Friday, May 27, 2011

New American Record

A new American record for the 48 hour run was accomplished recently.  Phil McCarthy of New York logged 257 miles over two days.  Short article on it here.

I must say, that takes some serious determination.

But this takes balls...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2011 McDonald Forest 50k


A bit delayed (and many details forgotten), but here it is...

The Start

Toeing the line of McDonald Forest 50k outside of Corvallis, OR, I had in my mind the words fellow runner Nick Triolo gave me just before starting Peterson Ridge Rumble 40 miler 4 weeks prior--"patience and confidence".  Simple words, I know, but perhaps the best advice I've received in quite some time.  I didn't heed the advice that day, but at "the Mac" it all came together for me.

The race started at what seemed like a very comfortable pace, but it wasn't long before there was just a group of about 10 of us up front.  We soon hit the first stretch of single track and, believe it or not, Max King took off on what would be his course record run.  I stayed at the back of the group and just watched the guys up front, trying to get an early read on things. As the climbing started it was clear a couple of these guys would drop off soon, but most looked really strong.  I just kept comfortable, knowing there were plenty of places of to push other than these first few climbs.

By the first aid station (mile 7) I had passed a couple of guys and let a few more go and was cruising well.  My focus for the first hour was to relax, get extra calories in, and not get too caught up.  Then see what comes.  By the climb out of the 2nd aid station I could see a couple of the guys in front and I caught and patiently hung with them for a while.  The pace was good, I was feeeling food about what was in the tank, and I decided to make a hard pass on a nice downhill stretch and get some separation.  I quickly put a good gap as they seemed not to follow.

Things leveled out and I dialed it back in, but was soon passed by eventual second place runner Neil Olsen.  He was really running hard (I think he had some sort of delay early on and was now on a mission to make up time).  I let him go, but he was not going too hard on some of the climbs so I pushed and latched on for a bit.  I did my best to keep up with him--and did for several miles, but he eventually got out of sight on a climb around the 4th aid station.  He would only finish about a minute and a half up on me, but I never saw him again.  

Trying to hang with Neil...

I had a mildly bad patch coming out of that aid station where I was really starting to feel it.  I kept moving, confidently knowing it would pass, that my legs were stronger than they felt right at that moment, and that there was still battles to wage with this course.  Where I would typically start peeking over my shoulder at who was catching up, this time I was instead mostly forward focused and ready to keep going.  On the last big climb about 3 miles from the finish I was able to see one more person about half a mile up.  He was walking and obviously worn out.  It took a while, and wasn't a pretty effort, but I managed to catch up to him and put him behind me.  At this point I knew a 4:30 finish might be possible if I kept it together.  The trail twist and turns, mostly downhill, for the final mile and a half, and I was really satisfied how hard I was able to run this.  I finished in 4:30:14 (so close!) for a surprising third place.

Shoes:  NB 101s.  
Done a ton of training in these but this was the first time racing in these.  Great.  No issues.

Nutrition:  1 bottle Hammer Perpetuem (early for some calories), various assortment of Gu, some water and Nuun,  4 s-caps and a little Hammer Heed from the aid stations.
Not bad on this front.  The Perpetuem early worked really well.  Made it easy to relax and focus on getting some calories in.  Stomach was a little touchy near the end and I think it was from the Heed.  Don't usually use "sports drinks", and I think the combination of the sweet Heed on top of Gu was just too much.

Tunes:  Shakedown Stream--5/5/77.  Great show...  I love running to this podcast.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Turkey Pictures

Here are some more pictures from Turkey.  Most are from my runs, but I threw some others up just for fun.  Enjoy...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Istanbul, from Galata Tower near our apartment

Wow, what a trip!  So many people had told us how much they loved Turkey that I knew we would have a good time, but I don't think we really knew what to expect going into it.  The travel would be tough, the language is difficult, but we were ready for a vacation and looking forward to some time together.  We certainly got more than we could have imagined.

The first half of our trip was in Istanbul--an absolutely incredible place.  So much history crammed together, such unique energy, it really has to be experienced to be understood.  It has a European feel, but not all the way. There is definitely a different sense of life there than any other place I've been.  Very, very friendly and generous, not pushy at all.  Hard working but not caught up.  Comfortable.

Got a couple of short runs in.  Getting out and running in a new city, especially a foreign city, is so fun.  Everything just takes on a new feel.  It is people-watching at its best.  Seeing the fishermen on the waterfront or the hustle of the ferry terminals, the other tourists doing what we would be doing later in the day...pure entertainment.  

The view up the valley from our villa near Kalkan
After Istanbul we flew south to the Mediterranean coast.  We had rented a villa in the hills up above the town of Kalkan.  It was truly stunning.  Situated on a small little hilltop with a couple other (empty) houses, we really were in our own little world.  Lots of small little farmhouses with chickens and goats and sheep, it was a step back in time.  People have been living in these hills for 4000 years and with the exception of some asphalt and mopeds, it doesn't seem a lot has changed.  Lycian ruins  (as well as later Byzantine and Roman) are all over this area.

Our house was about 1750 feet above and a few miles drive from the sea below us.  The mountains rose to nearly 4000 feet up the valley from us.  Running up and over the pass (~3500 ft) there was lots of dirt/rock side roads that were fun to explore.  Most would shortly dead end at a pasture or a honey farm, but some would snake up further into the hills exposing views of neighboring valleys or the snow covered mountains further inland.  I never had enough time to adventure too far down these paths, but it was fun nonetheless.  Some of the most beautiful scenery I've been around.  

Some more photos:

Lycian tombs in the hills
The next valley looking back at the pass
Nice view of the larger mountains inland
The kids walking behind the house

I hope to go back someday...