BHS 100K

Here is some video and pictures from the 2013 Bishop Ultramarathon. I completed the 100K in 14 hours 22 minutes.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Recovery/ Injury report report

I have been slowly working my way back into my running grove after I sustained that hamstring injury in my right leg this summer.  I am happy that I finally found a good deep tissue massage therapist.  He found a lump of tissue deep in my right hamstring that even surprised him.  He said that the tissue seems "to have morphed into something very different than anything he has ever seen before."  That was not very reassuring, but he has been slowly working it out for me.  I have seen him three times already and I totally recommend him.  His name is Scott and this is his web page.  Proactive Health Therapeutic  If you mention his facebook add you will get the 1st two sesions for the price of one so what have you got to lose.

I also designed and put together my own self deep tissue hamstring massager which I am using on a daily basis.  I use it right before I go out for a run and man does it ever help.  I am running 8 to 10 miles with ease now though not at a very aggressive pace yet and averaging about 40 or so miles a week.  I keep looking at those mountains that surround the Vegas valley and I really long to get back up there.  There must be some way to circumnavigate all those ridges.  I wonder how many miles that would be?  Probably at least a couple of hundred.  Below is a picture of my new machine.  I am seriously thinking of getting a patent for it.

A fairly simply design.  I have ordered stainless steel wheels to replace those plastic plumbing caps that keep falling apart.  I need to changer the dimensions a bit, but otherwise it is very easy to use and best of all it works.

Friday, November 2, 2012

John Muir Trail Video on U-tube

I published a video on U-tube chronicling my JMT hike last July. 
 It's rather long, almost 45 minutes.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Angel's Landing in Mt. Zion and a good week of running

I really enjoyed running this week.  Those anti-inflammatories the doctor prescribed got me going again and I am cutting back on them already.  I ran a total of 37 miles all at a modest easy pace with 3 runs of 9 - 10 miles.  I should be able to keep that up now and slowly increase the weekly mileage again.  My next major race that I am considering isn't until next May when I would like to enter the Bishop High Sierra 100K again.  My training goal for that one is to build up to the point where I am putting in 100 mile weeks in March and April.  The key will be building up to it gradually, eating and staying healthy.

On Tuesday I went to see a physical therapist and he showed me some exercises and stretches that I already knew and a couple of new ones too.  It was good to see because it reminded me about some exercises using rubber bands placed between the knees that I hadn't been doing for awhile. He also did his best to work out some of the knots and trigger points in my hamstring. Some day soon I will need to add to this blog the core training that I do.

Last Saturday Amy and I made it to the top of Angel's Landing in Mt. Zion.  Although it is not one of the most difficult hikes in terms of vertical height or distance it requires some steady nerves as some precarious parts are fairly steep and a slip could mean falling of a cliff.  Six people have actually died on this hike since 2004, though I can only imagine that they were being reckless when they fell.  Well Amy is a real trouper and I am quite proud of the fact that she made it to the top.

On our way up

Looking straight down the 1500 foot cliff

Top of Angel's Landing

Sitting on top of the biscuit.  Nothing but space around from up there.

Cables have been erected to assist in the climb.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hamstring strain and recuperation

    A week had passed since I completed the St. George Marathon and my right hamstring was still extremely sore so I decided to see a doctor about it to see if I could get some physical therapy.  Even after a week of rest, ice, stretching, massage stick, and taking Ibuprofen, I was unable to even run more than a 1/2 mile without hobbling.  I am still waiting for the PT to call, but the anti-inflammatory,Vimovo, the doctor prescribed seems to be doing the job.  I took one, waited an hour and after feeling considerable relieve I tried going for a run.  The first day I was able to run 3 miles, the next two days 6 miles each and today I completed 9 miles all relatively pain free. (Vimovo contains a combination of esomeprazole and naproxen. Naproxen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by reducing substances in the body that cause inflammation, pain, and fever. Esomeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor. It decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach.)

     At the same time I happen to catch a TV show of Dr. Oz where he was interviewing one of my favorites, Dr. Andrew Weil and they were talking about inflammation and pain. “Following an anti-inflammatory diet can help counteract the chronic inflammation that is a root cause of many serious diseases. It is a way of selecting and preparing foods based on science that can help people achieve and maintain optimum health over their lifetime.”  (Dr. Weil)  Look under march 2011 of his Balanced living anual for more information on as anti-inflammatory diet tips. . Dr. Weil explains that inflammation is our bodies reaction to injury.  Injured parts of the body become inflamed and therefore receive increased blood supply for healing.  When that inflammation becomes prolonged, chronic pain can result. . We have been enjoying the curried cauliflower soup made with cahsew milk here the past few days

     Dr. OZ also has a few good tips for reducing pain.  I hadn't heard of Capsaicin before, so I tried it on a couple of sore spots I have been having simultaneously on my quads and it seems to help.  It could be the my hamstring and quad pains are related as weakness in one area causes pain in the opposing muscle. 

Anyways, I am just glad that I am making progress and running better again.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 19 - Guitar Lake to Mt. Whitney

Mt. Whitney summit video

Guitar Lake

Wednesday, July  18
                I saw the headlamps of some hikers getting an early start this morning at 4:00am.  An and I though spent the most of the morning fishing in Guitar Lake.  An finally had some luck and kept two of the Golden Trout that he caught for lunch today.  It must have been around 10:00am before we even started up the trail.  We had about 2000 feet of elevation and 5 miles of trail to get to the top of Mt. Whitney.  
Looking down on Guitar Lake

at about 14,000 feet now

After 3 miles of hiking and a ton of switch backs we made it to the T in the trail at 13,658 feet.  Eventually we will go straight here which will take us off the mountain down to Whitney Portal.  For now, we dropped our packs as we would be returning to this spot after we summit Whitney.  It would be a 4 mile round trip so I took only 1 bottle of water and a couple of trail bars with me.  It was good to be hiking without the pack for a change as I charged up the mountain.  An and I were both passing a lot of day hikers that were not acclimatized to the altitude as we were.  On young man who was resting halfway down from the top said that it would take me at least another two hours to make it to the top, because that’s how long it took him.  I bet him that I could make it in less than an hour and he looked at me shocked and said I better get moving.  I looked at my watch, took off, and 45 minutes later I was at the summit.  
100 yards from the summit (Emergency shelter and weather equipment room built by the Sierra Club)

View east from the summit of Mt. Whitney

View north from the summit of Mt. Whitney

View west from the summit of Mt. Whitney
It was exhilarating to be on top of the peak of the highest mountain in the lower 48 and to be at the terminus of the JMT.  I was thankful thinking back to all that I had been allowed to accomplish, to experience and how well it all went.  I had also met many wonderful people along the way and was grateful for what each one had brought to my life.  These journeys always add to my appreciation of how beautifully complex and interconnected this Earth that God created is and I am overwhelmingly thankful for these opportunities to learn more about it all and share with others what I find.   
Out here and in life ... 
every day is the best day.

   The End

We are in the book!  Look at entry #21; Danny Westgrand, Badwater finisher.
Sunset from Trail Camp on the way back down (Those colors were not exaggerated or altered with Photoshop)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 18 - Tyndal Creek to Guitar Lake

 Guitar Lake

Tyndal Creek at Sunrise

Breakfast on Tyndal Creek
Tuesday, July  17
I believe that this was the coldest morning we had yet.  Water formed a thin layer of ice in just a couple of minutes after I poured it into a pan.  So, wearing every layer of clothing I had carried, and glad that I had it, I heated the water for my coffee and cereal.  I then carried them down to the creek and found I rock in the middle of it I could sit on.  I ate breakfast there watching the morning sun as it poured its colors and warmth onto the water.  
View facing east on JMT towards Timberline and Gutiar Lake

The original plan for the day was to camp at Timberline Lake but that was closed to any camping as the NFS was in the process of a restoration project there.  We stopped anyways and tried our luck fishing.  In a little over an hour we had 5 fish that we kept for tonight’s dinner.  An took a couple of cracks at throwing the line out too, but he couldn’t get anything for some reason.  I tried his line and immediately I had another one.  I had coached him and it looked like he was doing everything right, but somehow the fish seemed to know that it was his first time fishing.  Tomorrow we would get them.  

Timberline Lake

We hiked a couple of miles more up the mountain and ended up camping at Guitar Lake.  From Guitar Lake the summit of Mt. Whitney and the official end of the JMT is only 5 miles away.  The scout troop was camped at Guitar Lake that night too, but the lake was big enough that we were able to get far enough away not to be bother by their noise.  One of the leaders pointed out Mt. Whitney to me.  There it was our final goal plainly in sight now about 2000 feet above us.   That evening and the following morning I climb all over the cliffs of the lake trying to get pictures of that peak.  In the evening I set up my sleeping bag on a granite shelf facing the peak and set up my camera on the tripod.  Whenever I awoke at night, I took pictures of the night sky as the starts circled Mt. Whitney
Mt. Whitney

Mt. Whitney at Sunset

Mt. Whitney reflecting at sunrise

Our camp by Guitar Lake


Stars circling Mt. Whitney from sunset to sunrise

Photoshop drybrush artistic rendition

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 17 - Forester Pass to Tyndal Creek

Summiting Forester Pass
Sunrise from Forester Pass trail looking north

Monday, July 16
                We can see the notch in the mountains that Forester Pass takes 1000 feet above where we are camped and I am itching to get to the top of this much talked about pass.  At 13,180 feet, it’s a 1000 feet higher than any other pass we have crossed so far and it’s the last pass we encounter before we ascend Mt. Whitney.  I woke up real early this morning, an hour before sunrise to one coldest nights yet and I wanted to get moving just to warm-up.  The wind died down, but I am sure the temperatures were in the low 30’s.  I decided to start exploring the trail that goes up the pass.  In addition to wanting to get warm, I had two other reasons as well.  One, I was hoping to get some good pictures of the sunrise from a higher vantage point.  Secondly, I wanted to get some peaceful time around the lake before the scout troop wakes up.  Man those kids were noisy last night.  Those young teenage boys were bickering and cackling so much it reminded me of one of watching one of those sea lion colonies on the Nature Channel.  Those men who are taking those boys up here are saints – well either that or they are deaf.  I should be used to it, because that is how many of my students behave, but I would have told them to can it.  I sneak past the scout troop and start walking up the trail with my camera and tripod.  The sun slowly rises on our mountain enclave and I had a nice time waiting for it and taking pictures. 
An hiking up Forester Pass
Scout Troop heading up pass

                An and I start hiking around 8:30 am.  The sun is already shining on the lake at this but we are still dressed in layers and it feels good to get moving with our packs on.  We can see the scout troop already halfway up the pass so they must have packed up quickly.  I am now very acclimated to the altitude and An is in good shape too, because he is never far behind me.  We quickly catch up to the troop and they marvel at how easily we are able to hike up the pass.  This reminded me of the second day when I marveled the same way at a north bond hiker on Donahue Pass.  The troop is doing a good job up here too and before long we are all at the top.  Just before the top, I pass my camera to An to video and commemorate my assent of Forester Pass.  Yes, we are having fun now.
Views from the top

                The other side of Forester Pass holds the widest u-shaped glacial valley I have yet seen.  We hike down five miles and have lunch just below the tree line at Tyndal Creek.  I survey the creek for fish, but I didn’t see anything.  I have been out here quite a long time now and I admit that at times I miss the comforts of home. All this hiking can get tiring out. It would be nice to home with Amy, cooking dinner in our kitchen, eating at our table or sitting in the family room watching a movie with the puppies climbing on us.  Just a few more days now out here, and I need to enjoy what I have left.  
Is that glacier making a smiley face?

Glacial boulder left high and dry

Wide Glacial Valley

Approaching the tree line of Fox Tail Pines

16 more miles to Mt. Whitney,  We should be up there the day after tomorrow.

We hike down some more and run into a northbound PCT hiker who goes by Thomas – his real name.  He said that a few years ago someone gave him the trail name of Deacon, but that was too weighty so he prefers Thomas.  Thomas was a gem.  He asked us if there was anything that we needed.  We thanked him and told him we were fine, but he insisted and seeing my war torn bandaged fingers asked me if he could help.  He seemed so genuine that I didn’t want to refuse him and acquiesced. He took out some lanolin, sheep’s wool and white tape and did a real good job.  He asked us if we minded if he said a prayer for all of us.  We said sure and he said a prayer.  Thank-you Thomas, and God bless you.

Scout troop with Fox Tail Pines in the background

Lush fox tails draping down

                We camp a few more miles down the trail at Wright Creek.  We caught wind that the scout troop would be a camped a mile further down at Wallace Creek and we figured that a mile of buffer between their noise and us would be fine.  It was still early in the afternoon; and the weather was still awesome so we decided to nap for an hour or so.  Still hoping to do some fishing I explored the creek.  There were fish in there, but nothing over six inches so we walked over to Wallace Creek.  There was not much in there either, so fishing would have to wait another day.