I've moved to http://travisliles.blogspot.com/

Sunday, July 29, 2007

My blog will be at http://travisliles.blogspot.com/ from now on. I think its easier to remember and the name seems a lot less pretentious than this one :)

Update your favorites and RSS readers and to those who have a link to me on thier sites, sorry for the work, but thanks for following me along the way!!!


Posted by Travis at 2:24 PM 0 comments  

Mt. Hood 8 am

Friday, July 27, 2007

Posted by Travis at 10:40 AM 2 comments  

Off to Mt. Hood

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I am pumped!  Tomorrow I fly out to Portland then drive down to Mt. Hood for the Mt Hood Pacific Crest Trail Ultramarathon Scott McQueeney Memorial Run - maybe the longest name for an ultra :) .  I have to pack all of my camping gear in a suitcase for the  flight, which just seems funny, but seems like the best way to get it all out there.  I'll pick up a rental car and cruise down to the Clackamas Lake campground and get all set up.  Then probably just relax for the night.  I know there are other arriving tomorrow too, so I should have some company.

As far as how I feel, mentally I feel ready to take this on and really push hard.  Physically, I have a small calf strain and an almost recovered sprained ankle, so I don't think either will hold me back from doing well.  I could have done without the ankle being rolled, but it did keep me in check and forced me to rest.

I plan on a nice easy pace on the way out.  I'll have my camera with me so I can get some pictures of what looks to be some beautiful views (like that pic below).  Carrying a camera might be a bit of an annoyance, but with the baby on the way, I don't know the next time I will be able to travel somewhere like this for a race for a while, so I think it will be totally worth it.  Once I get to the turn around, I will just drop the camera off for the returning drop bags.  Then work on picking up the pace for a good finish.

I'll be doing a little mobile posting from my phone pre and post race so some small update here and there, so check back.

On a side note, Congrats to my friends that ran the Vermont 100 this past weekend.  Way to go Julie, Ryan, and Sherpa John. You guys are awesome!!!

Enjoy your weekends!!!!

Posted by Travis at 10:10 AM 3 comments  

Ankle me this, ankle me that.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Things are going well with the exception of this slight ankle sprain.  I rolled it last Tuesday when I went out to a new trail (to me) in the Missouri area.  I took my eyes off the trail for a second to check my watch and POW!  So I took a few days off and did some icing and not much else.  I then hit the trail again on Saturday for a medium distance trail run with Howard and was fine for the first 7 miles.  We stopped in at a forest preserve area that had some vending machines for water.  On our way back to the trail I stepped off the side of the sidewalk and rolled the same ankle again.  It was not bad as I was able to run the rest of the way back without much discomfort.  What luck huh?  7 miles at a decent pace on a root covered trail and nothing, 200 feet on sidewalk and I get hurt.  One more reason to stay out of civilization when running!!  It's was pretty swollen yesterday and some today, but ice and rest seem to be helping.

I'm 13 days from MT. Hoot PCT 50 so this will just be a forced taper.  Plus, I've got some travel coming up for work, so getting in a lot of training won't happen due to my work schedule over the next 7 days... yes 7 days YUCK!  I'm flying to Orlando (Monday-Friday) tomorrow for a conference then out to Seattle for training (Friday-Monday).  Then taking off on Thursday to Portland for the run. I've contacted Olga (RD) about helping out for anything she might need the day before the race and it looks like I'll be able to help out somewhere.  I don't have a lot planned other then just hanging out, so I figured I might as well lend a hand and maybe meet some of the folks that will be manning an aid station along the way.  It never hurts to hear someone give you some words of encouragement or see a familiar face, even if it's a new face :)

On a totally unrelated note:  Getting the updates on Hardrock this weekend was awesome.  I found myself spending time refreshing and waiting on updates.  Also seeing the finishers come across via Youtube was great too. I have to say, I really like that this is able to happen and hope to see this trend continue.  Seeing the emotions that the elites have when they come across makes me love this sport even more.  Well done Scott and Krissy!! It makes you know that these events mean as much to them as they do to the rest of us, it's not just another race.  Of course the others attempting and finishing this is an unbelievable achievement too and much congratulations to you all!

Posted by Travis at 9:37 PM 2 comments  

What's on tap

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Ryan asked in the comments of my last post what I have coming up so here you go...

First off, I've had a good month as far as training goes.  As of yet, I have not become someone who puts in big mileage months.  Most of that comes from the ITB injury I had in February that continued until the beginning of April.  April then brought McNaughton so I tapered and rested in April, then a month later was Ice Age so another month with a taper and a recovery.  I played it a little cautious in June to make sure everything was going to hold up ok and it did, so I moved into July with a bit more aggressive outlook. 

I logged just over 150 miles, hit the gym for weights at least once a week.  I joined a yoga class that is once a week and have on a few occasions hopped in on the pregnancy Yoga DVD that my wife does. Sometimes you have to swallow your pride and do what needs to be done, being more flexible and balanced is my need and Yoga helps me with that :) .  I've also turned up the hill work.  I'm a flatlander so as much as I wish I could knock out huge climbs and descents , I simply do not have that type of terrain here, so I find the biggest hills I can and just go up and down as long as I can.  Also, on days where I do weights, I hit the stair climber and/or the treadmill on its biggest incline for an hour.  I've made sure to get in speedwork once a week (a big thanks to Olga for the help there).

Next up is the Mt Hood Pacific Crest Trail Ultramarathon on July 28th.  I'll be running the 50 miler.  It was going to be a little get-away for me and my wife, but some things came up and she will not be able to travel with me.  I'll be going solo on this outing, camping for a few nights at Clackamas Lake.  I feel good about this event.  As of now I am going in healthy and feel prepared, two things I have not had going into an event yet.  I'm shooting for a low-to-mid nine hour finishing time.

After that will be the Flatlanders' 12 Hour run on September 2nd.  The event is put on by the SLUGS (which I joined), so I am excited to get out there and meet a lot of the members. My friend Howard will be running the event too. This will be the first time I will be doing a timed run.  1.4 mile loop over and over again.  The event is really close to my 29th birthday so I will be shooting for 58 miles.  Before I started in this long distance running I would put together little triathlons that would add up to my age, but since I've done well over 29 miles on lots of occasions, it seems silly to just go out and do 29, so I'll double it and maybe a little further..hopefully

Posted by Travis at 5:16 PM 4 comments  

It's a hot S.O.B. out there!

Monday, June 18, 2007

It has warmed up here in the good ol' Midwest.  We were headed to my parents to celebrate Father's Day and I decided that I would just take off, head towards our destination, and have my wife pick me up on the way.  I left the house a little after 7 am and stuck to the local paved trails as long as I could before I got out on the road.  I ran past a bank around 8 and the temp already read 90 degrees.  I made my way to Old Route 66 and just kept chugging along, sweating profusely.    I had a bandana unfolded on top of my head and my visor pulled over that to keep the sun off the top of my head and neck. People driving by had to think I was nuts....which I suppose makes sense when you look at the majority of people would do their best to avoid the situation I wanted to be in.  I got in just over 19 miles before my wife came by honking.  I would have liked to gone a bit further, but being that I have not done much heat training yet and I was 100% exposed to the sun with no shade in sight, I'd say it worked out just right.

run on Rt. 66

a belated Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there!!!

Posted by Travis at 3:53 PM 10 comments  

Review - Nathan Speed 2

Friday, June 15, 2007

As you may have noticed from the end of my post a few weeks ago, I also picked up a Nathan Speed 2. I purchased the X Trainer Plus and had not so good results. Mainly the issue came down to how the pack fit or in this case did not fit around my waits. This is understandable considering the belt is said to fit waists from 42''-26'' I'm on the lower end of the waist measurements at about 29'' so finding a pack that conformed properly could be an issue overall. Or would it be? Enter the Nathan Speed 2. , so I though this might be the ticket. I picked up the size small and within a minute of putting it on knew that the fit issue of the former belt was not going to be the case here.

Part 1 - Design

This pack comes in several colors, pink, blue, and the standard Nathan colors of gray and yellow. It also comes in 3 sizes; SM 26-32", MED 32-36" & LG 36-42. The belt is made of stretchy fabric and it attached together by Velcro. It has 2 - 10oz. bottle cages that are directly attached to each side of the belt. The cages are fixed in their position and cannot be moved. 2-10oz. flask like bottles are included. Between the bottle cages is a pocket. that measures about 5 inches across the top and tapers to the deepest point of about 3 inches. The pocket is made of a mesh webbing and has a thin fabric divider the give it a front and a back section.

Top View - Bottle Cage view. The bottle cage is build specifically for the Nathan bottle or at least one of the exact shape. They are made from a flexible plastic. The cage is sewn directly to the belt by way of elastic straps. The bottom strap keeps the bottle from falling out the bottom. The sides are attached by 2 short elastic straps on each side of the cage that have 4 strips of a rubber-like thread that give extra grip to the bottle to keep it in place.

Top View - Pocket. The pocket pictured above is the only pocket on the Speed 2 that measures about 5 inches across the top and tapers to the deepest point of about 3 inches. The outer facing part of the pocket is made of a mesh webbing and has a thin nylon fabric divider with a Velcro tab that give it a front and a back section. The back section of the pocket contains a key holder. The beauty of this pocket is the mesh. Since the mesh used has larger then average holes in it, irregular shaped items can be squeezed in better. If the item has a corner on it, it can simply push out of one of the holes instead of poking you in the back. The pocket is divided into 2 sections. Though I'm not 100% sure this is useful, it does allow you to put items that you don't want exposed or for a marginal bit or organization.

Front View - Full pocket. Here is an example of how much can fit in the pocket. As you can see, I have 2-1.25oz Gels, a larger then normal cell phone and my pill case for my S! Caps and my car key. Though not all of those are items I would carry on race day, I could easily fit a few more gels, or some anti-chafing stuff, a few bandaids even a baggie of electrolyte drink. As a side note.. this waistpack came in a combo pack with a Nathan Quick Draw Plus so some additional storage is found on the handheld.

Part 2 - Performance

I put on the pack the first time for some easy road running and was happy with how it held up. I was able to get my whole workout in without having to be angry at the pack for bouncing around or being uncomfortable. The second time I wore it was for my long trail run and had the same results as the road run. The 2 smaller bottles may be a turn off for some. I found them to be nice because unlike a singe bottle pack that may shift from side to side (at least on me) it was for the most part balanced and did not shift around at all. For me I only carry water in the small bottles and use my handheld for my electrolyte drink. Not that you could not use the packs bottles for mixing drinks in. The opening of the bottle with the lid is surprising large and easy to fill. The divided pocked actually comes in quite handy on the run as it give you a feel of where you are after as opposed to everything being piled in one spot. If 20oz is not enough, you can step up to the Speed 4 which also adds a small zippered pocket on the front of the belt. It would also be possible to add an extra flask and zippered pocket to the Speed 2 for a more customized solution, which is what I plan to do. I am going to add one more 10oz flask and a small zippered pocket. I wont need them for everyday use, but will add and remove them as necessary.

Final Thoughts

This pack has performed great. It has an excellent, no bounce fit. I found it to be extremely comfortable and easy to adjust on the fly. The fact that it comes in 3 different sizes is a plus for those with smaller waists or those looking for a more custom fit. Lastly, the ability to add/remove flasks, pockets, music carriers.. etc make it a flexible choice.

*Note - I have no affiliation with Nathan or any other products mentioned or shown in this post. These are merely my opinions and preferences.

Posted by Travis at 5:43 PM 2 comments