Tag: skyrunning

Running Morgan in the Dark

Running Morgan in the Dark

If you can call it running, sure.

It’s at least getting in some vertical and testing out my ability to pull it off.

I woke at 3:30 AM, while the world slept, and prepared to head out to do a not very popular Strava segment loosely called Morgan Blvd. Over the years it’s changed a bit, since there is a lot of overpriced, overlarge, overhyped housing development going on here on the far east side of north Utah County. On the one hand it’s nice because they added a little park and a paved rec path set down just a little bit further from the houses than before. On the other hand it’s cut out some of the trails and changed them somewhat. This has deprecated some of the old classic Strava segments and made them obsolete. Basically there’s no way to do them without running through someone’s garage. Alas …

I enjoyed the sounds of crickets or frogs or whatever they were, and the twinkling city lights far below as I climbed the road. I was careful, nursing my twisted ankle since it was so very dark, and the light from the headlamp so very flat. I did roll off a few stones, but was able to stabilize with minimal pain. I didn’t go all that fast, but it was satisfying to get up there in  the dark. It helped a lot that I had already been up this trail a dozen or so times in the past.

At the bottom I paused at the underpass tunnel on the rec path to share a few thoughts on training in spite of my heavy load right now.

Check out the video below:

 


Road to Elbrus – Car Chat – 15 August 2018

It’s all coming together too quickly. The High School Mountain Bike Races and my position as a Coach for my team. My training to ride with the fastest of my group. Training to run has been put aside for the summer in previous years. What about this year? What about the Red Fox Elbrus Race in May 2019?

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Elbrus Car Chat 15 August

Elbrus Car Chat 15 August

Sitting in my car at work thinking out loud about Elbrus Race. 

I found the original impetus for this Elbrus Race insanity – the Red Fox Elbrus Race.  The website is somewhat klunky. More than somewhat, actually. I might have to keep my eyes open on it for when they announce the opening of registration for next May. The first week of May, surrounded by Russian Holidays. That might be interesting to check into.

Red Fox Elbrus Race - May of 2019
Red Fox Elbrus Race – May of 2019

In case you missed the story, I was at the Barrels Huts coming down from an unsuccessful climb of Elbrus when we had to work around a few dozen super fit fast dudes getting off the lifts hauling crates and duffels of gear. They were all sporting logos from Red Fox and stating Elbrus Race. I dug around and found the next Elbrus Race, the next August and that began the “Rocky” phase of my training. Super vertical training mode.

This began the fitness plan that eventually became “Summit Success: Training for Hiking, Mountaineering, and Peak Bagging” and has now evolved into “Rucking Simple Treadmill Training” and the now FREE online training program “Hikercize” which for the past four years has been $50 or more per year. Great deal, if you ask me.

The rest is history.

In the video below, I discuss that briefly, mention my current state of majorly tired, riding with the Team. Pre-riding race courses for the late summer race series, some of my duties as a high school mountain biking coach and maybe another thing or two.

 


Road To Elbrus – Skyrunning Training – 10 Aug 2018

It’s like one big game of “what-if” and you know the odds are against you. Elbrus Race 2018? In only six weeks? With enough time to get a Russian Visa? By Mail? Dang I’m a glutton for punishment.

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The Road to Elbrus Starts Here

The Road to Elbrus Starts Here

Running in Elbrus Race Yet Again?

Elbrus Race 2018? Skyrunning? For Real?

Well I just had a really dumb idea.

I received a Facebook Notice from the logistics company behind Elbrus Race. I hadn’t even considered it. Wowsers. If I train hard for only 6 weeks, can I get back to what I had achieved in 2013 [fifth place] and exceed it, even by a small margin? [Elbrus Race 2013 – my journal on Amazon]

I haven’t run in months.

Alpine Days Mountain Bike Race - 2nd Place in category
Alpine Days Mountain Bike Race – 2nd Place in category

My duties as a NICA Certified Level Three High School Mountain Bike Coach have taken quite a leap up from last year. I’ve had to train hard to keep up with my more advanced racing group, which is much much faster than last year by a large margin. I’ve been riding 60+ mile weeks, a mix of indoor trainer rides, with outdoor MTB rides. Much of that is faster and more technical than I am really up for, so I’m injured a lot. Like right now most of the scabs and bruises on my legs and elbows are pretty much healed. I twisted my ankle pretty badly in a race last Saturday, Aug 4th. Enough I couldn’t bear weight or push off with my toes for several days.

[more skyrunning tagged articles here]

I decided to do this little test. Could I go up Giddy-Up and Green Monster and descend in one go?

If the answer is no, then good enough. I would have no real chance to get in enough serious training to make it happen. I would let it go for next year. I still might have to if it turns out I can’t work, and coach, and train and stay fit and unbroken enough.

Then again, there are also several major logistics hoops to jump through:

  • Can I pull off a Russian Visa in the time given?
  • Can I make it work even though they’ve closed the Seattle Visa Center, where I usually go?
  • If I have to use the Mail-In service?
  • Can I get flights that line up with the start and finish times of the Elbrus Package associated with the race?
  • Can I skip one High School Race this year?
  • Or do I need to figure a way to fly around it?

Vertical K Training: Video on the hill

Training along the flanks of Mount Mahogany outside Pleasant Grove UT. This is a branch of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail with a fork up a Strava Segment titled “Green Monster” which I hadn’t been able to find. This time there was no question and I scurried up to the fork where the segment ended. Logically since it was a T intersection to a relatively flat trail. There were grades of 40% plus on this one.

Altra Zero Drop Olympus 1.5. Not enough miles for a real review
Altra Zero Drop Olympus 1.5. Not enough miles for a real review

I have a relatively new pair of Altra Running Mens Olympus 1.5 which I’ve been breaking in. First thoughts? The medial support is a little much. The toe rocker was disturbing in the store but hardly noticeable on the trail. If I start running on pavement before running on the trail I don’t like the feel, but if I start running on pavement after running on the trail it’s all good. More later, since I don’t have all that many miles on them yet.

Skyrunning training with Black Diamond carbon fiber Z-poles
Skyrunning training with Black Diamond carbon fiber Z-poles

After my nearly 2 mile approach, after the descent some time was spent looking for a shortcut. Grove Creek Canyon seemed to be a lot closer than the Timpanogos Park parking area, so next time that will be the starting point. There was a great steep hill at the fork in the BST (Bonneville Shoreline Trail) so I did a sprint up that for some great fun. The top was a perfect setting for some pics and video.

Posted by Seven Summits Body on Saturday, September 19, 2015

Strava showed some of my usual middle of the pack mixed with top results. The key for the Vertical K will be in how long I can keep up what speed. I’ll do a few more posts next week as the date gets closer. Stay in the loop.

Strava Stats for my Saturday Vertical K Training Run
Strava Stats for my Saturday Vertical K Training Run

Skyrunning Quandary Fourteener Results

I managed to get my PR on the summer route of 14,265′ Quandary, a Colorado Fourteener. Here’s a short video I took that day for you to see what it’s like. At the beginning I share a brief teaser about another project I just started. At the end is a link for you to subscribe here for the newsletter. This will qualify you for a super sweet freebie I have planned to release shortly. Besides, I have a slew of great training tips to share with you that I know will help you achieve your goals faster and simpler. Check it out.


Video report on my Quandary PR’s last Saturday. Fun times making it. Don’t forget to click the “Sign Up” button at the end to qualify for a super freebie coming your way soon. I can hardly wait for this one.

Posted by Seven Summits Body on Saturday, July 11, 2015


Here are a few Quandary PR photos too:

Quandary East Ridge just below the summit
Quandary East Ridge just below the summit
Quandary Fourteener Summit
Quandary Fourteener Summit
Quandary Fourteener Summit
Quandary Fourteener Summit
Quandary Fourteener Summit
Quandary Fourteener Summit
Mountain Goats at 13,000' on East Ridge of Quandary Colorado Fourteener
Mountain Goats at 13,000′ on East Ridge of Quandary Colorado Fourteener
Overhead view of the trail around 11,800' on Quandary Colorado Fourteener
Overhead view of the trail around 11,800′ on Quandary Colorado Fourteener

Photos from my climb of the Emmons Ridge of Mount Rainier as a co-leader of a group climb. Successful summit of Columbia Crest (the summit of Mount Rainier) on June 20, 2015

Approaching 9,000' on the approach up the InterGlacier.
Approaching 9,000′ on the approach up the InterGlacier.
Camp Schurmann at the foot of the Corridor on the Emmons Glacier
Camp Schurmann at the foot of the Corridor on the Emmons Glacier
Clean water essential on a trip like this. PurifiCup in the tent at base camp on Rainier
Clean water essential on a trip like this. PurifiCup in the tent at base camp on Rainier
Goalzero Solar keeping my Suunto Ambit 2S and my Galaxy S4 both charged at base camp on Rainier
Goalzero Solar keeping my Suunto Ambit 2S and my Galaxy S4 both charged at base camp on Rainier
Summit of Columbia Crest on Mount Rainier at 9:28 AM on June 20, 2015
Summit of Columbia Crest on Mount Rainier at 9:28 AM on June 20, 2015

Be sure to register for the NEWSLETTER if you want to learn how you can achieve the most important results to you in all of your training goals. Together we can make it work.

Training Log: Squaw Peak 02 November 2013

I was going to be in Utah for family business and had contacted fellow Team Seven Summits Quest member Jen Hamilton to see if she could do a run on it. She was planning on starting around 7, and I couldn’t be there before 9, so I thought we could hook up on the trail.

Charles Miske and Jen Hamilton below Squaw Peak overlooking Provo Utah
Charles Miske and Jen Hamilton below Squaw Peak overlooking Provo Utah

I had two days of rest after my slow winter conditions run on Quandary, so I was hoping I could beat my last PR on Squaw. I took off from the parking lot and tried hard to run up the road, then gravel road, then narrow four wheel drive road up to the fork in the trail for Squaw, about 1.5 miles from the gate to the parking lot.

Squaw Peak map with Splits
Squaw Peak map with Splits

I ran about a 10:00 pace for the paved section of road, then settled into about a 15:00 uphill walk with a few steep sections of slower walking, trying hard not to drift below a 20:00 pace. I figured with a two hour head start I might be running into Jen somewhere up the fork, probably on her way down. I looked at my watch and saw that I was running a few minutes slower than I thought I needed to be for a PR.

About a half mile from the summit of Squaw Peak [photo by Jen Hamilton]
About a half mile from the summit of Squaw Peak [photo by Jen Hamilton]

The trail devolved into slimy mud over frozen hard dirt with some ice and snow in shady places. With the fallen leaves it was a bit slippery in places. I finally ran into Jen about a half mile from the summit as she was descending. We talked for a minute and I checked my watch. I felt like I was about four minutes off from a record, and after a couple minutes we decided to meet on my way down and I ran hard for the summit.

Squaw Peak Summit
Squaw Peak Summit

I checked my watch and was a bit fuzzy, since I had started it at the car, and there was a couple minute walk to the gate before the Strava Segment started. I hung out for a minute, took a couple of pictures, then headed back down. It was a bit more slippery going down, and I fell once, but no damage, so I kept on. Jen was moving pretty fast going down, and I ran into her about a quarter mile from the fork to the road and we went down that last steep narrow dirt trough together.

Frosty branches in the frozen mud
Frosty branches in the frozen mud

We continued on back to the car moving at a reasonably fast clip, but not running like I’d done on my last Squaw Peak training run. We discussed Elbrus Race 2014, possible gear selections and training methods, nutrition and her health and training goals.

It wasn’t until a while later, when I synced my Strava app that I discovered I’d achieved a handful of PR’s on this one. I was surprised, but quite pleased. One thing I’d like to add here is that I was not using trekking poles on this run, so I was using my arms to pump hard on the way up. Not sure if it helped or not though.

Strava Overview with PR's for Squaw Peak Run
Strava Overview with PR’s for Squaw Peak Run

I have been doing the Hoka Vertical Challenge on Strava too, which is one reason I’ve been doing a lot of vertical training this past week, instead of my usual runs on Keystone Gulch Road. I managed to top 4000 meters this week, which is a lot of vertical feet, especially considering that quite a bit of that was accomplished above 4000 meters on a Colorado Fourteener.

Hoka One One Demand More Vertical Challenge 4000 meter achievement
Hoka One One Demand More Vertical Challenge 4000 meter achievement

I’m heading back to Colorado now, and not quite sure what my vertical achievement goal will be for Monday after a rest day on Sunday. It will be exciting though to make this training goal. Here is a collection of images about my training from Strava Reports:

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Training Log: Torreys Peak via Kelso Ridge – 17 August 2013

I’ve been wanting to do this one for a couple years now but haven’t quite gotten around to it. This past week I’d done a couple more extreme trail runs. I did a 17.5 mile up Keystone Gulch to the Colorado Trail to the Aquaduct Trail for Breckenridge and back. I was lost.

I also did a double on Mount Royal overlooking Frisco Colorado. I was pretty wasted so I was looking for something that my friend, climbing partner, and Team Seven Summits Quest mate Todd Gilles and I could do together that was also extreme, but would allow us to go a bit slower than we have been in our training for Elbrus Race 2013.

Todd Gilles rock climbing on Kelso Ridge
Todd Gilles rock climbing on Kelso Ridge

We met in Keystone at about 6:50 and drove together in my higher clearance vehicle to the Grays Peak Trailhead up Stevens Gulch. The Grizzly Gulch Fork parking was completely overparked and as we went up the road through the private land area we ran into a long line of bumper to bumper cars parked along the side. We stopped to ask and no one knew for sure if there were spaces up at the trailhead. I decided to risk it, thinking there would be parking along the road to the mining area where I’d camped several years before.

Sure enough, there was parking for us and we took off up the trail. It was pretty obvious that many of these hundreds of people don’t get out much. They weren’t at all experienced with faster “hikers” on the same trail. We made it to the fork to Kelso Ridge in pretty good time in spite of that. We took off up the ridge and for the most part it was loose gravel and dirt with a few steep gullies of third class rock, with maybe one or two fifth class moves. I think if you were cautious you could find a way to make it easier.

We didn’t really push for speed and stayed behind a few people that we used as routefinders for a while until they stopped for lunch. Then we came to the Knife-edge. This was classic. It’s a steep point about 50′ long along the ridge top. The slabs drop a few hundred feet both directions and most people I have heard slide along on their crotch. Some more brave people just walk on it. I was not brave that day. Todd was a bit faster than me. I think his Merrel minimum trail runners had better stick than my Salomon XA-Pro. They felt like they were sliding off every little foothold.

Happy to be on top. Todd Gilles and Charles Miske after climbing Kelso Ridge on Torreys
Happy to be on top. Todd Gilles and Charles Miske after climbing Kelso Ridge on Torreys

The last bit was a scree slog sometimes on hands and knees. At the top we hung out and ate and drank and did pics and videos. On the way down we saw hundreds of people along the trail. Most coming up quite late, but some going down. We got behind some really slow people, even for the slow pace we were going at, so at a switchback with a fork I managed to run around everyone and we started booking it down the trail.

We passed everyone. Not a single other person, even those dressed as trail runners, passed us. I think it took only a little over an hour to descend back to the car. I know I had a lot of fun sliding and jumping and even falling once to avoid running into a dog in the middle of the trail that didn’t notice me approaching.

Torreys via Kelso Ridge – Strava Stats

Torreys via Kelso Ridge 17 AUG 2013 on Strava - overview
Torreys via Kelso Ridge 17 AUG 2013 on Strava – overview

When I uploaded my stats Strava associated our stats together, Todd’s and mine. Oddly we were 20 minutes apart though we hit the summit within a minute of each other. I think it was because whoever created the segment pinned the summit in a different spot. I just sat down at the cairn and Todd wandered around, so likely he passed through the pinned segment end before I did. In any case here are the Strava stats [CLICK HERE]

Torreys via Kelso Ridge Map

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Training Log: Squaw Peak UT – 8 July 2013

In my training for Elbrus Race 2013 I have done a lot of uphill “running” or “really fast walking” as I like to say to some people I pass on the trails. I’ve done Squaw Peak, just outside of Provo Utah up Rock Canyon a few times. I took the kids up there once in the fall. It was really pretty.

Here is the GPS track from Strava. When I first did this run I placed pretty highly out of those who’ve done it. In the meantime nearly ten others have squeezed in with better times. That’s the fun thing about Strava – your placing is in near real-time. CLICK HERE for more info on it.

It was a while ago, but I remember how hard it was to keep cranking away on that last uphill stretch. I was surprised to see a lot of rock climbing anchors at the summit. I suppose they’ve managed to put in some more long routes on that face. I’ll have to see if they’re anything I can climb.

Squaw Peak Segments on Strava
Squaw Peak Segments on Strava

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