Monday, July 27, 2009

Peak of the season coming up...

at the Wilderness 101. 5 days from now I'll be in the middle of battle at the Wilderness. I've been waiting all season for this and my benchmark for the season is upon me. The past two years I've had some decent success at this race and I'm planning on doing even better this season. In 2007 I wanted to just finish and hopefully not be pulled since I didn't bring lights. I met that goal and finished with a time of 10:36. Elated with my performance and begging to do more. In 2008 I returned in better shape and then set my sights at breaking the 10 hour mark. It seemed pretty tough considering I'd have to knock off 37 minutes from the previous year. Things went well as I set a blistering pace early but bonked on the first major climb and that really set me back. I found a way to pull it back together and actually had a decent kick at the end to finish in a time of 9:51. Once again I was really happy with the time I rode but thought that there was much more in me if I did this race right.

Now I'm approaching my third W101 and with a lot more knowledge of the course and a much better preparation for the course. Even better I looked at the posted map and can piece together the sections of the course I remember just on sight of the map. This will be a huge advantage. I recall a lot of the course and seem to know that the sequence will help me pace myself much better. So far the strategy seems to set a fairly hot pace in the beginning of the race but save some for the big climb at mile 42. I need to set a good pace on this climb and burn it pretty good and the rest will fall in place. This is the climb that killed me last year. I'm looking to use that as my springboard for a much better race this year.

So far in the Cohutta and Mohican I've cut two 8+ hour race finishes, and I'm looking to make the 101 my 3rd 8+ hour finish. I know this means shedding 51 minutes from my previous best, but I'm up for the challenge. I dropped almost two hours off my previous time at the Mohican so it's possible. Also I seem to remember thinking that the Mohican course was harder than the 101 course. I know that by shedding a few pounds this season will be a major help towards meeting that goal. That and my training should set me up nicely for a good finish. I'll know more in a few days time. Either way it's going to be a blast.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Less Drag

As I continue my adventures out west I am repeatedly reminded about how beautiful Colorado and Utah can be. Both states are so amazing and possess so many areas to explore, whether it's hiking, biking, climbing, or whatever. With all these adventures and amazing food somehow my weight is still coming down. The scale this morning read 156.6 and that was after eating really well and staying well hydrated. This is putting me very close to my goal of hitting 155 for the Wilderness 101 which is still 19 days away.

I'm actually surprised that I am still dropping weight as my body seemed to like hanging around 160. I still feel plenty of power and my ability to recover is still better than ever. It should make for a really interesting W101 - considering I'll be almost 20 pounds lighter than last year. I can't wait to see the results. 10:36 in 2007, 9:51 in 2008, ??? in 2009... I'm hoping for my third 8 hour 100 mile race of the season.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Adventures out West

Currently I'm on day 14 of my Utah/Colorado road trip and having a blast. I initially drove 33 hours out to Salt Lake City Utah to visit my buddy and scramble some adventures for a weekend and there was no doubt that it was a good time. We got in 2 days of climbing as well as 2 days of riding. Climbing at Little Cottonwood Canyon and Maple Canyon was awesome as it was some really fun sport climbing. The road ride up Emigration Canyon was awesome as there really isn't that many extended climbs like this out east. 3k vert in 18 miles which was amazing. The views of SLC weren't that shabby either. Then we ventured over to ride some of the trails near Park City. They were beautiful flowy singletrack with nice views all around. We had apparently just missed a moose sighting and oddly enough I ran into a teammate of mine Diana when I was 2100 miles from home. Pretty awesome weekend altogether.

Then after a sweet 7 hour drive to Durango...barf...I landed at my bro's pad and we started out own adventures. We got 3 days in climbing Lemon reservoir, Sailing Hawks, and the Golf Wall which was pretty epic. Lots of great lines and some really fun lead falls. The riding was amazing as usual as we road the Colorado trail up to Kennebec pass and back out for a nice 30 mile day and a few random road rides. Most recently a trip to Telleuride exposed some awesome riding in the resort area and across the road. Free gondola rides to the resort were hard to pass up.

The adventure that was had on yesterday was epic to say the least. Summiting two 14000 ft peaks in one day on the most sketchy and mind blowing trails I have ever been on. The route was supposed to be moderately difficult but it was pretty harrowing at times. There were a few sections of 5.4/5.5 climbing for 30 feet or so with 2000 ft falls if a hand slipped or a rock pulled out. It was really slow going just in self preservation mode. There was no room for errors. So after 12:45 of hiking we got off the peaks and made it out to the car. It was very nice to be on the basin floor and back to the car again as it was a truly scary trip. Pics will be posted soon.