Thursday, October 13, 2016

IMTUF 100 2016 Race Report

Figured I would write a brief overview of the IMTUF 100 2016 race I participated in last month. The course is a beautiful loop, with well stocked aid stations, better than average marking, a finish line at a hot springs, and a volunteer/race staff that know what they're doing. I would classify it as a mountain run, with a mix of runnable trail, along with sections that present very difficult footing. I would highly recommend the run, and I plan on going back next year.

Approaching Bear Pete, mile 98

Ultimately, this was easily my most 'fun' 100. My race was essentially the tale of two 50 milers, that couldn't have been more different. The first half of the race I felt great, and really didn't have many issues. The second half of the race involved numerous issues that all held me back from performing my best. I've since spent time thinking about how to neutralize those issues moving forward.

The most frustrating aspects were the fact that I couldn't shake the issues that affected my two other 100 mile finishes. Exercise induced asthma hit at mile 75, and my right arch gave me tremendous pain at roughly the same time. These combined to turn me into a hobbling, shallow breathing mess of a human being that proved capable of walking it into the finish.

The best parts of the day, were sharing the entire experience with my crew. My girlfriend Kristin and brother Paul were a fantastic crew and my friend Matthew was a great pacer. All of them had more fun than I think they expected, and getting to share the adventure with them made for lasting memories.

Goals for 2017 currently are to apply to Hardrock, run Bighorn 100, and then depending on how healthy I am come late summer, run IMTUF 100 again, this time in the counter-clockwise direction. Ultimately, I want to be able to finish a 100 mile race feeling as if I executed it to the best of my abilities, and I don’t think I've done that yet.

trail condition: smooth, beautiful along creeks and rivers. fall colors and the sunrise was incredibly beautiful.
company: ben for 10 miles, then ran with McCall local Thom for close to 10 miles
mindset: happy
physical status: low effort. slightly concerned with right IT band, as it was tight in the cold weather, and I was worried it would lock up.
execution: ideal. not pushing and easy effort. was able to maintain a conversation with anyone.
food/hydration: 200+ calories an hour (honey stinger GF waffles and Huma gels), 20-32 ounces an hour

trail condition: smooth, with one major climb. the course is gorgeous.
company: mostly solo. jumped back in forth with the same 4-5 runners.
mindset: happy, positive.
physical status: IT issues are essentially gone as I warm up, and Matthew does some amazing massage helping to 'release' the issue!
execution: ideal. all miles feel very comfortable, mixing in jogging/fast walking on hilly terrain, controlled descents, and efficient movement through power hiking on the climbs.
food/hydration: 200+ calories an hour (honey stinger GF waffles and Huma gels), 20-32 ounces an hour
notes and stories: Got to the 32 mile aid station as my crew arrived. I was obviously ahead of schedule, though, schedule had not accounted for how smooth and runnable the first 1/3 of the course would be.

trail condition: smooth and rolling to duck lake aid. forest road up and down to 50 mile aid. steep, steep, steep up to snowslide summit, then a nice downhill that is mostly runnable.
company: matthew joined in at 50
mindset: confident, patient
physical status: felt fine, by mile 55 I felt better there than I ever have at that distance.
execution: close to ideal. steady progress, but could have descended from the top of snowslide more efficiently
food/hydration: 200+ calories an hour - started mixing in Kristin's Rice Bars (raspberry mint, and a red bean option), 20-32 ounces an hour
notes and stories: made it to 50 around 11 hours. felt amazing and pace was easy.

trail condition: steep up to top, and many climbs/descents that were technical and wet and muddy. storm was in full effect.
company: all matthew all the time
mindset: determined, realistic.
physical status: very cold, very wet. asthma starting, legs start to feel like lead by 65.
execution: not ideal, somewhat inconsistent, too long at aid stations.
food/hydration: 200+ calories an hour (rice bars, lots of broth, and Huma gels), 20-32 ounces an hour
fun story: at mile 80 aid, matthew puts his gloves by the fire to dry off/warm up. upon leaving fire, matthew realizes he has burned a massive hole in one glove. matthew now has one glove.

trail condition: rough and jagged rocky forest road, then 'no trail' that is flagged, then easy forest road.
company: matthew
mindset: apathetic, frustrated, angry, pissed off, wanted to DNF. 
physical status: exercise induced asthma extremely prevalent. hacking cough. right arch in extreme pain. completely dizzy at mile 85.
execution: very poor an inconsistent. stayed at aid station for 15-20 minutes. slept on side of forest road for 30 minutes. I wouldn't even characterize this section as a walk, it was a completely inconsistent hobble. arch on right foot was in dire pain, and top of left foot was hurting. cured this with some Biofreeze, that at least numbed my feet for 3-4 hours.
food/hydration: 200+ calories an hour (Kristin's raspberry mint rice bars, broth, bacon, and Huma gels), 20-32 ounces an hour
fun story: took a 30 minute nap on the side of the forest road at mile 85 while wrapped in a space blanket. felt much better, but was determined to drop when I saw my crew at 89. met crew at said aid station, had a beer, told them I wanted to drop. in true crew fashion, they didn't listen to me at all, made me eat, and made me get on my way.

trail condition: climb to cloochman is straight up. after the aid its very nice runnable trail. down after bear pete is very steep, and then flattens out and is very runnable to the finish.
company: Kristin
mindset: happy, content. mentally done, though.
physical status: body heat regulation non-existent. high fever/shivering/not sweating/sweating. left foot felt better, right foot started to hurt as biofreeze wore off.
execution: very slow walk with many stops to sit or lean over my poles. jogged last 1-2 miles in.
food/hydration: 200+ calories an hour (honey stinger GF waffles and Huma gels), 20-32 ounces an hour
fun story: upon arrival at mile 96, they tell you that you have 11 miles to the finish. I laughed at this, and told them it was only 6, thinking they were joking. the aid station captain simply looks at me, and matter-of-factly says, 'I've run the course, it's 107 miles.' My watch had 105 at the end of it all. The course is probably between 102-107. ultimately, it's a legitimate 100 mile course.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

shaking off a year of rust

After my last blog post, I ended up getting the lightheaded feeling again. I had put in 3 weeks of solid training, and decided to take a week off. The feelings then essentially went away, with only minor re-occurrences. Ultimately, this seems to be something I'm going to have to live with, in some capacity.

Over the past 6 weeks I've been able to manage 35-45 miles a week, with some focused longer trail runs on weekends. Two weeks ago, I was able to run the Squak mountain 1/2 marathon, and then this past weekend completed the Yakima 25K. The races have served as focused hard efforts, that also allow me to see where my fitness is. 

Having had three significant injuries since August 2014, I'm extremely grateful to be out on the trail with friends again. My focus for this year is on staying healthy, and incorporating slightly less mileage, and more cross training. Biking to work, yoga, self massage, bodyweight workouts, swimming, and periodic visits to my chiro are all part of my training plan. 

I intend to update the blog layout soon (I'd like this to morph into more pictures and various route beta, rather than just a journal). Until then, I'll be running the Sunflower marathon in May, as my annual return to the Methow Valley for a race. From there, the goal is purely summer adventure runs!

Pops, Ethan, Author. Yakima 25K

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I'm back...for now.

Hi blog-world! I'm back! Overview of med issues is below. After a couple of days feeling totally normal, I'm happy to feel as close to 100% as possible. If anything, through this, I've learned how to celebrate and be grateful for each day. Life's short. Our abilities to do amazing things with our bodies don't always last. Enjoy it while you can.

I'll hopefully start to update this with pics/routes/runs, as I return to the trails and get outside more! First race is Yakima Skyline Rim 25K with the old man in April!

July – October 2015 (nuun blog post on subject)
  • Issue: bottom of left foot hurts near the metatarsal heads.
  • Diagnosis: Nerve issue in left foot.
  • Treatment: 2 months rest to no avail. 1 month of work with InHealth Seattle beginning in September. Semi-painful massage on left leg, along with graston work on specific area.
  • Results: Fixed issue
  • Current Status: Ongoing massage on my part – lacrosse ball, and various activities to fully balance out muscles in leg. Many yoga moves help in this whole body strengthening.

November 15 to December 15
  • Issue: Unbalanced, dizziness when I run. Lasts for 4-8 hours post run.
  • Diagnosis: Vertigo, or heart issue
  • Treatment: EKG, Echocardiogram, and blood tests.
  • Results: Everything negative, and ruled out that stuff.
  • Current Status: Go back to Dr, test for benign positional vertigo.

December 15 – January 15, 2016
  • Issue: Unbalanced, dizziness when I run. Lasts for 4-8 hours post run. No change.
  • Diagnosis: Menieres Disease or acoustic neuroma.
  • Treatment: Put me on a diareutic pill to help body not hold on to so much water, which helps patients with Menieres Disease. Pill didn’t help.  Then took hearing tests, and met with an ENT Dr. Diagnosed acoustic neuroma based on moderate hearing loss in left ear.
  • Results: Pill didn’t help. Took hearing exam. Met with ENT Dr. who diagnosed acoustic neuroma based on moderate hearing loss in left ear.
  • Current Status: Go to get eye test, where they induce vertigo by blowing hot air in your ear (literally), then MRI to rule out brain issue or acoustic neuroma.

January 15 – February 1
  • Issue: Unbalanced, dizziness when I run. Lasts for 4-8 hours post run.
  • Diagnosis: acoustic neuroma or brain tumor
  • Treatment: Get eye exam, then get MRI.
  • Results: Eye exam showed rapid eye movements that they thought indicated issue in brain. MRI taken, came back normal, no issues at all!
  • Current Status: Told me to see a vestibular rehab PT. I decided against, and instead jog 2-3 miles 5-7 days a week and hope body started to correct/re-balance itself. After a couple weeks of this, it's starting to pay dividends and I'm noticing a change.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Lapse in Communication

Dear Reader,

I apologize for the lapse in communication. The world is a vast, deep, and full of potential. On occasion, the author can become sidetracked. Ultimately, sidetracked by the unexpected experiences that catalog one's life.

I haven't been able to keep up the way I would like. No matter, one can always start anew.

The summer's plans have quickly changed. One fifty mile 'race' that turned into a hike, dotted with forays into paddle boarding, cyclocross, mountain biking, road biking, open water swimming, paragliding, November Project, relay races, music, concerts, unexpected travels, bachelor parties, best man speeches, art shows, museums, and never to be left out, good food.

I don't know how often I'll update this. I'll continue to seek out nature, life experiences, and consistently throw myself into things I'm ill-prepared for.  But I'll continue to post photos, of life, of adventures, and of things that may not make sense.