Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 10 Music for 2011

It's time for the 2011 edition of my top 10 albums. Music has always been a big part of my life and every year I put together my top 10 list and share it with my friends. Last year I decided to do a top 10 songs of the year as I truly did not feel like there was 10 solid albums I got that year. I am happy to report that 2011 did not fall short. I feel like I have a solid list to share with you all. Here we go....
10.) Blitzen Trapper-American Goldwing
9.) The Decemberists-The King is Dead
8.) Blink 182- Neighborhoods
7.) Radiohead- The King of Limbs
6.) R.E.M.- Collapse Into Now
5.) Dawes- Nothing is Wrong
4.)The Black Keys- El Camino
3.) Coldplay- Mylo Xyloto
2.) Wilco- The Whole Love
1.) Ryan Adams- Ashes & Fire

I saw the comeback of Blink 182. More solid records from bands like The Decemberists, Coldplay, Blitzen Trapper, The Black Keys and Dawes. Radiohead? what can you say they always bring it for me. Wilco seems to get better every time I see them live. Sadly the end of a all time favorite in R.E.M. They went out on a super note. Then we have maybe the greatest songwriter of his generation Ryan Adams made a masterpiece. His show at the State Theater was a thing a beauty. Happy New Years people and talk to you soon in 2012!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

2 weeks out

Hey there. Well it has been two weeks since the 50 miler and I am happy to say I am feeling super good! I have been taking it easy with a few off days here and there followed by a 8 miler or so. Today I did my longest run with a solid 15 miles with a bunch of the guys. I was super happy that I felt crisp. Just trying to not be stupid and over do it. I am planning on one more easy week then I will start the training for the next race Sylamore 50k in Arkansas on Feb 18th. It has been 7 years since the last time I ran there. I look forward to challenge of what is ahead of me.

On a non running note I was Super lucky to be suprized by my wife and got to go see Ryan Adams play at the State Theater last Tuesday night. I have been a fan for a long long time and had never seen him. He did not disappoint that is for sure as I loved it!!

In the mean time enjoy this video from the Salomon people from North Face San Fransisco.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

North Face 50 mile report

( Like 5 min's drive from hostel )

Where to start I ask? I guess I will just give you the full meal deal and break it all down for you. So go get that drink and settle in as here we go....

It was 9:30am on Friday December 2nd and I find myself sitting on the plane heading to San Fransisco for the weekend and the North Face 50 mile. It was to be my first and last ultra race for the year. I will admit I was a bit nervous as it was a big deal to me to give it my best effort. I knew that I had a pretty solid training block behind me. Not the best training block ever but still pretty good and I was happy. I thought to pass the plane time and to pump myself up I would listen to some Ultra Running podcast to draw some inspiration from. Boom 3+ hours went by and we where there and I felt even more excited about what was about to happen.

( Look at the size of these trees! )

After checking out Muir woods then going to the hostel where we stayed, we headed into San Fransisco for the movie premiere of Unbreakable. It was fun to watch this great 2 hour movie with 350 other ultra runners while eating some pasta. After the movie Anton, Goeff and Hal three of the four movie's main players talked a little. It was pretty sweet. It was time to head back and get ready to go to bed and run.

( Sunset from our front yard )

Believe it or not I slept pretty darn good, something that does not always happens for me. After a little food and pre race prep it was off to the start and what was sure to be a super run.

( 100 yard walk to the race start/end )

As the start horn sounded I felt to huge amount of excitement rush through me. I was here doing this. My road to get back to racing was a long one but I was back. The first 3 miles of this race set the stage for what was ahead of me. Section after section of 1-2 miles uphill followed by 1-2 miles of downhill. It was a up/down race. Once the sun came up which was like 2 hours into the race I think the views where beyond belief. If you where not next to the ocean you where running in the huge redwoods of the area.

I felt good and in control for the all the way to the turn around of the short out and back section(mile 26ish?) not to fast but not to slow I thought. It was not until heading on the long downhill into Stinson Beach did my stomach start to be a problem. I started taking some salt and drinking coke at each station and that seemed to help some. On the climb up the Dipsea trail and mile 30 is when I could tell that my legs on the downhills where not so good. I guess it was time to hammer the power hiking up hills and try to keep a good pace on all the other sections.

My buddy Nick caught up to me at like 33 or 34 miles. He was having a great race I thought and this was a chance to challenge myself and try to stay with him. Over the next 8 miles Nick kept putting the hammer on me and I was proud that I kept fighting back. When we got to the beach aid station at like mile 42 we started this crazy big climb. It was at this point I pulled away from Nick as it seemed like I was climbing a bit better at this point of the day. Over the next 8+ miles I just kept pushing the uphills as hard as I could and try to do my best to not fall apart on the downhills to much. To think running downhill was harder at this point, kind of funny huh.

As I made my way up the final climb to the finish I was very proud of myself. Not because I had my best race time wise, not even close. But because I was back at it and that even though I was not at my best I kept on fighting. I know that with a year of solid training and racing I can come back and take off at least one and a half to two hours on my time. I guess we will have to see what happens. In the end for me it was not about time or place but about being apart of the sport I love with all my heart and soul.

( I am done!! )

Run= 51 miles in 9:48 with 11,604 feet of up and 11,591 of down!!

( Some of MN Race crew )