Saturday, February 12, 2011

Trudging Towards Santa Barbara

I've been back at "normal" training for almost 10 days now. I feel really good after almost a month "off." Normal training is anything but normal right now though. Winter has finally come in full force to the Colorado Front Range so most of my "running" in the past two weeks has been snowshoeing through deep snow. The wind has been blowing so strong that no matter how nice of a "trail" I get broken in it's certain to be drifted over by the following day. It finally got warm enough today that the snow softened up in the sun and will hopefully freeze tonight and "cap" things off so drifting won't be as much of an issue in the days to come.

This has been my routine for the past week: Hang around the house all morning waiting for the wind to die down. Finally head out for my run around 2:00 when the wind has invariably picked up even higher. Get really frustrated as soon as I hit the trail because all of the "work" I did to break a trail the day before has been trumped by the wind. Finally come to peace with the conditions and accept that I will be breaking through knee deep drifts for the entire run. And then after about 30 minutes I begin to even relish the difficulty that the wind has created. I start to really enjoy the effort it takes to push each step through 12+ inches of snow with a 22" platform attached to my foot. I start to notice that every step feels like I'm going up a steep hill. The more I tune into this the more I enjoy it. And the more I enjoy this feeling of pushing up a steep hill the more likely I am to be reminded that I am going to be running the SBER 100 (also knows as the DRTE 100) at the end of April that has almost 36,000 ft. of climbing! I'm really excited for this race. There is nothing I like more than running uphill. Except perhaps running on snowshoes in deep snow. The other cool thing is that tomorrow morning I'm going to run a 10k snowshoe race just down the road from my house. I think Dave might run too so it's not exactly going to be an easy one to run away with. Probably won't race it at all, but one never knows with these kinds of things.


Derrick said...

I really like your comparison of snowshoe running and uphill running. Totally agree...and coming from an area (Ontario) with no mountains, it's about the best we can do here.

Good luck in the snowshoe race.

skatona said...

Mackey AND Roes are running in the 10K? These locals won't know what hit 'em! I'm in the 5K and I will be ecstatic to finish half the distance before either you or Dave.

I also have no shame and will throw snowballs at your heads to slow you down. I have wicked accuracy. You've been warned.

Digger said...

Hey Derrick;
What about Blue Mountain? :)

Digger (in Ontario).

Derrick said...

Hey Digger,
Sorry, should have clarified...'Eastern Ontario'. Only 3 hours to the Adirondacks though.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy SB, I go there for work, running there is a special treat, both on the beach and in the mountains.
Let me know if you need recomendations or accomodations?
My company is based there...lots of resources if you need it!

Scott said...

Just one word from a newb for the DRTE .... Technu. The back country of SB always gets me even on the "groomed" trails ;o)

Can't wait to read the race report for this one.

mtnrunner2 said...

Geoff - Congrats on the snowshoe race!

Breaking trail in snowshoes sure is a good workout, race or not.

Digger - Blue Mountain the ski resort? Drove there from Buffalo one day when there was no snow down south. I know, that's nuts.

Unknown said...

Nicely done on the 10k snowshoe race. 2 ladies in the top 5 even. One nipping at your heals :)

Geoff said...

yeah, the snowshoe race was super fun. so much of the route was breaking trail through deep snow that it held a large group of us together for most of the race. you couldn't possibly out run anyone if you ran in front breaking trail so we all just took turns in front and rested while we were in back. the last 2k was on more packed in trail and i think i was the only one in the lead pack who was just getting warmed up at this point. they were all running out of gas (it seemed) and i was finally feeling like i could turn my legs over decently. gosh, snowshoeing is fun.

Dan said...

The reason very few people haved signed up for the DRTE races is because most SoCal people are boycotting this race because of the disaster that occured at Blue Canyon 100k last summer. Read Donalds race report of it and then read Robert Gilcrests comments. He is the same RD that puts on both races.

Santa Barbara is a beautiful place to run but the RD is not a runner and handled himself very poorly last summer.

mtnrunner2 said...

Dan - That race report for Blue Canyon 100k was an eye-opener. Endurance and toughness is one thing, dehydration and heat stroke due to lack of aid is another.

Geoff, you might want to bring a portable water filter and have all the creeks mapped out ;)

Geoff said...

yeah, i was aware of there being some aid station problems at these races last summer. and i had heard people talk about this post that you linked. it sounds like a case of some things being said out of frustration that shouldn't have been said. however, i have no problems giving people the benefit of the doubt and giving people numerous chances to get something just right. any new race (this will be the first running of the 100) is always a bit of a question mark and so i will go into this one planning to be a bit more self sufficient than normal. this said, i have done a 100 mile race with one aid station and i have attempted a 350 mile race with 6 or 7 aid stations (a couple of which didn't guarantee water). of course, if a race says they are going to have aid in certain spots then it's nice if it's there, but it's certainly not something i ever count on 100%. i've had 2 or 3 instances when i have outrun aid stations. that is to say i've gotten to aid locations so much quicker than any previous runners in the race's past that there was no one there yet. i've kind of come to just expect this kind of thing on occasion and be prepared for it as best i can. so, to make a long story short, i'm not too worried about things which happened in this event last year. my guess is the race organization will have learned a lot from their mistakes and pull this one off with little to no surprises. if not? well, sh!t happens.

Local Mind Media said...

Well put, Geoff.

I've come away from a couple races over the last three years vowing to never run them again. I'm registered for both this year! Bear 100 was the most recent. I was bent out of shape because Leland forgot to order the buckles and I didn't get mine until Thanksgiving (the race is late September). I even bought and brought a belt for the thing, since it was my first 100. I was pretty childish about it (not openly) and even thought about not getting a buckle DURING the race. I'm also not a big fan of he and Phil "racing" it and starting an hour earlier. Anyway, Leland does such a great job and it's difficult to make everything perfect. I'll keep doing Bear and telling anyone who'll listen how much fun and how challenging it is. I can have a short fuse sometimes but I've found, in my old age, that giving second chances can pay off in the long run. If I wasn't given second chances over the years, I'd have no friends now.

Sorry to ramble but this topic doesn't come up a lot and I've obviously been thinking about it.

Geoff, if you're up for a run soon, let me know. I'll probably hit Walker Ranch this weekend for a few hours.

Glad Shaun (skatona) didn't get you with his snowball threat; his accuracy is probably good but he's so far behind that his range minimized the threat. ;-)