Friday, July 20, 2012

90 Percent


"Ten Percent of running an Ultramarathon is the actual running, the other 90 Percent is mental."

Over the last decade, there have been many films produced and released that try and capture the essence of Ultra running. Most, if not all, of these films capture the grueling physical toll on running great distances itself, or put on the display the actual race itself. So few of these films truly capture the essence of the mental aspect of running one-hundred miles. Movies can show the course all they want and show you the beauty that one sees while running these grueling events.... it's a given. Movies have shown us the physical training and athletisism needed to endure the distance. But so few films have focused on the true  90 Percent running an ultra is... mental.

I've completed the production of my newest film titled, 90 Percent. This short film, I feel, introduces audiences to 2 ultra-marathon runners living in Colorado's Front Range; whom prepare for and run in the 2012 Big Horn 100 Mile Endurance Run, the races 20th Anniversary Running. The film briefly follows these runners as they take on the Big Horn 100 and will capture their most intimate and candid thoughts throughout the race, as they run with handheld cameras. And yes... I'm one of those runners. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Longs Peak

As many of you know, I work as a Professional Adventure Guide here in Colorado's Front Range. To put it bluntly, I get paid to play. A few months ago, a former co-worker of mine fired a parting shot across my bow on his way out the door. From what I heard, he told come of my co-workers that my guiding clients up Longs Peak was "a joke." So, as I normally do, I set out quite a few times in the month of June to prove him wrong. I can't tell you how many times I've been up Long's Peak now. I've studied the mountain so closely that I know it pretty intimately. I even know where many of the peaks connector trails flow off to, if I want to embark on some amazing long runs.

I don't want to sit here and tell you all about my trips up and down the peak. Just know that I finally guided the peak on June 30th and will again on July 30th. Funny, on June 30th, I managed pretty well with my client while my boss hunched over and puked his brains out near the Keyhole. I got a kick out of that. I've always been confident in my abilities. Well aware of what I am capable of and not capable of. Longs Peak, is a HUGE mountain and yet.. it's not unlike any mountain I've done back East. At 14,259' in elevation, Longs is the Northern-most 14er in Colorado and is the highest point in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was first climbed by John Wesley Powell (yeah.. that guy) back in 1868. Below are some of the pictures I've taken during the last month on Longs.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Race Report: Big Horn 100

2012 Big Horn Trail 100
June 15-17, 2012
Dayton, WY
20:40 DNF
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Whose Broad Stripes..
After an unforgettable rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, the runners huddled around the starting line on this random dirt road, quite literally in the middle of nowhere in Western America. Outside the downtown area of quaint Dayton, WY; we all stood under a hot morning sun on one of Wyoming's rural dirt roads. This one, leads into the Tongue River Wilderness. Today, I assume it's called tongue river due to the heat and the waging tongues of us runners. I stood anxiously awaiting the start. I've trained harder for this race then I have countless others in the last few years. The Collegiate Peaks 50, 53 Miles of the Grand Canyon, a few winter Fat Asses. They all lead to here and yet, I feel underprepared. Always like I haven't done enough.

The countdown begins abruptly out loud. They count off from 7, 6, 5, 4... 1.. GO! We're off and running. I don't know what I was thinking but I find myself up front, struggling to keep pace with a few dozen runners whose pace is faster then my own. I look around and try and take stock of who I'm near. I'm gasping for air and starting to panic, worried that in my excitement for the race I'm on the verge of blowing up. Just then, Mark Larson, who had travelled to Wyoming with me; running his first 100; and much faster then I.. came up behind me. That scared me a bit. Mark came up behind me. I knew then that I had gone out too fast and I ease way off. I spend the next 5 miles trying to get my heart rate to come down.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Committment

I haven't posted anything since my Big Horn DNF, though I do want to thank all of you who read that post and offered up your own comments and support. I've been running ultra's for the better part of a decade now. They're not getting any easier. I've DNF'd before, it happens, I'm still sour over how easy it was. Still sour at myself for being so willing to quit. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I could have finished the race.. and I should of.

But it's in moments like these that you continue to reflect, pick yourself up, and try to offer yourself some direction. My life is about to change dramatically in the coming weeks, as Sarah and I welcome our first child (our Son Carter) into the world. The Wasatch 100 is scheduled for 2 or 3 weeks after Carter's due date. It wouldn't be fair of me to leave home for 4 or 5 days to run another 100, albeit a tougher one, out in Utah while Sarah takes care of our newborn. I honestly don't think I'd want to be away for that long.. missing out on precious unrepeatable moments.. missing my family. So it was with regret, though an easy decision, to once again withdraw my entry from The Wasatch 100 (1st time in 2010).