My second of three “hard effort” days of 2016 came today and it helped me remember something – I am not a runner. I’m not. You might infer things went horrible and all of this “not a runner” talk is from discouragement and/or frustration. Just the opposite. Things went great. Better than expected in fact. 15:15 for an honest road 5k, a 55 second win, and a course record to boot. Still not a runner … let’s back up.
I’ll try. I’ll try my best to put down into words what was the longest and most incredible run of my life. What it all kind of means. I’ve previewed this as being my last highly trained competitive race (more here) and none of it has quite hit me yet. This retelling won’t be what “it” really was, but I’ll give it my best shot to bring you along with me into the mountains, into the canyons, into my brain, into what I felt that sunny Saturday in California.
Race week is finally here! I can’t believe it’s been 30 weeks since my training build-up began for the most prestigious mountain-ultra-marathon in the country (world?). At times those 30 weeks felt like they were in slow motion – especially through the tough winter – but now it’s as if it went by in a flash. I have a few very distinct memories among the couple thousand miles I’ve run in the last 30 weeks … those are mine and not to be shared. Trying to describe them wouldn’t do them justice and believe-it-or-not despite social media, blogging, reading, and learning from others my world of distance running has been highly personal, introverted, and full of solitude (something I look to change soon – keep reading). I’ve already enjoyed the long journey to the starting line and am currently not letting myself think too much about how in one short (or long) day it will all be over.
And I’m ready. Continue reading WS100 Race Week Preview
Short story: it’s going to be a training run.
Long(er) story: I’ve decided to still run Ice Age 50mi trail run but to do so as a quality easy training run and not race for the podium for the following reasons:
- Tender right achilles tendon has me cautious although progressing very well the last 10 days – I’m past pain and dealing with scar tissue / mobility at this point.
- Better and more appropriate training stimulus / zone / gear for my priority in the spring (and all of 2014) being Western States on June 28th.
- Full gear-check and forthcoming long overdue reviews of Salt Stick and Simple Hydration Bottles.
- Greater chance of “bounce-back” and quality recovery for more quality training for Western States – most notably Memorial Day Weekend training runs on the WS trail only two weeks post Ice Age.
- I don’t have to race! One of the very lucky ones getting my ticket through the WS lottery 5 months ago.
(NOTE: Updated 3/27/14)
After a successful 2013 Run4Poverty campaign to the Grand Canyon, I’ve decided to run for cause again this year for the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run in June. I’ve chosen two different excellent organizations to support:
A successful training program is one that gets you to the start line feeling fit and fresh. Most endurance athletes may not struggle with getting out the door and doing some hard work, but in fact allowing themselves to rest and recover enough. We must break up our training in cycles and be as intentional (if not more) about our rest than our hard quality sessions. Below is part 5 (of a 5 part series) regarding smart training cycles:
Year Around Training
Building upon the previous four writings (found above) regarding different training cycles, the year-long approach is no different – rest is key. We must prioritize and then stress & rest the system according to this prioritization. I personally come from a more traditional track / road racing background in which I aim to be in peak fitness but only about two times per year – once in the spring and once in the fall. Winter and summer are used as building back base fitness as it’s not optimum racing weather anyways. Depending on the distance I’m training for, it lends 2 to 3 (mayyyybe 4) high priority races across two main buildups within the year. Continue reading Training Cycles Part 5/5: Year Around Training
Quick “Happy New Year” (about 4 weeks late) post here.
After witnessing & kind of pacing Western States – the “big dance” of 100 mile trail races – in 2013, I ended my writeup with
“As for actually running the whole thing … my thoughts and feelings are honestly exactly the same as before I went: probably not too soon, but probably before I die” Continue reading 2014 in Preview
No way … I’ve been chosen (as the only entrant from Iowa thus far) for the 2014 Western States lottery with only one ticket in the hat – on the right side of ~6.3% success rate!
Puts this tweet back in November to shame …
Some footage (finally) of my day observing / pacing (kind of) the 2013 Western States 100mi Endurance Run – full written recap here.
Oh what a difference a year makes. 2013 has brought about much change in my own little corner of the world of running, racing, and enduring. A shift to longer ultra marathon distances and hopping off the roads for some time on the trails has been incredible, but the one and only event I participated in 2012 AND 2013? …… Continue reading Race Report: 2013 Wildcat 50k
This past weekend, like most ultra races, seemed to have a bit of everything. New friends, old friends, mass influx of early morning endorphins, dizziness / nausea, thoughts of never running again, turning the car around for some sub-6min/mi closing speed, and a podium finish accompanying a 75 minute personal record. I guess there’s my race report … that’s about it really, but for more details keep reading. Continue reading Race Report: The North Face Endurance Challenge – Wisconsin 50 Mile
My sons teach me how to finish my first 50 miler ….
Nine months of no racing finally relented at last week’s Dances With Dirt (DWD) Devil’s Lake 50 mile trail race. My last true test of fitness was in October 2012 via Milwaukee’s Lakefront Marathon (race report here) and afterwards casually throwing myself into a local / low-key 50km run. After a big break when our 2nd son was born in December, I was thirsty for change … different workouts, different mental challenges, and different terrain. Continue reading Race Report – 2013 Dances with Dirt Devil’s Lake 50 mile