Friday, December 18, 2009

Deep Thoughts

When you can't find your weight at the gym on the rack because the girl sitting next to you is using it, you know that you haven't been to the gym in way too long.

Deep Thoughts

When you think that a good way to "kick start" your training is by doing the Quad Dipsea, you know that you have some serious, serious issues. Regardless of my mental state, the good news is that I have friends who have just as many issues as I do and sure enough, the weekend of the Quad Dipsea, Shibby and I lined up for 28.4 miles of what was certain to be a lot of pain.
The best thing about the Quad is when it is held. Every weekend, Thanksgiving weekend. I will never, head into the Quad hungry. Thanks to a seriously good meal provided by my new father in law, I was fat, but happy and ready to run.
The game plan this year was three pronged. 1. Don't get hurt. 2. Finish 3. Be able to move and hopefully continue the training by early next week. In the past the goal was 5:30, or if I was feeling really, really ambitious, 5:00 (which has never happened, but is still a goal).
So, there we were about to embark on my longest run since my failed 12 hour run around Chrissy Field (it lasted 3 hours and a whopping 17 miles before I ended up curled in bed w/ a fever and something resembling a mean flu). That run was in Oct. so if you take that out, my training for a 28.4 mile hilly run was a 1 hour run that I do around the Presidio, which I had done about 4 times in the past 4 months. Not good.
We started off and I'm not going to lie, it was fun. Knowing that I was in horrible shape, and knowing that Shibby was in horrible shape we went slowly, really, really slowly, but it was a ton of fun. I got to talk to people, watch my friends tear it up in the front (Taylor, Jon and Matt) and all in all, I enjoyed the first half. Then, well then a complete lack of training caught up to me and it was painful.
You can't fake 28.4 hilly miles, you just can't do it. Luckily I had my inov8 Roc-Lites on because my feet were the only part of me that was comfortable. Even if I had wanted to drop my buddy Shibby and sprint the last half, it just wasn't going to happen. I was amazed that you could move this slowly and still get cramp and have you legs hurt, but sure enough, I proved that you could.
Good news, I accomplished 2 out of my 3 goals. Bad news, I wasn't doing a lot of training after that. Ouch...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Volume 2 of the Navigation Challenge Book from AR Navigation Supplies.

Volume 2 of the very popular Table Top Adventure Race and Navigation Challenge Book from AR Navigation Supplies is now available for order.  The latest edition is designed as an Expedition Length Race and includes some more difficult challenges involving triangulation, magnetic declination and route choice as well as speed, time and distance calculations.  You will also find the traditional UTM and bearing plotting techniques found in the first edition.  

Volume 2 contains 12 navigation challenges in an Expedition Race format based in the Lake Tahoe region of Northern California.  The goal is to find your way around each map by following the rules of travel, plotting the route and answering the questions presented for each CP.  If you get lost there is a help section that will guide you through the common navigation techniques and adventure racing terms to get you back on track.

The book is designed to allow navigators to practice and improve their navigation skills while at home, in the office or traveling.   All you need is a compass or protractor, UTM tool, a pencil and you're ready for a table top adventure that will test your skills and improve your navigation regardless of your current expertise.  

Challenge your friends to the table top competition and see who should be the team navigator at the next race, it may surprise you.

For all the details on the Navigation Challenges and a preview of the first volume follow the link below.  

Monday, November 23, 2009

Great news for Adventure Racers in Texas and Colorado

Great news for Adventure Racers in Texas and Colorado. AR Navigation
Supplies products are now available from MapsCo stores. This includes
the Basic Roamer AR both US and Metric versions, the Rotating Mountain
Bike Map Holder, the Waterproof Pedometer and the new Table Top
Adventure Race and Navigation Challenge book.

MapsCo has stores in Addison TX, Austin TX, Dallas TX, Denver CO, Fort
Worth TX and San Antonio TX. A list of all MapsCo store addresses
and contact information can be found here:

Please support MapsCo as they help us bring the tools for adventure
racing to their stores and the local racing community.

MapsCo can be contacted at 1-800-781-4MAP or at

Mark Manning

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Team AR Navigation Supplies/ INOV-8 Win Overall at SF Oyster Race

Team AR Navigation Supplies/INOV-8 took the co-ed division and the
overall win at the 2009 San Francisco Oyster Urban Adventure Race on
September 26th.

Follow the link below to the full story and pictures.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

INOV-8 by AR Navigation Supplies wins the 2009 Ocean Blue Adventure Race

Team INOV-8 by AR Navigation Supplies has won the Ocean Blue Adventure Race in Half Moon Bay on July 11th 2009. This win makes it 3 in a row at this classic event.

The full story can be found at

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tahoe Rim Trail 100

Well, it’s official, I now have a DNF (that means Did Not Finish mom) in an ultra, which is sad, but I’m pretty sure I made the right decision. From all of the comments that I've gotten back from friends and family, and after reading about what occurred to me on the web, it's looking like I had hyponatremia. I'd recommend reading about it as I had always associated it w/ fraternity pranks and people running a marathon really slowly while drinking a lot of water in the heat. Now, on to the race!

The race started off great, the week up at altitude was a HUGE help. I noticed immediately that my Hear Rate (HR) was nice and low and I was able to keep a good steady pace. The other thing I noticed was that my climbing was much stronger then it normally is. Clearly the training program that Coach Manning had put me on was paying dividends, and I was pretty fired up to be able to see the results in a race. The only issue that I was having was my stomach. Not a side cramp, but a weird sort of feeling in the bottom left of my stomach that something was off. Kind of crampy, kind of bloaty (apparently crampy and bloaty are not real words) but other then that, things were going really well, until I hit the first weigh in of the race. There I realized I had gained 5 pounds, which isn’t good. I started the race at 169 (I just weighed myself and I’m currently at162.5) and now I weighed 174. The normal logic here is to drink more water, take less salt, (or so I thought it was) so that’s what I started to do.

Still, cruising along and way ahead of schedule. I’m just crushing the race at this point, and my legs feel good. I was wearing the Roc-Lite 285's, and very excited about the shoes. I’m drinking a TON of water. We’re talking 40oz between aid station (which were about 1.5-2 hours apart) and I’ve stopped the salt tablets (except for when I feel a tinge from a cramp coming on) but the weird thing is, I’m not sweating a lot (and it was HOT out there) and I’m not peeing as much as I should be, which has me worried, but not super concerned. I hit the 26.3 miles in 5:39 which is about 20 minutes faster then I thought I was going to, and I fell good, minus the stomach.

The next 25 miles are similar to the first 25 miles except faster and I gain more weight. I’m now weighing in at 178 pounds (like I said, my post race weight is now 162.5) so I’ve put on 9lbs in the race, which is starting to draw concern. In races they have you weigh in to protect yourselves. Everyone has a wrist-band on and you have +/- 3%, 5%, and 7%. At 7% weight gain/loss you get pulled from the race and I’m at 5.5% weight gain and with no clue what to do. I’m drinking water, I’m barely taking any salt, but I can’t drop weight to get back to normal. My stomach feels a lot better, my HR is really low for the pace that I’m running, everything feels good. So good in fact that I crush the second 25 miles. I hit the halfway mark so early that Shawna/Shibby aren’t there! I’ve outrun my crew!!! I’m 50 miles into the race in 11:03, but still weighing 178.

The good news is that Shawna and Shibby show up in less then 5 minutes and I now get to run the next 26.3 miles with Shawna, which I’m really excited about. Legs are tired, but nothing that shouldn’t be expected after 50 miles of running. The next 10 miles, everything is still good. At the Tunnel Creek aid station 61 miles, one of the volunteers tells me to take potassium, and that should help things out and I should drop weight, so I knock back a banana and take off running. I’m still moving pretty well, and w/ some bananas in me, I pee 2x in the loop, but definitely starting to slow down. I do the Red House Loop in 2 hours and the volunteers tell me how good of a time that is, but unfortunately, it’s the last thing I really remember.

From 67.3 miles to 76.3 I basically have no recollection of what happened. It’s the same feeling as when you drink too much, wake up the next morning and wonder what happened from 10pm – 1am. Yup, that was me, except none of the benefits that comes with booze! If you really want more details about that part, then ask Shawna as she was there the whole time to make sure I didn’t fall off the course (apparently I wasn’t walking in a straight line) and basically making sure nothing bad happened to me. I hit the 67.3 mile marker in 16:34 minutes. It then took me 3:10 minutes to go 9 miles. I was basically doing a zombie walk for 3 hours, or so I was told.

Hit the 75 mile marker where they have a BIG aid station, tent, cot, etc. and still have no real recollections of things, until waking up from a quick 10 min nap and feeling better. I basically remember everything from that point on. I got up, and Shibby and I were going to head out to finish the course. I still had 14 hours, so no matter how slowly I was moving, I could make the cut-off. Luckily, after about 500 yards down the course, I came to my senses and stopped. It didn’t make sense to me (even in my delirious state) to keep going. I’ve already done 2-100 mile races, and to suffer for a 8+ hour walk just to say I finished this one didn’t make sense, so I stopped the race and earned my first DNF. After hearing back from friends, and much more experienced ultra-runners then me, that decision, probably kept me out of the hospital.

The Tahoe Rim ultra is a really great ultra to run. The course is beautiful for 90% of the race, the Red-Barn loop is just a mean, mean bit to run (but they do call it a taste of hell on the web-site, so you are warned) but the rest of it is really pretty. I don't run with a camera in races, but the views along the trail are breath-taking at time. The race is all on dirt, so no cement to pound the knees and at just under 20k in climbing/descending you can really run a lot of the course. Be warned though, it is surprisingly hard to finish (in all my ultras and adventure races, this is only my second DNF, so I agree!) In 2006 there was a 63% finish rate and in 2008 there was an even lower 58%, so like I said, it's surprisingly hard. The aid stations are all well stocked and as is the case in most ultras, the volunteers were awesome. They had an Irish themed aid station with Darts (and an award for the best score, so practice up) and a Mexican station with Corona! I would definitely recommend the race to anyone looking for an ultra, but I might hold off if it's going to be your first attempt at a 100 miler and start with something a bit easier. The combination of the altitude and heat (it was over 90 this year) seems to create a large number of DNF's, but it's not the fault of the race for that!

HUGE thanks to Shawna, Shibby and Jon for helping out! Great crew, great pacing, and an even bigger thanks to Shawna for walking 26.3 very slow miles with me while watching me deteriorate in front of her AND not yelling at me to stop.

INOV-8 RocLite 285 Review by Grant Sisler.

RocLite 285.
When I first took these shoes out of the box, my initial thought was no way will these things last, I'm going to blow a hole in these things in my first ultra. There is not a chance that these things are going to last. How can something this light, possibly be durable at all.  Then I put them on my feet and I had the same thought. There is no chance that these things are going to last! They have a nice snug fit (might be too snug if you have wide feet) but they have a feel to them that's almost like a plastic/paper combination. Still I had already bought them and I figured I should go out and take them for a run.

Man, was I wrong. After over 200 miles of racing, and who knows how many miles of training, the shoes were finally retired, and not because they had any holes in them, just b/c there were too many miles put on the insoles. I was amazed. The shoes have all the normal trade-marks that people have come to expect from Inov-8 shoes as the grip on them is the best I've ever run in. They also do a great job of draining when you hop into a river, lake, or creek to cool down.

I've run up to 50 miles at a time in them and they do a good job of holding up to all the pounding that I've put on them. The only drawback to the shoes is that they are very light (if that makes any sense). If you do a lot of running on sharp, rocky terrain, your feet will take a beating. If you're looking at a tough 100 miler, or even a really rocky 50, then I would recommend the Roclite 320. Basically the exact same shoes, just 35 grams heavier. All in all, the shoes are great. If you have wide feet, or are running a really rocky ultra, then you might want to look into a heavier/wider shoe, but if you're looking for a light, fast and incredibly grippy shoes, these are the way to go.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Deep Thoughts, by GSisler

Taper should be a 4 letter word. Normally if you told me I got to sit around, watch baseball, tour de france and just about anything else that comes on TV, I'd be really excited. See, I run 100 miles, but I'm also really lazy. I like doing nothing, but that's because when I'm training, I'm doing a lot!
Tapering is different. You're not allowed to do anything. I love running because it relaxes me, it's fun, and I like being outside. When I'm stressed, or busy at work, a good run clears the head and brings me back to normal. Well, with a 100 miler coming down on me in 7 days, I start to get nervous! I'm not sleeping as well (because I'm not exercising) and I'm thinking about the race that's coming up. Normally, I would just go for a run and then everything would be fine, BUT I CAN'T!!! I have to taper. Stupid taper. Like I said, Taper should be a 4 letter word.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sudoku for Navigators Anyone?? New Navigation Challenge Book from AR Navigation Supplies.

After many requests from local racers, AR Navigation Supplies has just released the first volume of its Table Top Adventure Race and Navigation Challenge books. Think of this book as Sudoku for navigators.

The book is designed to allow navigators to practice and improve their navigation skills while at home, in the office or traveling. All you need is a Compass, UTM tool and a pencil and you're ready for a table top adventure that will test your skills and improve your navigation regardless of your current expertise. The book contains 12 separate navigation challenges covering 8 different states from New York to California using USGS 1:24,000 scale maps.

The goal is to find your way around each map by following the rules of travel, plotting the route and answering the questions presented for each CP.
If you get lost there is a help section that will guide you through
the common navigation techniques and adventure racing terms to get you back on track.

Challenge your friends to the table top competition and see who should be the team navigator at the next race, it may surprise you.

For all the details on the Navigation Challenges and a preview of the first volume follow the link below.

Good luck out there!

Mark Manning
AR Navigation Supplies.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Super Supporter Hailey Curtner takes 1st at San Jose International

Sunday June 21st was a great day for Gel Ladder rider Hailey Curtner
who took 1st place in her division at the San Jose International
Triathlon and 6th woman overall. This was her first outright win!!
Congratulations to Hailey on a fantastic

AR Navigation Supplies - NorCal Woman's AR Clinic

Last weekend hosted the first NorCal women's adventure Racing Clinic... AR Babes!  We had a cohesive and hearty group of women who have NEVER adventure raced  and learned a TON from our amazing partners and sponsors. Team LUNA Chix taught the ladies how to roll down the dirt with colorful bruises to prove it!  AR Nav Supplies showed them the ropes to navigation and what all those lines mean. :) Sea Trek took to the seas and brought on proficient paddling... no swimmers - phew. Big Blue Adventures wrapped it up with a practice session to put it all to the test! We had 100% up take... watch out for these women, they're going to take the AR circuit by storm!

The Breast Cancer Fund 
Project Athena 
Zambrano Coffee 
Mikes Bikes 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Deep thoughts by GSisler

Gym should be a 4 letter word. I don't really know why people go to the gym for fun. I can see going to the gym if you want to look better, or to recover from an injury, or if your training for something, but I don't get the idea of going to the gym for a good workout. The gym sucks.
I've started going to the gym this year for the first time in a long time, and all I know is that it hurts. Hurts to the point that doing normal things doesn't feel good after you've gone. I know, I know, it's good for you, it prevents injuries, etc. but if you go to they gym to strengthen running muscles, it just isn't that cool.
There is nothing cool/fun about stepping up and down on a block 20 times while holding a dumb-bell that weighs 5 lbs. Same thing with lunges, people see you walking all over the gym, taking big steps and squatting, they look at you funny. I don't care who you are, it's just hard to take when you're walking around w/ a 5lbs. weigh in your hands while grandpa next to you is hoisting up the 25 lbs dumb-bells and giggling at you.
Same thing for the classes. I went to an ab class on Tuesday of last week, I couldn't cough, or sneeze until Sat. On top of that the big people, the little people, the old and the young were all kicking my ass, definitely hurts the ego when grandma is knocking out more sit ups then you.
Still, I'll be back at the gym later this week, thinking that once I've gone enough times, the pain will go away, and maybe next week, I can use the 7.5lbs. weights.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Deep Thoughts, by GSisler

People always ask people who trail run why they do it? That answer was made simple for me yesterday in Arches National Park in Utah.
We were out there for a "bachelor party" (is it really a bachelor party if you return in better shape then you left?) of my good buddy and running partner Jon. We parked the car and started down the trail, man was it crowded. Sure enough, just a half mile away from the parking lot, everyone just disappeared. Now it was the 5 of us on a sweet trail run, checking out the arches, running around on the slick rock and seeing just how well the Inov8's really do grip with no one around us (insane is the answer, I think I could walk up a wall in these).
2 Hours later we returned to the parking lot and all the masses, but all that time away from the parking lot, it was just 5 friends out on a sweet trail run with no one around to bother us. That's why I trail run.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Ride Logging Site - Beta Test Invite

Hey Guys, Do you have a Garmin 305 or 705?? There is a really cool
new ride logging site that a friend of mine has put together and I
want to invite you to the beta test.. The site allows you to be
competitive with your friends on your favorite rides using the Garmin
devices as the referee :-)

Drop me an e-mail if you're interested and I'll get you set up with an
account. They're also providing screaming discounts on the Garmin
devices. Basically wholesale pricing if you need to get one.



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Supper Supporter Hailey Wins her Division at District TT

With the elevation at 5000 feet and the oxygen level low, super
supporter and Gel Ladder rider Hailey won her division at the Northern
California and Nevada District Time Trial with a time of 1:03:45 for
the 40km distance using the Gel Ladder for her nutrition.

Congratulations Hailey!

Super Supporter Hailey's Xterra Race Report

Yesterday Mark had designed and set the course for an 8 hour adventure
race and had gotten some very favorable feedback. Racers came and
told me of the terrain that I would see the next day for the Xterra-
many of the trails were the same for the two courses.

The sun was shining and transition was set. Off to the water for the
pre-race briefing. Note to self, pre race briefings by guys who put
on adventure races, where the object of the game is to find your way
around, not be guided, are very important! Not to say I wasn't paying
attention but I think I missed a few key "tips".

The gun goes off and we are off to swim 1200 meters, a two lap course
with an ITU style get out and sprint for 100 yds after the first loop
swim! Nothing like a run mid swim to get your heart rate going :)

I think that Stefani was the first gal out of the water, no wonder she
and Erin are pals! I was right behind her and saw her on the bike
after she had taken a fall and "lost some of her oomph" :( The trails
were not technical per se, but very gravely aka slippery and there
were some serious hills! Now if it were an all uphill course, I would
be a champion! Too bad I need some lessons from my pro Mark before I
hit the trails again. Oh well, we will work on that later. The 17
mile bike course takes me 2.5 hours...yes you read correctly, almost
my split for a half ironman! Crazy terrain, but tons of fun and loved
the sunshine!

Onto the run, where we were in for a serious treat. Although I think
Jeri's sister, Xterra queen Barbara would debate the word "treat".
The course was marked with ties in trees which weren't that easy to
spot and there was about a half mile in a creek- which was AMAZING on
this hot day. Then we head straight up some hills and hit an aid
station where I hear tons of talk of lost soldiers, I myself had
stopped at one point not knowing where to go and saw no one to guide
me. But this is what Xterra is, an adventure in the woods. I picked
my pace up on the down hills and the flat heading to the finish and
was done is 3:44- wowza what a day!

I also finished 2nd in the 25-29 age group which was cool- i think
it's been the only race where I knew that I could make up ground on
the run and not the bike :) That being said, the bike was like
floating on air as I was riding Mark's team-issued swanky Magura
equipped Ellsworth Truth- what a bike!


Too Cool Sprint Winners and their Basic Roamer AR's

The 'perseverance' winners at the last Too Cool Racing sprint with their Basic Roamer AR.   


AR Navigation Supplies is a sponsor of the Too Cool Racing Series.

Deep Thoughts, by GSisler

I think deep thoughts might be a bit strong, but I always was a fan of Jack Handy, he did make me laugh on the Saturday Night Live skits, so I figured that was a good name. If you have no clue, what I'm talking about, then go to: It's a fun read when you should be doing work.
So Coach Mark Manning told me that I was allowed to blog. It's a bit scary for him, and for me b/c I'm not very good at filtering my thoughts and sarcasm doesn't come over a piece of paper that well, so there's a good chance that people think I'm a jerk. Mark figures that excluding family and friends, no one will really read this, so it doesn't matter that much. Well, we will see.
For now, I don't really have a ton to say, but as things pop up as I'm running they will. The main focus for the next month is going to be the Tahoe Rim 100 miler. I just got my new Inov8's today, so I've got a month to get them ready to take on 100 miles of Tahoe's best trail. I've done several 50 milers and a 100km in the Roclite 285's, but now it's time to see if they can last the full 100 miles. The first pairs already have a couple hundred miles each on them, and so far, so good!
I've got a hill repeat workout with Coach Manning tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have something articulate (is cursing articulate) to say after that!

Monday, June 15, 2009

AR Navigation Supplies Mari Chandler is now National Long Course Duathlon Champion

Team AR Navigation Supplies/Inov-8 would like to congratulate Mari Chandler on becoming the women's 2009 Long Course Dualtlon Champion with a time of 4:48:59.6 to beat the existing course record by 10 minutes. 

Here is a quote from Mari when I asked how the race went.  "The first 3k was an easy trail run, and then we hopped on the bikes for 56 miles of decent rolling hills with a few steep climbs.  Supposedly there was 6000' of climbing, but I don't believe it.   The 1/2 marathon was a very slow coarse with lots of turns and a few hills with a mix of fire road, single track, and pavement.  I ran the first 10k at a good clip, and then when I was comfortable that no one could catch me, I settled in for a comfortable pace to the finish."

Congratulations Mari!

Next up for Team AR Navigation Supplies will be the Ocean Blue Adventure Race in Half Moon Bay, CA on July 11th.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

AR Navigation Supplies Teams with Pacific Bikes for Berkeley TTT

Adventure Racing Navigation Supplies teamed up with Team Pacific
Bicycles for the CoEd division of Berkeley Team Time Trial on March
7th 2009. In a hotly contested race with 30 CoEd teams the duo of
Hailey Curtner and Mark Manning were starting near the end of the
field. After catching their minute man team in the first 2 miles they
would overtake 7 other teams before the finish. With a strong run on
their first Team Time Trial they placed 4th CoEd team with a time of