June 28, 2008

Saturday, June 28

Sitting here Saturday morning drinking a cup of coffee and scouring past Eastman's Bowhunting Journals. Last weekend I pulled out all of my past issues and set aside any that had anything at all to do with Colorado or articles on gear. I've read them once, but you never know when you might forgot something or just completely miss it. For a hunt like this where everything relies on you, it's all about the details. There can't be any question, I want to know that we have done absolutely everything in our power to ensure success. Remember, failure is not an option.

Hunt wise.......I'm trying to shoot as much as possible and thinking through the gear. I finally found time last night to lay everything out that I have for the pack. Overall, I would say I have about 70% of the stuff. I'm going to pick up some more food items and gear today, each week I try and knock a few more items off the "need to get" list.

Running wise.........Took Thursday off, did 10 yesterday, and today I do interval work, total of 7. Really looking forward to tomorrow, I'm putting it to the test on the trail for another 15. Last week I felt great, so we'll see how well I'm pulling it together for the big 31 in a couple weeks.........

June 25, 2008

Wednesday, June 25

This morning was tough. Didn't want to get out of bed and no matter how hard I tried to motivate myself, it wasn't working. Alarm went off, hit snooze, alarm went off, hit snooze, until finally at 4:30 I stumbled out of bed. The worst part was I didn't remember I was out of coffee until I came down and opened the cabinet....you know what, it just kind of went with the day. Anyway, managed to jam in 7 miles before I had to rush out the door for a meeting.

Been shooting in the basement as much as possible, usually 20-30 arrows a night. I need to get my other pins set and start shooting out to 60. Next week I'm going to order the Mountain Hardware Phantom +32, stove with fuel, and titanium cup. I'm just going to make the jump with the stove and fuel so it's one less item I'm looking to test. I'm also going to try and start getting my food items together so I can start to see what that looks like with the pack. Owen's hungry, got to go........yup, it's the OP.

June 24, 2008

Tuesday, June 24

The weekend was awesome! Didn’t get as much done as I had hoped, but I did get a little time to start laying things out for the pack, plus I streamlined the gear list a little. My hope was to actually start packing the 4500 so I could get a picture of what it’s going to look like.

I did get some good runs in, did 10 on Saturday and then hit the trail for probably my best go at it on the Buckeye so far. Pounded out another 12 on Sunday and felt great. Gives me 49 for the week. Each time I go I feel I’m getting stronger, I think I have finally fully recovered from the Marathon. To be honest, the first time I went it was rough. Took me forever and I even had to walk some of the steep hills. In fact on the ride home, I questioned if I hadn’t gotten in over my head with this race. But now, I'm feeling good, running the steep hills, and getting 12 done in less then 1hr 45 minutes. With 4 weeks to go until race time things look okay. If I can manage to keep it at a 9 minute mile, that puts me right around 5 hrs for my first ultra. Not too shabby.

Well, here we go again, another week of preparation. I felt pretty good this morning even though it was a short 4hr night. Thanks to Owen, I think I’m getting better at being fully functional on 4 hrs or less. Stumbled downstairs, slug down a cup of coffee, walked into the darkness, and hit play on the iPod. I was planning on doing 8-9 but I got pumped thinking about mountains and horns and ended up doing 12. Going to hit mid 50’s this week, next week I should be over 60.

Only 86 days until we wake up on the side of a mountain in Colorado with bugling Elk. Gives me chills.....I can't freaken' wait.

June 20, 2008

Friday, June 20

Last night was an exciting night. Had two boxes sitting on the table when I got home, finally received my new gear from UA. I'm impressed, I think the gear is going to work awesome for the hunt. Before bed ran some arrows through the 34 in the basement, gonna try and get my 30, 40, 50, and 60 pins set up this weekend.

Hit another 7 miles this morning before work. Today was interval training, which means I'm doing speed work. It was 1 mile warm up, 2 miles at 6:48, 800 jog, 2 @ 6:48, 800 jog, then a 1 mile warm down. I love speed work days because it breaks up the schedule a little, and this is where I can really make a dent in my pace or the mile per minute category. The Columbus Marathon in October will be the test, in order to qualify for Boston next year, I have to run 7:15's for 26.2, that's 30 seconds faster per mile then I did at Cleveland. I'm really hoping the Buckeye 50, as well as packing all that meat, will help on the leg strength and get me to Boston.

Really looking forward to the weekend. Going to try and put together a draft version of the pack. I don't have all my pieces to the puzzle yet, but I have enough to start seeing what everything looks like. Heading out for a long run on Saturday and then hitting the trail on Sunday for another long one. Going to a new section of the trail, really looking forward to pounding the hills on something I haven't hit yet. It's going to be great, mud, hills, and miles!

June 19, 2008

Wednesday, June 18

Another early one, 3:55 am alarm goes off and I'm up. Make a cup of starbucks on the new machine, which by the way is freaking awesome, and I'm out the door in the cover of darkness. Headed out for another 10 miles. I'm to the point now where just about each and every time I go out, it's double digit mileage. Takes anywhere from a little over an hour to 1 1/2 hours, depending upon the day.

Here we go. Start the iPod and visions of arrows flying and elk and mulies dying are in my head. I love running in the dark, just makes you feel hardcore. Man Pup, this is going to be an awesome trip! I think the thing I'm most excited about is we're finally bivouacking (sp?) it. In a tent, on our own, nothing but us, our trusty Pearson's, and the elk. The way it's meant to be done. That alone should make us tough, right? I can't wait, the harder the better in my opinion.

Time to wrap it up for the day. Right before bed hit another dozen or so arrows in the basement and it was off to bed. I guess something is better than nothing. Man the Z-34 feels great.......best yet in my opinion, Jon and crew did a fantastic job on this one.

June 17, 2008

Tuesday, June 17

The day started out early, 3:45am to be exact. Made for a pretty short night considering I didn't put Owen down until 11:00pm. Should have tried to go to sleep then, but I was trying to find a solution for water purification for the hunt. I'm planning to use tablets but after reading some posts on a backpacker website, I'm wondering if I can find something else to use as well to get rid of the dirty water look. Looking into gravity filtration and a product from Sawyer. Maybe it's all in the mind.

Head hit the pillow at 12:00am and it wasn't long before it all started again. What started as an early effort to get 10 miles in before heading to a meeting at 7:30 am, ended up with me getting caught in the "Owen pinch". The "Owen pinch" or "OP"is what I call getting totally redirected by anything baby Owen related. Being a new father, I have found that it doesn't matter what your doing, it can all change in the blink of a eye, but it's awesome. Baby Owen's the man, I love him to death.

Anyway, a quick meal with Owen and then out the door with a little less than 45 minutes to fit in 6. Guess I'm hitting the other 4 after work tonight. The 31 miler is coming fast with a little less than 4 weeks left to prepare. Been hitting the hills hard and on the weekends punching miles on the trail. With what I did to prepare for the C-town marathon (May), I'm just hoping I have enough to make a showing. And by showing, I mean finish. With 31 miles and over 3800 ft. of elevation change, it's all about finishing. I figure taking after Cam and notching my belt on an ultra should help my prep for the Quest. All in all, 10 miles for the day and arrows from the trusty Pearson Z-34 in the basement.

The beginning

Alright, this is it. This is how it begins. Right here, right now. This is where and how I start becoming a better hunter and preparing for what will be an epic September adventure. I(we, Pup and I) have 93 days to prepare for mountans, canyons, hunger, pain, backbreaking meat trips, and most of all, the moment of truth. The moment where everything you have worked for, everything you have dreamed about is right in front of you, and it's what you do in that second that determines success or failure. It's not a question of if I have what it takes, it's a question of when, because failure is never an option in my book, it's only a tempory obsticle.

So what is Elk Quest 2008? For me, it's about the quest to accomplish something I only have ever dreamed about. Idaho 2006 came and went with one in the books for the good guys and Pup killing a freaking beautiful 5x5. Idaho 2007 was a bust with everyone coming home with nothing more then many great memories and crushed dreams. 2008 will not be the same. 2008 is our year. Our year to make that old Dakota suck fuel like no other because it's completely stacked full with hides and horns!

My hope for this is to help me prepare, so that there is no question what so ever that I did everything in my power to prepare for success. So saddle up, strap in, and enjoy the ride. Let's see what it takes to make Elk Quest 2008 come to fruition!