Category: Race

Working with the Weather – St. George City Half Marathon

When you need to run in conditions other than what you’re used to, what is the solution for clothing?

The weather in Saint George Utah will be in the low-mid 30’s to start at 9 AM, possibly up to low-mid 40’s at 11:25 when I should have crossed the finish line.

10 Day forecast for St. George Utah including January 16
10 Day forecast for St. George Utah including January 16

 

From Active.com:

30-40°F

It’s time to start taking your base layers seriously. Make sure they are non-cotton so that they wick sweat off your body—extremely important in colder temperatures when body moisture can lead to hypothermia. Also, start thinking about extremities. Try a fleece headband over your ears and fingerless running gloves for your hands. If it’s below freezing, consider lined leggings and a long-sleeve shirt paired with a running vest. Aim for two layers on top.

Saturday, December 16 looks like it’s going to start out with an overnight low of about 32, rising slowly to 40 around 10 AM.

Hourly forecast for St. George Utah Saturday January 16
Hourly forecast for St. George Utah Saturday January 16

Late Breaking Weather Advisory

Affecting the drive down more than anything else, since we’re heading to St. George mid-day Friday.

    • Issued by MeteoAlarm

      Salt Lake City, UT

      2:59pm MST, Thu Jan 14

… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 11 AM MST FRIDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SALT LAKE CITY HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 11 AM MST FRIDAY.

* AFFECTED AREA… THE WASATCH FRONT… WASATCH MOUNTAIN VALLEYS… GREAT SALT LAKE DESERT… WEST CENTRAL UTAH… AND THE SEVIER AND SANPETE VALLEYS.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS… GENERALLY 1 TO 4 INCHES… LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE.

* TIMING… DEVELOPING IN THE PRE-DAWN HOURS… WITH THE BULK OF THE SNOW DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE… BEFORE TAPERING OFF MID DAY.

* IMPACTS… EARLY MORNING SNOWFALL WILL LIKELY CREATE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE. PLAN EXTRA TIME FOR TRAVEL FRIDAY MORNING… AND ALLOW EXTRA FOLLOWING DISTANCE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT SNOW ACCUMULATIONS WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS. USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

FOR WINTER ROAD CONDITIONS FROM THE UTAH DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION…

Early morning in Saint George Utah
Early morning in Saint George Utah
Mid morning in Saint George Utah
Mid morning in Saint George Utah

So I’m working out my clothing selections. I’m used to running at -10F from my days in Colorado, but the whole 35F thing is kind of messing with my head. I’ll keep you in the loop as I decide what to do about it in the next couple of days.

Flagstaff VK Tshirt Reveal

Got my shirt from the Flagstaff VK a couple weeks ago, but it took a while to get around to making this box opening video. Well, envelope opening. So here you go, my Flagstaff Skyrace Tshirt out of the wrapper.

Flagstaff VK Bib #432
Flagstaff VK Bib #432

When I registered on that Friday morning they told me there was some confusion in the shirt order and that they would be available for pickup at the store in Flagstaff at 3 PM, about 3 hours after the run. I had to get back home for a cyclocross race the next morning, so it would be really difficult to make that pickup and then get home much before 2 AM.

Flagstaff VK Starting line at the bottom of the Arizona Snow Bowl
Flagstaff VK Starting line at the bottom of the Arizona Snow Bowl

After the run they handed me a commemorative glass and said the shirts were even slower than expected, so they might not be available until 7 PM. I asked if they could mail it, and she said sure. So I took off for home. About a week later the shirt arrived and sat at my desk while I adjusted to my new job in my new office with my new training schedule.

Flagstaff VK finish line at the top of the Arizona Snow Bowl Lifts
Flagstaff VK finish line at the top of the Arizona Snow Bowl Lifts

Here it is, and along with it, my new training main goal.

 

Flagstaff VK Tshirt RevealGot my shirt from the Flagstaff VK (Vertical Kilometer). Gotta get my train on, hey?

Posted by Seven Summits Body on Sunday, November 8, 2015

Vertical K Announcement

Announcement Video from Facebook: Vertical K Coming Up

Posted by Seven Summits Body on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Vertical K Stats:

  • 1000 Meters Ascent = 1 Vertical Kilometer = 3,300′ of vertical gain
  • 5 Kilometers of distance or less = 3.1 miles or less
  • 48:00 minutes = typical elite athlete time
  • Quandary = Vertical K

Follow me on Facebook and on this blog, register for the NEWSLETTER and I’ll keep you in the loop for all my training as I attempt to succeed in my goals over the next few years.

Elbrus Race 2013 Itinerary

I have been curious about the Elbrus Race 2013 Itinerary since 2010. At that time I did the Qualifier in spite of having to squeeze my cheeks together from intestinal illness. I did qualify, but had to see the event doctor the morning of the Race, and was medicated and pulled out. I have been wanting to go back for the last few years. In 2011 there was no race, as the area was closed. In 2012 I had already booked an event the week of the race. I did not see the announcement with the schedule in time to put it on the calendar in time. Instead I ended up going to Russia a couple weeks after.

the elbrus race 2013 itinerary will require me to show up fully trained
Running in crampons to Camp Muir on Rainier in 2010 when I was training for Elbrus Race

This resulted in my book “Elbrus, My Waterloo” [available on Amazon]. The quote below is from my second acclimatization hike, to Pastukhova Rocks, about 3,000′ above the Barrels Huts. I did not go fast enough to Qualify, missed it by 16 minutes, but I wasn’t training that way in 2012.

The conditions reminded me of the Muir Snowfield on Rainier in September. Open crevasses in the middle of the snowcat trail, water running over gravel-dusted ice with a layer of slush, bare dirt hills at 40% or better grade with waterfalls running down them…
The trail angled just to the left at Pastukhova Rocks, which seemed quite bare this fall. I had set a goal of hitting the Rocks at 1:00 PM, and I made 1:06. Amazing, 2:13 from the Barrels, but I was beat and empty. I didn’t want to take any more time out than I already had leaning over my poles to pant every hundred steps on the way up. Yes, I was counting. — Elbrus, My Waterloo

Training for the Elbrus Race 2013 Itinerary

I had a couple years in which I’d experimented with lower intensity work. I had some kidney and gall bladder issues to deal with. I had some problems at work to deal with. After I returned home from Aconcagua I did some experimenting with a hybrid training program based on my training for Elbrus Race. I attribute my success on Orizaba, and later on Carstensz, on my revised training. When I recently saw that the Elbrus Race 2013 Itinerary was pretty much the same as the itinerary they used for 2010 I was quite happy.

Training for the Elbrus Race 2013 Itinerary with Trail Running
Trail Running Preparation for the Elbrus Race 2013 Itinerary

Over the next few months I’ll put up some more of my thoughts about training and preparing.

VIII international Elbrus Race 2013 program :

Date Days Day’s program
15.09.2013 day 01 Flight arrival to Min Vody. Transfer to Baksan Valley, Azau station. Accommodation in the Hotel Elba.
16.09.2013 day 02 Acclimatization walking nearby. Accommodation in the Hotel Elba.
17.09.2013 day 03 Transfer to Azau lift station. The opening of the competition. Going up to refuge “Barrels” ~3710m. Night at refuge “Barrels”
18.09.2013 day04 Qualifying speed climb from Barrels hut to the Pastukov rocks, 4800 m.
19.09.2013 day 05
(full moon at 15:00 pm)
Relax day. Night at the refuge “Barrels”
20.09.2013 day 06 Speed Climb of Mt. Elbrus West 5642 m. “Classic” from hut Barrels (3710) &“Extreme” from Azau 2400m Descent from Barrels to the Valley
21.09.2013 day 07 spare day for the Race or Awards Ceremony at the morning & The farewell party at the evening
22.09.2013 day 08 Transfer to airport. Flight from Min Vody..

If you’d like to read the Elbrus Race 2013 Itinerary for yourself, or want more information [CLICK HERE]

Steamboat Half Marathon Follow-up

Well, I did it. I lived through the Steamboat Half Marathon. First of all, here’s how I did by the clock:

Gun Time: 2:19:03 – Chip Time: 2:18:31 – Pace: 10:37
Overall Place: 564 – Gender Place: 197th
Age Group: 50 to 59 Male Division Place: 28th
Out of: 826 overall, 245 in gender, 37 in division

I took off reasonably slow and built up speed gently to a little faster than 10:00 pace. After about 3 miles I realized it wasn’t working well, and I was off my anticipated pace of 9:20. I thought the race was supposed to be mostly downhill, and the elevation profile published on the event website indicated mostly downhill with a few jaggies uphill. I got totally psyched that I was weak to be running so poorly and with such great effort downhill.

I got a cramp in my upper right abdominal quadrant that I thought might be from eating, so I adjusted my intake, didn’t eat any more, and drank my carb/electrolyte mix while taking only water at the aid stations. I forced myself down the hill, until finally around mile 6 I saw a long stretch ahead that was obviously uphill. I realized then that the entire course was like a slowly descending sawblade. Drop down 200′ over about 1/4 mile and spend the next 3/4 mile going back up 150′. Ouch, that explained a lot.

I cut back a bit and considered myself lucky to maintain 10:10 overall, and actually walked some on the steep uphills. Not what I had hoped for, but not that bad overall. I dragged in the last mile run/walk and as you can see from the pictures from just before the finish, I’m hunched over quite a bit. I took the icy towel, my Subway turkey, and crashed in the grass for a bit.

There was a kid’s run about two hours later, so we hung out and put the kids in it, with me as an escort. That was a miserable 1/2 mile. Then we went back to the condo and I hung out in the hot tub until I was sunburned.

I managed to analyze the data from my Polar RS800CX GPS G5 Heart Rate Monitor (graph shown below) and was actually encouraged, because in spite of the obvious hills in the graph, I had managed to keep a fairly quick and even pace average, despite not really training uphills at all. Another interesting thing was that my abs really ached, the muscles. At the chiropractor the next day I discovered that my right psoas was really tight and irritated, which might explain the abdominal cramping and hunching. It’s a chicken/egg situation, so I’ve been working on stretching my psoas (which isn’t at all easy).

Aside from the Aspen Backcountry Marathon I don’t have any clear-cut running goals, and am taking the week off from running, doing only elliptical and stairmaster training. I’ll have to decide next week how to adjust my training to prepare for Aspen.

Steamboat Springs Half Marathon Before the Race

In the past I’ve run two road half marathons, both downhill. One was the AF Canyon Half and the other was the Provo Halloween Half. My times were 2:08 and 2:25 respectively. Neither were really “awesome”, but the first one I’d never run 13 miles before, though I had done 10 mile long runs as part of 20 mile weeks for the previous 5 weeks. For the Provo run I was doing 6 mile long runs in 15 mile weeks, due to some injuries.



Also for the Provo run I was in recovery mode from the Aspen Backcountry Marathon in late August 2011 (with a 7:30 finish), after which I promised I would never run again (above picture was my medal at the end of Aspen). That lasted about 6 weeks and then I slowly got back into it, with some nagging IT Band issues. That was pretty frustrating, to say the least.

For this one though I’ve been working my way up to 40 mile weeks, and training on road surfaces, since this is a road half. Maybe the last one I ever do. I’ve been enjoying my trail training runs a lot, and of course, Aspen 2012 is a trail marathon, and Steamboat is really just a milestone and intermediate goal on the way there.

A few weeks ago, I had been considering a 2:00 finish for Steamboat, working toward a sub-6:00 finish for Aspen. We’ll have to wait till tomorrow to see if that’s reasonable or not. I’ve actually tapered for the first time ever, and have been doing a few dietary mods for pre-race eating that I’ve explored over the past several training runs. I ran a decent downhill 12 mile last week in 2:08, so unless I missed my taper and diet, I should be able to at least equal my PR, and hopefully set one.

I’ll let you know in the next day or two, as well as how I feel about what worked and didn’t for my taper. I will discuss my shoe and clothing choices and talk about how I feel trail running is an optimum training option for already fit mountaineers.