Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Unlikely Cause of Pneumothorax

West Ridge Grandeur Peak

Running any significant distance requires pacing oneself so as to be able to finish. The longer the distance, the more attention needs to be paid to the pace. Running the Wasatch 100 last week I was well aware of the slow, methodical walk/jog/slog pace required to run 100 miles, and had prepared well for that pace in my training runs. I was very happy with the outcome.

Now that the race has come and gone, I felt the urge to just basically go all out with no real need to "back off" and pace myself. Having never time trialed the West Ridge of Grandeur Peak, I was curious to see where I fit in the mix, as there are some sick fast times on that thing. 2.2 miles and 3200' vert, right out the backdoor. There is very little "running" here as the trail is about as steep as the quantum mechanic learning curve. Unlike the Wasatch, this thing comes down to SECONDS not HOURS between times.

My goal was sub 1 hour which seemed pretty conservative, then my real goal was sub 50 minutes, and my "suck it Dorais bros" goal was sub 45 minutes.

 So after work, I parked, stretched, deshirted, then basically stairmastered the heck out of the ridge, power hiking my lungs to the point of collapsing(pneumothorax) and hoping my quads didn't explode. There were some severe winds up there and my visor blew off my head 3 times(precious seconds wasted) till I stashed it under a rock. I met up with one other power hiker dude near the top who I would later learn was a 100 mile veteran with 15 Wasatch finishes and a slew of others. He cranked it out in 1:22, and despite my desperation, heartfelt prayer, EPO blood tranfusions, and flinging myself onto the summit, I only managed 50:42. Bummer. Good enough for 12th place on the Strava list(though I don't own a GPS device). Not where I'd like to be but the list is quite a "whos who" of Wasatch running. Guess I'll have to work on my VO2 max.

Don't worry Mr Burke, I won't be Swindling your ridiculous record of :40 anytime soon. Not like he's quaking in his boots. I don't enjoy doing this stuff all the time, but as Court likes to put it, "redlining for an hour has got to be good for you". 

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