Sunday, February 28, 2010

Team Pearl Izumi-Smith Summit

Over the weekend I enjoyed an awesome couple of days with the other members of Team Pearl Izumi-Smith. The team arrived in Lousville/Boulder, CO on Thursday afternoon just in time for dinner with a group of employees from the Pearl Izumi corporate headquarters. Bright and early Friday morning we headed out for an easy 50 min run (1,200ft. +) in the snow covered trails with a half dozen PI's best, followed by a photo shoot on the Mesa trail.

The majority of the day Friday was spent at the Pearl Izumi headquarters with a tour of the building and meetings/discussions with Mike Thompson (Footwear), Lynn Bush (Merchandising), Jason Fryda (Essentials), and others. I was quite impressed with the individuals at PI and the apparel and footwear they work hard to produce. Historically, they have been known as one of the worlds top manufactures of cycling/triathlon apparel. From what we saw over the weekend, Pearl Izumi is putting the same dedication and enthusiasm into trail running. The discussions that went on was the start of a rare relationship between a trail running ultramarathon team and its sponsor.

Prior to our departure on Saturday afternoon we gathered for a run up and around Flagstaff Mt. in Boulder taking us 1:11 with 1,800ft. of elevation gain. It was a good run though the snow with a bit of treacherous descending. It was great to meet the whole team and everyone at Pearl Izumi. I feel fortunate to be a part of such an exciting and progressive endeavor.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


As much as I like the Clint Eastwood classic, this post is not really about the movie.

In early December of this past year all was well. I had been hired on as a Licensed Massage Therapist at Physical Therapy Services in Eugene. A great clinic, working with a very knowledgeable and friendly group of therapists and support staff. At the same time, I was selected as a member of Team Pearl Izumi-Smith for 2010. A loaded team of top level athletes with support from industry leading companies. To top off the goodness, I was surprisingly pulled in the lottery to compete in the 2010 Western States 100. It was like I got everything that I had asked for for Christmas.

As quickly as the "good" arrived, however, the "bad" followed.... While training for the Bandera 100k, I ramped it up to fast and caused an irritation to my achilles tendon with accompanying gastrocnemius and soleus tightness. This condition is not new to me and I have been through it a handful of times in the 23 years that I have been running. However, for the first time, I had an added complication. A plantar wart decided to show its "ugly" side and join the party. So while dealing with the achilles issue, I went to the Dr. for two separate treatment sessions consisting of freezing the wart for 90 seconds twice with liquid nitrogen. If anyone has had the pleasure of this bit of fun, I would be curious to know if you thought it was painful. For me it was quite painful. The two treatment sessions were two weeks apart. During this time, I spent the first 5-6 days hardly walking while still working at the PT Clinic. Making the whole situation even worse was that the location of the wart was directly over a previous neuroma removal between my 3rd and 4th metatarsals. As a result, the pain was accompanied with numbness, tingling, and burning in my toes, foot, and lower leg.

After two sessions of nitro, I felt that the wart was mostly gone. Though I probably should have went in for another "freeze", I really needed to get the training going again. This brought me back to the achilles issue. I continued sessions of deep tissue massage , ART, and Chiropractic twice weekly. Like most runners, I would try running short runs for a few days and realize it was not ready yet and resort to more time off. This cycle went on for the last couple of months. Although still getting treatment twice per week and dealing with the issues on a daily basis while running, I am progressing and have been running more and more. This most likely will effect my race schedule in some way. The only concrete race right now is the Western States 100 on June 26-27th. All others I will evaluate and modify as needed.

I am happy that I had 55 miles this past week and just finished my best weekend of running since November-- Saturday- 10M (1:13) and Sunday 15M (1:50). I have learned to take the good with the bad and hopefully learn something along the way.


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