Monday, January 28, 2013

Altra Zero Drop Ambassador

I am excited to report that I will be representing Altra Zero Drop Footwear as an ambassador in 2013. I first started wearing the Altra Lone Peak trail shoe in the fall of 2011 and noticed right away there were some features of the shoe that I really liked. The extra wide toe box, the extraordinary comfort and the incredible traction gave me exactly what I was looking for in a trail shoe. The Lone Peaks proved to be the perfect shoe for easy trails as well as tough mountain terrain and I have run several ultra distances in the shoe without getting a single blister.

Not only are Altra's phenomenal shoes, but they are just a great company with a product that is intended to help people run correctly and more comfortably. I am excited for the opportunity to represent such an incredible company. I stopped by their booth at the OR show this week and got a look at the new Lone Peak 1.5 and I'm drooling. I can't wait to get them on my feet and up on the peaks. You can check out my profile on the Altra web page here: Altra Ambassador.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

BST marathon

On January 9th our Refuse2quit running crew ran a marathon in the hills above Salt Lake City.
Our original plan was to run 30 miles on the BST starting at the zoo. We were going to run all the way to City Creek Canyon and then hop onto the trail on the west side of the canyon and climb up to the radio towers and then run all the way back to the zoo. With several peaks on the way we thought we would tag those as well. We did most of that, but ran out of time and didn't quite make 30 miles, but I'm totally ok with that because it was a lot more difficult than the miles would indicate and it ended up being the perfect training run.

We started out early this morning on the Mt. Wire trail. MattW joined us for the first section and it was fun chatting away and climbing up Wire. We saw several deer and elk and the views as always were really good. From Wire we traversed over to Red Butte Peak and tagged that one too. The ridge on RB gets more technical with a lot of rocks and ice and from the summit back down to the BST is actually the most challenging part of the whole run. I was a bit slower here as we made our way down to the living room (chairs made out of stone). We hung out there for a few minutes and then MattW took off on a side trail back to the BST, while we continued on into Red Butte Canyon.

The trail down into Red Butte was snow covered and awesome. It was probably my favorite part of the whole day. At the bottom we crossed over and hit another trail that would take us up Mt. Van Cott. We slogged our way up to the summit where we again enjoyed some killer views. The run back down off of VC was a blast. It was fast, steep and fun. Back down to the BST we went up Dry Fork where we had to climb all the way back up to the Ave Twin Peaks. There was a ton of climbing today and my legs started to feel it on this climb.
Craig and MattVH on one of the Ave Twins

We finally topped out on the Ave Twins and took a quick break. I took my 4th gel and Craig asked if we wanted to go tag Little Black Mountain too, but that didn't sound appealing to me at all, so we stayed with the plan and ran back down to the BST again, where we ran all the way back to the trailhead in City Creek Canyon. My legs were now pretty hammered and it was tough to make them go fast. The other guys put some distance on me and for the rest of the run I was trying to catch up.

We were hoping to get water at the City Creek trailhead, but it was shut off which meant I would for sure run out on the way back. MVH was pretty low too. The hike/run back up the BST was pretty brutal. I was shattered. My legs were worked and my energy low. At the top of the climb we had about 6 miles to go. Every step the rest of the run was tough and I felt really out of shape. With about 5 miles to go I ran out of water and I was starting to feel dehydrated, so I knew the final miles were going to be a total death march and they were. I stopped a few times to eat some snowballs, but otherwise I would have to wait to the finish to rehydrate.

All of the vert was now taking its toll on my legs and I'll just say it wasn't fun running it in. I have a lot of work to do before the Buffalo run. Craig and I both said this run felt more like 35 miles. It was tough, but we did have a total blast out there. There were a lot of laughs, the views were super good and overall it was a pretty sweet day.

Here are a couple of videos made by Matt and Craig:


Monday, January 14, 2013

December Training

I was recently asked my my good friend Craig Lloyd to contribute to his blog along with the other guys in our running crew. My first post was a recap of my peak bagging exploits in 2012 and you can check it out here 116 in 2012. Even though I'll post about some of the bigger adventures on Refuse2quit I'll still continue to post here about my training.

December was a challenging month for me. I had to deal with my nagging sores on my heels and left ankle from our snow climb of Grandeur on November 13th. The sores were open and oozing for a few weeks and then it took a good month after that for them to really start to heal. The one just below my right ankle was the worst because it would rub on my shoe if I ran on anything remotely technical, so I had to stay on easy trails for most of the month.

Even with the injury I still got out a lot and had some excellent mountain runs. Lake Mountain and the Ave Twins became weekly runs and I also did the Grandeur loop a couple of times as well. Here are a few short reports from a few of the more memorable runs in December:

Grandeur Loop 12/8/12:

This is one of my favorite loop runs in the Wasatch and it didn't disappoint. Met the fellas at 6:00 at the Grandeur West Ridge trailhead. It wasn't as cold as we thought it would be and we settled into a slower than normal pace up the steep WR. About 3/4 of the way up Craig and I put a bit of distance on the other guys and we hit the summit in a slow 1:14 which was still an hour faster than the last time in the deep snow. It was cold on top and we waited for 5 minutes for MattW and about 10 more for the other guys. Craig and I froze our tails off and resorted to some snuggling.

From there we ran down Church Fork to the Pipeline. The trail conditions were really good. At Rattlesnake Gulch we checked for the Millcreek Flasher (darn no luck) and then took Bambi hill up another few hundred feet and then dropped back down to the steep trail that would take us back to the WR trail. I took a dive at one point, but landed in a pile of dry leaves. No damage done. It was an incredible morning with really good friends.

MattW, AaronW, MattV and Craig on Grandeur

Lake Mountain 12/26/12:

I woke up to snow this morning. It was coming down hard and I was meeting some of the Wasatch Mountain Wranglers aka FLUFFERS at the American Fork park n ride to climb Lake Mountain. By time everyone made it there and we were driving to the mountain the roads were a mess and the snow only got worse, but I told Craig that the worst thing that could happen is we end up running and playing in the snow for a few hours. Hitting the summit was in questions, but I knew we would give it a good try.

It was pretty much a slog the whole way. There were 6 of us that took turns breaking the trail, but at about the half way point it was me and MattW (mostly Matt) breaking the trail in the shin to knee deep snow. We saw a few deer on the way and at one point there was a pretty big buck that started running down the road right at us full speed. Matt and I stopped and after about 5 seconds in put on the breaks when he saw us, slid a few feet and then quickly turned around and went back up the road. Awesome.
Me and Matt getting abused by the wind

Craig joined us the last mile and the 3 of us pushed it pretty good to the top. It was now blowing really hard and I was wishing I had my windstopper hat and gloves, but we pushed it on up to the top where it was blowing and cold. We snapped a few pics, took a frozen gel and waited for Aaron and Mindy to hit the top. After a few more pics we got the heck out of there.

The run down was fun in the snow and a few hundred feet below the summit we ran into 3 guys on snowmobiles that were shocked to see us. They called us crazy and gave all of us high fives. Pretty much awesome. The rest of the run was a little tough in the deep snow and I didn't really ever get into a great groove, but it was still a total blast. Summit #114 for the year and it was a good one.

On the summit of Lake Mountain #114