Tuesday, November 20, 2007


It's that time of year and I'd like to give thanks to some of the people who have made this year so special for me:

Race Directors: Wendell and Sarah, Greg, Sean, Greg (again!), Jim, Lisa and Jay, and Rodger and Jimmy. Thank you so much for your extraordinary events. I look forward to sharing the trails with all of you in the future.

Pacers: Kyle Hoang - You got me to the River fast. I needed a strong split from Cal 2 and you did it. Thanks! Jeff Hutson - What can I say? When I wasn't choking up Gu from another hilarious Sawchuk story I was on the rivet as you had me chasing Tweit (at least in my mind). Hope we can do it again. Bryon Powell - You brought me back to life and made me feel like a runner. We had fun too! James Bonnet - I was toast at Mile 90 and your youthful energy gave me what I needed. To all you guys, Happy Thanksgiving!

Competitors: Craig Thornley - Our early season battle at Cool was one for the ages. Nothing like hammering home for a top-25 finish. Graham Cooper - I thought you were closer than you were and everybody told me you were popping Advil like candy but you held me off. Good thing you had a cooler full of beer at the finish. James Kerby - You had me totally freaked out at Vermont. I wanted that win badly and I knew you were closing. I hope you are getting back to it after your injury. Matt Hart - Man, for a first timer you really nailed it! Right to the end I knew I had to hammer to get it done. Jorge Pacheco - You did it again. I can't think of a more humble classy guy to lose to. Your race was awesome!

My Crew: To Shelly, Carson, Logan and Tully you make me a better runner just by being there. I cannot think of a better crew. Get ready for another fun ride!

There are many others out there who know I'm thankful but it's late and I have turkey to make. So, that's all for now.

Here's hoping for an even better 2008!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lottery Musings

Although there are a record number of entries in the Western States lottery this year and a dismal 16% chance of getting selected, a quick look at the 1352 names paints an interesting picture. Without a doubt and regardless of the lottery results, the 2008 Western States is likely to be the most competitive ever especially since the list may not even include some of the automatics from the Montrail Ultra Cup Series.

So, in the spirit of getting pumped up for the Big Day, here are some in the potential men's field:

Hal Koerner - 1st last year
Erik Skaden - 2nd last year
Graham Cooper - 3rd last year
AJW - 4th last year
Glen Redpath - 6th last year
Tracy Moore - 7th last year
Hiroki Ishikawa - 8th last year
Jeff Riley - 9th last year
Rod Bien - 11th last year
Jon Olsen - Rio del Lago Course record holder
Lon Freeman - Miwok Course record holder
Karl Meltzer - Multiple course record holder
Anton Krupicka - Two time Leadville 100 Champion
Jasper Halekas - 2007 USATF 100 Mile Champion
Derek Blaylock - Perennial top-3 finisher at Wasatch'
Josh Brimhall - Multiple winner and course record holder
Matt Hart - 2nd place Grand Teton 100 miler in 2007
Troy Howard - 2nd place Angeles Crest 100 in 2007
Brian Morrison - Led WS at Mile 99.9 in 2006. Has unfinished business.
Jorge Pacheco - 1st place 2007 Javelina Jundred
Tom Nielsen - Multiple winner at Angeles Crest, four time top-10 at WS
Joe Kulak - Grand Slam Record Holder
Leigh Schmitt - Vermont Course Record holder. East Coast fast guy #1
Todd Walker - Multiple 100 mile winner. East Coast fast guy #2
Kevin Sawchuk - 4 time top-10 at WS
Craig Thornley - 2 time top-10 at WS
Brian Purcell - 1983 Western States Champion
Steve Warshawer - 1980something Leadville Champion
Lewis Taylor - 2007 Way Too Cool Champion
Scott Wolfe - 2nd place 2007 American River 50 Miler

I am sure I have missed some people but reagrdless this is clearly shaping up to be an amazing year. Now, I, for one, am hoping it's hotter than 2006!


Monday, November 12, 2007

Resting and Planning

I've been looking forward to this time all season long. Currently I am nursing a nagging hamstring injury, sleeping and eating a ton, and savoring time with my family and time off the trails. In fact, I am looking froward to getting a out of shape, doing some skiing and re-charging the batteries. I know that sounds weird but it's true. There's plenty of time to get in shape. Right now, it's rest...and planning!

In thinking about that, of course, I am focusing on what I need to do to get ready for Western States. As anybody who knows me clearly understands Western States is the focus of my entire season every year going into 2008 I am directing all my energy into an attempt to break 17 hours if conditions allow. With a 17:07 in 2005 and a 17:20 in 2007 I think I can get there. It will just require total focus.

So, my plan is channeled into three areas:

1. Weekly Long runs on Western States type terrain
2. Once a week hill repeats both up and down (on an 800 meter hill with 300 ft of climb)
3. Speedwork in the form of long 1200-1600 meter intervals on track or bike trail.

All other runs will be easy runs on trails between one and three hours.

Assuming I can have a foundation in place by the beginning of February I'd like to follow the following program leading up to the Big Day:

Week 1 - Feb 3 - 15 miles hilly trails, 3x1200, 2xhill
Week 2 - Feb 10 - 17 miles hilly trails, 4x1200, 3xhill
Week 3 - Feb 17 - 20 miles hilly trails, 5x1200, 4xhill
Week 4 - Feb 24 - 18 (Sun) and 12 (Sat) miles hilly trails, 6x1200, 5xhill
Week 5 - Mar 2 - 12 miles flat (Sun), NO SPEED OR HILLS THIS WEEK, Way Too Cool 50K (Sat)
Week 6 - Mar 9 - NO SPEED OR HILLS THIS WEEK - 16 miles hilly trails (Sat)
Week 7 - Mar 16 - 10 miles flat, 3x1600, Coyote Two Moon Ultra 100 Miler (Sat)
Week 8 - Mar 23 - Recovery week
Week 9 - Mar 30 - 14 miles hilly trails (Sun), 3x1600, 3xhill, 22 miles hilly trails (Sat)
Week 10 - Apr 6 - 18 miles hilly trails (Sun), 4x1600, 4xhill, 24 miles hilly trails (Sat)
Week 11 - Apr 13 - 20 miles hilly trails (Sun), 5x1600, 5xhill, 26 miles hilly trails (Sat)
Week 12 - Apr 20 - 22 miles hilly trails (Sun), 6x1600, 6xhill, 28 miles hilly trails (Sat)
Week 13 - Apr 27 - 20 miles hilly trails (Sun), Recovery week
Week 14 - May 4 - 52 miles "Ice Cream Sandwich Run" Cal 2 to Swinging Bridge and back , 4x1600, 4 x hill
Week 15 - May 11 - 30 miles hilly trails (Sun), 3x1600, 3xhill, 20 miles hilly trails (Sat)
Week 16 - May 18 - 14 miles hilly trails (Sun), 4x1600, 4xhill, 38 miles hilly trails (Sat)
Week 17 - May 25 - 32 miles hilly trails (Sun), 24 miles hilly trails (Mon), Recovery week.
Week 18 - June 1 - 20 miles hilly trails (Sun), 6x1600, 6xhill
Week 19 - June 8 - Western States Training Camp 124 miles in four days:
June 10 - Michigan Bluff to Last Chance and back (24 miles)
June 11 - Foresthill to Last Chance and back (38 miles)
June 12 - Foresthill to Driver's Flat (18 miles)
June 13 - Placer HS to The River and back (44 miles)
Week 20 - June 15 - 2x1600 (Wed), 12 miles hilly trails (Sat)
Week 21 - June 22 - Race week!

It'll be fun to see how it all pans out!


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Ultrarunner of the Year and My Plans for 2008

I'd like to get my votes in early for Ultrarunner of the Year even though none of this is official.

My top-5 male list looks like this:

1. Karl Meltzer
2. Scott Jurek
3. Hal Koerner
4. Kyle Skaggs
5. Anton Krupicka

With close 6th and 7th going to Jasper Halekas and Greg Crowther

My top-5 female list looks like this:

1. Nikki Kimball
2. Krissy Moehl
3. Anne Lundblad
4. Suzanne Bon
5. Liz Irvine

And, since many people have asked, here is my 2008 Race Schedule:

Way Too Cool 50K- March (if I'm quick enough on the keyboard!)
Coyote Two Moon Ultra - March (if I can convince my family that Ojai in March is a good call)
Western States 100 - June (going for my 5th consecutive top-10 and the Masters CR)
Vermont 100 - July (defending my first win)
Leadville 100 - August (just trying to stay ahead of Kulak)
Wasatch 100 - September (if I get in)
Grand Teton 100 - September (if I don't get in to Wasatch)
Javelina Jundred - October/November (just because)

Of course, all this could change but if I'm sitting here one year from now and all this has come true, I'll be a happy man.

Rest hard people!