Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ready or Not...Here I come!

That's right, I'm gonna find you Mont Blanc...and while doing so, probably myself. This will be my first 100 miler, if I complete it. I'll be a 'true' Ultramarathoner. I'm not trying to say that people including myself who run 100+ kilometers aren't ultra-marathoners or according to the IT geeks...uh, I mean, guys I work with "ultrathoners" but we all know that completing your first 100 MILER is the real deal! I think I might be a little crazy because I'm going into this race with the least amount of training mileage on my feet in years. Buuuut, I just couldn't let this opportunity pass without getting out there and giving it a shot. It won't be my best, I know that...but all I'm looking for at this point is a FINISH! I want to be a 100 mile finisher. Is that too much to ask for??

I've been getting my stuff ready for the big day. I will have the second most amazing support team (my mother was THE most amazing) out there supporting me along the way. This will be really nice and will allow me not to have to carry as much as I would have normally if I didn't have people meeting me out on the trail at approved checkpoints. In the past, my pack has been full to the brim, most of it with my nutrition, Tailwind isn't light when you have 12-15 packs in your bag. Now, with my Dream Team helping where they can, I can lighten the load and run as minimal as possible. This is going to be hard to do no matter what the mandatory and recommended packing list adds weight and bulk to the bag. I'm going to try and run with as little as possible, just the mandatory stuff and nutrition to get me to checkpoints where my team will be.

So, am I ready I keep getting asked...only time will tell! My heart is, my mind is...so, yeah, I'm ready!

Can't wait to see all my new and old ultra running friends and share this time with my non-running friends. I can't wait to feel those pre-race jitters on race day and the pain in my lungs and muscles during the climbs. It's going to be GREAT!

I'll be there this Thursday, Chamonix :)

So, here's the nutrition I'll be taking during the race:

Below is the packing list for the races!

Copied directly from the UTMB site: http://www.ultratrailmb.com/page/16/UTMB®_CCC®_TDS®_OCC_Regulations.html


Obligatory material :

mobile phone with option enabling its use in the three countries
(put in one’s repertoire the security numbers of the organisation, keep it switched on, do not hide one’s number and do not forget to set off with recharged batteries)
personal cup or tumbler 15cl minimum (water bottle not acceptable)OBLIGATORY
stock of water minimum 1 litreOBLIGATORY
two torches in good working condition with replacement batteries
2 torches
1 torch
survival blanket 1.40m x 2m minimumOBLIGATORY
adhesive elastic band enable making a bandage or a strapping (mini 100cm x 6 cm)OBLIGATORY
food reserveOBLIGATORY
Jacket, with a hood, capable of withstanding the bad mountain weather and made with a waterproof (minimum recommended: 10 000 Schmerber) and breathable (RET recommended less than 13) membrane (Gore-Tex or similar)OBLIGATORY
long running trousers or leggings or a combination of leggings and long socks which cover the legs completelyOBLIGATORY
Additional warm midlayer top: One single midlayer long sleeve top for warmth (cotton excluded) with a minimum weight of 180g (Men, size M)
OR a two piece clothing combination of a long sleeve baselayer/midlayer for warmth (cotton excluded) with a minimum weight of 110g (Men, size M) and a windproof jacket* with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) protection
in the case
of bad
cap or bandanaOBLIGATORY
warm and waterproof glovesOBLIGATORY
waterproof over-trousersOBLIGATORY
    * The windproof jacket does not replace the mandatory waterproof jacket with hood

    Required by the frontier police forces :

    • identity papers

    Very strongly recommended :

    • Knife or scissors with which to cut the self-adhesive elasticised bandage
    • walking poles for security on slippery ground in case of rain or snow
    • a change of warm clothes indispensable in the case of cold weather, rain or injury
    • the sum of 20 € minimum (in order to cover the unexpected....)

    Advised (list not definitive) :

    Telescopic sticks, change of clothing, compass, knife, string, sun cream, Vaseline or anti-chaffing cream, needle and thread,...

    All clothing must be the runner’s size and without alteration since leaving the factory.
    You will carry this material in a pack which must be tagged at the race-bib distribution and is not exchangeable during the race.

    If you decide to use poles, you must keep them throughout the whole of the race… It is forbidden to start without sticks and recover them up along the way.
    No poles will be allowed in the spare’s bags.


    Thursday, August 7, 2014

    Climbing Zugspitze Again...the Höllental Route

    So, on Friday July 18th, Bj and I headed down to summit the Zugspitze. This is the highest mountain in Germany which measures 2926m. The Zugspitze mastif is a very beautiful mountain range and I love the ability to jump in the car and 4 hours later be at this very majestic location.

    We had word that on Sunday we weren't going to have very nice weather so we decided to start our hike on Friday and find a place to camp before sunset that night. That way, on Saturday we could wake up and finish the hike to the Zugspitze. That would mean, we would head back down to the Höllental valley and up to the Zugspitze. As soon as we arrived in town we began the hike and made it all the way up to the Alpspitze (2628m) a little before dark. Right as we reached the top, we both realized we were out of water. Good part was we had about 45 mins left of daylight, bad part, the hut we had in our sites was back down the mountain and not in the direction we needed to be heading to get back down to the Höllental valley. But, we both knew that we wouldn't be able to go through the night without water so we headed in the opposite direction and south. We arrived at the hut a little after dark. The staff welcomed us and were so nice. They asked where we were staying and if we needed anything. We told them that we were doing some 'night training' and that we didn't plan on staying anywhere. They asked us if we would like something to eat and of course we said yes. They brought us out a plate full of traditional deer sausage and sauerkraut with homemade cranberry sauce. It was really good. They helped us fill our packs with water and we were on our way.

    We didn't go very far before we decided we should find a place to camp for the night. We didn't have tents so we found a place near a ski lift and put a tarp on the ground and above us in case it rained. We both got in our sleeping bags and were out for the night. The next morning we woke and got ready to finish the hike. We had to walk back up to the top of Alpspitze for the second time since the night before we had to backtrack a little. Once we got to the top we crossed over and headed back down to the Höllental Valley...it was great, all down hill and beautiful sites.

    Once we reached the valley we started heading back up, but this time toward the beautiful Zugspitze. It was a little deceiving at first. I looked and didn't really see how we were going to cross because you couldn't see a path, it looked like a vertical cliff. However, once you got on it, you could see red dots on the rocks that helped lead the way. Once we reached the first section where we had to put on our climbing gear, we were both excited. This was going to be the first time we would get to use our new harnesses for climbing other than at a rock wall gym.

    The day was hot, we both felt it and ran out of water once again. Luckily, we saw a waterfall that we used to fill up our packs. It wasn't too much further that we arrived at the river which was formed from the glacier. We decided to relax for a bit, soak our feet and fill up again with pristine water. It tasted amazing and it felt really good on my Achilles.

    At this point we could see the Glacier but it seemed that we kept walking up and up. The ground beneath us was loose gravel at this point and the use of our poles was very helpful! The Glacier was a lot bigger than I thought it was. It was also a lot scarier. I actually felt a little anxious at times because we did not have crampons on and several times we had to jump over crevasse and these weren't all little. Some of them were about 2 feet wide and forever deep. It scared me a little because we had to jump over them and since we were jumping upward on snow, we slid back a bit. I was happy once we arrived at the wall however, there was quite a big gap that we had to jump to reach the wall.

    The climb up was fairly easy and a lot of fun. We were really happy that we were reaching the top when we heard this banging of rocks and someone yelled ROCKS! I could hear them coming but I couldn't tell where they were so I quickly ducked behind a bigger rock and knelt down so that if a rock was coming it would miss me. After the commotion simmered down, we continued the climb. It wasn't until we reached a couple who were sitting on a rock that didn't have a lot of space that we realized the man had been struck. They asked us if we had helmets which we told them no. That's when we saw the man's bloody leg. We stopped and asked if they needed help and before they could accept Bj began pulling out his first aid kit and began cleaning and wrapping the wound. They told us that a helicopter was on its way but they were happy to have the wound wrapped. It really sucked for them, not only did the man get injured pretty bad but they were only about 50 meters from the top. Before long we were there and it was a great feeling to reach the gold summit cross. We arrived a little before 7pm but there was still plenty of daylight to enjoy dinner outside on the deck of the München Hutte. It was during this time that we found out the last gondola had went down at 5pm and we would have to wait until morning to take it down. It all worked out because the München Hutte had vacancy.

    The next morning we woke and headed down the mountain taking a much easier and faster route. Overall it was such a memorable and fun experience. I love being in the mountains, no matter what the event.

    I made this video of our adventure. I hope you like it...if you do, click the "Like" button please :) :)

    I'm pretty much back to training. I still have some pain but icing really seems to help. UTMB is right around the corner so I'm trying to get some runs in to help me prepare...but really, I'm just going to have to go an GUT IT OUT!

    Here's my video:
    Zugspitze Summit - July 2014 from Dreama walton on Vimeo.