Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DC 2011 in Photos

Nice recap SPC Davis!

Here are some pics of the DryFly in Spokane, suppliers of this year's top prize (the GALLON Young's Flask)

Wish I'd taken more photos to capture the spirit of the USAF edition of the DC.
I don't know why I have so many pictures of the crab dish

I do know why I have so many pictures of Jay's wardrobe changes. Go Cameroon!

It was nice chillin under the xmas lights, ventoux bagels with special butter, cheeseless lasagna, and roasted chicken with beer!

And running in Oregon Coast weather

See you all next year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

DC IV and 2011 NMN

I believe Vincent Van Gogh was unappreciated during his lifetime too...

DC IV recount! Sorry Guth, but it appears you are the actual winner of the 2011 DC IV. I did learn something about myself though. I can do kindergarten addition more precisely without whiskey than with whiskey...

Final Results & Awards are linked here. Also, NMN playlists are linked to the blog, so get your votes in if you want to win a Kamiak tennis sweatshirt (gently used).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Riding in the Dark

Overhead streetlights at regular intervals cast my favorite shadows. I've always loved this about riding in the dark. If you see me doing sprint intervals on my be-panniered commuter bike at 5am, I'm just getting excited about my shadow jumping out ahead of me, then sliding by the side,

then jumping out ahead,

then sliding by the side,

then jumping out ahead...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Watching this with Guth last night and the urge to post it here was almost instinctual, for obvious reasons. I found myself longing for a 6AM wake-up call, a pre-breakfast hair of the dog beer and a crap-ass performance on a door frame pull-up bar. And it was the best kind of longing, like a high school crush on the new Brazilian exchange student.

Friday, October 21, 2011

NMN 2011

Creativity time. Pick a six letter animal. Playlists due by November 15th. Winner gets Kamiak gear. 2011 New Music November categories:

1) God
2) Technology
3) Joy
4) Time
5) Money
6) Work
7) Body
8) Pain
9) Food
10) Color
11) Clothing
12) War
13) Transportation
14) Number
15) Family

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I always thought boobs were a liability to runners. More weight, and sportsbra chafage, who needs it? I discovered a new use- as human airbags for klutzy trail runners. Fell hard on my chest in Riverside State Park on Saturday. Also bent the last 3 fingers of my right hand backwards (still can’t fully make a fist). I just remember thinking as I went down, “No-o-o-o-o-o!“ and looking at the rocks about to meet my face and trying to decide in a split second, how can I turn at the last minute not to reopen the deep gash on my right thumb and left knee from last week’s fall which had still not fully crusted over? I’m sure if it weren’t for the airbag boobs I would have gotten a lot worse. I had planned to run 18 but the wind knocked out of me and bits of trail deep in my wounds, cut it short at 13. At least I didn’t land on a pile of horse crap!

Next day I feel a little beat up, but I have to make up the miles. I haven’t run any distance since TRR and I have a 50k/26.2 double this weekend, and a trail 50 miler the following week. About 50 feet into the bluff trail, my left foot (always the damn left foot) catches on a tiny rock and OOF! Bloodied my chin, scraped the bandaid off my thumb clear off, a foot of trail rash on both thighs. Used half my water to try and get the gristle out of my hand wound, should I turn around? Needed to get SOME miles in- did my short 5 and went home.

Wednesday, it is 41 degrees and dark so I don leggings and gloves but after 3 miles of pavement/ headlamp, decide the sun is up enough I’m going to go onto the trail. About 1.5 miles from home I make a turn that takes me to more rocks. Uh-oh… just go slowly, you’ve done this before. But for a brief second I start to think something else and …. OOOF!. This time it’s bad- I land on my face, tasted blood and gristle. Did a quick check- bloody nose but not too much lateral motion of my nose, bruised but not blackened eye, inner lining of my cheek peeled off, dirt ground into my lip, no teeth appear broken. Lucky for the warm clothing I’m bruised but not bloody in my body. This time my head feels fuzzy and my eyes fill with tears, I’m so tired, I’m such a loser. I feel like I’m back at Lost Lake, where I ran face first into a tree then DNF’d at mile 29 after nearly 10-1/2 hours of slogging through mud, only this is not a technical trail, it’s not dark out, if I can’t even do 6 miles how do I expect to do 50, let alone 100? I’m not good enough to run trails, I should stick to city marathons and go hiking.

At work I feel like I’ve been in a car accident, neck sore and stiff, still can’t close my right hand, grimace every time I get a firm handshake or drink anything, can’t open my mouth fully or breathe through my nose, aches in places I don’t remember injuring. How do those actors get beat up by monsters and get thrown into the air then miraculously get back up? More importantly, where will I run here in the winter when it is snowy/ icy and dark?

Summer Camp for Trail Runners (Transrockies Run Aug 21-26, 2011)

When fellow Maniac VVN asked me if I wanted to run TRR I said yes before I even really knew what it was. It is a multi-stage trail run through the Colorado Rockies, 6 days, 120 miles, 20,000 ft of elevation gain at average altitudes of 8000-12000 ft. You run as a team, and if you don’t finish within 2 minutes of each other at each checkpoint, you’re docked 1 hour. VVN is very experienced on trails and a fast descender, but feared the altitude. I descend slower than I climb and feared the terrain more than the altitude. You better like your partner because you share a tent and run with them all day long, and people can get grumpy when it’s 90 degrees and you’re tired. But that’s about as rough as it gets- crew set up and disassemble your tents for you, there is a catered meal for breakfast and dinner every day, heated showers, options for massage, and reportedly 5700 bottles of beer. The Ritz Carlton of trail running. It was modeled after the TransAlpine Run in Europe and the TransRockies mountain bike ride in Canada.

Day -1: Littleton CO. We stay at a fellow Maniac's house. This is the view from their backyard. We go a little down the street and run in a state park with crazy red rocks.

Then cool off with local brews.

I could move to Colorado!

Day 0: Arrival at Buena Vista
Bus ride with VVN and her husband Tom who is volunteering at TRR, we share a small cabin and meet a bunch of other runners, who look really fit and skinny, including the eventual winners from Quebec who are 2 doors down. "What category are you?" "80+ womens" (i.e. our combined ages). Another asked VVN who our sponsors were. I'm not sure if I should answer "scotch" or "beef jerky".

Stage 1: Buena Vista to Railroad Bridge (20.8 miles, 2500 ft gain, 7891-9336 ft)

Here is team "Sealevel Harriers" at the start of day 1. "This is the cleanest we're going to be for the next 6 days" says VVN. This is supposedly the "boring warmup" stage, but I really like the desert, even the 5 mile sandpit.

Then it's a luxurious soak in a cool river. This is crucial for leg recovery for the next day.

Stage 2: Vicksburg to Twin Lakes (13.4 miles, 3200 ft gain, 9662-12,532 ft)
This is one of the "short and steep" stages to alternate with the "longer, woodsy" stages. The one with famous Hope Pass, of Leadville Trail lore. Some Leadville ribbons are still up, and running by the glow sticks on the rocky single track, I can't believe people run this climb in the dark after already having completed 50+ miles.

It's a long climb up a steep forest single track. I see the lady ahead of me running in crocs!
Then you clear the forest and there is more climbing, and a rocky pass

Spectacular mountain views

Then we reached the top of Hope Pass and got to meet Gordy Ainsleigh, who famously "invented" the 100 mile run when he decided to do the Western States horse race on foot- then ran Western States 22 times!

Then it's a blazing downhill past a gorgeous lake, to another finish and lake soak, shower and massage at camp.

The food is so healthy if I ate like ultrarunners chronically I'd be skinny too.

Stage 3: Leadville to Camp Hale/ Nova Guides (24.3 miles, 2700 ft gain, 9226-11,000 ft)
Another long climb and more spectacular views

First "mini" creek crossing

Then top of Tennessee Pass! I think I remember driving there when I went to a meeting in Aspen, and being short of breath just walking around there, 6 years ago.

Stage 4: Camp Hale/ Nova Guides to Red Cliff (14.2 miles, 2800 ft gain, 8657-11,679 ft)
The Run3 individual runners have gone and now the back-of-the-pack is a bit more sparse. Another short, steep stage, lots of teams using bungees to pull each other up. Here is Gordy and his partner Doug, whose daughter ended up winning 2nd place in the 80+ women's

This is the one with the mile-long creek crossing. Not actually crossing, but running in the creek- it was so cold I had bilateral foot charley horse

This is also the one where we finish at Mangoes and eat fish tacos/ drink margaritas before heading back to camp

Stage 5: Red Cliff to Vail (23.6 miles, 4100 ft gain, 8657-11,700 ft)
This is the longest stage, made longer by the fact that we got lost and did an unfortunate extra 2 miles and 500 ft of climbing. That doesn't sound like much but it can be hard on the morale to think you're almost done but you're not.

Still, more spectacular views ending with the knowledge that we only had one more day. I learned a lot about camping from VVN. Like, everything you pack has to have more than one purpose (for example, running shoes make excellent beer bottle carriers, and trekking poles can be a great clothesline)

The BBQ and sunset were welcome.

Stage 6: Vail to Beaver Creek (23.6 miles, 5000 ft gain, 8160-9532 ft)
Last day, bittersweet, you want to finish but you don't want it to end. Ran through crazy birch forest, then lots of winding single track, ending in an endless climb through fallen trees for tree rot. More wildflowers

but rewarded by a downhill finish
The Sealevel Harriers place #12 out of 14 teams in our category.
And didn't fall once.