Thursday, August 30, 2012

2012 Leadville Trail 100 Mile - Remembering the Lessons

On July 22, 1995, I DNF'ed (Did Not Finish) the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run (my second 100 mile race and first DNF).  I made some critical errors on both the days leading up to that event and on race day.  I returned home after an abysmal race dejected and upset.  I wrote down what I felt I needed to do differently the next time I toed the line of a 100 mile.

I've held onto the list.  Though the page on which it is written handles more like parchment now the words are still legible.

1)  Drink more water the week before an ultra.
2)  Relax while traveling to the race.
3)  Eat regularly and eat foods with which I'm familiar.
4)  Don't show up before I have to.  Don't think about the race too much.
5)  Don't set myself up for disappointment.  Take it easy, relax, and have fun.  Don't race them.  Don't ever be disappointed of where I am in the field.
6)  Stick to my training foods and fluids.  Don't use things I'm not used to during an ultra.
7)  Don't eat too much or drink too much early on - moderate.
8)  Don't let what others tell me influence my mind set, strategy, and plans.
9)  If I do DNF - look ahead, learn from it, and move forward - don't lament, don't sulk.
10)  The run will be there next year!

Quite frankly, I lost sight of many of these points at this year's Leadville Trail 100 Mile.  I allowed one thing after another frustrate me and control my race.  I lost sight of why I was there and why I enjoy these events so much.

With that said, I won't bore you of the why's and how's of a day that went south, but, instead, will keep this old piece of scratch paper closer at hand.  Let's look at some cool photos while you anxiously await the next blog post which will regal you with successes of an ultra gone right.  Cheers!

A definite race day highlight was sharing trail time with fellow Flagstaffian and close friend Brian Tinder.  He'd go on to finish in 21 hours!

Atop Sugarloaf in the early morning.  Unfortunately I wouldn't see it again as I would drop at mile 73.

Leaving Fish Hatchery (mile 24).

Running on the new section of single-track trail carved out above Winfield.  I liked it!

I was so looking forward to seeing these familiar faces at Winfield.  Here Derek Schultz, my pacer for the Hope Pass section, plays photo op with Zoroaster.

I felt as if I had a dump truck on my back!  Nearing the crest of Hope Pass at 12,600'.

Crossing Hope Pass (mile 55).

Derek paces me through Twin Lakes (mile 61).

Crew member Craig Bushong helps Emily Harrison prepare to pace me through the Colorado Trail section of the course.

Your Moment of Zen

DNF:  Dog's Never Forget.  It's okay Dad, I still love you!  Lick!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Your Ultra-Training Bag of Tricks: Sprint-Based, Hill, and Predictor Workouts

Don't be afraid to get strong!  It's time to tackle those sprint, uphill & downhill workouts!  Also, try the new McMillan Running Calculator and predict the time of your next ultra in this month's new column:

Your Ultra-Training Bag of Tricks: Sprint-Based, Hill, and Predictor Workouts

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Our Future Running Champions

The second annual adidas-McMillanElite High School Distance Camp was a huge success.  In all, 170+ campers, coaches, and staff members (a sold-out affair) enjoyed cool runs in Flagstaff's high altitude environs, lectures from the experts, and bonding with not only fellow teammates but with other runners from all across the country.  Runners from more than a dozen states made the trip to northern Arizona this year.  Lectures on nutrition, sports psychology, injury prevention, flexibility, college recruitment, shoe selection and construction, gender-specific running-related issues, and what it takes to be an elite runner were punctuated with runs from Flagstaff's diverse network of dirt roads and trails.  Once again adidas came forward and set up the popular adidas Lounge and Store.  Before we get to the story in photos I'd like to thank the camp co-director Emily Harrison, Coach Greg McMillan, adidas, Team McMillanElite, our panel expert lecturers, the folks at the Kinlani Flagstaff Bordertown Dorms, Team USA Arizona, McMillan Running, and all of the campers and coaches for making the week such a safe, learned, and memorable event.  See ya'll next year!

Our camp digs:  the Flagstaff Bordertown Dorms located on the west edge of town.

Getting ready for the storm:  adidas' Chris Hollis and piles of new Adios await the first camper to arrive.

Emily Harrison (camp co-director) oversees camp registration.

Campers collect their gear on the first day:  water bottles, backpacks, shoes, and notebooks.  Everything one would need for a week of running and learning!

Coach Greg McMillan greets the campers and introduces the Elite Team.

Icebreakers!  Toilet paper and beach balls!  How could we not all be friends after throwing that stuff around!

Amanda Carlson-Phillips talks nutrition and sets precedence for the week.

Our keynote speaker, the legendary Coach Joe Vigil, is flanked by aspiring young runners.

A morning of drills and strides.

Phil Wharton gives the thumbs up as he presents active isolated flexibility.

Everyone gets involved.

Meghan Herrick drops the 411 on injury prevention and care.

Running was aplenty:  Here we are on Woody Mountain Road.

Doing a few loops in Flagstaff's Buffalo Park.

Running the dirt roads from the Dorms.

Utilizing some of the 50+ miles of the Flagstaff Urban Trail System.

Lining up for our long run on A1 Mountain Road.  It looked more like the start of a race than a day's jaunt for a running camp.

See what I mean?

Another glimpse from A1.

Paul Herrick, of Team USA Arizona, ran the water station.

A fine view upon finishing.

If the campers weren't tired after a two hour, dodgeball, and frisbee awaited them back at the dorms.

The choices in the adidas Lounge were endless:  pool, ping-pong, air hockey, pop-a-shot...

...board games for the more sedate...

...and sleep if you've already cashed your chips.

adidas brought forward their new line of shoes...

...did on the spot shirt screening...

...and sold heavily discounted items at the adidas Store.

The trip to the Grand Canyon was a hit!

As were the camp T's.

Casa Grande Union High School

Window Rock High School

San Francisco University High School

The adidas Dream Milers:  Ahmed Bile, Ammar Moussa, Jantzen Oshier, Maddie Meyers and Cami Chapus played the role of part-counselor and part-camper.  They brilliantly bridged the gap between high schooler and adult.

Lest we forget the last evening's dance:  Black lights, bubble machines, strobe lights, balloons, streamers, and some of the loudest music I've ever heard came forth.  Witness, here, the dance circle...

...good, wholesome craziness...

Fun was had by all!

Your Moment of Zen

Gulp!  This is what 150 high schoolers look like when you're front and center.  You had better choose your words carefully and make your directions clear!  Oh yeah...and for those ultrarunners reading this:   We did show "Unbreakable" for movie night.  It was a big hit with the kids, a conversation piece during the remainder of the week.  Just doing my part in preparing the next crop of younger and faster ultrarunners.