Monday, March 17, 2014
Fun run through hail, rain, fog and sun today on Cougar. Ahhh spring :-) Loving the new UD packs so far. Pictured here is the new Anton pack. It's gonna see a lot of use in the months to come for sure. Great features. Really dialed in features on this (the second version) pack. Looking forward to getting the PB and the SJ packs on the trail soon as welll.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014
This Sunday, I'll lead a group of Seattle Mountain Running Group friends on the classic '12 Summits' 50k, on nearby Tiger Mountain.
On April 23rd, some friends and I will run a 'ghost' 50k on the Yakima Skyline course. Should be a great time, and hopefully we'll score some sun again this year.
After that, who knows?!
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Sunglasses for running (and an active lifestyle): Maui Jim Nakalele and Maui Jim Olowalu. Both of these glasses are incredibly light, have titanium frames, and feature the newest lenses made my Maui Jim, the MauiPure lenses, which are reported to be about as clear as it gets. I ordered the HCL Bronze lens in both pairs of glasses, as these offer the best contrast (very helpful for running over technical trails through variable light conditions). I've had a hard time finding sunglasses that are light and comfortable enough to wear while running long distance. I think the Maui Jim line offers some exciting items toward this end.
Hydration packs: Ultimate Direction Signature Series (version 2). I love my Ultimate Direction AK v1 vest. It's by far the best hydration vest I've run with so far. I'm very curious to see what updates have been made to the AK vest, and to check out the SJ and the PB vests. Once I've logged some miles in each, I'll review them - detailing the various merits of each. This will be a comparative review.
Shoe reviews: Hoka Conquest I've been waiting to try these babies out for some time. A significant step forward for Hoka. Looking forward to trying a more responsive Hoka ride on the trail and the pavement. Read about them via the provided link. My review will appear on iRunFar.
Headlamp: Petzl Tikka RXP I've used this little gem on the last two Sunday morning runs, and I'm really liking it. A detailed review coming soon!
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Sunday, December 29, 2013
from April - December:
Distance: 1,080.2 mi
Time spent running: 214h 23m
Elevation Gain (my favorite stat): 253,343 ft
# of runs: 139
I seemed to average just over 40 miles a week, with about 4 runs per week. Most of my miles were done in the mountains - nearly all of my runs were on some sort of trail. I'm looking forward to having a watch for all of 2014, and curious to see what my stats will look like next year.
Friday, December 20, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
I enjoyed running in the Speedcross, but they had a bit too high of a heel/toe drop for me (9 or 10 mm depending on who you ask). They weren't terribly breathable either. Enjoyed the aggressive tread though, and the quality of build.
Salomon took the best of the bunch and threw it together. This is the Fellraiser. The tread is just as aggressive as the Fellcross1, with slightly elongated lugs. The major difference is the upper. I still can't run in my Fellcross, as the upper is crazy stiff, and seems to have been designed to withstand hurricane forces and grenade launches on the world's gnarliest singletrack conditions.
Salomon uses the same quicklace system of all their SLab (and other trail running) shoes. However, there's a slightly deeper pocket on the top of the tongue that easily packs all the excess lace after tightening. Salomon also uses their OrthoLite insole, which I enjoyed in the Speedcross. A nice cushy ride without any undue pressure under the arch. My size 11s weighed in at 10 ounces. Keep in mind though that most shoe companies advertise weights of size 9 shoes, so mine would be seen as weighing less on most vendor sites.
First impressions after first (very short) trail run - they feel light, quite flexible, incredibly grippy, nimble, well-cushioned, not over structured and not minimalist. I can imagine running for a long time in these puppies, and will run with them on the PCT this weekend and likely around Mt. Saint Helen's next weekend.
Phil, at Seven Hills Running Shop, posted that he'll likely have these babies in very soon.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Following my landing, I was struck by how beautiful the area is. The view from the airport is striking, with the Tetons seemingly just a stone's throw away from the runway. The airport itself is quite nice, and you exit the runway by walking through an arch comprised of antlers as you enter the ranch-style building. Once I caught my ride to Jenny Lake, I asked the driver to stop at the nearby mountaineering store. I wanted a good trail map and a small canister of bear spray (the Tetons are home to a large population of bears and moose).
Jenny Lake Lodge, where we stayed, is situated just across from the foot on the Tetons. It's a lovely little place, with approximately 35 log cabins and a main lodge (pictured below). The restaurant is highly acclaimed and serves an extravagant breakfast, a simple but tasty lunch, and a five course prix-fix dinner that is out of this world. The food was great, almost too great, as it's challenging to burn off enough calories when you're eating that many tasty and elaborate meals each day. The staff was incredibly friendly and highly personalized in their approach to service. Neither my father nor I rented a car during our trip, and we were provided free SUV shuttle service by a young man who was quite happy to be working in a national park for the summer. If you are a guy and decide to visit the lodge, bring along a dinner jacket, as the restaurant is formal and jackets are encouraged.
I couldn't eat lunch fast enough after landing. I was so excited to get out on the trails. I wolfed down a portobella burger in the restaurant, an IPA (I was on vacation, so...), and headed out. Fortunately, my 5L Salomon S-Lab hydration pack allowed me to easily carry a canister of bear spray in one front pocket and my camera in the other. This is such a great pack for these half-day trail runs. I don't usually carry bear spray in areas home to black bears, but the presence of grizzlies and large bull moose seemed to warrant some precaution. The map I purchased noted that running is particularly ill-advised in this park due to the large animals present. Rangers I ran across echoed this, suggesting I walk slowly lest I become part of the food chain.
The way I chose to approach running in this bear/moose-heavy area was to run on populated trails. I generally prefer running in more remote places, but I was successfully intimidated by all the bear talk, and was running alone. When I got home, my friend Kevin told me that he visited the park a few years ago and met a runner who had been mauled by a grizzly. He pointed out that he did though make it into Runners' World Magazine. Lucky him.
I can't recommend the run through the Cascade Canyon enough. That canyon is exquisitely beautiful. A towering cliff rises on the right several hundred feet, with waterfalls emptying onto glaciated snow. The Grand Teton, Teewinot, East Prong, and Mount Owen are to the left of the trail. As you run or hike along the trail and away from Jenny Lake, you face The Wigwams up ahead. One of the looming rock faces you're running toward looks remarkably like El Capitan. Such is the epic scale of the peaks surrounding this trail.
I made it up to 7,800 before I encountered deep snow (they had snow up until last week). This is also the point that I encountered my first bear. The bear was moving over the snow and around a corner. Since I'd taken the South Fork turn, I hadn't seen or heard any people. Things became darker and very quiet. That, coupled with the snow and the bear, helped me decide to turn around and head back.
On Sunday, I ran the same trail, but took a different route. I ran the more circuitous trail so I could see the large waterfall and Inspiration Point. Shortly thereafter I ran across some folks who just fun across (nearly into) a large bull moose on the trail.
The trail is at altitude, at least by my standards from beginning to end. It starts at about 6,800 ft. I'd hoped to make it to Hurricane Pass, but the snow was prohibitive. I felt the elevation while running, but it wasn't too much of an issue. The air is incredibly dry though, and I was glad to have a little Burt's Bees lip stuff along, as my lips became quite chapped. This trail, and apparently many of the trails in this area, are quite exposed to the sun. Not a great place to forget sunscreen, as the elevation coupled with steady sun are pretty intense.
|This set of waterfalls really captivated me. I scurried up the scree to get a better look, and rank these falls among the most beautiful and idyllic I have ever seen.|
|Yellow bellied Marmot. These guys were all over the place! I'm not sure who startled who more as I ran by. But, they have a very high pitched scream, which definitely wakes you up if you start feeling jet-lagged and sleepy during your run.|
|This was a 200 ft. waterfall on the short trail up toward Inspiration Point. The spray reached the trail where this pic was taken.|
|This area has a sizable fire several years ago, and the area around Jenny Lake is a young recovering forest as a result.|
|We saw this cub not far from Jenny Lake. Just wondered where Mama was...|
|The fellas approaching Inspiration Point|
|View from Jenny Lake looking out toward the Tetons|
|the ferry boats across Jenny Lake run continuously during the day, escorting hoards of tourists to the trails below Inspiration Point.|
|This little fella didn't want to play, but thankfully slithered out of the way just as I ran up to him|
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
It would be easy, and far more comfortable, to take a narrow view of this month’s question, and to arrive at the conclusion that trail running, even in excess, doesn’t meet the diagnostic criteria considered to constitute an addiction.
- Trail runners don’t develop tolerance, as drug users do. Or do they? Many ultrarunners I know start with 50k’s and slowly move up to time-consuming 100 mile trail races, presumably responding to an inner need to cover more distance in order to arrive at a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.
Post note: Thank you to the editors of Trail Runner Magazine for choosing this article as this month's Editors' Choice winner. Thanks too to everyone who offered their thoughts, comments and congratulatory words this week. I really enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts and am touched that the article resonated with so many.