Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Zealand Transition

Sweet Dreams of Trail Running
After my trip to Virginia to race the Grindstone 100 mile and visit Matt and his family, we have been preparing for our trip to New Zealand.  Buying bike panniers, fenders, clothes, equipment, storing our stuff (thanks BirdDog!), driving the camper to the San Luis valley on Mike's land for storage (thanks Mike!), etc... has kept us busy and for the most part, out of the mountains.  Brian and Renee's house in Boulder was home base for about a week (thanks guys!) while we did all this "stuff".
Felix and Marcus enjoying a snuggle

Recovery has been going OK, running 45 minutes to an hour and a half starting Tuesday after the race and then moving to an hour and a half or so a day with some tempo work with Marcus one day and some running around Chautauqua.  Also essential, was some body work from Marcus to speed up some lingering muscle funk.  
Sangre De Cristos

Rainbow Over Twin Lakes

Sand Diego-
With the bikes loaded in bike boxes, gear packed in panniers and backpacks and Felix rolling in the Chariot, BirdDog dropped us off at DIA Saturday where we flew to visit my family in San Diego before flying out of LAX on November 6th for New Zealand.

Long Run Around Laguna Mountain-
The day after we arrived, I went for a 22ish mile long run around Laguna Mountain outside of Alpine which is about an hour out of San Diego.  I was utterly surprised by the outstanding mountain trail running in that area.  With elevations up to 6,000 feet, huge pines and impressive meadows, ridge lines, vitas and views, I am now certainly considering the San Diego 100 Mile, which runs around the mountains surrounding Laguna Mountain.  Even better than the trail running was the great company, Scott Crellin (RD for a 100K in SD), Scott Mills (RD for SD 100M and Ultra LEGEND), Russell Nadel (Injinji Man) and two other very cool guys whose names I can't recall at the moment.

The Kepler Challenge-
I have started to train in earnest for the Kepler Challenge 60K, which takes place in NZ on December 1st.  Besides being an EPIC trail loop course in Fiordland National Park, Kepler has a great history, is very well organized and supported and attracts some high end talent with good prize money and a $5,000 bonus for a new course record.  I have now transitioned to a weekly training routine that consists of a tempo, a hard effort up and down hill workout and a 25-30 mile long run with some "up-pace" running in the middle.  The weekly tempo run, which will range from 45 minutes (today) to maybe 75 minutes, is essential,  as the first 5K of the race is relatively flat and the last 36K is downhill or flat.  The average winning time at Kepler is just under 5hrs (with 3,900 feet of climbing), which equates to an average pace of just over 8 minutes/mile and the course record of 4:37, set in 2005, was at a speedy 7:24 minute mile average.  It would appear that the Kepler Challenge 60K is very much comparable to the Chuckanut 50K course, but with more climbing, and an extra 10K of running.  I am really excited to head to New Zealand and to race Kepler.  The training routine change in preparation for Kepler is a big shift from what I have been doing over the last 6+ months, but it is honestly fun to be doing some faster running.

I MUST thank Hamish Travers from New Zealand.  Hamish is friends of Cam, who we used to live with in Boulder and he has been a huge, huge help in planning for our trip.  Aside from recommending trail races in NZ, Hamish has gone above and beyond linking us up with several people to show us their local trails in NZ AND provide us with a place for us to stay.  Having locals show you their trails is hands down priceless and then to be able to have a place to stay after bike touring and sleeping in a tent for weeks... wow, that will be awesome.  

We are going to bust out the bikes and do a trial bike tour somewhere north of Santa Barbara for 3-5 days, then pack up and go to NZ, oh yeah.

Maggie has been working on getting a web page set up for me to use.  It is under construction now, but will eventually replace this blog.  
BirdDog Cleaned Taco
Good Night Taco


  1. Have a great trip Jason, Maggie and Felix. You and your camper will be missed.

  2. We will miss you and your family too Dave!