Monday, June 20, 2011

The Devon Crosby-Helms Interview.

I'm feeling pretty good about my running these days because I was able to catch up with the ever speedy DEVON CROSBY-HELMS ("DCH") for an Interview. Devon is an elite endurance runner. She is a 3 time member of the USA 100K Team (has competed in 3 World Championships) and a recent qualifier for the Olympic Marathon Trials. Although, 50 milers are her favorite. Devon is also a certified personal chef; If you ever want some running inspiration and/or to work up an appetite, check her out on Twitter.  Here is the Devon Crosby Helms and Undefeated Running Interview...

UR: Devon. What Up?
DCH: Hey Adam. Not much, how are you?
UR: Cool. Chillin'... Getting ready to go for a run this afternoon. Thanks for asking.
UR: Chicked any dudes lately? 
DCH: Of course. I consider it my part-time job.
UR: What are you up to right now in your training schedule (besides chicking dudes)? What's your next big race? 
DCH: Currently, I have a dual focus for my training. One is to continue to build my speed base that I built from my marathon trials qualifier, so I am doing 1-2 workouts a week focused on that. My other focus is getting fit to pace my boyfriend Nathan at Hardrock. I have been doing a good amount of hard mountain training. From that fitness (mountain fitness), I plan to run TRT50mile if I am not too trashed after Hardrock pacing. My real next big race is the WC100k, running for Team USA in the Netherlands.
UR: What is your advice to a dude who is about to get chicked? 
DCH: Be gracious. It is nothing personal and it certainly shouldn't get you off your game. 
UR: What is your advice to a chick who wants to chick more dudes?
DCH: Negative split. I often chick a lot of guys because I am speeding up in the later miles. I think it is smart race strategy (for anyone) to go out a bit slower and have energy to pick it up later.
UR: Seen any good movies lately?     
DCH: Heck yeah, Kung Fu Panda 2 (in 3D).
UR: HYDRAPAK. How have their products benefited you in running? Specific examples? 
DCH: Gel-bots really help me because I can get my calories and water and not have to fuss with opening gels, etc. When I recently ran the R2R2R [Grand Canyon; Rim to Rim to Rim] and set the FKT [Fastest Known Time; (9:12:29] for the route with my friend Krissy [Moehl], I carried two gels bots. In the later miles, I just focused on slurping down the calories from my bottle. If I had had to open gel after gel after gel, I wouldn't have likely been taking in the necessary calories.
UR: That's what's up. 
DCH: lol
UR: Here's a video from Devon and Krissy's Grand Canyon R2R2R (note the dope tunes which i think Devon picked, Young MC... this is what's up): 

UR: Let's talk about "Redlining" (physically)... Through your BLOG I learned that you started focusing on finding your redline zone. What was the biggest element of your training that helped you realize your redline zone? How has exploring that zone affected your running?  
DCH: Harder specific workouts. Leading up to my marathon trials qualifier, I ran my key workouts harder than I have ever run before. I didn't shy away from the tough workouts. I tried to break myself. When you go out for a workout you don't know if you can do, it is intimidating, but then when you face the challenge and get through it or conquer it, you find how deep you can go. I remember before Houston doing a 10x1 mile set of repeats at sub 6 minute pace. It was probably the hardest running I've done. But when I was done, I knew I was ready.    
UR: Qualifying for the Olympic trials in the marathon was a goal of yours for 2011. You ran a fast but painful Houston Marathon where you missed the qualifying time by a few minutes. You wrote a great blog post about it HERE. Then you came back and conquered in the LA Marathon with a blazing fast 2:43:28!! That is AWESOME! You wrote another excellent blog post about the VICTORY where you also chicked 15,000 dudes in one race and 9 fast ones in the last 4.5 miles. How are you feeling now? Are you pumped for the trials?
DCH: Awesome. It was a fantastic experience and I am super pumped to have achieved my goal, especially after Houston going so poorly. The trials are going to be an amazing opportunity. I plan to have a lot of fun with it. It is a big honor in my opinion.
UR: Does the Nike Womens Marathon seem boring because there are no dudes to chick? 
DCH: Ha. I ran Nike Women's Marathon as my second marathon (way back in 2005). It is a fun course and good race environment, but it is not super competitive (with or without dudes).
UR: Why do you love the 100K and 50 Mile ultramarathon distance? 
DCH: To me those are distances that are still very runnable fast. I also like running an epic distance like that but being done in time for dinner. 
UR: If you had to pick either ultramarathoning or "regular" marathoning which would it be?
DCH: ultras. Ultimately, the community surrounding ultra running make it a very easy decision.
UR: Which Ultrarunning dude is in your crosshairs to get chicked? 
DCH: I have a few in mind, but won't say. I like the element of surprise.
UR: Want to give any shout outs? 
DCH: What up my ninjas!
UR: Thanks Devon! We'll see you on the roads... paved or not. Peace out.   

Thursday, June 2, 2011

North Face Endurance Challenge Road Race... KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

On August 27th and 28th in Kansas City, Missouri The North Face Endurance Challenge will be hosting it's first road race. Up until now "TNF Endurance Challenge" consisted of only trail races which culminate with the championship right here in the Marin Headlands (San Francisco). The North Face, besides being a bad-ass brand, has been putting together this Endurance Challenge for a few years now. I have never ran it but I have heard good things and it is definitely on my list of races to do. Check out this video...

They offer everything from a 5K to a 50 Miler... and now a road race in Kansas City, MO! If you have never been to Kansas City, MO this would be a great opportunity to check it out and do a little or a lot of running while you're there. I have been there once while driving across the country and it is a very cool city. There is great food (bbq!), the architecture is interesting and quite a bit of history surrounds the city especially with music.

The race attracts some of the best runners from around the world. Here's a cool video of the 50 mile Championship from 2010:

And Click HERE for Geoff Roes recap, the 2nd place winner that year. Dean Karnazes, who just finished Running Across America, will be onsite to support and hand out medals at the finish. Diane Van Deren, who has become somewhat of an ultra-marathoning legend because she had surgery to help her seizures which altered her perception of time will be competing in the 50K on Sunday.

Click Here to Register for The North Face Endurance Challenge