for the challenges of being off the grid, well they really aren’t that challenging. Yes it takes some thought and learning and physical input…but really not a big deal. For instance, we don’t use one amp of our solar power to move water in our place. We pump it out of our well and haul it in. It’s SO easy, with side benefits of being aware of how much we use, not having to worry about pressurized water system leaks, and getting a tiny little 10min workout every few days hauling a few gallons of water. Isn’t it ironic how much work we have electricity do for us in our homes for the sake of convenience while we go and dump our physical work into a stationary workout machine or pointlessly go in circles somewhere to stave off atrophy? Yeah there are some things that are limiting or less convenient being off the grid, but given the consequences of our way of life, it’s really worth taking the time and effort to do differently.
As for making gear off the grid….it presents some challenges, but as stated above regarding general life, it’s well worth the effort. Of course, it’s really just one step of the process. There is the manufacture and shipping of the materials and the finished product, but if I can do just one of the steps in a more ethical way, I will…..and I think the folks who are out and about in our natural landscapes using gear like this are likely want to take care of that world and see gear “built with renewable energy” as attractive.
What are you doing these days for activity, what fills up your soul?
I still ride a little bit, just for fun, but I have been much more motivated by foot travel. Cycling will always be a passion of mine and I’ll always love it. However, it creates a very strange athlete. Highly developed cardiovascular system and major muscle groups, but almost shockingly underdeveloped in any of the small stabilizer muscle groups, joints, and ligaments. One of my major goals after hanging my bikes up was to try to balance my body out. Become proficient at my own natural movement. Been hiking a bunch, which also gets me out into natural landscapes…camping, living, moving. I hiked the 800mi Arizona trail last fall which has served to help build my body’s joints and ligaments up so that I can do some more running. Last summer I did 4 running races building up to a 50k trail race. I really enjoyed these, especially the really technical ones that get you out there…where other modes of transportation can’t go. With the goal of “balancing out” I also have some interest in working in more upper body focused activity…as long as it doesn’t sacrifice too much of my endurance movement.
Any big plans for this year
I hope to continue building my running capabilities. I think I’m getting to the point where I can actually put in respectable training volume without injury so I’m signed up for the Old Pueblo 50 mile endurance run on March 2nd. Training for that now. I have some other events through the summer back in the east like the Cayuga trails 50mi championship in Ithaca, the Whiteface Sky races, maybe the half marathon trail champs in PA….but really who knows. I’ll see what comes up. There are a ton of great running events back east. Would love to work in some thru hikes as well. I’ll also be doing the Dirty Bikes Gravel Series in the spring and likely some other cycling events through the summer. Sort of a play it by ear schedule that could include gravel, MTB, road, and CX. I’m excited and grateful to have support this year from Once Again Nut Butter Racing https://www.facebook.com/onceagainracing/ for much of my athletic endeavors. The best nut butter around, which I buy by the gallon anyway and a fun group of folks. I’d like to see my business, Timmermade grow some more and I’m taking some steps toward getting the word out. Next month I’m supporting a crew doing the James Bay Descent https://www.facebook.com/Jamesbaydescent/. Last month I built the 4 of them -25f down sleeping bags with over bags to deal with moisture and bring them down to -40f. I’m also excited to announce that I will be selling my Waterbear hoods http://www.timmermade.com/store/c7/Sleeping_hoods.html on Garage Grown Gear, a site dedicated to small, cottage industry builders like myself. https://www.garagegrowngear.com/

Dan, Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions.  Thanks for making some of my gear. I hope we get to share some trail soon!

 

here is a bonus interview about Dan from a few years ago:

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-live-off-the-grid-debt-free-dan-timmerman-profile-2016-3

Capitol Peak 50km race recap

Who would drive 12 hours into the wet South Sound area of the Pacific North West in January to run 50kms?  THIS GUY.

Training has been going pretty well, but I have been getting super antsy to race, so making the journey up north was easy and took little to no convincing to drive on up there.  Some other motivational factors….I stopped in Ashland, OR and got to visit with my coach, Brett Horning for a bit.  While in Ashland I also got to drop off a finished frame with my painter, John Slawta, In addition I went by United Bicycle Institute to show them the “Drive Thur”.  To make the pit stop even better, I had a quick early dinner at Standing Stone Brewery before heading further north. My in-laws also live in Olympia, WA and are less than 5 miles from the start line…..sooooooo easy peasy.

After leaving Ashland, I thought I would go to Eugene or Albany, but I ended up driving all the way to Olympia. The miles just were rolling by and I arrived just after midnight.  I figured, I could sleep in, get a nice run in and just chill for a whole day before the Capitol Peak 50km. Things totally went to plan, I even connected with Bernard at LBA park for a quick hello and stroll.  All day was just chill, 2 things I got accomplished were, getting a discovery pass and a burrito from the west side taco truck.  WEST SIDE! At the risk of being rude, I turned in pretty early, about 7 P.M.

The 7 P.M. bed time made great sense, because of the 5 am wake up.  Coffee was made, and egg was fried and out the door I went to the start.  Massive drive…haha 4.4 miles to the start.  I was there pretty early and grabbed a good spot to park…then I sat in my van and selected my gear.  It was cold, about 30 deg and high humidity.  So, I figured it WAS going to rain and very well MIGHT snow.  So,  I went Boy Scout with my gear selection

Shoes: Altra Timp 1.5s.  I had with my the Lone Peak 4s and also the MT king 1.5s.  I have been enjoying all of these shoes in training, but decided to go with the Timps.  Glad I did, they were great and I never thought about my feet all day.

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Altra Timp 1.5s, such a wonderful shoe

 

Hat:  The McGovern Cycles floral hat, it was awesome and I got many comments during the race, “cool hat”. http://www.mcgoverncycles.com/shop/  they should see me at the grocery store….it’s a do everything hat

clothes:  Altra 2.0 trail short. TNF Flash Dry long sleeve shirt.  Socks, swiftwick Vision 5

Hydration:  Carried an UltrAspire 300ml soft flask in hand and one in my UltrAspire waits pack with another 300ml soft flask tucked.  the waist band was awesome.  I was also able to roll up and carry my jacket that I started in and lash it to the waist pack.  It stayed put and I never had any issues with it.  Really happy about it.

I also ran with DeFeet gloves.  i never took them off and I was happy I had them.  I also had a neck “buff” on around my neck and one on my wrist.  The pic below shows the set up

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I call this look, “trail kook”

 

The Race.  If you have not run in the Capitol Forest I highly recommend it.  The trails are super fun and varied.  For a place that is so wet, I was really surprised what great shape the trails were in.  The route essentially goes up for the first half of the race and essentially down for the second half, this is over simplified…so check the strava link

https://www.strava.com/activities/2089974857

 

quick shout out to the Friends of the Capitol Forest, https://www.friendsofcapitolforest.org/ the trails were so rad, I will be back with a bike!

The Oly Trail Runners for putting on this awesome event. 16th year?  is that right? http://www.olytrailrunners.com/

 

The start line was a mix of 25 km and 50km folks, so of course we took off really fast.  About 3 miles in, I started to think, “you know, you should slow down a bit…no one around you has any water bottles with them”  I figured that if you were running the 50km, you had to have started with some source of water….with this logic, I backed off a touch and just settled in.  My assumption was correct, as I did the head count of turn arounds at the first aid station (25km turn around) and I figured out I was leading the 50km.  Having a blast, I stopped, filled up a flask and proceeded up.  The legs were totally happy grinding away and rolling hard off the top of everything.  This is the groove I found and stuck to.  It was really cool to be running through this dense dark forest on these really cool trails and then pop out into a clear cut and have all this light and this interesting line twisting across it before disappearing back into the heavy woods.  The miles just clicked off.  As I neared the summit, I was looking for the 2nd aid station,  it wasnt there, and I thought, maybe it was on top of the peak (there was a small loop at the top of the course) so I continued on, looking for, but not needing the aid station.  I topped out but still no aid station.  Weird!  ok, keep on running.  after topping out, I also Lapped out and there was the aid station.  I just beat it to the top. Ha! All good though, like I said, I didnt need it.  The folks manning the station apologized and made sure I was all good…..”all good, Thanks!”  and I started running hard back down.  The down was soooo fun, in between greeting every runner on their way up, I was making moto noises…it was that much fun.  Again these miles just ticked off.  I got the last aid station and again topped off the flasks.  Everyone was really shocked I was there so soon.  To be honest, I had not looked at the watch all day and it was at this point I realized I could go under 4 hours.  That got me super excited.   I was roughly about 12km from the finish.  The trail was getting muddy and slick and it was the first time all day I started to worry about a time, or not going fast enough.  I tried to keep these thoughts at bay and just run.  move your feet, look for tacky ground move and smile.  I was having so much fun all day, why let time or pace ruin that?  In fact a thought struck me……. why would I or anyone want to exchange a present moment for the possible outcome in the future.  meaning stay right where you are mentally and enjoy,  dont fret over the future.  That thought just lightened me.  As I got closer to the campground for the finish I saw my buddy Bernard. He ran the 25km and waited for me to finish.  I was so happy to see him, and I couldnt wait to share stories from the trail with him…I was also lucky enough to go grab a killer lunch with him afterwards…we were lounging hard in that restaurant, haha.

 

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Happy and headed to the finsih

 

3:53:22 was my official time.  New course record and my fastest 50km to date.  I am very happy with how I felt, I was able to push the whole race, I never got ahead of myself and never had to back way off.  I just kept the governor right where it needed to be…I kept fueling, stayed warm ad stayed positive.

So now the hard part, I have to recover.  (12 hour drive home Sunday sucked) I will have FOMO while not logging big training this week ad next.  Then I will will worry about my fitness for my next race 2/16, the FOURmidable 50km.  I have to believe it will all be ok.    Because win, lose or draw it will be ok.  Especially with my #relaxandrecover strategy from Floyd’s of Leadville

Super grateful for having the ability to move through the Capitol Forest and share all that energy with everyone out there.  Thanks!

be sure to check out

http://www.altrarunning.com

http://www.ultraspire.com

http://www.floydsofleadville.com

http://www.timmermade.com

http://www.sierratrails.org

http://www.mcgoverncycles.com/shop/

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2019 I am coming at you

Heads up 2019 I am coming at you like a McGovern crossing a creek! FB_IMG_1542510310913

BAM!  (is that still a thing?)  2018 is all wrapped up and we are into the New Year.  Some newness comes with 2019 for me, but I wont be setting any resolutions.  I will just be going hard at every moment of every day all year, nothing new there.  Here is some News though, My  support network has grown and for that I am truly grateful.  Not only am I grateful, but extremely lucky.  All of the companies I am associating with are exceptional at what they do and it is a pleasure to be on their teams.  So Who are they?

First and Foremost has got to be Altra.  This will be my 5th year using Altra gear and my 4th year on their team.  The story of this company is simply inspiring but the shoes are top notch and will change you.  Yes, your feet will change, your proprioception will change and your whole chain will change.  Pretty much everything Altra makes is awesome so if you need a pair of shorts or a top…dont be affraid they are MAGIC.  check them out, http://www.altrarunning.com

 

Next up, Ultraspire.  Ultraspire makes packs, hydration and lighting solutions for adventure.  What is really cool to me is that I have been buying and using their products for about 4 years.  And now I get to be a part of their team.  I love the design, the materials, the construction, the fit just about everything about their products.  You just cant go wrong with Ultraspire.  Truth.  http://www.ultraspire.com  The folks that work their are just so dang nice too!

 

Another new relationship I have for 2019 is with Floyd’s of Leadville.  I have been using 4 or 5 different CBD based products from Floyd’s and really happy with the results.  Relax and Recover is their motto and I would say that is spot on.  Using the CBD capsules, recovery mix and balm for recovery has been really good.  My sleep has improved as well…there is also a Hydration mix I have been using.  I enjoy the taste, I dont get the sugar sweaters on my teeth and it doesnt upset my stomach. win win.  Very pleased to be adding Floyd’s of Leadville product to my arsenal.  http://www.floydsofleadville.com  be sure to read up about CBDs.  this isnt THC and CBD is really good for inflammation and recovery.

 

Another new company I get to share with you is Timmermade.  Dan Timmerman is a retired professional cyclist making jackets and sleep systems (and some other things) by hand, from a yurt, off the grid.  I absolutely love supporting Timmermade.  The gear is top notch, custom fit and designed for specific purpose.  I am all kitted up with ultra light weight stuff for some fastpacking and staying warm.  http://www.timmermade.com  .  Custom, quality, quick turn, environmentally sound and you talk to the 1 guy making your piece.  SO proud to support Dan and his efforts.  check out the website.  http://www.timmermade.com

 

The last new partner is sort of still coming together, but is with an organization I have worked on several project with in the past, am a member and respect the bejubus out of,  The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship.  My first trail race I ever did was pretty much an off the couch 50km SBTS put on in the Lost Sierra.  I just did it to support the Stewardship.  It was one of the hardest experiences of my life but also one of the best!  The effort SBTS and their volunteers put forth for that event was incredible.  It was that effort that got my butt in gear for running, and also finding creative ways to help SBTS grow.  I brought the concept of the Lost and Found gravel race to Greg Williams and along with some other amazing folks, we hashed out a course, got a permit and put on a beautiful race…which is now one of the premier gravel events in the world.  After that I enlisted a band of brothers ( a group of frame builders and a communications magician) and we started #buildersforbuilders. where each builder built and raffled a custom Lost and Found themed bikes.  with the Help of SRAM, ENVE, WTB and the Pro’s Closet, we raised over $50,000.00 for the SBTS.  that was awesome.  So what will can I do now?  I am going to try to represent the Stewardship and their mission to the trail running community.  Encourage membership and participation from this awesome and growing user group.  Like I said, this is just starting to brew and I should have a better idea soon of what I am officially,  but whatever it is that Greg has me do,  I am excited to be doing it.  Check out the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship.  see what they are all about.  Join.  You might be surprised to see all they do.  Downieville Classic, Lost and Found, Grinduro (and the tripple crown) not to mention build and maintain a vast expanse of multi user trails, create jobs, save old logging towns with recreation, they also have a really good time doing it(I am missing a bunch stuff they do here….)  just  JOIN!  http://www.sierratrails.org

Okay, Those are the intros of my team for this coming year.  I plan to stay healthy and happy in 2019 and push my mind and body past what I once thought possible.  I try to keep things up to date here, so follow along or on the social media.  Its going to be a great season.. Thanks for all the love!

 

 

My Race Schedule:

1/19/19 Capitol Forest 25km Olympia, Wa

2/16/19 Fourmidable 50km Auburn, Ca

4/27/19 The Canyons 100km Foresthill, Ca

7/13/19 Siskiyou Out and Back (S.O.B.) Ashland, Or

8/24/19 Castle Peak 100km Truckee, Ca

 

I also plan on some other adventures here and there which I will update as well.

OK, lets get after 2019.  No time like right now!  GO!

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2019 is shaping right up

I have not been very good about updating the blog during the Fall…which isnt all too strange as I travel a ton as a coach / mechanic for the Santa Cruz / Donkey Label cyclocross team.  I have done a really good job of staying consistent with my running while out on the road.  No matter how bad the running was, I got it in and knocked off a bunch of 60 mile weeks.   Sad news is, the star rider of the program, Tobin Ortenblad , http://www.tobinortenblad.com crashed and broke his clavicle about 10 days ago…so the season came to an abrupt stop.  No traveling and running at home is nice, but one of my jobs is to be out there on the road this time of year.  These things happen of course, I am actually surprised I wasnt better prepared for such a scenario, but we live and we learn.  I have made the most of being home though.

One thing I have been able to nail down is my race schedule for 2019.  Last year, I made gains, raced longer races, but never really walked away from a race really satisfied.  I have spend a lot of time thinking about this…from a lot of different angles and at the end of the day, I have no answer.  So what the hell, I will up the ante for 2019. Here is my proposed (registered for) schedule

1/19/19 Capitol Forest 25km Olympia, Wa

2/16/19 Fourmidable 50km Auburn, Ca

4/27/19 The Canyons 100km Foresthill, Ca

7/13/19 Siskiyou Out and Back (S.O.B.) Ashland, Or

8/24/19 Castle Peak 100km Truckee, Ca

Its a packed calendar with 3, 100kms. Some may submit that there isnt enough time in between S.O.B. and Castle Peak…but I think I have a plan for that.  which will consist of recovery, hiking and sleeping with some running sprinkled  on top.  We shall see if I can carry the fitness from the season and float it to Castle Peak.  The biggest challenge will be to remain balance with family, work and play all the while staying healthy.  I like it on paper.  I feel good about it.  I am going with it….curious to hear what coach Brett says.

Also, new for 2019 I will have a some product support from UltraSpire. http://www.ultraspire.com .  This is pretty awesome to me, because I already exclusively use their products.  Excited to be on board with them.  Check them out.

Altra,  I will find out around the 1st of the year if I will be asked back to the Altra Red Team.  I sure hope so.  http://www.altrarunning.com their shoes and now clothing are second to none in my opinion.

Ok, that is about it from me…get out there…there is snow up the hill and great trails all around

oh, if you are on Strava, give me a follow and I will follow back…love to see what everyone is up to

https://www.strava.com/athletes/466396

 

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Revisit, Review, Reboot

Back to the blog and back to running after Tahoe Rim Trail .

I only took 4 days off after TRT because I felt so good and I wanted to go get up in the high country and enjoy the mountain trails.  With my coach / manager / wrench duties for the fall and winter fast approaching I really wanted to get some good fun runs in.

So for this post I thought I would Revisit 2 pieces of gear that I reviewed earlier.  I want to give my initial impressions of the new Altra Lone Peak 4.0 (I have about 150 miles on a pair) and share some pics from my fun runs and talk about what I am doing with training and nutrition heading towards my goals of next year.

Shall We revisit some gear first?

A few blog posts back I did a big short review which included, https://www.altrarunning.com/men/trail-short-20

I gave the short pretty high marks, but for 2 reasons gave the other new Altra running short, https://www.altrarunning.com/men/performance-short-20 slightly higher marks.

after many many miles and some racing , I have to flip flop and promote the trail short to my new favorite….but it took a little tweaking. Out of the box I wanted 2 things different.  The leg stitch on the liner was a bit too tight for me, and the “split” seemed too short if not just down right cosmetic.  so…..I noticed that the split actually had a stitched tack in the middle of the split seam, so I removed the tack and opened it up, now its awesome!

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The next item was the liner leg stitch was really tight on my thigh…it worked itself out…and I think its going to be ok.  you can see that the stitching has popped…i guess I have big thighs?  at any rate, they feel better now, as long as they dont fall apart.  I still prefer a brief but this short is awesome

 

 

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Next Item that, with a heavy heart I gave a poor review.  The UltrAspire fitted race belt, https://ultraspire.com/products/fitted-waist-belt/

you can scroll back a few posts to read that review

I most likely would have just written this item off for my kit, but Tina from UltrAspire emailed me to follow up with my poor review.  After a little back and forth, Tina was convinced I just had the wrong size, and she sent me a different one.  Upon receiving the new size, I loaded it up and took it out for a run.  The thing freaking worked like a charm! Now I can say that UltrAspire products are batting 1000 with me.  ( I have 4 packs, waist belt, and 3 handhelds)

I use a 350ml flask in the back.  Keys, cell phone up front and the gear loops work awesome if you need to shed and carry layers.  Jackpot!

Now this waist belt is on me pretty much every run under 90 min.  So pumped on it.  A big thanks for the awesome customer service.  I love this thing!

Ok, on to the new Altra Lone Peak 4.0,  https://www.altrarunning.com/men/lone-peak-4

I am a big Lone Peak from from the 2.5 forward….I have always been able to make these shoes work really well for me.  Whether its getting the leather punch out and changing the lacing pattern, sizing down to prevent too much upper stretch or coming up with some unique lacing, the Lone Peaks have always been super reliable for me.  My only small beef with the LPs have been the mileage.  I cant get over 300 miles on them before the out sole breaks down enough (because of my poor mechanics) for me to have to retire them. You can see in the following pics the wear from my supination (transverse tib/fib fracture when I was young…) and I feel like the traction is not that great laterally.  Fore and aft is acceptable, but nothing super special. But running down, bounding into a loose apex of a switchback…?  no way I would do it without looking for something like a rock or root to create traction, Just dont have confidence in dynamic situations in the the older versions

So I am eager to see how the Lone Peak 4.0s wear in comparison with the new out sole compound…so far so good at 150 miles

Let me just say this, the Lone Peak 4.0 out of the box is good to go for me.  The fit, the lacing are on point, no alterations required.  my feet are sooooooo happy!   The new upper fits like a glove and is way cooler than the 3 and 3.5.  havent had any sweat stains on the long hot runs on the 4.0s.  The out sole on the 4.0 has a new compound and the “Trail Claw”  The combo of the 2 have made up for the lack luster traction in all directions / conditions so far for me…..i have been running on mostly dry trails, but there has been some mud.  big thumbs up so far for me!  Like I said, I only have 150 miles on them, so I will report back with a more long term review.  But so far, they are the best shoe I have ever run in.

 

With all the gear stuff out of the way…..what have I been up to?  And where am I headed with this running thing?

With my racing season closing after the Tahoe Rim Trail at the end of July I spent the month filling up my soul running up in the mountains, getting a bunch of work done and dreaming up my goals for next year.

While running around the foothills and the mountains of the Sierra Nevada I have had a lot of time to reflect on this past year.  All in all I am super happy. I have had a great year and really enjoyed all the work we (Brett Horning) and I have accomplished.  I am so excited to set goals for next year that are a bit bigger than what I experienced this year.

I am not 100% sure of all my racing next year, but 100km distance is going to be my next bump and The Canyons 100km is going to be my primary spring objective.  What will we do between now and then training and racing wise is really up to Brett, but I have some thoughts on what I need to expand on and be better at.  One thing I never nailed was fueling in the 50 mile distance.  Late this summer I decided to take a serious crack at getting into Ketosis and striving for figuring out the LCHF training and racing plan.  I have dabbled with OFM and the such before, but in a pretty non disciplined way…I know it works, but now I am on it in a big way and really doing the field work to refine it and see if this is going to work for me in the longer races.  I have had a ton of help from Peter Defty of Vespa Power, and learned a lot from Jeff Browning and his experiences. But this go round, I have my chief accountability officer, Tiana Rockwell of http://www.trirealfood.com/ .  things have been pretty good, been a rough patch here and there…and now out on the road has been really tricky.  But I am committed to the experiment.

What else?  Well, I will be traveling a ton between now and middle December which means I have to go find places to run “out on the road”  Right now I am out in Rochester NY enjoying short runs in the area, Mendon Pond Park is my favorite

 

That is about all I have for now.  I think for the next time I will compile a bit of travel trail and report back!

Thanks for reading.

Tahoe Rim Trail 50 was quite a day for me

I had a great time at #TRT50 and learned a lot.  Not only did I learn a ton, but I was able to manage myself and make positive adjustments all day.  That aspect of my day is not  reflected in a time or placing… But I will give myself an B+, always room to improve.  Ok, before I go into the race report I need to do some thanking

A big thanks to my friends Todd Hennings and Erica Sonnenberg.  They let me crash at their house and we car pooled to the race.  Did I mention Todd and Erica both raced the 50 miler too…..?  Yup, they did.  Power family.

Then my Crew!  I was lucky enough to have my wife Hollie and our dear friend Kate Flore crew for me as you can tell from the pictures, they were amazing

 

 

As if my support crew wasnt perfect enough, much to my surprise Tiana Rockwell and Jim Pelton were at the finish line to say hey.  They got a little more than they bargained for as I was a little barfy after the race and a little spun…I must say that was super cool to see them.  Sorry for the barfing……

I also need to thank the good folks at Altra Running for not only the amazing shoes but the perfect singlet and running short…I will recap my gear in a bit

Last but not least, Brett Horning of Trails and Tarmac.   I feel like I keep this guy on his toes as a coach…sorry for that, I try not to be high maintenance but I most likely am a pain in the ass…I feel grateful for Brett’s help with my training, accountability to the training, but also his experience and knowledge.  I dont think I tell him thank you enough…

Ok, on to the stats and gear:

The TRT 50 is:

50 miles, roughly 9000′ vert on some really nice decomposed granite trails (mostly Tahoe Rim Trail) and most of the course is over looking Lake Tahoe.  Its pretty amazing.

Gear:

Altra Lone Peak 3.5 shoes, Altra Red Team singlet, Altra Performance 2.0 short.  Drymax thin crew, Ultraspire Momentum race vest.  everything worked out really well.

 

To the race recap:

Race day !  We woke up about 3:45 am and I was happy to be greeted by Todd and Erica…..and Coffee!  I ate some sweet potato hash brows and a fried egg, loaded the van and we blasted off by 4:30.  The drive over to Spooner pass was easy and we found a great spot to park.  No Stress morning.  Check in was easy, number pinned, vest loaded and secured on my torso and we were off.

The opening miles of this race were the only miles I wanted to “position” myself well for because you head into single track really soon and are on it for about 4 miles.  Mission accomplished and I settled in with a good little group of runners (some where doing the 55km) so I had to remind myself that I was running the 50 mile and not to “race” anyone.  The next 18 miles went great: Hobart, Tunnel Creek, Red House and Bull wheel Aid stations just flew by.  I made sure to be eating and drinking and not to be in a big hurry at aid stations.  finish the bottles, top off and head out.  That was working  great for me.  Miles were flying by and I was enjoying myself and the other runners.

Heading out of Red House the group I was with thinned as we went back up to Tunnel Creek, I was now just with one of the original single track posse.  We were in the top 6 of the 50 milers and running well together. As we started over towards the Tyrolean village section, I started to notice that my new buddy was running strong and he kept testing things.  Carrying more momentum up and over little hills or letting it go a bit more on the downhills….I started to get “race brain”  and was concerned about matching his efforts…and it didnt feel awesome.  Instead of running myslef into the ground, I just backed off and let him do his thing and I stuck to my plan.  Eat, drink and move forward in a stable manner and get down to the crew at mile 30 and re evaluate things.  So down to Diamond Peak I went

Mile 30 arrived and I was so happy to see Hollie and Kate.  I knew what I had packed for resupply, but I had no idea the level of positivity and service I was about to receive.

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Hollie and Kate sprung into action.  I drank a cold bottle of water right away, emptied my trash, re filled my my vest with calories and swapped out the bottles for ice cold fluids.  Hollie rubbed some anti inflammatory gel on my knees and quads as a “just in case”, Kate prepped the icekerchief and got it on me…then as I was getting ready to roll out I got some knuckles from Kate, 2 big sniffs of peppermint oil and a kiss from Hollie and away I went

48653The long 2 mile Haul out of Diamond Peak back up to the ridge line.  Was I in direct  heat for 45 min climbing a super steep sandy climb?  Yes, but I actually enjoyed it.  I hiked it and drank 1 liter of water and just took inventory of how the body was feeling. I also marveled at the 2 amazing people and their energy that I just left.  LUCKY DUDE.

Once I topped out it was 2 miles to Bull Wheel again, so I focused on finishing my fluids before then and eating some calories.  Bam bam, I was in and out of there really well and actually felt amazing.  I ran happy for the next 6 to 8 miles. “lets close this thing out!”  At Tunnel creek my Icekerchief got refilled and more cold fluids were added to my bottles…on to Hobart…things are going great!  about a mile outside of Hobart, I decided to get the GU rolling, you know, the rocket fuel for the next 10 miles.

The instant that GU hit my tongue I threw up.  You know the kind of barfing where every muscle in your body contracts and your eyes water as if you had been crying with no control.  Uh oh…. “Ok Dude, get to the next aid station, Hobart and sort things out, just keep moving”  that is what I did.   I had to hike a lot of stuff I should have ran, but I was in a bit of triage mode.  “just keep moving and stay positive, you can fix this” I stayed positive, topped off and ate some water melon and  with just a little slow down in pace, I headed off to Snow Peak, the next aid.

There I was greeted by some very enthusiastic Boy Scouts.  Right on, I thought…they put a smile on my face.  I drank some water and filled my bottles and got moving….something was wrong though.  I puked again.  The water tasted so bad, as if it was 3:1 chlorine to water.  The Boy Scouts, in wanting to “be Prepared” might have over done it on the Chlorine….At any rate, with most of the miles remaining to be at a vertical loss, I committed to moving to the final aid station, 5.3 miles away.  I had most certainly slowed down, and my stomach was unsettled.  I did manage to eat some food, I think I had a pack of honey stinger chews and just kept pressing on.  I really couldnt run how I wanted, I just had to keep backing off and that would be how it was until the end.

Once I arrived at the last aid station I was so happy to get some crisp cold water.  The best water I have ever had.  From there I got myself down to the finish….it was slow going, but going.  Right before The line, I saw Tiana and Jim, that put a smile on my face.  I never expected to see them.

I crossed the line into the finish tent and sat down.  I got a little dizzy and felt a touch sick, but could easily converse with the folks in the tent.  They told me I was 2nd in my age group and 7th over all (actually 8th).  I sat there for a moment…in a daze.  Reflective. Happy.  TRT 50 was in the books and it went pretty well

I have a lot to be happy about.  Great prep and training block.  Healthy mind and body and I felt that I was really able to stay right there mentally every step of the way.  I was not letting past experience map my reactions to feelings, nor did I let the future over ride the present.  I was just right there, moving.  So simple.

I will take a break from racing for a bit now, but I am looking forward to continued growth with my training and I also am going to get a little more serious about my nutrition.  It should be fun!  Rest and relaxation GO!

48608Thanks for reading.

Day off, Shorts Review

Shorts Review.  A couple things, I have no idea why the photos wont post correctly. No matter what I do…this is their orientation.  Sorry.

Second, These are my opinions and experiences with these shorts and I might have the most sensitive skin on the face of the planet, so take what I say with that in mind.  In the photos below are the shorts tested,  I will talk about my “GO TO” short and I will talk about the new shorts I found at greater length (not much greater) than the shorts that just went in the “nope” pile….maybe

My “GO TO” trail short is the Patagonia Strider pro 5″  Link: https://www.patagonia.com/product/mens-strider-pro-running-shorts-5-inch/24632.html?dwvar_24632_color=VIK&cgid=mens#tile-12=&prefn1=sport&prefv1=trail-running&start=1&sz=36

I like the cut, I like the fit, I like the outside drawstring….the pockets are well thought out and I have used them for running and back packing for about 4 years now.  The fabric does get wet and clingy, when I sweat and I would say they dont really dry out on the run.  But if I have put on the correct amount of anti chafe in the right spots, the wetness isnt a problem.  These shorts have been really good to me.  I have even grown fond of their wacky color options.  I am just tired of black shorts.  That being said, warning….I didnt pee my shorts if you see me out there running in non dark colored shorts… my crotch just sweats that much.  I apologize in advance.  thumbs up, love these, own a lot of them.

Next  I will give you the “Nope” Pile

From left to right, top to bottom

The Raid Light Ultralight short,  https://us.raidlight.com/shorts/4896-ultralight-short.html#/

When I first got these I was so hopeful, but a little worried that the length would bug me.  I tend to like a shorter split short, but I wanted to try this 2 in 1 longer short,  in an attempt to see if maybe I was wrong and should abandon the short split trail short style.  I was really stoked at first, these shorts are incredibly light weight and very soft to the touch.  The pockets are good, 2  of the 5 pockets are a little clumsy, but not a deal breaker.  When I put them on I didnt love them, but committed to a 10 mile run in them.  2 things I didnt like:  the draw string is on the inside of the short, this will wear a hole in my stomach for sure.  And second, the outer short is stitched to the longer, inner short down the outside of the leg…so you cant adjust the length of the inner short without bunching up the outer short.  <<< that I dont like.     Out the door I went in these, and they felt good.  Well supported, comfy….huh, maybe I was wrong about the longer shorts…..  but within a couple of miles I realized there was no way I wanted to put these in the “Yes” pile.  The inner short was so hot (it was not a hot day)  my boys were cooking!  I started to sweat like a beast in the nether region and before too long I was wearing a 2 piece soggy short system that was no longer soft or light weight. Soggy diaper came to mind. To the “Nope” pile for me.  I also got some pretty major chafing despite my best efforts and application of anti chafe product.

Next was the North Face Better than Naked 5″, they dont make it anymore, so no link.  This short was very comfortable but very fragile. ( I got an inch long cut from a sticker bush, just running by) The fit and feel are incredible in these shorts minus the fact that the drawstring is on the inside of the waist band.  So why in the “nope” pile.  The fabric and the elastic in the inner brief chafed me horribly.  ***despite my best efforts

 

The next short is from Ruhn, a Salt Lake City company, a place I hold dear to my heart. Compression style shorts have never appealed to me because I have spent enough of my life wearing tight cycling shorts, I just dont need that anymore….but their claims of Zero Chafing kept me curious.  I ordered a pair of the original short (9″)….they were so long, down to my knee caps….I just never ever ran in them.  I cant handle that for some odd reason, so those just got put in the back of the drawer, not even the “nope” Pile.  I even raced bikes in short shorts

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But a few weeks later, they launched a pre order for a 6″ version.  Even though I worried that these might be too revealing for the local trails….I ordered some.  https://www.ruhn.co/mens/ruhn-base-compression-short-20-pc9ma

Ruhn claims a chafe free experience… They go so far as to say  no more anti chafe required products required..sounds promising, count me in on that.  The day they arrived, I put them on and ran out in the living room and asked my wife if it was ok for me to go in public with these shorts….she gave me her blessing and to the trails I went.  Here we go, Chafe free….ready!  Long story short, I went for 18 miles.  There was chafing.  In fact some of the worst I have ever experienced and in some spots I had never had an issue before.  If that werent bad enough, these things got hot and again my boys were cooking!  With the heat, came the sweat and these things got super soggy and heavy.  so….”nope”

OK, the last “nope” for this review makes me a little sad.  I really really like this short.  The cut, the fit, the pockets, the brief, the ventilation..they felt wonderful on in the living room.  Unfortunately the fabrics and the elastic in the brief chafe me badly and incredibly quickly *** regardless of my best efforts.  I want this short to work so bad, I ran in them a week straight (washing them of course) to see if I needed to just toughen up the chafed areas….no luck.  I will keep my eyes out on La Sportiva shorts…I think they are on it with the cut and design, just need to select different fabrics

 

Last category, the new “yes” pile of my review come from the same company, 2 new shorts from Altra.  Now, I know…  how can I  give a fair review because I am on Altra Red team…But I will tell you this, their shorts I tried last year…….were sooooo bad that I retired them for good and committed to my “Go To” patagonia shorts.  So when these 2 latest versions came out….I figured I would stay true to form and give them a try, but had zero expectations.    I ordered a pair of each, the Performance 2.0 and the Trail 2.0.  Upon receiving the shorts, the “test” was almost over.  I ordered a medium, same in all of the shorts in this review…and the fit on the mediums was confusing.  The shorts were so big, I think Hollie could have jumped in them with me.  She refused… But I tried to get her to.  Disheartened I emailed and requested a return.  Reflecting on the fact that at least the patagonia shorts work pretty good for me and I should just be happy with those.  Within a couple minutes, I had an email back from Altra saying that they could process a refund or exchange sizes.  The fabric, the pockets and the outside drawstring convinced me to try the smalls.  SO I went for the exchange.

Smalls it is for me!

The Trail short was the first model I took out for a spin.  This short is $10 less than the performance short. I cant tell why but I can tell you this:  The trail short has well thought out pockets and a unique “double” pocket thing that is really cool on the back of the waist.  Instead of a brief liner it has a longer liner that has 2 different materials built in it.  One for support and compression and one for ventilation.  Here is my only problem with this short.  The stitch where the 2 materials meet, chafe me.  The outer fabric is very nice, its light and has a small “split” on the outside of the leg,  Which I  like and could ask for more split.  Pretty happy with these and the reason why the chafing doesnt relegate them to the “nope” pile, is because the chafing is minor and doesnt happen until 3 + hours are run.  So I think this could be preventable with diligent anti chafe procedure or even a smoother joining process.  These are pretty cool shorts, but did stay wet after I started to sweat. Maybe there is no true “fast drying” short.      here is a link:

https://www.altrarunning.com/men/trail-short-20

 

OK, Last but not least this short is in the “yes” and “go to” pile, in fact I will be racing the TRT 50m in them this weekend.  The Altra Performance 2.0.  Link:

https://www.altrarunning.com/apparel/men?series=Bottoms#Tops

These shorts are actually (without being race tested yet) better than the current “go to” short.  Fit is great (although I had to size down)  the fabric is awesome and the brief is perfect for me.  No chafing….and I have even done some runs with zero anti chafe just to really test that out.  I cant believe it!   Pretty pumped!

Its not all rainbows though.  There are 3 things I would change.  (besides only offereing dark colors) 1st, this shorts pannel isnt split.  I wish it were and I wish it was split much higher than the Trail 2.0.

2nd, I wish the short was a touch shorter, like a 5″split short.  I would guess its 6 to 6.5″

3rd there is a pocket on the right butt cheek, like a wallet pocket that I just dont see as necessary and in fact it gets a little hot on the cheek…..I would say if the purpose of that pocket is for packing a light weight jacket…get rid of it and use the double pocket thing from the trail 2.0 maybe for stashing.

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weird pocket

That is all I got on that!  If there is a short you dig that you think I should try..let me know. I buy all these, no gives me these shorts for review.  Feel free to comment.

Broken Arrow to TRT50 and the bit in between

Things have been pretty “normal” here since the Broken Arrow DNF.  I got my head out of my ass and actually I am very grateful for the lessons learned from Broken Arrow.  Next, I have the opportunity to test these measures in the 50 mile Tahoe Rim Trail race 7/21

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broken arrow up

I actually resumed training right away after BA.  Felt fairly good and knocked out a solid week knocking out a 63 mile week.  Maybe it was all the Western States excitement or maybe it was getting up in the high country for some runs with friends…whatever it was, Its been a lot of fun.

Western always brings excitement, emotion, and motivation, but getting out in the mountains fills the soul.  So far this summer I have been getting up there and out there at a pretty good interval.  I would be up there all the time if I could…but Then I wouldnt get any work done.  Need to figure out how to transplant my life into a higher elevation.

This past Sunday marked 2 weeks to TRT, so the taper begins.  This always makes me a little nervous, but I will trust my coach and I will pay attention to how I respond.  1 thing I know, I have had a great block of running since recovering from Lake Sonoma and I am excited for the next race.  in the last 3 weeks the mileage has been good and really fun:  63 miles, 8k vert…73 miles, 11,600 vert….64 miles, 8k vert.  pretty stoked about that.

Not much else to report…biz as usual.

I could do a gear review on some shorts if anyone is interested….let me know with a comment if you anyone wants to hear about my experiences…I have been running in Patagonia Pro Striders 5″ forever…..and have been testing the waters with some other shorts.  LaSportiva, Ruhn, Altra….cusious?