Thursday, June 15, 2017

Don't call it a comeback!

6.16 Update :  race 1 of the Grandmas Double Challenge is complete
the 5k at 6:00pm is in the books!  strava data here
meeting the team at the "finish line" at 2:30a for the 6th running of the Grandmas Double

Oh.....my.......god.......I'm back.  I almost entirely forgot about my affinity for blogging!  Over the past few years I've existed almost purely on trolling orange Trump, parenting & selling the shit out of some cloud services!  For those of you who have been around for the golden age of Viper, I appreciate your support & will do my best to provide optimal enjoyment going forward.  For those who are new to the blog; BRACE FOR IMPACT

Ok - so this weekend is the Grandmas Double!  As chronicled by the legendary My Lead Feet; this is an epic fat ass which he founded in an effort to prepare himself for the Leadville 100.  As a side, this year is particularly interesting because of the journey that My Lead Feet is on with his huge running goals & the fact that he's got a broken hip as well; check out the write-up here if you haven't on his quest for WS100 glory, injury, running Leadville with his son, etc.  So needless to say; I'll have a huge advantage as I'm racing someone who is a grandpa & that has a broken hip.  But regrettably, Viper isn't in his finest condition!  As I haven't run an ultra in who knows how long, am coming in a beefy 30 lbs overweight & have the motivation of a 36 year old suburban business man from Chicago.  But I am pumped to be competing & My Lead Feet along with what is reported to be an additional "6-8 competitors" will be certain to make it fun.  PLUS, I get a camera this year for the making of the video; and I must say, my sense of humor has only gotten better over time, he will either celebrate or regret the decision to let me use a camera.  Here's a good chronicle of the past video for the Grandmas Double, I participated in 2015
Race Video - 2016
Race Video - 2015
Race Video - 2014
Race Video - 2013
Race Video - 2012

But the mojo is slowly coming back!  I'm at 1,367 miles YTD, been ramping up the weekly mileage, firing my stoke back up, consuming tons of stoke-inspiring shred photos from DBO on Insta & am in the early phases of working on the diet & scale tipping impact of being a slob for the past 2 years.  Will talk more about upcoming goals & such; but for now, it's to get a very healthy 55 mile weekend in at the Grandmas Marathon in Duluth!  I have the pleasure of taking part in the "Grandmas Challenge + Grandmas Double" which includes a 5k Friday night, the "Double" starting at 2:30a local time on Saturday.  It's sure to be fun, so please follow me & My Lead Feet on Twitter & check back for the write-up.

And lastly,  I've got a pretty solid reward waiting for me when I get back; my very own "work event" for Metallica at Soldier Field, to celebrate Father's Day with 18 of my favorite clients!  Should be a nice little rock show & fun event, assuming I can walk still & what not.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pacing Leadville

almost forgot how to log into my blog - pacing Leadville, man, everyone is bitching about this race.  So first off, I had an outstanding time pacing & being at the race.  I feel fortunate that I was able to be out there & contribute to a couple folks races & man do I love the mountains.  I want to go play up there again & I really want to try another 100.

Here's my experiences during the race - first off, I slept in, highly recommend this.  Slept until about 9:30, drove down to Twin Lakes, had a wonderful morning.  No 2am bullshit for this guy, let the crew crew & the pacers pace.  Twin Lakes was awesome, parked a couple miles away, jogged in, got my racers crew all set up, etc.  By the time I left Twin Lakes it was apparent my racer was most likely not going to make cut-offs & would have a shortened race due to a badly sprained left ankle.  Man, that is bad news & I know injury at Leadville firsthand that is for sure.

I walked a mile out of Twin Lakes then hitch-hiked with 2 awesome folks going to meet their racer.  Winfield was a mess to get into so I hopped out & jogged in about 3-4 miles, no big deal.  Winfield was a mess, no communication in or out, the race told me, "I don't even know when or if racers are coming through here, so there is no way I would know if someone did or did not make a cut-off".  Fair enough, it was chaos; I'm not sure how to expect otherwise with a race that let 1100 people sign up?

I decided to help another runner up Hope Pass & see if I could find my guy up on the mountain somewhere.  So I found Chase bib # 356, an awesome National Guard dude.  We made our way up; I finally saw my racer hobbling around trying to come down, way past cut-off.  Poor dude, so he was out & was going to just slowly make his way down to Winfield & hitch hike to his fam, we continued on.  Small gripe on the climb; folks need to learn trail running etiquette - when you're the runner further behind in the race defer to the racer ahead.  If everyone does that you'll be afforded the courtesy you had extended to those in front of you.  Seemed like many first timers did not get this; poor dude I was pacing was getting irritated, but hey, he was hiking Hope Pass after having ran 50 miles to get there, could you blame him?

Twin Lakes was an outstanding scene, folks everywhere - carnage, crying folks, passed out folks, vomiting - awesome scene.  Bad thing - people have not heard of leave no trace, garbage for a mile or two up out of Twin Lakes.  WTF, isn't leave no trace just a basic trail running principle?  I'm a city person & I even know that.  I muled my racers garbage throughout the 2nd half of the race & picked up  a little.  But please people, pick up the garbage, especially in such a beautiful area, why the littering?

Coming out of Half Pipe - tons of littering, noodles everywhere, no gels already, you could tell that the far back folks would be visiting a depleted AS' but honestly, everyone had a million crew folks so why should they care?  Additionally they were very busy littering.  But regardless, such a cool scene coming out of there at night & then stretch where the crews are coming out of Half Pipe was just outsanding.  Streams of headlamps as you make your way near Fish Hatchery.  They need to limit cars though; just cars flying through, disturbing the scene, not moving much, etc.  No need for so much crew; lets use drop bags & enjoy the time out there on the course -

Fish was another mad scene - couldn't figure out even what was up here, must've been around 1am or so & it was getting wild.  Pretty good supplies still at this point & great volunteers, throughout the whole thing really.  But again, powerline climb - tons of littering.  WTF, just outrageous; it was like being in Chicago with all the trash.  Not sure what these folks were thinking, we're not cyclists are we?  Just trash everywhere from that point on really.  The climb at night is outstanding though, we had a really strong group too.  Me & a female pacer pretty much hooked this team up behind us & destroyed that section - my new runner Jeff was just a f*cking beast from Fish Hatchery on in, in fact so much that he ended up dropping me by the boat ramp.

While I am an advocate of limiting crews; it hurt me, I didn't have my stuff & didn't take care of myself while I should.  I bonked out at about the boat ramp & couldn't keep up, so I just hitch hiked out of there to take care of myself.  May Queen AS was incredible - unbelieveable volunteers, so great.  Awesome awesome people, but mixed in some litterrerers.  End of the day I loved it - glad to help 2 great dudes & both finished with solid times & have reached out since.  I'm no ultra expert so maybe the race needs an overhaul, but my expectations were chaos cause of the amount of people & it was that - if they could scale back on the littering & somehow limit crew that would be great.

If I had to do it again (which I might next year!) I would just have my fam hang out at Twin Lakes & have fun there, use drop bags & use random strangers as pacers & run with folks also running the race.  Here are some photogs





Follow by Email