Sunday, September 25, 2011

No Regrets

When I made the decision to run the Bear, I knew I would need to be in very good shape just to be able to finish. Starting the Bear, I gave myself about a 50% chance of finishing considering the condition my knees were in and being about 15lbs over my "race weight". Call me selfish, but the entry fee was paid, the hotel reservations and plane tickets were bought so I though what the heck. We were going to be here anyway and though Kristy and I could have volunteered, I would have had regret that I did not even try to tackle the Bear.

What got me was the downhills. I absolutely could not run them. They were so steep that the pain it caused through my knees just wouldn't allow it. I could run where it was relatively flat but that was about it. There is not much flat on this course. I don't mind running uphill though these uphills were so steep that most were un-runnable.

The Bear starts and goes steep uphill for 12 miles and then a steep downhill for 8. Once we started downhill, people were flying by me like I was standing still. I was tip toeing down the runnable downhills. Several people even stopped and asked me if I was alright. 12 miles in and I'm already limping for 8 miles going downhill. With 80 more miles to go and knowing that the terrain wouldn't get much better, I knew I would have to take it one mile or even one step at a time. For the next 50 miles I tried to run the downhills but it just wasn't going to happen. The last 10 miles I did, 52-62, I made the decision to stop as my downhill pace was down to nearly 1 mile per hour making an official finish unlikely.

Kristy and I both had a very good time and are looking forward to coming back again. If not just for the beauty of it, so I can run the Bear in sub 30.

Headed back to Fargo now. More to come on the Bear.......

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I pulled the plug at

I pulled the plug at 4:30 this morning. I'll post details later.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ready To Go

Less than 2 hours to go and I'll be on the trail. It is disappointing that I won't be able to do any posting during the event as there is zero cell coverage. The local Ham Radio operators take care of the communication during the event and will be relaying information as to when runners come in and out of aid stations and that info will be updated in real time to the website. I'll have the Spot device on as well.

I just realized that the Bison/Gopher game will be over before I finish on Saturday. Bummer. Go Bison.

I best be getting ready to go.

This event has a 36 hour cut off to complete the course and I intend to use all of it. I know my weakened, aging body is not ready for this, but my heart is.

See you on the other side of the mountains at Bear Lake.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tracking and Maps

The Bear 100 (Logan to Bear Lake) starts Friday morning at 6:00 a.m. mountain time and I will have the tracking on so you can follow along and see my progress. I've included links to some maps to see the course as it won't show up on the tracking map. The large map of the entire course is best viewed outside of a browser where you can size it appropriately.

Scouting The Bear

Kristy and I spent yesterday(Wednesday) driving the route that she will take as my crew during the Bear 100. Though she has spent a couple years in the Logan area, we traveled some roads yesterday that I'm certain the locals don't even know exist. The course I will be on is rated 4/4 on a scale of 1-5 for terrain/surface. The roads we drove on were probably 5/5. We even had the rental car car airborne a time or two.

It was a joy to be in the mountains though I have to admit they are quite intimidating. I guess it wouldn't be normal for me if at some point before an event I didn't have my, "What have I gotten myself into?" moment. The fall colors are coming out, the trail is rugged and steep (26,000 feet), the water is flowing (several stream and 1 river crossing means getting wet), so I guess I'll go with, Beautifully Brutal to describe the course. I feel fortunate just to be here much less be able to participate. Pictures just don't do places like this justice. You have to see it.

Though my training for The Bear has been compromised by the weakness in the knee thing I have, I truly believe that I will be able to complete it. My body may not be ready but I know my heart is. Like my friend Maggie texted to me yesterday, at least it won't be 41 below. More later.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bismarck and the Bear

Had a fun time as part of a relay team this past Saturday in Bismarck. It was the 3rd time I've done this and though I really can't put my finger on why, I just can't get over how much fun it is to be part of a relay team. I only hope my team members choose to keep Kristy and I on their team as we seem to be the ones causing issues. Jon and Erin, every year, have put out hard, consistent efforts while Kristy and I have both been "caught with our pants down". Literally. We've cut the course and not been ready on most of our exchanges. Maybe they'll give us a chance to redeem ourselves next year or bring us along again form comic relief. You can read more about it on "Jon's Many Adventures" blog under my favorite links.

The Bear

Wednesday morning Kristy and I will be heading out to Logan Utah for the Bear 100. Though my training has been severely compromised by what ever attacked my knees this summer, I'm definitely feeling more and more confident every day. I'm not even close to 100% but I think if I can't prevent any missteps so I don't twist anything I believe I can make it. At this point I'd say it is a coin flip. Only time will tell though I am excited to get going.

I'll have the tracking on so you can follow my progress. It starts on the east side of Logan and ends at Bear Lake which is actually in Idaho. Kristy has spent some time in this area when she went to school in Logan and says that Bear Lake is the "Bluest" lake I will ever see. I can't wait to get started.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

Training for my upcoming event has been slow. I'm trying hard to stay away from injury caused by ramping up the mileage too fast though it has prevented me from putting very many miles on at all. I feel like I could go for many many miles but that is not reality. It's just not there right now. I've had things turn around fairly quickly in the past so I am still optimistic that the Bear 100 will be a running event for me and not a volunteering event. I'm not too concerned either way as Kristy and I are really looking forward to getting out to the mountains so we'll enjoy our time out there whether I'm running or not. The volunteering is actually kind of appealing to me coming of off Ben's trek across North Dakota. It was difficult to stay focused on Ben's needs for such a long time when I was so tired I could hardly stay awake. There were many times when I wished I were running instead of crewing as I thought that may be easier. I know that is not true. It was just a low point. I really enjoyed seeing him succeeding at his event regardless of my whining about my tiredness.

Ben seems to be doing fine since crossing ND. He's back at school and the body is healing. It will be fun to hook up with him again and hear some of what he has been reflecting on since completing his monster ultra. I hope to have him write up a bit of what was going on in his head as he was crossing the state, or what gave him the idea in the first place.

For now, it's off to the cabin for the Labor Day Weekend. I'll hopefully get some miles on the trails as I'm in bad need of some runs on uneven and elevated terrain. Hard to get that here in town. Maybe a trip out to the Grasslands next week.