Apologies for the lame posting over the past couple weeks. Lots of travel coupled with a particularly stressful stretch at work has pushed running and blogging to the back burner. That said, let me start this post with two book recommendations:
"Made to Stick" by Dan and Chip Heath
"Reality Check" by Guy Kawasaki
I heard both of these guys speak last week and they are far more than your typical corporate consultant, junket guys. Especially in these times, their messages resonate loudly and can move the needle in whatever line of work you're in. Check out their books if you have a chance.
And, there is much going on in the Ultrarunning world:
Julie Fingar, new Race Director of the Way Too Cool 50K and a good friend of mine, has taken some heat for changing the race course for her race so that it actually measures 50K. I know there are Old School traditionalists out there, but when was the last time someone you know was criticized for doing something they actually said they were doing? Julie looked at the race course that measured 29.8 miles and said, "How can I call this a 50K race? It's just not right." So, she added a few miles to make it 50K and took heat for changing the rules. People can think what they want but from my perspective, if someone does something that is right and honest than they should be respected for that. I learned long ago that I would much rather be respected than liked and Julie has learned that same lesson this week. And, I look forward to the extra miles as it makes my entry fee seem a bit more realistic!
Out East Michael Wardian ripped another blazing 50K and Kami Semick kept her anti-aging program intact at Caumsett. It'll be fun to see how all that plays out at Western States in June and, funny that Western States came up on this blog, it hardly ever does, but it's getting closer by the day and deserves a bit of mention.
I wonder what people are thinking? What they are doing? Who's on the way up? Who's on the way down?
For me, I am feeling solid. Not great, but solid. By this time in my cycle I think most of the hay's in the barn but there's some fine tuning to go. I know I won't have sub-16 speed come June (never have) but perhaps sub 16:30 if all goes well. If a couple mistakes are made, if nutrition issues arise, if the exuberance of The Morning is too much for some people, if some guy sets a torrid early pace or if conditions require brains over genetics I could find my way closer to the front than I might expect.
But still, today, my "first tier worry list" looks like this:
My "second tier worry list" is much, much longer. But the guys who get me out the door at 4AM on a snowy Tuesday morning, the guys who make me think "Why am I doing this?" the guys who make me love this sport so much, are the guys on this list.
Let's get after it!
PS -- For those still paying attention after all this drivel let me comment a bit on my training. I know I said above that most of the "hay's in the barn". I know that might strike some of you as presumptuous and perhaps, even, stupid. However, I take solace and comfort in the work of the great Nordic Skiers from Scandanavia who often base their training in four-year cycles (I wonder why they do that?). These guys know how to build and they know how to peak. In addition, they know what it takes to experience success in a particular event on a particular day. So, this is all to say, to all you procrastinators out there, if you wanted to do well at Western States 2009, I hope you've done the work.