Friday, June 28, 2013

Big weekend

for endurance sports.
Laurent Fignon
Photo: AFP

The 40th Western States 100 should be fun to follow via twitter.The mega stacked men's field and expected triple digit temps should keep things interesting right to the finish. My pick is defending champion Timothy Olson ftw, but I would also love to see one of the masters like Mike Morton or Karl Meltzer reel in the young guns toward the end.

In contrast, a lot of the pre- Tour commentary has a air of determinism about it. Its Fromme or its Contador, according to more than few "experts". That makes me want to see some dark horse come in and win it, and it does seem that the first few stages on Corsica have the potential to mix things up. Whatever happens, I'll be watching it more for the breathtaking scenery than anything else.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lipbuster Challenge

Sunday was the inaugural Lipbuster Challenge, designed to answer one simple question: how many times can you run up and down the hill along Elwood Ave. in an hour? The climb is not very big, 140 feet or so, but is pretty steep by any standard. In addition, Lipbuster is an eroded mess (thanks to a laissez faire attitude on trail use around here) which makes the downhill particularly taxing. There would be three heats, with the second one reserved for the "elites" with prize money.

I initially hesitated on this one; 45 bucks is steep for a .5 mile out and back course. But in the end I just had to know how many repeats I could do. And it was Father's Day after all!

I ran in the first heat. I got in 10 repeats with around 3 minutes left on the clock, nowhere near enough time to bag another climb.  Sure, it was tough, but I can't shake this nagging feeling that I didn't give it my all. Especially since the winner also did 10 and didn't try for another with almost 6 minutes on the clock!

The idea was that such a short and steep course would make for great spectating. I support all attempts to make trail running a more competitive, spectator friendly, sport. There were a few people watching the first heat, a few more came to cheer on the elites, but overall it was a fairly quiet event.

Early on in the competitive heat. The guy in yellow faded soon after.
I slowly walked up to the top to get a good view of things. The elite race didn't turn out to be that competitive though, despite the prize money awarded to the top three finishers in each sex. One guy basically dominated the men's race (14 repeats), and the women's field was only three deep. I suppose this is to be expected for a first year event. Hopefully the idea will catch on and next year we'll start to see something more like this:


Monday, June 10, 2013

Tulsa Tough

Ran down to the Riverparks with the fam to watch the last day of Tulsa Tough. Its quite an spectacle that draws a large crowd. We arrived just in time to watch the mens category 1 and 2 finals.

There's nothing quite like feeling the rush of the peleton from five feet away.

The course was about a mile long and includes the infamous Cry Baby Hill, a seemingly modest climb that probably starts to hurt after a dozen loops. Its one big party, with more than a few intoxicated enthusiasts getting right up next to the riders, Tour de France style, to express their support.

I'm hoping that some of that enthusiasm will rub off and move me to start putting some miles on the bike again.

I brought home a six pack of Stone IPA from Colorado. Its got everything you need at the end of a summer day: grapefruit and tropical fruit (mango?) followed by a nice bitter bite and a dry finish. A world class beer, for sure.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Take me to the river

On Tuesday I went for a ride around the the now raging Arkansas. I stopped at the switchback by the electric plant and walked down to take in the awesome power of the river. Hard to imagine that one could have walked across this very stretch of the river just a few months ago. 

This area is called the "Tulsa Wave Park" but in the two years I have yet to see a single kayaker out there.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Golden Gate 12 miler report

Well that was a completely different beast. Hike up the mountain, run down, repeat. At the most, there were a few hundred yards of level running.

Overall, the run went surprisingly well. I stuck to the plan of holding back until the ascent to Windy Peak, and as a result, had plenty of energy throughout the race. I did well with the power hiking and passed a number of people going up. The altitude didn't seem to bother me in any noticeable way. Managing the descent, however, turned out to be quite a challenge. It started outwell enough, but I soon started to get little twangs of muscle cramp in the hams. My legs were warning me that they would get much worse if I didn't slow down and shorten my stride. Was it dehydration, or just overly stressed hamstrings? Probably the latter. How does a flatlander prepare for so much continuous downhill running?

Soon enough, I was passed by everyone I had passed on the uphill. It was a little frustrating to watch this happen as I had the all energy needed to increase my pace for the last split. Finished in 2:51. Like last year's Pumpkin Holler, I feel good about the day but see so much room for improvement.

Pre- race check in at the barn

Boulder Beer's Copper Ale and a xylophone ensemble for the recovery.