Cursed Realm of the Faceless Ghost

April 24, 2018

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Member Since:

Apr 07, 2010



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

5K - 17:11 (Cougar Run)

10K - 34:35 (Deseret News)

15K - 57:33 (Utah Running Club)

1/2 - 1:22:26 (Mountain View Trail)

50K - 4:22:31 (Sapper Joe)

Short-Term Running Goals:

Sub-2:45 at Saint George Marathon

Win the Antelope Island half marathon

Long-Term Running Goals:

I'd like to run the Angeles Crest 100 at some point. And I'd still like to go sub-4 at a trail 50k. Other than that, I'm open to suggestions.


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I was a competitive cyclist for years. In 2009, after racing in the Tour of Utah, I decided I had plateaued as a cyclist--I could continue to improve, but I wouldn't break through to a new level. So, I started looking for a new challenge.

I thought that challenge would be mountain biking, but I'm a terrible bike handler. I married Catherine in January 2010 and a couple of weeks later I entered the SLTC Winter Training Series with her. A couple of weeks after that I decided I'd like to run ultras, so I signed up for a couple of 50Ks to get started.

Those first races came and went, with varying results. I was looking forward to running more and possibly pushing into the longer distances, but I injured my knee in June 2010 and I've never been consistently healthy since.

I started law school in August 2010, which meant less time for training. In June 2011, Baby Elliott was born, which meant even less time for training. But she's worth it. 

Baby Nora joined us in October 2013, with the same effect on training as Elliott (who, incidentally, is no longer a baby). 

I (finally) finished school in April 2014 and now I'm an evil corporate lawyer in Salt Lake. I have no illusions that I'll ever get back into the shape that I once was, but I'm perfectly at peace with that. I still have many goals to accomplish and many years in which to do it. 

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Total Distance

A quick clarification--when I wrote yesterday that I was racing today, I wasn't referring to Speedgoat. When I injured my knee, I rolled my registration over to next year, and there was no way to change that. What I meant was that I was racing my bike. And by racing I mean "racing."

Since Speedgoat was out, I planned to ride a local charity ride in the canyons with Fritz, but at the last minute I changed my mind and signed up for the Tour de Park City instead.

A little background--last year, the TdPC started and ended at Kimball Junction. The course was somewhere in the 170-180 mile range, and I won the men's 1/2 race handily on a long two-man break that started at the bottom of the Mirror Lake Highway and turned into a solo break in Kamas when my breakaway companion got a flat tire. 

This year, the TdPC followed mostly the same route but started instead in Coalville, shortening the course to 145 miles, and I believe I finished DFL in the men's 1/2 race after getting dropped like an anchor at the bottom of the Mirror Lake Highway.

Basically, my race this year was the exact opposite of my race last year. The difference, of course, was mileage. I went into this year's race with around 700 miles of cycling in my legs, almost all of it in the last three weeks. I went in last year's race with more than 10 times that--thousands and thousands of base miles, racing miles and everything in between.

The difference was obvious from the beginning. Last year I raced at the end of a hard training week, so I was tired, but my legs had snap. This year they didn't, and I could feel it almost from the start. As we rolled up Chalk Creek Canyon, every time there was a surge or a steep hill, I had to force myself to respond. My lungs were fine--I wasn't sucking wind--but my legs were only barely up to the task.

I made it through Chalk Creek and the dirt road that follows without any problems, and I was fine on the road to Evanston, too, although a poorly timed nature break forced me to waste a valuable effort chasing back onto the pack.  

Things were pretty mellow from  Evanston to the Mirror Lake Highway. At one point, a bunch of riders called for a nature break, and since everyone was stopping I though I may as well, even though I didn't really need to go. Of course, the pack decided not to stop, and I ended up towing everyone who did back up to the pack. Lame, and another effort wasted.

There was a feed zone right after we caught back on, and Catherine was there with a couple of bottles. I was happy to see her. 

Once the climb started in earnest, at about 90 miles, I went straight out the back. Granted, I didn't put up much of a fight, but I could feel that the miles had taken their toll on me, so I decided the best option was to simply ride my pace and see what happened.

I ended up waiting for two other riders so I wouldn't be alone on the descent. But I got dropped on the descent, so I wound up alone anyways. This happens a lot. It makes sense on technical descents, because I'm timid and I brake way too much. But I don't understand why I get dropped on straight high-speed descents. I'm spun out, and I'm as low as I can go, but I just can't keep up. It happened regularly at the Tax Day circuit race. It happened a couple of times at the Everest Challenge. It happened on Trapper's Loop at the Tour of Utah last year. And now it happened here. Maybe I should pick up some weights when I top out on climbs.

Another straggler caught up to me halfway through the descent, but by that point I was in survival mode and I just wanted to be alone inside my head. So I worked with him until we hit the feed zone in Kamas, where I stopped to talk to Catherine. I think the other rider thought I was pulling out and rode on alone, which is exactly what I wanted. I can be a jerk when I'm tired and cranky.

The last 25 miles back to Coalville aren't bad by themselves, but after 120 miles of racing they're awful. The rollers were destroying me, and the headwind around the reservoir didn't help, either. Still, I managed to keep my effort steady and I did make it to the finish eventually. The masters racers (who started 5 minutes after us) never caught me, so I guess there's that.

I finished in just under 7:15. Last year, I finished the longer and harder course in 8:03:35. Of course, times are irrelevant in bike racing and all that matters is placing--unfortunately, that makes things worse. Last year I won by nearly 6 minutes. This year I came in about 45 minutes behind the winners. Ouch.

Anyways, it was fun to race again (allowing for a liberal interpretation of the word "fun"), but I think trail racing may be a better fit for me. I don't think that's sour grapes, either. The nature of road racing simply means that it will never be as individual or private as trail running, and one of the things I love most about trail running is the individual nature of the sport.

Of course, after having been beaten so badly I can't help thinking about a return to cycling. I'm just not sure if I'm willing to make that kind of commitment right now. 


Road Bike Miles: 145.00
Weight: 162.00
From Fritz on Sat, Jul 31, 2010 at 23:31:24 from

wow! Looks like a tough/long day. Cycling must be frustrating when you are basically done once you lose the pack. Sticking it out through 90 still sounds like an achievement considering your miles. If I had heard about this earlier I would have tried the citizens race.

From cgbooth23 on Sun, Aug 01, 2010 at 00:24:12 from

Nice report, love hearing the Cycling reports... doesn't happen very often on this site!

had a friend riding this today... sounds like a tough one great job in toughing it out.

From Aaron Kennard on Sun, Aug 01, 2010 at 00:33:07 from

DUDE! That's just freaking awesome that you even had the guts to enter a 1/2 race on that little training. I like that a lot. Reminds me of what I'm about to do by riding the leadville 100 in 2 weeks just because my buddy got me a free entry (except that you are actually really really good at biking whereas I am not even close to really really capable of hanging with cat 1 guys or beating them at all). That's still pretty dang impressive that you pulled out 20 mph average (is that what it was?) on that course basically riding most of it alone.

I agree with your sentiments about the individual nature of the sport of running. But I guess that's why we're on the fast running blog, because we must like running!

From jun on Sun, Aug 01, 2010 at 00:45:31 from

Um, holy crap. Can I just leave it at that?

Holy crap!

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