It's six months to the day before the 2008 Western States 100 Miler. That, in and of itself, gets me excited. Even though I am currently running 90 minutes a day through snow and ice in sub-freezing temperatures I know the beauty and Heat of The Canyons awaits. Going for my 5th consecutive top-10 finish gets me out the door in the morning and knowing that the competition will all be there ready to go fires me up in the midst of the brutal Idaho winter. So, bucking the traditional New Year's Resolution Thing, I resolve to do five things over the next six months:
1. Keep the Base Mileage going through February 3rd -- I know I need to do this to stay patient and focused on the ultimate goal. As much as I'd like to blow out some carbon in the next few weeks I also know that would be a bad idea. In the next six weeks it's all about the long, slow miles.
2. Let the Oregon Guys have their day at Cool -- They all beat me last year and I expect them to do the same this year. All I can say is that they better be ready for some serious competition at the Georgetown Hotel for Karaoke. And, if they want to get fiesty, watch out for Team Idaho at Cool, with AJW, Mitchell and Dart we'll be tough to beat!
3. Get the hill mileage in early (and often!) -- I need to get the climbing legs going hard in March and April. In order for me to have any improvement at WS 2008 I need to run the first 30 miles faster than ever before. The only way that can happen is for me to climb better. Take a look at the splits, aside from a few outliers, the guys who beat me climbed hard early. Not gonna happen again.
4. Focus on having a great last month -- From May 15 to June 15 I will run longer, harder and faster than at any other time in my life. I just need to be healthy enough to do that when the time comes. No races, just good, old-fashioned training and healthy, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale fueled recovery.
5. Race assertively and aggressively -- I am ready to go for it this year. Vermont and Teton in 2007 taught me what I can do. Now, it's up to me to get it done. I have no time left to leave anything in the tank.
Happy New Year everybody!