Monday, November 2, 2009

Pinhoti 100!!

Fianlly!!! The time has come for me to run my first 100 mile trail race. It has always been something that I was waiting and waiting to be really ready for- mentally, physically, and with minimal stress to my family. I have never been interested in running a race just to finish. When it comes time to race, that's what I want to do . . .RACE! AND what a race it is going to be.
I have been having a great year of training and racing the short stuff. Moving up to two and three workouts a day over the last three months has been amazing. So- here we go! I plan on sticking my nose right into the thick of it.
On my feet will be the new New Balance 100 MT.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I once grew a beard just so I could do this . . . .

Monday, April 6, 2009


(Louisville’s Lovin’ The Hills 50k, February 14, 2009)

Louisville’s Lovin’ The Hills 50k was originally concocted by one of our country’s top ultra runners and former Louisvillian, Eric Grossman. He has since moved on to Virginia, but LLTH still remains a deep winter Ultra tradition here in the shallow south, as well as one of the toughest 50k races this side of the Mississippi. The race course runs through the single track trail systems of Jefferson Memorial Forest, and covers 14,000 feet of elevation change (there is maybe three total miles of flat running). On top of that, race day often brings some of the nastiest winter weather of the Season. Because the race is always scheduled to be near (and sometimes fall on) Valentines Day, bringing a lot of love to the race is a good idea! Two weeks before the race, Kentucky made national news when a severe ice storm brought down thousands of trees, and left 600,000 people without power. Days after the storm, the Forest Service announced that there was so much damage to the trees in the forest, we either had to cancel or postpone the race, or select a section of the race course for them to clear so that we could run an abbreviated course to reach the 50k distance. Neither of these seemed like a good option. Race Sponsor Jim Ball of The Trail Store, and Race Director Cynthia Heady immediately mobilized crews of people to start clearing the trails of any debris that could be moved by hand, leaving the big chainsaw work for the ones certified. Over one weekend, almost 50 volunteers showed up to save the race- clearing everything from start to finish! In the week leading up to the race, the Forest Service phoned in updates of their progress with the big stuff, and by Thursday night they were done! The race was on.
Race day could not have brought a better day- a beautiful sunrise, “running shorts” temperatures, and nice cushy dirt (not mud). This year Valentine’s Day landed right at the peak of skunk mating season, so when the starting call was given, the pace went out fast. Leading the charge this year was 19-year-old Scott Breeden of Bloomington, IN, trail racing newbie Matt Hoyes of Bardstown, KY, last years winner Russ Goodman, and myself. Behind us, though, were dozens of people that could all of sudden be on our heels by mile 25. This is the general nature of Lovin’ The Hills- with so much elevation change pounding on you, anyone can crash and burn at any time, and anyone can reel you in if you let up. This year was no different. Once again Russ Goodman gradually turned up the heat on those in front of him to take first place with a course PR of 5:01. As I came off the Purple Heart trail with 2 miles to go, I was told that Scott Breeden was only a minute ahead of me. As I crested a hill I could see him and I began to try reeling him in. By the time we hit the climb to the finish, a 1/4 mile to go, I could see Scott was hurting pretty bad after hammering the pace courageously all day long, so I pushed on by to take 2nd place with a course PR of 5:05. Scott made it to the top just a minute later. In the women’s race it was Sharon Hathaway of Powell, OH taking 1st place in 5:58, with Susan Donnelly and Julie House (in her first Ultra) rounding out the podium. Any time Cynthia Heady RDs a race, you do not go home hungry. Besides being a great RD, she is a great cook! Thank you to all the people that came together and made this race happen!
Put it on your calendar . . . the closest Saturday to Valentine’s Day . . . and bring lots of love.
Tim Barnes (Wasatch Speed Goats/Trail Store)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Instant Love

The time to finally pull the trigger on getting a bike had arrived. During the ides of March, The Trail Store cut the ribbon on our bike store- The Mountain Bike Depot. Stocked with high end mountain and cyclocross bikes, The 'Depot was off to fill a very large void in the Louisville bike scene. The only problem was that I was not interested in an off-road bike. Even when I was living in NYC, I had wanted to take a go on a single speed. I had even gone on a couple test rides, but never went for the purchase. BUT now with a nice Manager's discount, it was time. With help from Joseph, one of the shop mechanics, I found a Single Speed bike from one of our One-Stop distributors. It was kind of a no name brand, which I didn't really care about, but Joseph assured me that it was of good quality, and decent parts, and had the bonus of a flip rear wheel, so I could choose between a free wheel or a fixed . . . plus it had the nice bullhorn handlebars!! I went with the free wheel side, in the effort to not stress out my knees any more than I had to.
The plan for the bike was to use it as a "sprint" workout to and from work three days a week. These sprints would follow a morning hour 40 minute - 2hour run work out. INSTANT LOVE!
The quad burn and heart thumpin' felt fantastic. My goal with these sprints were to stay between 18mpr and 22mpr, and have fun! My commute to work is only 5.5 miles, so we are not talking about a major tempo workout, and that's why I felt it was okay to do this twice a day, three times a week. As I headed into April, I could really feel on my runs an improvement in my legs and my general fitness. Now that my family has taken on a new form and dynamic, my training time has become even more limited and ever so precious. So getting the most out of every time I head out the door is key. Thank you bicycle!! Looking forward to more.

Friday, February 8, 2008

La Sportiva Crosslite

With Spring fever on the rise, this season's new shoes are starting to make their way into the consumer zone. The shoes I have been anxiously waiting for are the Crosslite and Skylite from La Sportiva. I have always kept a good variety of shoes in my rotation, but La Sportiva has always been the mainstay- more specifically, the Slingshot.
While the Skylite is not due out until March, the Crosslite is HERE! I ordered a pair, and they arrived a couple days ago. I had been chomping at the bit to give 'em a go, and wouldn't you know it . . . the UPS guy literally pulled up right as I came in the house after my day's workout. So, all I could do was try them on. Man, what a fit! Like a glove! In the days that followed, I gave the Crosslite a good workout. Day 1 was an easy 10 on grass, rocks, and mild mud, and I just couldn't stop thinking about how comfortable the shoe was, AND being so psyched about how flexible and light it felt. Day 2 was more of a test, as I hit 18 miles of up & down trail with plenty of water and shoe sucking mud. The Crosslite pulled me right though it all, and left the mud behind. Excellent water drainage, too. This shoe did not disappoint! The only thing that bums me out is that La Sportiva North America is not offering the sweet Red version of both these new shoes.
Louisville's Lovin' The Hills 50k is happening next weekend, which usually means snow. If so, the Crosslites will get the call.
As the trails get dry I will also be looking forward to getting back to my Slingshots, Puma Cortlandt II (thanks Tony!), and trying Pearl Izumi's new Peak XC, and of course the Skylite.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

1/23/08 jus runnin' . . .

During my first two years of competitive trail running, I took very detailed notes of every run, every cross-training workout, etc. During that time I was living in Brooklyn, NY, so I had my subway ride to Soho to write in my training journal. Having all this information was (and is) very helpful to me. Before a race, I would look back at "the work" and feel assured that I was as ready as I was able to be. However, now I feel less and less the NEED to write everything down. I still time my runs and workouts, and keep tabs on goals . . . I just don't write it all down- nor do I keep each week the same as far as what day is THIS kind of run, or THAT kind of workout. I am jus' runnin'. . . .
I do set lofty goals for myself. Sometimes I hit 'em, and sometimes I am WAY off. I do show up, and I do go for it. That's what I love to do. I am jus' runnin' . . .