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Showing posts from 2013

California International Marathon: Race Report

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Trust.  That´s what this entire training program and race came down to.  Should I trust in the training I set up for myself? Should I trust the strategy I wanted to run in the marathon without getting nervous as to whether it was going to work out or not?  Should I trust I was fully prepared to reach my goal?  Instead of my usual worrying and letting uncertainty control the outcome I decided to let go and trust that everything was going to work out.
Earlier this year the Los Angeles Marathon put a dent in my confidence to run a marathon well.  I had put 16 weeks of 80-90 miles to break the invisible sub-3 barrier and I thought I was fit enough to do it. After faltering early in the race, I struggled to finish and crossed the line in a disappointing 3:12.  Faulty race day execution, a poorly thought out and executed training plan, and nagging injuries due to said training plan all contributed to that result.  Sick, literally and figuratively, in the weeks after the race I looked back…

The Classic Walker's Haute Route: Chamonix to Zermatt

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There's a reason I've backpacked over 650 miles in the Alps.  They are some of the most accessible yet stunning mountains to wander in, a rare combination to have.  It seems like every couple of years I find my way back to France excited to explore a new section of the Alps.  After thoroughly exploring the French Alp chain (via GTA, 2011) I was looking for something in a different direction. Perusing the section of "International-Walks" of Cicerone Publishing, The Walker's Haute Route seemed like a perfect fit for a fall trek.  This trek was born from the original spring ski-touring Haute Route first completed in 1911.  Skipping glacier travel and skis, this takes a backpacker ~180km from the base of Mont Blanc, in the Chamonix Valley, to the iconic Matterhorn, in the Mattertal Valley in Switzerland, over eleven passes and meandering through some of the most stunning 4000 meter peaks the Pennine Alps had to offer.  As Kev Reynolds put it: "...a gourmet extr…

Leadville Trail 100: Race Report

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The history and altitude of Leadville beckons the ultrarunner.Six years ago my good friend Joel and I backpacked the 486-mile Colorado Trail so I  have some personal history with the Colorado Rockies as well. After 13 months of not running an ultra because of the “Mental Burnout of 2012” I was toeing the line at 10,200ft.I was feeling good, mentally engaged, and ready which was pretty much the opposite of last year at Angeles Crest 100.How’d that happen?
The buildup to this race was fairly average with my primary concern being the altitude.I’ve had some good experiences at altitude but running 100 miles that high was a question mark for me.My acclimation started in mid-late May with weekends in the beloved Sierra Nevada.I hadn’t run anything over a marathon (done 1 time) for about 10 months so I was nervous about getting back into long running, however I maintained a great base throughout the year.I kick started my training with a 7 day JMT thru-hike with Prizzle in late June, knowin…

John Muir Trail 2013

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The experience that changed the trajectory of my life in 2006 was once again on the agenda for 2013.  Having done it twice before, with the last one being in 2010, I felt I needed to give it another go.  Whether it's to reminisce, reflect, commune with nature, it's a trail that will always call out to me.  In my opinion, the Sierra's are the most raw and majestic mountains in the lower 48.  So when my friend Chris Price was accepted into the Hardrock 100 I figured there was no better trail to hike as a prep for that race than the JMT.  Its layout of pass, valley, pass, valley (repeat) at higher altitudes would be perfect for his training (my selling point to him) and that also means I would have someone to show the surrounding beauty this two foot path wanders through.  However, this journey would be more a challenge of endurance than the previous trips.  The plan was to complete the trail in 7 days, which is an average of 30 miles per day.  A daunting sum to some, q…

Nepal: Solukhumbu (Everest) Region

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Every year I try to find a new region where I can backpack, spending my time simply living day to day and experiencing more of this planet.  After some brainstorming Megan suggested Nepal and after a brief moment of contemplation I was off planning.  I say 'I' because I enjoy planning and Megan simply enjoys going on the trip. It works out well because there is only one chef in the kitchen so to speak.  After debating between the Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek we decided to go with the latter for a number of reasons including: 1) It's freaking Everest 2) There is a road being built alongside the Annapurna Circuit 3) Less crowds on EBC (even though both are considered busy during the peak season).

I usually backpack during the summer season so having to plan for a late fall campaign was different plus going to a third-world country I had no background in.  We set our dates for the 'best weather' season because who wants to go to the Everest regio…