Friday, August 20, 2010

Running Quandary - Gear Check

Did a great test on Quandary today. Up in 1:35 and down in 1:10 - 10 minutes faster both up and down than my previous best. It's getting close to the end now, so I'm figuring out my gear and finalizing.

In this test, I managed to maintain 2200'/hr for the whole 90 minutes, which is my goal, and it's the first time my speed didn't lag in the last 1200' or so. Yes, it was slower in the rocks, but I was jogging on the flatter sections, so it averaged out. If I can double my endurance, I have the opportunity to crank out a sub-3 hour race pace on Elbrus.

Based on input from a participant in last years race, I tested the Salomon XA 3D Fastpacker (basically a high-top version of the XA 3D). I like the high-top because I have a tendency to roll my ankles if I'm fatigued, but it's only a little heavier than the trail runner. They've been working great on my machines, and sure enough, were awesome on the trail. Fast and light.

I've been using LEKI Corklite Aergon Speed Lock Trekking Poles, and I totally love them. They have traditional style adjustable straps, so if you know how to use cross country ski poles the "right" way, you'll be able to use these. The clip-locks are great, and way better than the twist-friction-locks. Speaking of cross country skiing, I did great with the poles today, even double-poling, and with the CNS training I've been doing, had a lot less mental fatigue from placement issues.

I'll be getting my crampons worked out in the next week, and I might go to Rainier to do some laps and test everything out in the cold and snow. That's enough time and space for now - more later ;)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Training for Elbrus Race 2010 - August 11 2010

It's official. At this point in time I have been accepted as a contestant in the Elbrus Race, the highest race in Europe, this September. I've been training very hard, as I'm very serious, and aside from the Russian Visa, need to qualify.

It appears as though twice as many are accepted as actually qualify. To qualify you have to run from the Barrels Huts to Pastukhov Rocks, about 3570' of elevation gain over 2.5 mi in less than two hours, then return to the Barrels by a set time (I think 4 PM which is about 5 hours round trip).

I've been training hard for this by running in Colorado on 14'ers and 13,000' ridge lines. I've maintained the requisite 1800'/hr of vertical gain pace over about 3.2 miles, so I feel pretty good about that. As well, I have access to a Stairmaster, an elliptical with a lot of leg raise in the front, and an Incline Treadmill that angles up to 40%, which is pretty steep.

I've been working out about 3 hours a day, and have done 4 hour days. Now as I taper into peaking on Sept. 21 and 23, I need to focus on my rest days to learn how to recover fully in 36 hours.

I'll put up more training, and some pictures, in the next week. Wish me luck...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Elbrus Video Uploaded

I put a video up from Elbrus in May of 2010. This is riding the snowcat from the top of the gondola to the barrels huts at about 12,300', the base camp for Elbrus. Short, but it's all I have on video from that trip. I'll be sure to get more and better on my next trip ;)

This was shot on my Creative VADO HD It's small, light, simple to use, has a tripod threaded base, recharges via USB on my Goal0 Sherpa50 (that I recharged at the barrels with my Nomad13 solar panel folding array). As a Goal0 Elite Team Athlete I got to be one of the first in the field with the newer smaller solar panel system. It worked great in the clear high altitude sunlight.