Frölicking trails since 2010

Frölicking trails since 2010
Frölicking trails since 2010

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Plantar Fasciitis and training for the Bighorn 100 mile Endurance Run

Panic! At the Disco.

DNF at the Trailfactor 50K on May 28th

I first started feeling the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis the weekend after the Peterson Ridge Rumble 40 miler. Friday night was 80s Dance night at the Crystal Ballroom. Saturday night was a Timbers Game. Sunday was a 20 mile  run with a fast finish...and then my arch started to feel sore.

Symptom: The soreness starts at
whatever the hell this is.
Symptom 2: The soreness then travels
across the arch. I have NO heal pain.

SUNDAY APRIL 29th - 6 Weeks and 5 Days until Bighorn

My foot didn't start hurting until AFTER my 20 mile run, so I took that as a good sign. Maybe it's just soreness from all the jumping at 80s night and the Timbers game? Regardless, I had two weeks until Miwok to figure things out. The first week consisted of rest and ice. The second week consisted of 3 Chiropractic visits to Dr. Noe Flores. At the first visit with Noe, within a minute he was able to find several areas of tightness in my foot/arch and performed some adjustments that instantly made my foot feel better (but still a little sore). I was very hopeful in that my foot may loosen up in time for Miwok, but there was only one way to find out...

MIWOK - SATURDAY MAY 5th - 5 Weeks and 6 Days until Bighorn

The Miwok 100k started out with an unforgiving hike from the beach to one of the higher points in the race. Soon afterward, the trail turned into a cambered single track with my bad foot on the downhill side of the camber. I should also mention that wearing Hokas on cambered surfaces makes the ankles prone to rollage. And after a few rolls, tweeks, and general aggravation of my left foot, I decided to drop out of the race at mile 12. I wasn't having a good race anyways, and my body was heavily under the influence of I was happy to stop.

By crazy random happenstance, a friend of mine was at the aid station where I dropped at Miwok. I've only met Harry Walther twice before while training in Rancho San Antonio near my home in California, so it was a pleasant surprise to see him there (he wasn't running, but supporting 2 of his friends). After some moping and complaining, Harry grabbed my leg and pressed on my Tibialus Posterior near the top of my calf. I almost screamed, it hurt so bad! He then explained to me that there are several tendons in the leg that connect to the bottom of the arch of the foot, and that my tendons were painfully tight. Maybe a good deep tissue massage would cure my ailment...?! After he gave me a ride back to the start (THANK YOU!), I had lunch in San Francisco and went home to Santa Clara to spend time with family. After hearing how hard the new 2012 Miwok course was, I'm glad I dropped! It's a hundred miler in disguise.

CHIROPRACTIC HELP - TUESDAY MAY 8th - 5 Weeks and 3 Days until Bighorn

After discussing possible solutions with Dr. Noe Flores, he recommended I see Dr. Brad Farra (since Noe doesn't specialize in massage, and Brad does). Noe was a big help in freeing up the joints in my foot, and the next step was to take care of the muscles/tendons. I saw Dr. Brad Farra the Tuesday after Miwok. He diagnosed me with PLANTAR FASCIITIS and performed graston (deep tissue massage) on my legs and feet to help loosen the muscles/tendons and break up scar tissue. The experience went something like this. The fact that my legs/feet were so tight was definitely an indication of too much running without paying attention to self maintenance. By committing myself to running up to 80 miles a week, I should have also committed myself to self-massage techniques, core strengthening, and general icing of sore anythings...maybe even Yoga!

I set myself up to see Dr. Brad Farra twice a week for the next few weeks, and he gave me several foot/core strengthening exercises to do throughout the day. This was the 3rd week of minimal running (less than 15 miles) since the initial onset of arch pain, and I was beginning to wonder how I was going to be able to maintain my fitness for Bighorn...

TODAY - TUESDAY MAY 30TH - 2 Weeks and 3 Days until Bighorn

The foot is healing! I had my best training run since April 15 this past weekend when I ran 26 miles via the rocky Eagle Creek Trail with minimal foot soreness. My training has just peaked at about 50 miles last week, and that's going to be as good as it gets. I'm now resting my foot and doing some foot and core exercises, chiropractic massage from Dr. Brad Farra, and icing the hell out of it. I plan on doing some weekend Larch Mountain hikes to keep my legs active, as well as some biking over the next couple weeks.

My goals for Bighorn have been slightly altered due to my less than ideal training, but I'm still hoping to break 24 hours. It's a tough course, but I feel I can persevere as long as my foot stays strong. My fitness won't be perfect, but I only need to run the first 50 miles since the last 50 miles are all mental...ha! do I feel? I feel like Faramir when he rides to take back Osgiliath knowing that he's going to die. Courageous, but full of angst. I'm going to finish this race, I just don't know how. If I'm forced to walk because of my foot, I'll walk. Que sera sera. We'll see what happens...


  • Wyoming! Woohoo!
  • Gorgeous course!
  • Moosen!
  • Thomas O'Toole!
  • Adventure!
  • Race Experience!
  • My NSPIRE Racing Shirt!
  • Friends galore!
  • Character Building!
  • At least I have feet!
  • Killing Inner Demons!
  • Lessons Learned!
  • New Perspective!
  • Running should not be taken for granted!


Thanks to all those who have been supportive and have had to listen to me mope about my foot for the past 1.5 months. As Yassine so eloquently put..."It's your turn." Everyone goes through periods of injury, and now it's my turn to learn from my mistakes and work to make myself a healthier and stronger runner. So if you hear me female-dog and complain about my foot, just say "Shutup, it's your turn."

Indeed it is.

The next blog post will be the Bighorn 100 Race Report. Cheers!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Peterson Ridge Rumble 40 mile - Sunday April 15, 2012 - Sisters, OR

Vitamin D! The D is for Deficient.

There's always something that feels magical about the rumble...this year was a combination of friends, burritos, sunburn, and a little bit of depression. When I say depression, I mean the kind you get where everything is perfect except the way you feel during a race. This particular race kicked my butt and put me out of character and into a dark spell for the last 30 miles.


Here's a brief approximate course description: Flat 4 miles, 9 miles gradual uphill, 9 miles gradual downhill, 10 miles flat/uphill, 8 miles downhill, 400m track finish, DONE.

3...2...(fist bump)...GO!!!

Love Tap from the Yassine Machine,
the Legendary Rob Hendrickson starting right behind me

After having a great race at the Gorge 50K 3 weeks earlier, I was all kinds of confident going into this race. After the start, there was only 1 runner who took off as if he were going for gold. The rest of the pack was going steady and sticking together (Max King among them). I clung onto the back of the group and ran with them rather comfortably, but I knew it wouldn't last. After all, this was just another training run for something better (Miwok 100k / Bighorn100m), and my legs weren't exactly rested for this race. So...why again was I running with the front pack...?

Running with Lewis
As soon we got off the "road to perdition" and onto the single track, something happened...the gradual uphill was rapidly sucking the life out of me, and I was struggling to find my comfort zone. I blew by the first Aid Station while grabbing a PB&J square, only to watch it fly out of my hands as I face planted into the trail just moments later. MY PB&J! NOOOO!!!! That was a wake up call. My legs couldn't keep up with my ambitions, and my fatigue was preventing me from concentrating on what I do best (NOT falling on my face). My pace slowed, my legs were struggling on even the smallest climb, and all I could think about were the burritos at the finish line. Man, 6 miles in and I'm feeling burned...this is going to be a long race....

After getting passed by a couple runners, I latched on to some familiar faces (Jared who I met during Hagg Lake, and Lewis Taylor who I went hunting with in Eugene). We pretty much ran together until the turn around at the top of the climb, and that's when I tried my luck on the downhill. After pulling away from the group, my pace was slowed as I started paying attention to the trees. The high desert forest was generously spaced out, making it easy to spot someone on the trail at least 100 meters ahead. It'd be hard to hide from anybody running the race...and this was a problem because I had to take a shit, and I get shy about that kind of thing (unless I'm 95 miles into a 100 mile race. Sorry again, Matt). Eventually I found a giant rock formation to hide behind. Problem solved.

Just before the
40m Turnoff
Back to the Trail! I lost my group of friends, especially after I made my first lengthy Aid Station stop to fill both my bottles. Getting off the trail and back on the Road to Perdition, I saw Lewis hundreds of yards ahead. Well, that's the last I'll see of that guy...God speed. After the turnoff, things were feeling heavy at this point. My bottles were heavy, my legs were heavy, and my heart was heavy. I don't know why I was having such a hard time keeping a positive mentality, but it was tough to be optimistic when I felt like walking. I should have known better than to get so negative, but these things happen sometimes. I kept running, because I wouldn't have forgiven myself for walking when I had no real reason to.

My GU face
The next section of climbing really wasn't that bad, and I enjoyed the "steep" uphill parts. I had my bottles filled at the next aid station, grabbed a quick bite, and ran off. There was only one more aid station to go, and I knew Todd Janssen would be there. That became my main motivation to get my ass in gear, cause I gotta make Todd proud! I was pushing the uphills just fine, and my legs enjoyed the downhills...but my enthusiasm was completely gone. I passed one runner who was sucking it big time, and that gave me a little boost of confidence. A couple photographers later, Todd Janssen's aid station appears!

Todd: How do you feel, Jason?
Jason: I feel like shit!
Todd: Hey, you're being filmed on the GoPro
Jason: Huh? Oh, hehe...

With only 5.5 miles to go, I was ready to be done. I wasn't feeling sick or anything, just drained mentally and physically. Almost there!...Wait a minute...where are the pretty yellow course markers? Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww shit demon (explicit)....Lo and behold, I made a wrong turn. Josh Nordell had followed me too, and we tacked on an extra mile together. As unfortunate as it sounds, it was a bonding moment. As we got back on course, I used him as a pacer to get me through a rough patch (Thank you!). My legs were reluctant, but he pulled me along for a few miles. Then the the downhill dirt road appeared, the final descent back into the high school! Alleluia! BURRITOS! When I hit the track for the final 400m loop, I dropped my water bottles, started to sprint, got tired, stopped sprinting, sucked wind, remembered why I quit track in high school, jumped over the hurdle, and took it home.

Results: 4:51:08 (supposedly) – 12th out of 147 Finishers
Pace: ~7:17 min/mile

Best Hug Ever 
Considering my main goal was to break 5 hours, I had a good race! There's a number of things I could have done in order to better prepare myself (mentally) for the race, but my youthful ignorance threw me into an all-familiar Catch-22. Using a race as a training run for an even bigger race often leaves little time for tapering. My problem is that when I run a race untapered, my competitiveness still pushes me to run what I WANT to be capable of...and thus, I fall into a dark place when I hit the physical reality that my body can't keep up, at least not with the legs I had that particular day. Without adhering to the fundamentals of race preparation (aid station memorization, course memorization, and situational compromise), I left myself with very little ammo to help me fight my shit retrospect, I should have thought of people like Terry Fox for a little perspective.


Before the Rumble, 2012

First of all, I would like to thank Kyle and Nicole (and Justin) for their support all these years since the 2010 Bunker to Bonnevile 50K. You're awesome, and I appreciate you guys more than you know!

Kyle broke his leg in November 2010 when he slipped on black ice during a winter road race in the gorge. Most of 2011 was spent healing until he was able to start running in Sept/October. At this year's rumble, Kyle completed the longest distance of his life by running the 20 mile race. It's been a long time coming, and it's great to see you running your ass off again! Congrats on your run, and keep after it! See you soon!

Kyle's Leg, Beacon Rock 50K
June 2011

3 weeks after the Peterson Ridge rumble, I attempted to run the Miwok 100k on May 5th. After 12 miles, I dropped due to a sore foot that had been bothering for a couple weeks. With the Bighorn 100 on June 15th, I decided to drop and give myself time to heal. Since then, I have been diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis and am undergoing treatment. Now after 3 weeks of rest (including the 2 weeks prior to Miwok), I have less than 5 weeks until Bighorn to heal and gain back some cardio. This'll be an interesting few weeks for me, and I'll blog later about Miwok, my treatment, training, and my confidence going into Bighorn.

After seeing how hard Miwok was this year, I'm REALLY glad I dropped. Mad props to Stephen Petretto for pushing through a tough finish!