Western States 2010

Western States 2010
Snow Field at Squaw Vally

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Leadville 100 Raceday!!!

Finally some time to update the blog with what you all came here for!!!

The first thing I would like to do is thank my wonderful crew and pacers!!! YOU GUYS ROCK!!! To Ben and Sophia: Thank you both....you got my butt out of Winfield when I looked totally cooked. You paced me and listened to me complain about how far I still needed to go. You were there to encourage me when I needed it!!! THANK YOU!!!! To Erin, Danny, and Hayden: YOU GUYS WERE AWESOME!!!! Hayden.....I felt so bad for you at the restannt the night before...they were out of milk...I wanted to go get you milk at the gas station 2 blocks down!!!....Thank you for putting things in prospective for me Hayden. I felt the same way the last 25 miles....I wanted my finish and I wanted it now!! Sometimes the milk comes later than you would like but hey.....it tastes that much better when you get it. Erin!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!! THANK YOU!!!! When people were asking me questions 24 hours into the race at May Queen.....I didn't have the answers. Do you want pb&j, a ham sandwich, pickles, ramen, coke, water, salt??? I don't know?? How in the hell do I know?? I just want to finish!!!! NO, I don't want that, No not that, not that either, M&M's...no!!!! Ok, maybe M&M's....WOW those are good!!! I will take all of them!!! You knew what I needed. Thank you!! Bailey and Kristen!!! I LOVE YOU!!! I LOVE YOU!!! I LOVE YOU!!!! You guys had to put up with this goal of mine since you met me in April!!! Thank you for your sacrifices...the long hours of waiting for me to get my training runs in before you could see me....KRISTEN...the BIKE RIDES in the heat of the day that practically killed you!!! I can not repay you enough for your patience and understanding throughout this training and race period. I can only hope that I will be able to return the favor in your lives someday. Bailey, as I have told you many, many times.....you get one shot in this life. Give it your best. If people tell you that you can't do something PROVE THEM WRONG!!!! Only you can decide what you want to do with your life....don't let anyone get in your way. Shoot for the stars sweetheart. If you miss the first time...try again....don't give up....never give up!!! Just do it!!! And if you fall there are plenty of people that LOVE YOU and will support you and prop you up so you can try again. We are here for you Bailey!!! We want to see big things out of you over the next 5-10 years!!!

LEADVILLE: August 22nd 2009

The alarm went off at 2:25 am on a beautiful Saturday morning August 22nd. As far as the weather goes it couldn't get much better than this. Highs in the high 70's may be low 80's for the day....lows in the 40's....maybe a small chance for rain. The locals were complaining it was going to be too hot out there during the day....they are not used to high 70's-low 80's in the mountains around Leadville. This made me laugh having to deal with the extreme heat and humidity of Kansas on a day to day basis. The weather would be perfect as far as I was concerned.

I ran into Paul Schoenlaub at the pre-race meetings the day before. Knowing his expertise in finishing this race I had decided ahead of time that I would like to hang with him for at least part of the race. I discussed my idea of going out at a fairly fast pace for the first 13.5 miles into May Queen (around 2 hrs and 10 min. or 10min/mile pace) and he said that was what he usually went out at so it was set. I was to meet Paul at the starting line and run with him to May Queen.

As planned I met Paul and we were off at 4am with 504 other runners determined to beat these mountains. The pace was brisk but it felt good after 3 weeks of taper, and the altitude never seemed to bother me too much. The course is fairly easy to May Queen. I compare the trail to the Clinton North Shore trails...the only difference....this was running along side of Turquoise Lake at around 9000 feet altitude. I made it to May Queen in 2:05 or 5 minutes faster than I would have liked but right where I needed to be. I lost Paul at the aid station...he was in and out quickly and that was the last I would see him for the day. Thanks, Paul, for the help on this first part of the race. You gave me the confidence to go out at that pace and to not worry about it.

The next section is from May Queen to the Fish Hatchery. This is a difficult section due to the climb up over Sugarloaf Pass also known as "Power Lines". I began my climb up from Turquoise Lake on the Colorado trail. This 1.5 mile stretch of trail was not as difficult as I remembered. Lots of sections to run on. It felt good to do a little climbing since the first 13.5 miles were fairly flat to down hill. My plan was to get to Fish Hatchery in 4:15 or so....As I approached the top of Sugarloaf pass however my stomach started to go south and I started to worry a little. Two years ago I had stomach problems and a lot of difficulty in taking in food. This ultimately lead to me missing cut off at Winfield (50 miles). The other little issue I had at this time was that I fell on Hagerman Pass Road (the smoothest section of the race). I tripped over a rock and put a pretty good cut into my knee....I bled out like a stuck pig. I told myself "I need those red blood cells to carry oxygen at this altitude. They are not doing any good running down my leg!!!" My worries subsided as I decended down the power line side of Sugarloaf and hit the road section right outside of the Fish Hatchery. I was able to eat again...and I decided the stomach problems were due to the altitude (Sugarloaf pass is at around 11,000 feet). I came into Fish Hatchery (mile 23.5) at 4:10 or 5 minutes faster than predicted....and I was feeling pretty good about things at this point. It was 8am and the beautiful sun was beginning to light up all of the mountains around us.

On to Halfmoon Road and Box Creek Pass. I didn't have a time set for here as the crew was not going to meet me at this aid station. Of all the sections at Leadville this is my least favorite. It is mostly on roads (paved roads at that) and you know exactly where you are the whole time because you can see for miles around. It was starting to get a little warm already on the paved roads out of the Fish Hatchery. I decided to impliment a walk run strategy during this stretch. It would be too easy to run this whole section and burn myself up. It worked out well, although the section seemed to move by pretty slowly. For those familier with Leadville, you are probably wondering about Box Creek Pass: normally, the course goes to Halfmoon Campground at the base of Mt. Elbert. Well this year the course was diverted due to a helicopter crash on Mt. Massive on the Wednesday before the race. The military closed the area off for recovery efforts, thus the course change. Four military personal died in the accident. As I said in a previous post, I dedicated this run to the military personal overseas. I added these 4 people to my dedication prior to the run.

Box Creek (mile 30.5) to Twin Lakes (39.5) is a beautiful trail. If you ever get a chance to make it to the area this is a hike that you should not miss. You get beautiful views of Twin Lakes from above from the north. I felt good along this stretch and had a goal to get into Twin Lakes by noon (8 hours). Things were going well for me at this point up until about 2 miles outside of Twin Lakes. I think I was at this point getting nervous about climbing Hope Pass at mile 45 and wanted to conserve energy. Also I figured out from my watch I was going to get into Twin Lakes around 11:30am or 7:30 (1/2 hour faster than what I predicted). So I did a lot of walking until the main downhill stretch into Twin Lakes. Even with the walking, I made it into Twin Lakes in 7:33 (just under 11:30 pace per mile).

The hard part of the race was this: the next challenge was getting from Twin Lakes (39.5 miles) to Winfield (50 miles) and back to Twin Lakes (60.5 miles). This is the most difficult part of the race as you have to climb up over hope pass at 45 miles and 55 miles. Hope Pass is at 12,600 feet and there is not much running on parts of it -- much less walking!!! Twin Lakes is at 9,000 feet so there is some major climbing to do. I had in my mind that I could do the round trip in around 7 hours. Well it took me 3:40 just to get to Winfield...I was pretty tired and beat up and walked most of the road into Winfield. Plus, when I got there, the medical check told me I was 7 pounds under weight. That worried me as I felt like crap....I was tired and I needed fuel. Lucky for me Ben and Sophia were there to get me fueled up and on the road. Another plus....I didn't have to run another step of this race by myself. Pacers were with me the rest of the way, starting with Sophia at Winfield...her job was to get me back to Twin Lakes. As we started down the road out of Winfield I started to get my strength back and was ready for the big climb back up Hope Pass. As we started up Hope Pass I found out quickly that Sophia still had her "Sea Legs!!!" I was powering up Hope and Sophia was my mule (she had my pack of water and everything). Suddenly Sophia was exhausted and needed to give me my pack back. I took it and carried on and for a minute there thought I had lost my pacer. Fortunately she began to feel better and caught back up with me. I am glad she did...she would have missed out on the beautiful views of Hope Pass. From Hope Pass you can see the whole course laid out before you and it was a beautiful clear day!!! I was a little grumpy on my way up Hope, telling Sophia she needed to scold me for not drinking and eating enough food, but we stopped briefly at the Hope Pass aid station and refueled and then powered down the north side of the pass to Twin Lakes. I made it to Twin Lakes in 15:16 minutes (60 miles down) and it was still 7:16pm....lots of light left for the next trail section. This meant that it took me 4:03 to get back over Hope Pass....round trip time of 7:43 for 21 miles. 43 minutes slower than I wanted but remember I came into Twin Lakes 30 minutes ahead of schedule so I was only around 15 minutes off of what I wanted to be at. Not bad for being 60 miles in. (15:08 min/mile pace)

The rest of the race I did not have any predicted times to get into aid stations. I just wanted to maintain pace as long as I could and see what would happen. At Box Creek Canyon (69.5 miles) I was in at 17:35. Pretty good still but I could tell the miles were starting to catch up with me at this point. Through the initial 69.5 miles I basically maintained a 15:10 pace per mile. I was still close to 25 hour pace!!! Could I maintain??

NO!! I couldn't maintain!! The wheels came off.... The next section....Box Creek Canyon to Fish Hatchery was brutal. As I said before...you know exactly where you are the whole time. I lost focus at this point mentally and never did get it back. The survival walk begin. Ben was my Pacer from Twin Lakes to Fish Hatchery. He was impressed with my running until Box Creek...We walked out of Box Creek and continued to walk. Even with all the encouraging words by Ben to try to get my butt moving I just didn't want to do it. I knew in my mind I still had 23 miles to go when I got to Fish Hatchery and it was becoming a daunting task. I walked my butt into Fish Hatchery exhausted. It took 2 hours and 20 minutes to do those simple/easy 7 miles!!!! I suddenly had dropped to 20 min/mile pace!!! Yikes!!! Looking back I knew in my mind that I could walk the sucker in at that point and basically shut down mentally. Kind of makes me mad looking back at it. I just got tired of playing the game and wanted it to be over with!!!

Next up....Fish Hatchery back to May Queen (miles 76.5 to 86.5) and up over Sugarloaf again. This is a brutal section of climbing back up Powerlines, this time with my wonderful pacer Danny Miller. He got me up that pass at a pretty good clip; unfortunately the walk fest continued on the downhill side into May Queen. Total time for this 10 mile section was a pedestrian 4:07....WOW!!! almost 25 min/mile pace!!! Probably could have walked backwards faster!!! At least it was an absolutely beautiful night to be out there!!!!

May Queen to Finish: 13.5 miles.....I kept complaining to Danny how slow I was and that I was running out of time again even though in the back of my head I knew I had plenty of time to finish. I left MayQueen at 4am (24 hours into the race...wow...I have been up for 24 hours straight now on my feet...no wonder I am moving this slow!!!). Danny kept me plugging along and before I knew it I was back on Pavement with 5 miles to go. That is when my final pacers took the reins....Bailey and Kristen. I talked them into walking in the last 5 miles with me to my grand finish. I complained to them too, but they wouldn't listen to me. They told me to just keep moving and I did. Pretty soon the town of Leadville was in view, and then the last hill before the finish line. At the top I could see everyone waiting for us to arrive. As I got about 1/3 of a mile out I began to run again. The legs actually felt pretty good after all that walking!!! The first thing that crossed the finish line was my lips as I knelt to the ground and kissed the line that I had run away from some 28 hours, 51 minutes, and 21 seconds before.

It was a beautiful sight!!! and one that I wished that had come quicker. People that know me know that I am not a very patient person. I want things to happen now...fixed now...done now....over now. This race has taught me patience....it takes a lot of time to train and a lot of time to finish!!! This was my first finish at a 100 mile race. The farthest I had been prior was 62 miles. What did I learn? I could have used some longer training runs. My body wasn't prepared (mostly mentally) to continue much past that 65-70 mile point. That is okay though, as I never have to do this again. One of the reasons I did this event was to prove to myself that I could go that far. I know I am a talented runner. Always have been....so why shouldn't someone with my talent be able to finish 100 miles. It was just a matter of putting it all together. And it came together on this one glorious day in August in Leadville, Colorado.

One last point. Leadville will never be the same to me now. When I go back in the future (to pace it for Danny!!) it will have a different look to it to me. I don't know how to describe it and I don't think that I will try here. You can't put something like that into words...it is just a different feeling. A special feeling about a special place to me. I guess you would just have to do it yourself to understand what I mean. Time to get on the running shoes again. There are more miles to go!!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wow what an experience!!!

Well, I made it to Leadville....My taper consisted of a 45 mile week, a 30 mile week, and a 15 mile week before the race on August 22nd. The taper weeks went by pretty fast. The weekend before the race I surprised Kristen with a trip out to Leadville. I figured I needed to get out there at least a week before the race and I wanted the company for the ride out. So, I arranged to work the 50 mile aid station of the Leadville 100 mile mountain bike race on the Saturday before. Kristen knew we were going out of town but didn't know where. She is a huge Lance Armstrong fan and since he was in the bike race (he won it easily) I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to win some major points by taking her out there for the race. It ended up being a great day and we got to see Armstrong whizz by us...we just barely got pictures. The day was exhausting but fun none the less. Sunday went by fairly quickly as I needed to get Kristen back to the Denver Airport to fly her back for work on Monday. I almost didn't get her to the airport on time due to traffic coming down out of the mountains.....stressssssssfullllllllllll!!!!
The week before the race went fairly quickly....I ended up camping at Halfmoon Campground on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night. I camped with Fast Andy!!! The new superstar of ultra running. It was fun hanging out with Andy and getting to know him better. As Wednesday rolled around I decide I wanted a warm hotel room since we were within 72 hours of race time. So after having lunch in Leadville with friends Andy and I headed back out to the campground to get our stuff packed up. Turned out to be a good move. A blackhawk helicopter crashed on Mt. Massive Wednesday afternoon and if we wouldn't have packed up and moved out we would have been kicked out by the military as they shut down that area due to the crash. Worse case that we heard were people who couldn't get back in Wednesday evening to even get there stuff due to military activity.
Thursday came and it was time to go pick Kristen and Bailey up at the airport and prep for the big race on Saturday morning. We ended up staying in Frisco on the way back out to Leadville and got up Friday morning for medical check in and race meeting. My Aunt and Uncle came out to Leadville on Friday from Denver and I got a chance to visit with them. I enjoyed catching up with them on their recent trip to Europe. As Friday evening approached the nerves started to kick in. What in the hell am I doing for the next 30 hours!!!???? WHY am I doing this again??!!!!
Stay tuned as my race report will follow soon.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Taper Time!!!!

Well I am down to less than 3 weeks left. The horse is in the barn as they say on the farm. The training is done....now the rest begins! I made it 69 miles last week getting me within 19 miles of Leadville. Now it is time to taper. During the taper period (if I get time) I will try to describe each part of the course on my way to Winfield. This will also give me a chance to visualize my race from start to finish. How does my taper work you may ask. Well it is a 3 week taper. I average close to 60 mile weeks over the last 11 weeks. So my taper will go like this: 45 miles this week, 30 miles next week, and 15 miles the last week. I am ready to store energy and to get my legs feeling strong. I feel good about my chances of finishing this year. But you have to respect the distance especially at Leadville. Plus you have to respect the altitude in Leadville too. I will give it my best shot I promise you that!!! More soon as we creep closer to the big day.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Almost time to taper.

Well, hello again from the blog world!! Didn't get as much mileage in last week as I would have liked to. Planned on long back to back runs on the weekend but it just didn't happen. That is ok. My legs needed the rest. Where am I now....well I did 54 miles last week. That basically puts me in Golden Colorado on the west side of Denver...home of Coors Beer....I am not really a big fan of Coors. Tastes pretty watered down to me!! 517 + 54 = 571 miles from home and only 88 miles from Leadville. Wow, 88 more miles....Not far now. I need to go back and see what my weekly mileage average is since I started this...that way I can figure out a proper taper over the last 3 weeks. I am ready to rumble!!
My leg speed has been a lot better since I started running roads more than trails....it has helped to improve my trail speed by a lot....The proof is in my racing finishes of late. Last Saturday I did the Rock Creek 30k night run. It was a blast. I couldn't believe that I was in first place from around mile 10 thru mile 15. It was weird being in first place and having people chasing you down...I haven't had that happen to me in a while. The wheels started to come off at around 14 miles (maybe due to the 5 mile warm-up prior to the start). I held onto second place and I feel pretty good about that. So I got in a pretty hard 24 mile run in Saturday....Wanted to do the same on Sunday but just didn't get myself motivated enough to get out and do it again...I will try again this weekend I guess and see where it leads.
Leadville looms in the distance....only 3.5 weeks away....Lets do it!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dog days of Summer

Down to less than 5 weeks!! Hard to believe. But the race can't come soon enough....I am ready now and want to get this thing started. I am getting tired of training. My legs are shot....I am tired....and mentally done!! Taper only 2 weeks away and it can't possibly get here fast enough. 65 miles last week. Not bad considering I took 2 days off after the 50k last week. Didn't feel like my legs got back under me until Friday. Did my first 2 a day on Saturday...10 miles on Saturday morning and then 16 miles on Saturday night. To top it off I did another 9 miles on Sunday morning. Was going to do more Sunday night but mentally wasn't in it so I didn't. Took Monday off (today for good measure). Back at it tommorrow....I promise!! So with 65 miles down that puts me at 517 miles from Lecompton and 142 miles from Leadville. This puts me at Byers, Colorado. Getting pretty darn close to Denver now. I am getting there. Time to get my mental focus in check!! Catch you next week!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Another week down!!!

Back to the grind! Last week was a full one. Tried to get a semi taper in for Psycho Psummer but also wanted to keep the mileage up. Ended up with 73 miles for the week. Partly due to the 17 miler on the day after Wyco. As for the race....I was pretty happy with my results. (5th out of 50 finishers). The hard training in the heat paid off. People were suffering out there. Me....I felt pretty good for the most part. At the end I felt like I could have went another lap if I needed to. So just over 5 weeks to go now to Leadville. Time flies when you are having fun!! I have now ran to a small town called Arriba Colorado just east of Limon. This puts me 452 miles down the road from Lecompton. (207 miles from Leadville). Going to try to push the mileage thru the end of July and then it will be taper time.

Dig Deep!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Did I drop off the face of the earth?? No!!

Well, I am back.....back from vacation that is. You see I was gone for 3 weeks from work. First the Vegas trip. Then it was off to Beloit Kansas to work out there for a week at Mitchell County Hospital. I always enjoy my trips out there. Just a different pace. While I was out there I put in 50 miles for that week. Not bad considering the daily temps were in the 100's. Well as they say "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger!"

After the week in Beloit it was off to Belgium for a weeks vacation with Kristen and her daughter Bailey. We had a wonderful time there. Going in I knew I wouldn't get the mileage I normally get for the week but I needed a week to back off a little and get my legs back under me. I ended up with 34 miles for last week.

Ok, I know, I know, I should have more to write about since I haven't been on here for two weeks. But, hey...training calls!!!! I still have MILES TO GO!!!! With the 84 miles from the 2 weeks above that puts me at 280 miles to go to Leadville or 379 miles down the road from Lecompton. WOW, I reached a milestone!!! I am over half way!!!! And with just a little over 6 weeks to go until leadville. With 2 weeks of taper I have only 4.5 weeks of hard training left. I am going to do this!! Just need to keep putting the work in!!

Oh, before I forget---379 miles from my house is Kanorado KANSAS/COLORADO. I am actually 2 miles from crossing into COLORADO!! I better get myself out the door and into Colorado!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Viva Las Vegas!!

Well I made it back from Vegas in one piece!! As a matter of fact the mountain climbing and altitude training around Vegas made my hip feel much better. I got in 75 miles last week. The week started out with an easy 8 mile run on the city streets of North Las Vegas in the morning then a nice 6 mile hike up Gass Peak (the highest peak north of Las Vegas). On Tuesday Brian took me out to Red Rock Canyon for a spin on his 19 mile course. Ran it in just over 3 hours and felt great doing it. Wednesday was a rest day--we headed out for a nice easy hike to the Liberty Arch out by Hoover Dam and Lake Mead (5.5 miles). Thursday 10 miles on the city streets again--actually one of my best runs in a long time. And then on Friday--18 mile hike up and down Mt. Charleston west of Las Vegas. Took Saturday off to travel back to the Kansas heat. Sunday was a hard 9 miler in the heat of the day--man if that doesn't get me in shape for Leadville I don't know what will. So where does this put me mileage wise?? 295 miles from Lecompton. 364 miles to go to Leadville. This puts me near Grinnell Kansas. With another big week this week I will be half way to Leadville next week. Still 9 weeks to go. Not counting my 2 weeks of taper that means I need to average 52 miles a week. My next race is Psycho Summer 50k so I will probably ease up on training the week before that to be ready to go.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rolling the Dice

Yippy....I am on vacation!!! Pretty much for the rest of the month too!!! Sweet!!! Time for some real mileage. Last week my hip was killing me so I dropped the mileage down and did only 41 miles for the week. The hip had me worried. Should I drop the mileage now for 2-3 weeks and try to see if it gets better or should I push thru it and hope that it doesn't get any worse? Maybe I can make it to my taper time August 1st and hopefully recover enough to make it through Leadville? So many serious questions/concerns. Well the lower mileage must have helped at least a little as I felt better as the weekend closed out. So with the 41 miles for the week that puts me down to 439 miles to Leadville with just under 10 weeks to go. 659 minus 439=220 miles run from Lecompton. This puts me 4 miles outside of Hays America!!! Not bad.
So why did I title my blog Rolling the Dice?? Well I am in Las Vegas this week visiting one of my favorite friends in the world Brian Pawley and his wife Dawn. When ever I come out here to visit it always is a great time. Brian and me usually hit the area trails and hit them hard!!! So much for the easy training on the hip!!! So I am Rolling the Dice this week and I will see what the hip feels like when I get back to Kansas next week. In the 2 days that I have been out here so far we have got in over 33 miles!!! This will definitely will be a big week for me. Tune in next Monday for the details of my adventure in the Western Desert!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


No I am not talking about the volleyball that co-stared with Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway. I am talking about Wilson Kansas....My next stop on my tour to Leadville Colorado. I put in 70 miles this week....a great week training wise and that puts me 70 miles west of Abilene or Wilson Kansas. Now I don't know a lot about the town of Wilson but what I can tell you about is Wilson Lake. Wilson lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Kansas. It also is the clearest lake in Kansas. Why you may ask? This is because of its grassland drainage basin unlike farmland drainage basins with other lakes in Kansas.
Also, I can tell you that it has some really nice trails. I have been on them a few times and the views are incredible. The only draw back is that there is not many trees around for sun protection. Probably the best time to enjoy the trails there would be in the fall when the temps are cooler. I love the trails out there!!!
The following is info from the "Kansas Outdoorsman Guide" website:
"For those who enjoy hiking and biking, the Dakota Trail gives you one of the most spectacular views of the prairie and the lake. The Cedar Trail in Otoe is handicap-accessible. It is about a mile long and has an asphalt surface. The Rocktown Hiking Trail is found in nearby Lucas Park. This 3 mile loop is full of rolling hills and massive sandstone rock formations that rise up to 30 feet above the ground. The name comes from the formations, which give an impression of a city skyline. The Bur Oak Nature Trail is located in Sylvan Park. This short nature walk has many stops along the way and is self-guided. For bicyclists, the Switchgrass Bike Trail is an excellent adventure. Approximately 20 miles long, this popular trail is enjoyed by many year round."
Hopefully you will get a chance to enjoy the trails of Wilson Lake someday....it is worth the trip!!

Back to my mileage. I was in Abilene 550 miles away from Leadville. Now with 70 more down I am at 480 miles to go with 11 weeks left!!! My total training mileage from the start of this adventure? 659-480 = 179 miles.

The last thing I want to mention this week is about the Wyco Trails Makeover on Saturday. What a wonderful event. I want to thank Sam and Jim for making it happen!! It was good to see hikers, mountain bikers, trail runners, and horse riders all working together to make the trail system a better place to enjoy!! I look forward to another event soon!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009


Well time to update the blog again. As the title indicates, I have made it to Abilene Kansas on my virtual tour to Leadville. Lecompton to Leadville (L to L). Did 9 miles on the river trails last Tuesday then in an effort to try to cure my hip pain I took two days off. Friday I decided to hit the Clinton North Shore trails so I hammered out a 16 miler out there on Friday morning. Then on Saturday I went for another 13 miler on the river roads. That makes a total of 38 to add to my totals (47 miles for the week total when you add in last Mondays 9 mile run). So 38 onto the 71 miles puts me 109 miles down the road and in Abilene Kansas former home of Dwight D. Eisenhower our 34th president from 1953 to 1961. Abilene Kansas is also home to The Greyhound Hall of Fame. I wish I could run as fast as a Greyhound!!!! (they can reach speed of 43 miles an hour!!!!)

Nothing more to say today. 550 miles to Leadville (11.5 weeks to go). Hip still pretty sore. Trying to do some stretching to help stretch it out. For now I am going to just tough it out and see what happens. Also it is time to pick up my mileage...would like to be doing 60-70 mile weeks thru the month of June and then back down for a few weeks in July. At the middle to end of July I will make my final push of 70-80 miles a week...and then it will be taper time. Will just keep moving along.

Monday, May 25, 2009

So where is Burger now???

Ok...time to catch you up on my running....Tried to take it easy this week...as I said I needed to get my legs back under me...after about 6 weeks of hard running (Rockin K 50 miler, Free State 100K, Rock Creek 1/2 marathon, and going to Berryman last weekend to do 25 miles with Katie) I felt pretty beat up....as a matter of fact....my hip pain that froze me in my tracks 10 years ago has started to come back....when did this happen?? Right after my hard 1/2 marathon at Perry Lake. I am hopeful that I will be able to run thru it and it will get better on its own...kind of feels like a strain...but since it is bothering me I tried to back off....well if you call a 46 mile week backing off!!!
Last Wednesday I did a 11 mile run on the Sandrat trails with my Trailnerd Friends...we had a blast....Friday...I did a 10 miler at my house on my favorite river road run...Saturday...I drove to Rocheport Missouri outside of Columbia, Mo...This was my favorite day of the week running wise....I got to spend the day running 16 miles on the Katy Trail with Kristen....You will hear more about Kristen on this blog as I progress toward Leadville...Kristen is someone that is really, really special to me. We met only about a month ago but it seems like we have known each other for years. Again as I said more about us later!!! Kristen biked with me as I ran and was my roving water station. It was warm on the Katy Trail but we had a blast!!! Got in 16 miles in a little over 2 hours with rest stops too. It felt good to just fly down a flat path. Today....9 miles on the river road...hip feeling a little better today but still bothering me...I hope it goes away soon!!!
So what does that weekly mileage make?? 11, 10, 9, 16=46 miles since last monday. I was at 634 miles to go to Leadville.....13 weeks now left to go...leaving 588 left to Leadville!!!
That puts me 71 miles from my starting point here in Rural Lecompton....This puts my right outside of Manhattan Kansas....home of the Wildcats....Being a Jayhawk I hope to get to moving down the road a little further and not stay around here too long....Rock Chalk!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

On the road to Leadville

Well, I started the count down on Saturday....I drove down to Berryman on Friday night trying to stay in front of the storms. Went down to help Katie Spaeth run her first 50 miler. Paced her the second 25 miles of it. It was a blast and the bonus was getting to see Katie reach her goal of under 10 hours for 50 miles...she did it in 9:59 something....I told her that I promised her an under 10 hour run and thought she would think it would be a little more interesting if we just squeaked in under the wire!!!

With that I am 25 miles down the road to Leadville. That puts me virtually in west Topeka!!! Just 634 miles to go to Leadville....Going to rest up over the next few days so I can get my feet back under me...and then begin to ramp it up.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Where did it all begin?

"Dig Deep"....that is what the wristband I am wearing says. That is one of the many themes of Leadville. My good friend Gary gave me this wristband when he was training to finish Leadville a few years back. Now I wear it to remind me daily of the task at hand. Gary Henry and Ed Payne got me into ultras and I am hooked. But why 100 miles?? I don't know...maybe just because it is there...not everyone can do it....but I will!!! Will I be hooked on 100 milers after this?....well, that remains to be seen right? I think I am much better at 50k's to 50 miles.

So where did it all begin?? Well I will have to dig deep to tell you!!!! I guess it all started back in 1980...I was just a 8th grader at the time....didn't know much about anything back then....all I knew was that I needed to get off the farm when I grew up. Yep, I was a farm boy...grew up a stone throw away from the Nebraska border (thank God on the Kansas side). I wasn't your typical farm boy....I had allergies to everything...every time I went to help Dad feed the cattle or work in the fields it seemed I would have a severe asthma attack. These attacks would scare the hell out of Dad and over time he became quite protective of me...so much so that I didn't do a whole heck of a lot of work around the farm....instead I became Dad's repair person....if the tractor broke down...I was the one to go get the parts. Growing up on the farm and not being active working it made me feel inadequate....I needed to find something I was good at....that something was running.

My 8th grade year I met my mentor in running by the name of Tom Noonan....he was my PE teacher in 8th grade and my cross country and track coach in high school. Tom inspired me. Even though I was slow at first he saw my potential and helped train me over the next 5 years to become one of the top runners in Class 1a in the state of Kansas. This inspiration lead to my final race my senior year in track...the 2 mile run at the State meet. I finished 2nd with a school and league record time of 9:57.

College came and I decided to go to Emporia State University for Pre-Pharmacy training (2 years of general education prior to pharmacy school). Emporia State also recruited me to run for them. So I did...and although there was some success (went to 2 NAIA Cross Country National Championships) I got burnt out on running my sophomore year and quite track. 7 years passed before I started running again. I used to think running out to clinton lake was too far from Kasold drive!!

Fast forward to 1994.....I got a flyer on Team in Training....The Leukemia Society would train you to run a marathon if you raised money for them....I always wanted to run a marathon!!! So off I went and I did it and was hooked on running once again. My competitiveness that I had from high school came back...every marathon I ran I wanted to do faster. Between 1994 and 1998 I racked up multiple marathons (between 15-20)...I had lowered my time to where I felt I had a shot at finishing in the top 100 at Boston....my goal was to run a marathon under 6 minute mile pace (2:36)....I upped my mileage. I got injured. My best was a 2:42 and 33rd place finish out of 20,000 people in the first Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego in 1998.

Out on the trail....from 1998 to 2003 I fought various injuries as I tried and tried again to regain my road skills. After knee surgery in 2004 I decided it was time to come back again. But this time I was going to do it differently....I started trail running. The rest is history and after 5 years of being relatively injury free (cross fingers and toes here) I am now finally starting to get a pretty good handle on this ultra stuff.

So here I am....getting ready to embark on this great adventure. It is going to be an interesting ride....one that I can hopefully can add to my running history above. Let the journey begin! Let the journey begin.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hello blogger world!!!!

Well, on my run tonight I came up with a motivational idea for Leadville training. I am going to start a blog!! It is called Miles to go to Leadville. You see, I plan to run 100 miles in Leadville Colorado this summer. I attempted Leadville 2 years ago but didn't finish so I have to go back and take care of that unfinished business this summer. The Leadville 100 mile foot race is on August 22nd....go here for more details http://www.leadvilletrail100.com/.

Ok...now for my motivational plan. Leadville is 659 miles from my home here near Lawrence Kansas...With around 14 weeks to go before Leadville I need to get some training done. 659 miles of training. The plan...count down the miles to Leadville. Tune in if you would like to see where I am in my progress toward Leadville Colorado. 659 miles until I leave the week before on August 15th. That will be around 50 miles a week. I start the count down on Saturday.