Tuesday, August 31, 2010

AC100 recap, shoes, tires, gas!

First let's talk quickly about the new shoes I just bought, the Montrail Mountain Masochists.. here is my take:

Now for me the shoe rubbed my right foot, big toe and 5th toe within 7 miles so I know this is not going to work. Even when I first tried these shoes on I was a little skeptical on the fit but it being my 1st trail shoe I thought I would see how it goes running in them. Once I was done with the 7 miles, all on trail, and my little toe skin was rubbed off and hot spot on big toe I knew they were done! Overall all I do like how they feel in the heel, the foot and the lowness to the ground and response, even the rock plate protect is great, I totally stepped on some nice meaty rocks to see how it would feel and I barely noticed! So unfortunately for me, Size 15 JT, this shoe is out. I will now be looking to try the Asics Trail Sensor4:

As always Johnny BigFoot had to order them so they should, hopefully, be here this Friday. Stay tuned!!

Now, this weekend was the running of Angels Crest 100 out near Los Angeles, or really closer to Pasadena, Ca. and with that Jimmy, co-race director of DesertSky Adventures, and I headed down to pace Catra Corbitt, aka Dirt Diva. We left Saturday afternoon in timing to get to mile 52 or 59 and pick Catra up to pace. We hit mile 52 and had just missed her by about 20 mins so we headed to mile 59 aid station. Jimmy rested up as he would be up first to pace till mile 75 and then I would take over to the finish.

Catra came in about 10pm and off they went. She was doing good and was glad to see us. I was so excited to see her.. let me explain. Catra is super awesome! I have been a fan since entering the ultra scene and Jimmy has talked about her and her runs which only adds to my ultra-star struck stocker fanism!! LOL.. and when I found out that she was looking for pacer's at AC100 I quickly jumped at the chance. So when she showed up to mile 59 aid station I quickly ran over with my arms in the air clapping and yelling for her and she looked at me like I was a complete NUT but then realized I was JT and her later pacer and happy to see me greeted with a big hug. A few words were exchanged and I said I would go get Jimmy sleeping in the car. The departed and I would see them in about 5 hours.

My drive from mile 59 to aid 75 was quite Adventurous!! If anyone has ever driven the Angels Crest Highway, Hwy 2 up and around Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Rd, its like a Snake road from Hell!! and it was pitch black, not knowing where I am really going, construction, closed roads, a detour and coming back into town not knowing where the hell I came out in Pasadena area it was quite the road trip. Once figuring out where I was I made it to the area to get to mile 75 aid, but being as it was still hours before I was needed I found a Denny's and fueled up for pacing duties. I mean hey gotta eat right?!

After I finished eating I stopped by the store, got a couple of things I thought I might need and headed up to the check point only to get to the gate and another car was parked there and I noticed the gate was closed and locked. The guy came over and said that he had called the RD and they were sending someone to come unlock the gate. This was a little weird because this was the only way in and out of the park with a huge event going on but I did notice around the little area of Santa Anita/Sierra Madre the police had nothing better to do I guess and had 3 different people pulled over as I was driving around to and from Denny's. Anyway, soon enough the Ponch and Jon showed up to unlock the gate and displayed there enthusiasm for having interrupting there oh so busy night for a bunch of ultra/crew runners. I was quickly at the aid station and got my things ready for later.

A cool thing about this aid station was they had this Huge screen that displayed all the info of all the runners, times, check points, etc. It was totally awesome. But Wait.. There's MORE!! They also had 2 flat screen TV's on top of this suv with a video camera and microphone, then when Catra got to 67.9 aid station they had screens/video there and we could quickly talk and see each other!!! I asked how she was and if she would need anything. This part was really awesome!! and I give it up to the RD's for supplying that feed.

It would be about 2.5 hours till she got there so I settled in, set my alarm for 3am and went to sleep, or tried to. It's about 1:3oam and shortly after the aid crew started a Hula Hoop contest. It was actually quite funny and entertain and it was helping them keep warm in the 51* night temps. After watch for a few minutes I finally fell asleep and next thing I know my alarm went off at 3am. I didn't expect Jimmy and Catra there till 3:30am but wanted to make sure I was awake and ready. A little after 4am I see them pull into the station and I get my gear ready. I get Jimmy's attention from afar and he gives me the cut-throat sign. Ohh man, I thought to myself that something has happened to her and she is done. I take my gear off and head over to them and she quickly says that she is done because she pulled her hamstring and it's really hurting, she actually pulled it at mile 30 and three more times since then!! Can you imagine, running 45 miles with a pulled hamstring!! So tough and Amazing! Now, a person like Catra knows her body and knows when they can push through and when it's time to stop and she has clearly made her decision to stop. As a doc, a new friend and runner I have no disappointment in her decision only in the fact that she is hurt. She is talking about her leg and apologizes for stopping. I quickly tell her No Worries, things happen. I felt bad for her because as an athlete you try to do everything you can to keep going and after 12 Advil's she had. The aid station people even told her she had another 1 hour 20 mins before cut-off and should wait but she responded very positive in her decision, cut the bracelet id off. It was cut and Catra's race was done. I then worked on her shoulder area to help relieve some nagging muscles and we gathered her stuff up to head to the finish line to see her boyfriend Andy, who was on his way to a PR.

Once at the finish area we rested up and then Catra headed to get cleaned up, by then I was getting tired and we decided we would head back to Vegas as Andy wasn't due to finish for about 3 more hours. After breakfast I noticed one of my tires was low and we stopped to put air in it but soon realized it was going flat and put the spare on. It was before 7am so nothing was open and just drove back on the somewhat of a spare tire. Then one time we stopped to put gas and as I was putting the gas cap back on it has the little plastic wire that holds the cap so you don't lose it anywhere, well, I twisted it as usual but this time it BROKE off!! WTF!! I could only stop and laugh. After getting back to town, showering up and eating again I spent the rest of the day on my bed watching TV and napping.

It was great to go down and help, no matter what happened and I am glad Catra is feeling better and not seriously injured. Being around the race is just so exciting! and Scary!! I mean at mile 59 I saw 5 people drop out for various reasons which only made me think and realize that my HURT100 is coming after me and dropping is not an option!! nor is missing the cutoffs!!! Next up will be pacing for Catra/Andy at Rio Del Lago 100 in a couple of weeks and helping with the race during the day. I am looking forward to running with her and Andy as they are veterans of the HURT and will be a good time to get intel on the race.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Getting it Together

As the clock continues to count down I continually think in the back of my mind that I should be training or working out or something! Over the past 3 weeks things have been good and I can't complain but it just seems like I should be doing more but that may be asking for trouble.

My leg has had no problems and my body feels good with the running. I only have to complain about the Heat that Vegas is still getting and even getting out early still finds temps in the low-mid 80's and by the time I'm done running its like 90* or 103* for example like it was Saturday. (sorry Formualic for not waking up due to not charing my cell phone/alarm clock)

Anyway, as I continue to work each day on the running plan I am thinking that I need to really build up some leg strength. I need this strength for the massive amounts of power hiking I am going to have to do at HURT. My problem is I have not seen a good place to insert "leg day" so I have been procrastinating but I know that is only hurting myself.

On another note, I just recently bought these:

Montrail Mountain Masochists. I have not run in them yet but am excited to try them out and see what's up. They definitely feel different than road shoes!

And I want to send out a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Sweet Baboo for finishing Leadville in 27 hours 35 mins!! You are AWESOME!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Slow n Low

With 152 days and count the weekly training went okay. I was able to complete some good early workouts but then took 2 days off because my ankles were still sore from the Mt. Charleston hiking last week, as well as, my quads were still feeling a deep soreness. As I took the extra 2 days of recovery I felt great going into Saturday's run.

I was a little disappointed that I got a late start on Saturday and I could already feel the morning heat. I started about 7:30 and as I returned to my old training trail at Red Rock I was eager to get going. As I started up the center trail I started to practice some of my uphill pacing and while I would switch off between running and fast uphill walking I noticed that I was more winded than usual. I couldn't determine if it was because I was just out of shape, I was carrying about 110 oz of water, the heat or all the above. It was some serious work getting to the 4.3 mile mark that crosses the road.

By the time I got there I had been sweating like crazy and I had consumed 24 oz of water on a 17oz/hour schedule. Yikes! As I continued up to the turn of our trail that's called White Rock Loop I had stopped to take a quick break, check in on my hydration/salt. I had consumed 44 oz. so I was basically ahead of my planned drinking. That is good but not so good if there are no places to refill, which there are not. I made the decision to return back to my car, where I had more water to refill. By the time I got back, the Sun was out and blaring down Hard! It was about 93* and no wonder I was overheating. It was all I could do to get back to the car and cool down.

After I made it back, my mileage was short of the planned 15 but being as I had taken the beating of the Sun and had a good training day I called it. Overall, I was a little disappointed, mostly I guess due to not achieving the planned mileage but under the conditions and for future runs I have to be flexible.

After getting back home and cleaned up and eating I soon noticed I had a crazy headache! I laid down for a while but it didn't seem to help much. Finally, after lots and lots of water and a couple of ibuprofen it was gone. Damn! I had gotten too much Sun and paid for it, so it was a good thing I didn't continue on.

I am looking forward to the training week this week and some good workouts!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

And it has began

That's right! Since the great awesome oh shit day of getting selected to run in the HURT 100 I have started my training. I actually started just a couple of weeks before in case I was selected and even if I wasn't it was time to get back in gear.

First let's talk about HURT!!! It's so exciting and crazy all at the same time. I mean this race venue is listed at the #2 toughest 100's in the U.S. HardRock 100 takes the top spot and you need to have completed a qualifying 100 to enter even enter HardRock. My thought patter going into the lottery selection for HURT was simple. Apply and see if you get picked, if not, than no loss and you try again next year, just like NY Marathon, Hawaii Ironman, etc... you just go for it and then you put the program in place. I applied as soon as it opened and it closed 5 days later. I had not seen how many people had entered until Saturday afternoon when it was time to view the live selection process via Ultra Signup.

The HURT 100 selects 125 runners. 36 hours to complete 100 miles in 5 loops, 24,035 feet of climbing, very few sections where you can run with a consistent stride for more than a few hundred at a time, 20 stream crossings, lots of roots, rocks, slippery, and trail that does not lend itself to be run in under 19 hours! and this is all the good things!! We haven't even mentioned the Humidity, bugs, rain, mud, did I mention Humidity!! and Heat. Just because its January that doesn't mean it's cooler. With all that I was so excited to watch as the first runner was selected, then after the 3rd person the server was overloaded and there was a delay!! AGGGHHHHH!!

Then the names started to roll through and the list was growing. I was nervous at first but then after about 20 people I settled down. It's a lottery and just see how it goes. Soon there was 40, 50, 65, 80 people selected. By this time I was started to get a little bummed, Honestly, somewhere deep inside I wanted to be selected. Then 88 runners and than 93, 96 and then the list paused or something! What!! Then I refreshed it and 4 others popped up...

John Vigil...

OMG, I started yelling with my fists pumping in the air!! Yelling!! OMG!! I got picked! Dez yelling too!! OMG, is all I kept saying!! I couldnt believe it. I stared at my name for about 2 mins!! I didn't refresh the screen, I just shouted out and stared at my name!! I quickly counted and from the last refresh when my name popped up I was the 100th runner selected.... I refreshed and there was 112 selected. Than a couple of minutes later 125 total selected.

It took a while to come down off the excitement and actually I'm still excited. I mean this is my first 100 attempt and to be able to GO FOR IT in Hawaii!! Amazing! No matter how far, how hard it is I will do my best and will only be pulled out for medical reasons.

With a great training plan, proper care of my body over the next 155 days. It will be here soon than I know it. It feels like my first Ironman but only this one HURTS!!!!!!!


Saturday, August 07, 2010

And a Winner is.. !!!

2011 HURT 100 Lottery Ultra Signup Logo

John, Congratulations! you have been selected to participate in the 2011 running of the HURT 100 trail race. We are excited to to have you run our event and look forward to seeing you in January. Have a look at the entire entrant's list here: http://ultrasignup.com/lottery/lottery_draw_list.aspx?did=7436 Aloha, HURT 100 Directors

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

What time is it?

August!! What? Wait a minute!! I mean wasn't it just my birthday in Feb and now it's August! Geezz..!!

Well since Badwater I got back and started somewhat of a training plan but since then it has come into better focus and I am happy to look down road, literally!

A couple of weeks ago, Jimmy, co-owner of DSA, and I went to hike Mt. Charleston with another friend, Will, of Jimmy's. We hiked the South loop which is about 8.5 miles up and then took the North side down, which is about 10 miles. Starting elevation is about 7100 feet and summit is 11,918 ft. All in all, a great day for hiking and a much needed bring back to reality that I have been sitting around way too much!

The hike had many switch backs and steep grades. Although it was in the low 70's I seemed to use much more water than I thought and ended up running out about 2 miles out and since I was on rations earlier the last 2 miles back to the truck sucked! I was so thirsty!!!

As I said it made me think of a few things. 1) how lazy I have been; 2) my fitness is not what it used to be (of course I had that nagging injury but still! nothing wrong with my arm for weights, etc.) 3) I under estimated my nutrition/water, rookie mistake! 4) I loved hiking!

Now that August is here the more focus training plan has started. The loom of 100 miler is on the brain again and the planning and scheduling has begun! I will know more this weekend as to which 100 miler I will be taking on, so stayed tuned!

I'll look to get some pictures up of the hike to Mt. Charleston