Tuesday, June 11, 2013

3 weeks...

This week: 80 MILES, 18,500 gain/loss, 12 hours.  2 days off. 4 PR's from 1.1 to 6 miles.  Tapering now, but still time for 2-3 hard tempo pushes- up to 10 miles.  Only 100 more miles to run...until I run 100 miles.

Boulder Lake Highcountry: Home to the McCall Trailrunning Classic

Climbing toward Buckhorn Summit.  In Idaho, the word summit does not mean highest point of the mountain.  Instead, it means the same as saddle, pass or col.  Basically, a low point between 2 peaks.

View from the top of Boulder Mountain (8378'). 
Boulder Lake (7000')

Under the Boulder Lake "Dam" looking east to Buckhorn Mountain.
Jughandle Mountain. 

Brundage Area Highcountry
Brandi on Goose Lake Road with Granite Mountain above.  Melting fast...won't be long Granite...I'm thinking sub-30 minutes this year.
Brundage Lookout.  Kinda blah, but the view is the bee's knees.  I usually just run on past it to the 100' higher summit a quarter mile north along the ridge. 
McCall, Payette Lakes and Long Valley looking south.
One of the best Lookout crappers I've seen.  Nice stone walkway.  Great view of the Crestline.  If I ever get into Hardrock, or other high altitude race, I'm going to camp up here to get a few thousand feet higher while I sleep.  You can drive up the back side of the mountain- about 8 mile drive from my home.
Western States hot suit at Brundage Reservoir (6400').  75+ Deg F, tights, 2 shirts, windshirt, hat.

Crossing Goose Creek.   Further down the trail, I escaped disaster (sort of) when I fell off an elevated log the bikers built over a muddy section and took a tumble into a pile of sharp sticks.  I got pretty beat up, but it could have been much worse. 

B pushes up Goose Creek Falls Trail.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

"Old Man"

 "My Old Man is a legend, he cast a shadow so great. 
I think of how he is watching with every move that I make."
 Cassin Ridge of Denali, 2004.    

 Neil Young's version of Old Man is timeless and probably my favorite song ever.  However, it seems that Redlight King wrote his version about me and my Old Man and set it to a beat that makes me hit the throttle and keep it in the red- full body chills and adrenaline every time.  We all need a power song.  Matt Carpenter had this one on repeat at Leadville: http://youtu.be/hO2wA0Te0wMThis one is mine:

Redlight King "Old Man" 
Growin’ up at the track
He had a reason for being fast
His heart felt like breaking
He’d look right up at the ceiling and
Start again, never breathe a word of his loss
Cause it’s not about winning
It’s the rivers you cross
And the pain that you feel
Could be the fuel that you use
And if you’re in need of direction
Be it the path that you choose
My old man is a legend
He cast a shadow so great
I think of how he is watchin’
With every move that I make...

Now there’s no slowin’ down
There’s only settin’ the pace
No more dreams to be stolen
Just the right ones to chase
You’ve been through the worst
Now you know who to trust
Leave them something behind
Before the ashes and dust

Old man look at my life
Old man look at my life
Old man, old man take a look at my life
cause I’m a lot like you...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Brundage 5X

5 Laps up the 1640' climb to the 7640' Brundage Summit.  Used several different routes up and down, but kept it very steep all day.  24.5 miles with 8500' vertical- ran every step and stayed on all day 100 mile effort- climbing at about 10-11+ min pace, descending at 8-9 min pace.  The descents were brutal, as I chose to go straight down the overgrown ski runs to save time and get to the climbs faster.  4:14 overall with some stoppage time at the car to refill my bottle.  Ate 5 VFuels in a flask and had 1 and 1/2 VESPA Ultra Concentrates, plus some other fruits and kefir.  Felt a little off on 3rd ascent, but the VESPA kicked in and I rallied.  Solid run in 70+ Deg "heat" and sun.  Finished wanting to go more.  

Last 7 days: 90 miles, 25K' gain, 1 day off.

Almost there.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

May Progression= June Optimism

Brundage Summit Marmot- 7640'.  I visit him daily.
Nose to the grindstone lately.  Nearly every run has a speed/power component and has been 2-4+ hours. Every hill was savagely attacked.  PR's are falling much farther and easier than I thought they would. 

Going forward: A few more critical elements are still missing, but there is time to fill the gaps and the local weather and trails are cooperating.  Miles are not the concern anymore, the emphasis will be on climbing and downhill power, improving cruising speed and gaining the confidence to run 100 miles with reckless abandon. Any day I wake up and feel less than 90% will be a day off.  It will be interesting to see the peak that this winter of work has produced- all the BS circuit and core classes, pool running, physical therapy sessions, balance work, the clean diet, the obsessing over my many failures, the runs on the icy roads with driving sleet and the night runs at minus-15F temps, the 6 months of aching shins and walking on eggshells to avoid injury. To get this far, this early in the season has required more discipline than I thought I had.  

In the tradition of The Old Man, on Groundhog Day I began sewing the seeds.  Those seeds slowly grew deep roots over the months of toil through our long, cold, miserable winter.  Only in the last month could a tiny sprout be seen.  The spring sun and rains nursed the growth along and the sprout shot toward the sky.

Finally, the fruit is ready to harvest.  Time to reap what I have sewn.  

Example: Last year, after I recovered from Cascade Crest and began to prepare for Pinhoti, I ran a new PR at Brundage Mountain on a very steep 1.4 mile trail with 900' of vertical gain, topping out at 7250'.  The trails are called Growler and Zorro and are very advanced downhill mountain bike hills.  The kind people wear helmets and body armor to ride.  The footing is atrocious and the steps are rutted and sometimes the next foot placement is waist high.  I'm talking 40 degree + angle in places with loose rocks and mud.  Pure running hell heaven.  The mid-section is pretty flat for a third of a mile, which concentrates the gain into an even smaller distance.  So last year, at my peak I ran a solid 16:30 time up this thing.  I knew there would be a little wiggle room there to get it down some.  I worked it over the past few weeks because it is the only high altitude trail that was melted out- because it is southeast facing.  I struggled and failed to run the whole thing, flailing and gasping on the 2 big steep parts.  I managed a 16:08 and felt that was pretty stout.  Yesterday, I had a huge breakthrough and busted out a 14:59.  Today I did a morning speedwork session including a tempo hill run, but I wanted to head back up to Brundage.  I pushed hard on the Growler/Zorro for a mind-bending 13:13.  I'm not sure what makes the human body struggle along for so long with no signs of life, then BANG.  Crazy stuff.  The power I'm building on hills like this will hopefully allow me to move well on the steeper WS100 climbs like Squaw, Devil's Thumb, Michi Bluff, etc.  Easy ups mean lots more energy on the huge downs and rolling terrain toward the end. 

Brandi finishing off a Brundage Summit via South Lodge Lane (aka Cat Track)- 7600'

Black Bear Trail doubletrack on Brundage- 6000'

Topping off the very steep Zorro Trail to the South shoulder of Brundage- 7250'

Schwacking across Lakeview Bowl to avoid the remaining snow on the ground.  Payette lake and Long Valley below.

Crestline from Brundage Summit.  The IMTUF 100 course is coming into season quickly.
2 monster shrooms.

Idaho Bull Elk backstrap steaks, assorted steamed veggies, fresh picked morel mushrooms.  Works for me!
The warm snap a few weeks ago, coupled with recent rains have produced a bumper crop of morels this year.  It is seriously distracting to have to stop all the time to pick these things when they are growing right on the trail.
Refrigerator reminder.  The Old Man hung this up since I made it for him in 1999.  "The goal of alpine climbing can be summed up in one phrase: To make yourself as indestructible as possible.  The harder you are to kill, the longer you will last in the mountains.  Mark Twight, Extreme Alpinism.

As you can literally see from this analogy, I am metaphorically jamming truckloads of hay into the proverbial barn.  
May 2013, Garmin Report.  Plenty...especially since I took 8 days off!