Speedgoat 50(ish)K Wrap Up

Finally getting around to telling you about Speedgoat…   But first, it is 23 days, 8 hours and 21 minutes until Wasatch.  I am running the biggest week of my life this week and I am afraid it might actually kill me.

On to Speedgoat: I keep trying to motivate with pictures, but the software on my iPhone doesn’t focus on far away objects very well, so it lets go of the focus immediately before it takes the picture.  Please bear with my attempt to make the pictures look not quite so terrible, because the content itself, is fairly spectacular.  In summary, I “ran” faster than last year… I’m not sure, but it may have been longer than last year (multiple GPS recordings in the 33.6ish mile range), I felt much stronger than last year and it was harder and more fun! For real awesome photos you can look at the pretty flowers or at Tom Martens Pure Light Gallery. For my brief tour… scroll down

We wound our way, basking in the view, soaking in the morning light on Superior…

Up, up, up, all the way into the talus field that is the summer form of Little Cloud Bowl

Amazingly (and a million thank yous to everyone who did trail formation here) there was a smooth line of switchbacks all the way up.

Then it was over Hidden Peak and a dive down into Mineral Basin.  Without warning I looked up and was almost swimming in a sea of brilliant colors; wildflowers abound!  This is why I run!

After a bobble down into Pacific Mine and long stretch of slogging back up, we caught the ridge back towards Snowbird, full of green and flowery meadows and stark naked peaks. No snow to be found on course this year!

Then mile 23 takes you up Baldy… no sane person would ever pick this line up to that ridge.  Then again, no sane person would probably do this race.

And just in case you thought you got off easy, a drop down Peruvian Gulch gives you the chance to climb back up Cirque Traverse!

And then it was a speedy glissade down LIttle Cloud

Oooops!  Wait, that was last year.  This year involved a sloppy bobble back down the talus field and then a quad thrashing descent back to Creekside.  I took over an hour off my time and still made it to a wedding looking fairly respectable.

The End!

PS- I’ll be back next year and next year I’m out for speed!

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Ultra Running Makes for an Expensive Date: A Case for Gummy Worms

I am attempting to source out my Gu supply for Wasatch.  The last time I was at REI, purchasing 12 or more energy products so that I could get them to take 20% off the price that was marked up 20%, it occurred to me that I would probably need to source at least 36 Gu’s along with several other thousand calories for this race.

At one point in my running career, I remember Gu used to cost about $0.55 each, this is no longer the case.  In today’s reality, you’re lucky to find Gu, shy of $1.45.  At 100 calories, that is a whopping 68 calories per dolar.  Fairly pricy, I believe even Sushi is cheaper than that.  Looking at every discount vender I could find for bulk cases, they drop down to about $1.25 if you’re lucky… but it still inspired me to do some math.

Gu: 100 calories / $1.45 = 68 calories per dollar

5 lb. bag of Black Forest Gummy Worms: $7.99, for 2268 g (5 lb) of gummy worms

at 130 Calories / 38 g for 2268 g; that’s 60 servings per bag at 130 calories per serving gives 7758 Calories for $7.99 …

which brings us to 971 calories per dollar in gummy worms!

… if only gummy worms were easier to carry.

On Things With Four Legs, Two Goofy Ears and A Heart Bigger Than The Pacific Ocean

I’ve been trying to jot down a Speedgoat post-run write-up, but that’s going slower than expected (partially because my crappy iPhone has some miscommunication with its camera software and all my gorgeous pictures are out of focus, but that’s a story for the actual post).  With that I’ll drift towards the purity of trail running itself.

I’ve been embraced this 100-mile training with a mindset of it being something I love to do… as the miles have worn me down with the longer and longer runs during the awful heat we’ve had this summer, I have realized that some of this is what I love to do.  In reality, I am doing this because I really want to, because I want a belt buckle and I want the challenge.  The other half of reality is that the training is a challenge, but the challenge isn’t what has worn me down; the miles that I can no longer run with Tele are wearing me down.  I have spent so much of this summer away from my puppy, away from the best trail running partner there is because training for 100 is too much for her.  So while I am happy to take on the challenge, I can say that I don’t know that I’ll do it again because I’d rather be running with my dog.

This past week, some very good friends recently lost their first dog, Chester, way too soon and it’s breaking my heart.  Last year, another good friend lost the first best yellow lab to walk the earth and not too long before that we lost the dog I grew up with.  Chester, Shasta, Java, Bimbi, Calle, Iza, Kora, Tashi, Scruffy and Tele they have all joined me on many a trail run.  Chester was my first real trail running buddy, and I know, bears that name to many others in the lives she’s touched.  It sounds like she had a fantastic trail run shortly before the end.

There’s something magic about being able to share your run with a dog.  You’re hardly ever too fast for them, and when you are, you don’t stress out about slowing down.  You’re always too slow for them, but they never seem to care.  When you’re having a bad day, they just grin and give you infinite energy; and when you’re having a really bad day, they don’t care if you stop and walk or even sit and throw snowballs for them for a while.  They never cary a watch and don’t really mind if you go 2 miles or 10.  They teach you honesty, and humility, they push their limits as far as they can go and inspire you to do the same.  It’s really hard for me to not want to go on my run when I have a face like this waiting for me at home.

It’s even harder for me to leave her behind for a 30-40 mile training run in 90+ degree heat.  Dogs are lights in our lives who, for better or worse, burn their candles brightly… at both ends.  I am grateful for the short, but wonderful time I get to share with them.

Chester, thank you for all the runs, and for thoroughly cleaning the sunscreen off me after each of them.  You will be missed.