Thursday, June 26, 2008

hardrock, this year and last year

hi folks

sorry again for not posting but i'll do what i can to improve.

i thought i'd take a second and let ya'll know that i'm now officailly in hardrock, actually it happend with a phone call from dale garland(RD) on monday. that's a whole 17 days earlier than last year when i got in off the waitlist the day before the race. speaking of last year i accidentaly wrote my race report for last year's run last nite so i figured i'd post it below. i'm leaving for silverton via portland sunday nite and hope to make it there in time for the trail work party on tuesday. this year the race will be held friday the 11th, you can follow my progress on their website at

anyhow here's the report:

last year i was running great and 72 miles into the race i was in 3rd place and had run basically the same speed as karl and jurek for the middle 3rd of the race after taking it really easy for the first third. my plan had been to take it easy for the first 2/3 to 1/2 of the race and then try to move up into the top 3 by the end of the race but i changed plans on fly.

at the 28 mile aid station i ate too much too quickly and soon found myself throwing it all back up just a 1/2 mile past the aid station. lots of folks passed me while i was regrouping and as soon as i felt better i commited myself to passing the doazen or so runners who had left me behind. i felt really good and had passed all but one by the time i had made it to the next aid station. i soon passed him but now i was in race mode and set my sights on the next runner and the runner after that one and so on until i reached mile 56 in fourth place after passing about 20 runners.

here i decided to ease up and just hold 4th and wait to see if the battle between the top three would create any carnage. i soon found out it would, just after the next aid station i passed former winner mark hartell who was walking back to the aid station to drop out. but soon after that i started seeing the lights of runners below me not far behind and by the time i made it to the next aid station one runner was just 100 yards behind. not wanting to get passed so soon after moving into 3rd i flew down into telluride and hurried to get out of the aid station before that runner arrived. in my haste i neglected to eat anything at the aid station and mistakenly thought i had enough food in my pack to get to the next aid station-- i was wrong. i had 2 gels to get me to the next aid station 10 very hard miles away(those 10 miles took jurek 3 hours and others in the top 10 as much as 5 hours).

it's an understatement to say i bonked. i fell into a deep, dark, cold hole and never came out, perhaps you could say i black holed. i eventually arrived at the next aid staion and despite walking nearly every step of the way ther i was amazingly in a 3 way tie for 2nd place. karl was there and not looking good, he was in a sleeping bag and barely aknowledged my arrival and jared campbell had caught up to me just as i entered the aid station. the first runner out would be in 2nd place but i was no longer thinking in those terms, i wanted to eat and sit and get warm and nothing else mattered anymore... except finishing. eventhough it was only 18 miles to the finish it seemed nearly impossible to just get out of my chair where i was covered in blankets and surrounded with food, finishing became this dreamlike thing that one day i'd get around to doing.

thankfully the runner who had paced krissy to this aid station still wanted to run more and she dragged me back out on to the course. but despite the 75 minutes i spent at chapman eating and resting i still was in the blackhole energy wise aswell as emotionally-- after feeling so good and doing so well and being so close to running the race of my life i was now lethargic, unhappy and absoloutely unconcerned about my place or time. this combination of loss of motivation and vigor made for a painfully slow death march to the finish, i walked every step and often had to sit down every 10 minutes. the last 18 miles took me nearly 11 hours(the first 82 took me just over 23 hours). as i got to the last couple miles my spirits did brighten a bit but my energy levels never rebounded.

not having adequate food for the section between telluride and chapman definitely was to blame for a good portion of my problems but i feel like there must have been more to my plummet from 2nd to 25th than a lack of calories. and i think it boils down to two big issues: starting to race too soon(especially for my level of training that year) and my lack of control of my emotions. even though i was running fast and feeling good it was probably too much too soon and so i when i did bonk it hit me harder than if had been running much more moderately up to that point. and then combining that physical situation with my preponderance for big mood swings made for a "perfect bonk" of hollywood blockbuster proportions. earlier in the race i was euphoric as i picked off runner after runner later i was choking back tears as i approached chapman afarid i would quit and later still i non-challantly bid runner after runner good luck as the passed me during one of my many sit-down breaks as i made my way back to silverton totally demoralized. in hindsight i see that if only i could've stayed positive i could've regrouped in the aid station at chapman and still finsihed possibly in the top 5. instead my first running of the hardrock i'll remember as the run that i let slip away but hopefully learned a hard earned lesson or two.

Monday, June 16, 2008

quick update from jamesland

hi ya'll

sorry for not writing in half a month but the combination of moving, running a ton, working a bunch and no internet yet in the new house has all added up to zero posts.

and this one is gonna be a dud.

this weekend was cool. john came to visit. i was up at alititude bunch. ran 10 hours sat. camped at 8000 ft w/alison fri nite, rode 60 miles sun with john and had fun.

more later.......

Sunday, June 1, 2008

my recent trails conditions report

i've been spending a lot of time on the methow valley
trails since moving here two weeks ago and i thought
i'd share with everyone the conditions i've found.
below is a list of trails i've ran in the last week or
so and their condition:

5/23 twisp river trail
from war creek camp to scatter creek trail. trail was
in good shape only a half doazen or so down trees and
the brush was not too bad but could use a triming.
creeks were high but crossable.

5/23 slate creek trail
from twisp river trail to ~6600ft
no snow until around 6400ft. great views. trail brushy
for the first half mile or so. one big tree down and a
couple more small ones.

5/23 scatter creek trail
from twisp river trail to ~5000 ft.
this trail get less sun than the slate creek trail so
snow level a was more than 1000ft lower somewhere
around 5000ft. i don't remember any significant down
trees or other problems.

5/24 wolf creek trail
trailhead to unnamed peak 8082 near gardner mtn.
trail in general was in great shape; a little brushy
in just few brief spots; very little snow for such a
deep valley. patchy snow started at 4200ft ended at
4600ft and stayed snow free until gardner meadows.
the south and east facing slopes of gardner mtn were
mostly snow free. the north fork ford was high and
fast but crossable--there's also a good tree to cross
over on just up stream 100ft or so i was told.

5/25 pearrygin creek trail
lower trailhead to upper trailhead
this trail has lots of potential for a great early
season trail(i was able to run in in early may aswell)
close to town but needs work i counted 84 down trees,
all but 10 or so in the highest mile or so.
thankfully most trees are small enough for a small
chainsaw but some will need a biggun. it also needs
some brushing out in key spots and the erosion matting
on the low end just above the creek is starting to
fail thanks to the cows walking on it.

5/25 pearrygin ridge trail
entire length
this trail is in pretty good shape and in a week or
two (when the rest of the snow melts off) will be
nearly perfect. there's 13 or so small down trees in
the first mile from the trailhead but after that i
don't really remember any more than 1 or 2. there was
patchy snow briefly just past the side trail to the
peak but then no snow at all unto the downhill to
beaver meadows. the snow was about 2ft deep for about
a mile and very slushy despite having snowshoes i sunk
in about 4-6 inches every step and had to re-tighten
the straps often. i highly recommend waiting for the
snow to melt quite a bit more before trying this
trail. there is also just as much snow or more on the
other side of the meadows but the meadows are snow

5/25 blue buck trail
entire length
this trail is my favorite so far of all the trails
i've ran in the valley. there is snow on the upper
parts on about 1-2 miles on either side of beaver
meadow. but most of the trail is snow free and has
very few down trees.

5/25 lightning creek trail
first mile to jct with blue buck
trail is a little brushy but otherwise great.

5/30 lookout mtn trail and ridge trail
entire length of mtn trail and most of ridge trail
all of the trail we ran was snow free. we would've
gone all the way to black pine lake but ran into a
bear cub when we were almost there-- seemed like a
good spot to turn around :) just a few down trees on
the ridge trail which by the way was not always easy
to follow other wise both trails are looking good.

5/31 wolf creek trail(again)
entire length-- made it all the way to n. gardner this
time! great views!!!
a lot of the snow had melted since last week and by
next weekend there will probably be zero snow all the
way to gardner meadows. the trail seemed a little
more brushy this week and will probably get worse
until trail crews or volunteerrs get to it in june.
but overall it's still in great shape and getting
better as the snow melts away. horses may find the
last tree or two tricky up in the old burn before the
meadows otherwise the 6 or so trees won't slow anybody

that's all i've got of recent reports. if folks see
things differently or have reports form different
trails please share!

if you've got any questions or if you'd like to run
trails with alison and i we'd love to have folks join
us send me an email we normally
run for an hour or so in the evenings on weekdays and
then on the weekends we run 4-12 hours.