Friday, January 27, 2012

McCall Trailrunning Classic

10, 20, or 40 miles in the mountains of McCall, Idaho.  Brandi and I are directing this one on July 14, 2012.  Join us for a great day on the trails, great prizes and swag, and a festive atmosphere pre and post race.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wilson Creek Frozen 50K

Myself and two others got off quickly in the lead and went off course in the dark at mile 3.  It was dark and slippery and the trail looked the same as the correct trail.  I had been out there just two weeks prior, but that didn't matter in the dark.  We all missed the flag and that's life.  We did a little over 2 extra miles, going down into a big, muddy ravine and reaching a road.  We were so close to where we were supposed to be, I knew we could have just jogged up the road and been on course.

We stopped to discuss the situation and decided we had missed a turn and could see no other headlamps around.   We turned around and climbed back out.  The flag had been tangled by the windy night, wrapping it into the sagebrush and obscuring it.  We pushed hard to get back into the race taking chances in the thick mud on steep downhills.   Shortly after getting back on course I hurt my right ankle in a twisting, sliding, muddy fall down a steep draw.  I lost ability to push off in the mud and was forced to limp along.  At that point, I figured there were at least 10 people ahead, but still a long way to go to track them down.  I ate some NSAIDs to subdue the pain and began the 2 mile mud road climb at a snail's pace.  I passed a few people on that stretch.  At the 7.5 mile aid station, My GPS read close to 10 miles.  The next 6 miles promised to be a miserable, steep, muddy climb to the summit of Wilson Peak.  I passed a few more, moving into 5th place.  In that stretch, the clay mud was so thick and nasty, that every few steps I was forced to stop and remove giant 5+ lb clods with my gloved hands.  A few miles up, I caught Joelle Vaught, the women's leader and superstar.  The ankle was improving and I was gaining ground.  On the Wilson Peak out-and-back summit climb, I encountered all 4 runners ahead of me tightly bunched and measured the leader was less than 1 mile ahead.  I had made up a lot of distance and was still in the race.

As soon as I began the downhill from the summit, I knew my race was over.  The ankle would not take the pounding of the downhill.  I stayed calm and dealt with increasing pain intent to stop at the 20 mile mark and save it for another day.  In the last few miles, I passed 4th place, then 3rd place- both are really strong runners and both dropped at the 20 also.  I came into the 20 mile start/finish area having narrowed the gap on the final 2 (and eventual winners of the 50K) even more, but discipline demanded that I bag it.  The goal races of the summer hinges on my health and ability to train through the winter.  I did not think I had 10 more miles in my ankle anyway, so the choice was easy.  They gave me a winning finish for the 20, over my protests that I had earned the DNF.  I ran 3:36, which seems fast given the 13-14 min miles I logged in the mud miles after my fall.  Just 2 weeks ago, I had done the loop in 2:53 on a training run in good/firm conditions.  The mud was amazing out there.
My bottles were submerged in mud, so every time I tried to eat or drink, I would smear the mud all over my grill.  Sitka desert camo courtesy of Brandi for Christmas.
Brandi, bless her heart, came through the 20 mile mark a few hours later and was happy and looking great.  I limped around for a while, ate some excellent food and hung out with some good people.  The volunteers and support staffs were great.  B carried on for the 50K finish and earned a gutsy 3rd place.  I am so proud of her.  She dug deep and pulled out another podium finish.

Davina and Emily did a great job organizing and running the show in tough conditions.  I heard no complaints from anyone about organization.  The mud and weather made it an event to remember.

It's 4 days later and the ankle has not improved much.  I am icing and elevating it, but it is really painful and not taking my weight or allowing any range of motion.  I have self diagnosed it as 1 of 3 things, or perhaps a little of each:

1. fibular stress fracture
2. tear/strain of peroneal longus
3. high ankle sprain

I have 4 months and 22 days until Bighorn 100.  With careful rest and rehab, I should be fine.  It's a good time for a rest anyway with the McCall winter bearing down.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bighorn: I'm Doing It!

Bighorn 100: June 15, 2012.  For the last 3 years, B and I have made an autumn pilgrimage to the Bighorn Mountains of northern Wyoming.  Some of the best days of my life have been spent camping and climbing on the endless limestone walls of Tensleep Canyon.  I have always marveled at the beauty and ruggedness of the landscape.  Now, I will get my chance to explore the range a little more.  Training for this one will be a challenge under McCall winter conditions.  The Bighorn has some massive climbs and descents and can get brutally hot.  All of these conditions are hard to replicate up here during winter.  I will report back as my training plan evolves.  For now, I will focus on the 50K on Saturday.   Then comes a brief rest and a 4.5 month buildup and peak in June.  

Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail Run 2012 - Participants 

First NameLast NameCityStateAgeGenderCategory
JeremyHumphreyMcCallID33MBighorn Trail 100

Monday, January 9, 2012

Wilson Creek 20 Mile

Sunday, I drove to the Owyhees for one last solid workout before the race in 12 days.  I wanted to push the pace a bit in spots to see how fast the course would be on race day, but hold plenty back for the race.  I managed 2:53 for the first 20.7 miles.  I made a few wrong turns, losing some time and distance.  I also stopped for a minute to shoot some wild mustang pics around 4 miles into the run.   It was a great experience and I am really psyched to race.

"I watched you suffer a dull aching pain
Now you decided to show me the same
No sweeping exits or off stage lines
Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind
Wild horses, couldn't drag me away
Wild wild horses couldn't drag me away"
Big drop to the first aid station at mile 7.5
Jeep road steadily climbing toward Wilson Peak.
Very steep jeep road descending Wilson Peak.  Reynolds Creek and the Snake River Valley in the background.
Reynolds Creek.

Stats for the day according to my Garmin 310xt

Weekly stats.  Managed to shave over 2 minutes off of my Brundage (Main Street run) skinning PR from last year...then did it again 15 minutes later besting my time by 1 second...26:43.  Last year's PR required a near max HR of 179.  This year= 163.  This shows a good gain of cardio power.  Glad to see some improvement with the work I've been doing.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A visit from our Colorado friends

An action packed 1.5 days for Brendan, Chloe and Sky on their way to visit family in Oregon.

Sled riding in the neighborhood.  Lean times around here for winter sports.
Sweet new wolf gear for Christmas.  Sky continually cranks the volume and dances with his face inches from the speakers.
Brendan reaches The Point at Ponderosa Park, overlooking Payette Lake.  A nice 8.4 mile run on well-packed trails.
Really cool views up there.  Brendan points out the turns he could carve in the steep volcanic rock gullies leading 300' down to the lake.
Brendan flinging arrows in the backyard.  First shot...bullseye.
Little Sky just before a snowy face plant.

First light, Brendan and I skin up Brundage for some quick turns.
Summit shot as we strip the skins and prepare for descent.
The natural order of things:  Women working and men standing around:)  We don't want to get in the way of their French crepe production.   Stack them high, please.  Higher.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

McCall Winter Has Arrived

'Bout time.

18' this year.  Dragged it 100 yards to the house from where it stood.  The Old Man's bow saw still gets it done. 
Young Muley Buck looks on at our tree cutting expedition.  He had no fear of us working  around him.  We watched him dance on his hind legs to reach the lichen moss (witch's hair) in the trees above.
Breaking trail at 7500' on Brundage.
Donning the skins in the kitchen.
Brandi pushes up "Main Street" at Brundage in really tough conditions.
On a wonderful sunny day, Brandi and Molly at Brundage Lookout, doing the "Sorority Scrunch."
Weekly Recap 12/25/2011 to 1/1/2012.  A few really good  strength sessions in there: squat, pistol, high-box jumps, tons of core work.