Monday, July 30, 2012

This way or that?

Mt Hood 50M Finish!
Since my San Diego 100M run followed by Test of Endurance50M MTB I've been busy participating.  Instead of racing I'm participating.  I knew stacking my summer with so many events  would not allow me to focus and train with any consistency.  Instead just like the GrandSlam of Ultra Running and Leadwoman the focus would be on recovery.  I am thrilled with how my body and mind are holding up.  I'm having a total blast pushing my limits in both running and MTBing.  Everything seems to be going much better than I could have imagined.  The next big challenge would be the High Cascades 100M MTB race followed by Mt. Hood 50M run.

Picketts Charge
The weekend after TOE 50M I rode Pickett's Charge MTB race. A 25 mile single track event in Central Oregon.  This was my first exposure to some of the trails in High Cascades100M.  I was really beat going into the race.  Since I also signed up for Monday night Short Track Racing and Tuesday night Trail Series runs I was simply spent.  Too much!  However, I rallied and was glad I did.  It was a great event and the trail system was incredible! I was challenged not only physically but mentally too.  The twisty lava filled single track was different and took some focus.  As a novice MTBer I was nervous most of the race.  Although, I got better and better as the day progressed being faster on my second loop! Now I had a minor glimpse of what was coming in 4 very short weeks!
Short Track Racing
I had no training plan but rather a "do what I can in between races" approach.  I didn't rest much after Picketts since Short track was Monday night and the Trail Series Race followed on Tuesday.  Both these venues push my anaerobic threshold to its limit.  I am nearly at max for 30 minutes on both these days.  It's great training for a slugger.  For the MTB I get massive skill building plus it's a serious "race" environment which is good for me.  On Tuesday I get to "race" on the trails for a short, fast and intense 45-60 minutes.  Again, something I never do so the benefits are numerous.  Not to mention both are so much fun I can't stay away!
Just one of the views!

High Cascades 100 start
With High Cascades my focus I tried to ride the course as much as I could.  Bill and I rode parts of the course 2 other times.  All together I got see about 60 miles of the course.  The final route was not posted and was not yet final.  The snow levels around Mt. Bachelor were still in question  almost up to race day.    The 60 miles we did ride was enough for me to wonder how the hell I was going to get this done under the cutoff.  I thought Leadville was challenging but I was in for a new kind of challenge. Leadville has so many riders it makes riding your own race almost impossible unless you're in the front. Oh, and you can't breathe there.  The course is not that challenging.  High Cascades 100M has 12,000 feet of climbing and more than 80 miles of single track.  It's not a straight single track either!  I was looking forward to the experience and the adrenaline filled day.  It felt like the difference between Javelina 100M and Wasatch 100M.  High Cascades is a course of survival which is right up my alley.  Could I make the 14 hour cutoff, emerge with all my body parts and not too much Lava rash? 
I was working hard at mile 80

I finished in 12:42 and had the time of my life! I gained skills and more respect for myself and MTBer.  I am a better rider than I give myself credit for finishing 3rd in my division.  I rode stuff I wouldn't have considered attempting 3 short months ago.  I've gained a tremendous amount of power on the bike.  The raw strength it takes to muscle up and over things.  I have been working on that type of "force" and it has paid.  Unlike Leadville 100 MTB the people were gracious and encouraging.  I didn't feel  that at Leadville until I got past mile 70 and I was with folks more my speed.  High Cascades 100M MTB race is a gem and as soon as riders become aware of this race it will fill fast.  The views and terrain are breathtaking. I need a do again! 

Portland Trail Series Races
I had a great race with no complaints and no mechanicals but my hamstrings were fried.  My goal for the next 5 days was to nurse them back to health so I could run the MT Hood 50M run.  After Monday night short track I rested, went to Bikram and did one small run just to remind myself how to run.  For Mt Hood 50M my expectations were so low. I really wanted it to be a good training run for Waldo.  Since SD100M run I've only done one 24 mile Gorge run which was my highest mile run week at 65.  All the rest were in the 20's or mid 30's.  Not nearly enough.  I was wondering how much character building I would be doing out there? How slow and how much pain I would have to endure.  To my surprise I had a great day.  I was so strong physically. I didn't have much speed and striding out was not easy with no hamstrings.  They were just short and not really part of the action.  They weren't painful though, very curious.  My quads felt great which I still can't believe.  I took it really easy chatting with the Smith's (Pam and Mac) for the first 10 miles. It was great to hear about Pam's WS100M run and how well she recovered.  I got passed and was seriously near the back of the pack for the first 20 miles.  Then I began to catch folks.  I finished in 10:14 which is better than I expected.  The biggest icing on the cake?? I am not too sore! I have some interesting tight spots.  I think it might be confused muscle tissue.  Tissue that's not sure why it's not going in circles and why it's hitting the ground all the time?  Anyway, on to the next adventure Waldo 100K.  This is the final week of Short Track Racing and Portland Trail Series Racing so I guess I will have to do my own speed work.  I also bought a boat!  Yes, I am going to paddle.  I have no idea how to paddle and am not a huge water fan but I like nice shoulders so what the heck?  Plus, Bend has tons of places to paddle.  I can wheel my boat across the street from our house, drop it in and paddle upstream for miles, turn and come back.  It's not deep so I won't drown either.

So far this summer has been incredibly fun and fulfilling! It's not over yet and I can't I still have some new interesting races on the books.  


  1. I love to read about your life. And dream about things you do:)

  2. You are a machine...Ultra machine.

  3. Damn! How about that?! Last year you just started to MTB and now look at you, killing it! Super excited you are having a great summer with lots of fun and excitment AND great results....