Friday, June 12, 2009

Boulder Peaks Mountain Time Trials

The past three weeks I have been organizing, with Jeff Valliere and George Zack, a small series of time trials up the local 8000 + foot peaks. First it was Green Mt, then Bear Peak, and the South Boulder peak. Above is the pre-run gathering, with a pretty darn good turnout! Buzz B and I were reminiscing about the old days when we used to hammer So Bo Peak with a pretty regular gang of dudes (and an occasional lady runner); those days are now known as the Boulder Trail Runner's Tuesday Tempo.
I won't go into too many details as I am getting crunched for time these days and nights as we get ready to move and I finish my last class. Green Mt was the starter with about 12 folks showing their faces (and remarkably muscular thighs, as you can see from the So Bo TT photo above). Rickey Gates crushed it and ran an FKT (Fastest Known Time) of roughly 28:38. I ran 31:28.
Below is Jeff Valliere's write up about Bear Peak. I made the silly mistake of fighting sleep deprivation by downing a Diet Mt Dew right before the run, thinking carbonated caffeine is the way to get all ready to run hard; I am re-evaluating that position as my stomach knotted up hard and I suffered for it.
JV's words:
"We had another great turnout for the Bear Peak TT, the second installment of the TT series Dave and I conjured up a few weeks ago.Since Dave kicked my butt on Green last week, I insisted that he take pole position after offering it to me. It felt like a somewhat controlled start and I was tempted at first to make conversation, but soon I was breathing hard enough that it was not an option. TT and conversation just do not mix. We made the Cragmoor/Shanahan junction ahead of PR pace and I was able to stay on Dave's heels to the doggy pond junction, but he slowly started to pull away. I could have dug a bit more and stuck with him, but that would have meant impending doom, as I was trying not to completely blow it too soon and save some energy for the upper sections.I was surprised to keep Dave in sight for the most part, I was sure that he would be steadily putting time into me. As we ascended Fern Canyon, I could see that I was slowly gaining and was quite surprised by this. I was nearly a minute ahead of PR by the saddle and was confident I could keep up the effort to the top and set a PR. I reeled Dave in about half way from the saddle to the summit and was reluctant to pass as I feared that I might be biting off more than I could chew. I could tell Dave was not having his best day, otherwise I doubt I would be passing him.This uppermost section was mostly a hands on the knees powerhike, but I was able to muster something vaguely resembling a run in a few spots.I passed the summit post 6 seconds slower than PR and then made my way to the true summit. Dave was about 15 or so seconds back and I was surprised that I held him off (I later found out he had a bad cramp which explained my stroke of luck ;).Scott Elliott finished next (stopping at the post), followed by Stefan Gabriel, Tara Breed, Bill Wright, Charlie Nuttleman, Homie Prater, Christian Griffith and Heather Swallow (I think in that order). Please correct me if I left anyone out or screwed up the order.My splits were:Cragmoor connector/Shanahan 2:25Dog Pond Jct. 4:00Mesa Trail 8:54Slab (where trail crests) 13:03Saddle 24:34? (could be off by a few seconds, I was preoccupied with the prospect of catching Dave)Post near summit 37:31 (previous PR is 37:25)True summit 38:13Dave was about 15 seconds back, Scott was 39:?? at the post. After that others times are fuzzy. "
Here's my post from the So Bo Peak TT last week:
"For the last run in the 8000 foot peak series, South Boulder Peak, we had an excellent turnout with about 20 hearty souls attending under perfect running conditions. Dave Mackey (44:46) managed to hold off Jeff Valliere (46:..) to take the men's title (Jeff 2nd overall in the series), while Heather Swallow took the women's race and series (1:03), with Tara Breed 2nd overall. If you like, send your times and our trained statisticans will compile the final standings, graphs and charts. That was a fun time and maybe these series can be a regular event. It is motivating to do runs like this. Feel free to post as you like for similar trainings, hill repeats, speed work. "
Overall, I can't believe I ran 44:46 on So Bo peak. For this I am thrilled with my fitness and how I ran smart by pacign off JV. I have been time trialing So Bo for years and couldn't break 46 minutes, and many fast mt guys have run 45 and change, but this 44 minutes is out of the blue. This is somewhat worrying b/c WS 100 is in <>
The other reason I may have PR'ed on So Bo Peak is that I have been trainig extensively with Charle's Corfield "Rocket Fuel" mix. This is a simple suspension of amylopectin (waxy maize) and maltodextrin. In the past I have been erratic in my fueling training, just winging it on race days, but this spring is different as I run with the RF every day and feel it treats my tummy right.
The other difference in my training is that I now weigh less than 160 lbs. which I havent been at since I graduated from college. The lack of rock climbing and upper body has finally trimmed me up. I was 164 when I toed the line at WS 5 years ago; 5 lbs is a big difference of roughly 2 percent. I can see how I could shave 4 percent off my SoBo peak time now that I carry less to get up there. It'd be nice to hit the WS scales in Squaw Valley at a nice 158, so I better stop hitting the raw cookie dough at night I reckon.
Anyway, this little series was motivating, for myself and from other runners have said and written, it was motivating for them as well.


  1. A return to the Tuesday Hammer Fests! Good seeing you and everyone.


  2. You just loose weight by not rock climbing? Really?

    You look crazy fit ... ready to rock WS100!

  3. I've been telling folks you're abnormally fit and they just respond, "Yeah, he's always fit." Sub 45 up S. Boulder peak is just amazing. I'm pretty certain you would've given Ricky a hard time even.
    I'm off to buy a tub of cookie dough right now.

  4. I have a sneaky suspicion you're gonna hit WS juuust right there "Quiet Giant"! Man it's gonna be exciting to watch on my computer!

    How can I get some of that RF?

  5. Thanks for including me and putting that photo up. I was looking for it. Sorry, I wasn't able to capture your win on video. Will have to get a head start next time (if there is one!).

  6. Hey Fast Ed
    The Rocket fuel is just bulk powders that can be bought at Amylopectin is listed as waxy maize starch; maltodextrin is named as such. There are many ways to mix but I do a ratio of about 45/45, and then add something else for sweetness and flavor, like First Endurance products in the other 10%. The First Endurance definitely gives an afterburner effect! You surely want something in there for flavor. Charles Corfield has had a few articles in the local paper on his mix and he has posted some comments on the Boulder Trail Runners.
    Brandon- We will definitely have a next time. Feel free to post something to the group.

  7. now you'll have to lead a group up the Marin headlands and/or Mt. Tamalpais. That area really reminds me of Duluth/northshore in regard to terrain/water, although we have more trees and such. Either way they are both beautiful. Enjoy the new terra-firma in Cali.


  8. Hi Dave,

    If you have had success with waxy maize, you definitely should try Vitargo.

    Waxy maize is a generic competitor to Vitargo, and has not matched Vitargo's efficacy in actual clinical trials. Vitargo is not waxy maize, as many think.

    If you are having success with Waxy Maize, it's scary to think what you would get out of Vitargo.

    I would be happy to arrange to get you some samples directly from the company (US office is based out of Dana Point, CA).

    I do not work for the company, but simply receive a pro-deal. I ran into you (literally) at the Moab XStream last October, my team is DART-nuun.

    Good luck at WS! I hope you crush it.

    Sean Clancy
    sjclancy AT yahoo dot com

  9. love it. seattlites need a similar time trial hill climb.

    your my pick at western dave. see you there.. i'll be cheering loud! good luck.

  10. Dave-

    Word on the street is you're the man for Western States. Good luck, my moneys on you.

  11. Hey Dave, thanks for waiting tonight after the "Brook" loop TT, even though I got dropped/lost. It was an honor to meet you. I found a description of the loop and I will try the TT again soon.

  12. It sounds quite amazing to participate in that kind of time trials and it is a great way to check your own level.