Monday, January 15, 2007

Icy Running Fun & Upcoming Psycho Events

It's cold and icy out on the trails! That's just fine with me. As long as I'm dressed properly and am wearing my "winter traction devices", I'm okay with the weather.

Here are two good choices for traction on the ice while running:
Screwing your shoes or Yaktrax (the "Pro" model, only). The YakTrax "Pro" model has an extra strap across the top of your shoes, and stays on your feet; something the regular model has problems with, while running. Putting screws in an old pair of running shoes works exceptionally well, also. Be sure to follow the instructions closely, though.


For our group runs this past week, we've had no fewer than 8 runners show up on any given group running day. The weather hasn't made much of a dent in participation for trailrunning, at all. One of the main reasons: If you run in the woods, you are out of the cold wind. Also, it's much safer to run where there are no cars to slide into you. For road runners, winter is the most dangerous time of year.

My training is going well. I had a "short" week, last week. I ran 40 miles. The two previous weeks were 72 and 59 respectively. This week, my mileage will be 35 to 40 miles. Next week, I'll taper down to 30 miles in preparation for my impending 100-miler, (Rocky Raccoon in Texas). I'd rather show up on race day at a 100-miler undertrained and rested, rather than overtrained and injured & sick. I've finished this race for 4 out of 4 years in a row. I'm going for my 500-mile finisher's jacket, this year.

The week after RR100, I'll be race-directing my group's first race of the year, the "Psycho WyCo Run Toto Run." We already have about 100 runners signed up. Thirty-five are signed up for the 50K, alone. This is the 3rd annual version of of the race, and I'm expecting about 300 entrants, this year. We had 213, last year. The first year we only had 44.

The course for Psycho WyCo is tougher than most runners expect to find in Kansas. In each 10.35-mile loop, there's over 5000 feet of elevation change. The footing is also very technical for about 50% of that. We usually only have a 50% finish rate for the 50K and 20-miler. Being a 3-loop 50K, the temptation is always there to drop out at the end of your 1st or 2nd loop. So it's also mentally challenging.

We always have nice shirts and finisher's hardware for the race. This year, we'll have long-sleeve technical shirts with the "Psycho" logo on the front:


I won't divulge the color of this year's shirts in advance, though. That's something left to find out on race day.

Our finisher's medals are pretty cool, also. The 50K and 20-miler finishers get this medal:

The 10-milers will get a "dog tag" version of the medal. The design was created by trailrunner and talented graphic artist, Jason Crosby. He now lives in South Carolina, but will be traveling back for the Psycho WyCo race.

All three race distances have a $30 entry fee. Any leftover funds goes toward trail maintenance activities and the Parks Department for the area.

This low entry fee is typical of our group's trail races. Our motto is "Dirty feet, run dirt cheap."


Brooklyn said...

You're insane, you know that right? 100 miles... I can't even imagine what that's like.

Ben, aka BadBen said...

I like to use the term "psycho" rather than insane.
Actually, once you've wrapped your mind around the distance, you can do it.
Paraphrasing Yogi Berra, "Ultrarunning is 90% mental, and the other half is physical."

olga said...

This is a huge turnout for the race! Just means you guys are doing a great job. Have fun!

robtherunner said...

This is the first time I think you have divulged your motto. I like it!

Sarah said...

I luv that logo! Good luck with your runs! : )

Gregg Lynn said...

Good luck at RR! Looking for ward to the Psycho Wyco

Lora said...

A dog tag!?? What a great idea. As you know, I wanted to do this race--tho I doubt I'd finish, since it would be my first ultra and the hills would kill me (damn flat illinois!!).

Looking forward to a pic of your new jacket! Have fun!

Ashley said...

Love the YakTrax recommendation for icy trails - but what do you do about frozen eyeballs? Matt and I went for a run Sunday morning, and here in Southern California we're not used to the 13-degree temperatures we faced that day. After the run my eyes felt really sore, like the cold air had irritated them. We ran before sunrise, so sunglasses weren't exactly an option.

I love your blog on homebrews, by the way. What better combo could there be than ultrarunning and homebrewing? You are clearly a man with his priorities in order.

John Andrews said...

Hi Ben,

Thanks for your great comment about Yaktrax. You might want to submit one of your photos on the Yaktrax where have your yaktrax been photo contest, you could win a trip to park city for some great winter running.

yaktrax vp marketing