Friday, April 18, 2008


It appears that adjusting my Blog settings to allow anonymous postings has brought a few more people out of the woodwork. I guess that's a good thing and it has increased the smack talk which is always fun.

So, in that spirit, I feel compelled to respond to the latest round of postings following up on my "Tagged" post:

1. While many Oregonians have beaten me at Cool I can count on one finger the number of Oregonians who have beaten me at States in the last four years.

2. I will never post anonymously on my own Blog. That's weak!

3. While it is true that I blew up and finished 35th at WS in 2001 since 2004 I have finished in the top-10 four consecutive times. Nobody else in the field can make that claim this year (unless Jurek enters!)

4. I have made it clear that I want to get 10 finishes and that I want to stay in the top-10 as long as possible. I also want to get the Masters' Course record and possibly even win the race. This year I think I am in 17 hour shape. So, any of you anonymous folks out there better come to the Big Dance ready to race.

5. I don't normally do the Training Log thing on my Blog but this last week I have surpassed 90MPW for the first time this year and I feel great. Take it to the bank!

That's all for now, go run!


Bryon Powell said...

You could have been a sprinter with smack talk like that.
Anonymous Goat

Anonymous said...

now that's the AJW we know and love
running clarified a blurry picture?
the anonymous bitches in the peanut gallery want less "clarity" and more smack

Anonymous said...

Well now I *have* to be anonymous. Not that you know me anyhow.

Two questions:

1) would you apply your Western States top 10 list to mid or back-of-packers too?

2) If not, would you be so kind as to make a top 10 list of what regular folks should be doing in April for WS? I guess that's a special request not a question.


AJW said...

Anonymous (special request):

What to do in April? It's pretty much the same for everybody from my view...No doubt April should be spent on high volume and high intensity. In addition, I believe April is the best time for "Quad Seasoning." For example, this week I ran 92 miles and 12,000 feet of descending. It might seem strange to keep track of your descent stats but it is really important for success at States. If your quads are toast at Foresthill you'll be in for a long night. Finally, in April, don't be afraid to go hard and risk a little injury time off, it can actually help to focus on an even higher intensity May.

Now, back to the smack!

Anonymous said...

Dude, my grandmother ran 90 mpw last week. It's gonna take more than that this year!

AJW said...

Your grandmother didn't run the 92 miles I ran and if she did I want to meet her. B..I..O!!!

Anonymous said...

Regarding #1, you *have* dominated Oregonians at States the last four years, and we are humbled by your greatness. But at your first States I believe five Oregonians finished in front of you.

Your last four years have been impressive my man and I can understand why you don't want to talk about your "practice" year.

An Oregonian

Rod Bien said...

Whew, that was some serious chatter. Man, I'm an Oregonian and you schooled my ass at States last year, and I still love you. You'll rock this year, my friend. Wish I wasn't M#11 last year and could be at the dance again with ya. Good luck to ya.... and the Oregonians!
Big Aloha,
Rod "slow, but never anonymous" Bien

Kate Whitcomb said...

Fellow Ketchum athlete here - wondering if you might be willing to share a Montrail contact. I am in desperate need of a new pair of kicks to beat on now that the snow is on its way back to sea. Thanks for any help in advance, Kate

Anonymous said...

Re #4: While he doesn't have four consecutive top-10 finishes, Skaden also has four top-10 finishes, including M2 the last two years. Plus he just ran sub 6 hours at AR.


AJW said...


You are right about Skaden and that is why he is second on my "worry list" going into this year's race. First on the list is a certain Oregonian who resides south of you.

Anonymous said...

Krupicka = #1 guaranteed, experience be damned.

AJW said...

I think you may be right about Anton. Time will tell.

Joe Kulak said...

Anton is my pick. He's now a seasoned ultrarunner at multiple distances, varied terrain and has road runner speed and training. Heat could be a factor though.

Although decsent training is important it is not imperative. Last I saw Mike Morotn had one three day weekend on the coruse in 1997 prior to his WS run. Mike and Tom Johnson used a strong daily base of fast 10 mile runs to develop their speed. Many a commuter has seen Uli Stedi;la nd Scott Jurek hammering out 1,500M repeates. There needs to be a balance between hills, speed and distance to really be successful at WS.

Anonymous said...

AJW, don't you listen to those insecure Oregonians
this is your year, brother!
in the immortal words of Joe Esposito:

"You’re the best!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you dow-ow-ow-ow-own"

AJW said...

That last anonymous post sounded an awful lot like a certain someone from the Georgetown Hotel after Cool this year. Hmmmmm....

And, sad to say, I agree with Kulak's comment above -- speed, strength and endurance are all needed to do well at WS. In addition, it's not a good place to go if you're psychologically or emotionally weak.

Anonymous said...

To all you strokefesters out there who are bothered by AJW harrassment -

We (the harrassers) are toughening him up so he isn't emotionally or psychologically weak.

If you are an AJW fan and you want to see him do well at States stop telling him how great he is and start harrassing him. Can't you see he wants this?

To AJW -
I also agree with Kulak about downhills not being the endall or the only way to run well at States. I remember running Robinson to the River with a certain first-timer who ended up running second to Jurek on his first try at States. As we are descending into Deadwood he immediately backs off and says there is no way he's running that hard on the downs on race day. I think he passed Jurek on the climb to Devils Thumb during the race but ended up second at the finish due to heat issues.


AJW said...

Yeah LB, and that same first timer almost caught Carpenter at Pikes Peak last year by running the downhills five minutes faster. Downhills may be not be the endall (whatever the hell that is!) but for many people it can be the end!

And you're right, he ran up from Swinging Bridge to Devil's Thumb in 26 mins that year.

Anonymous said...

AJW, I agree that downs can and have ended many races at States and one must respect the downs, but they've also ended the race before race day. How much downhill training do you need? Ideally, I'd think just enough so your quads don't die (literally) in the race. Anymore than that and you're risking injury.

You and I have both had downhill injuries in training before States (you ITB, me TA). I'm trying to find that perfect amount of downhill training that will get my quads ready but not risk injury.

As for race day, I have made the mistake of running downhill too hard before Michigan Bluff because I thought that is what you had to do. That is where Mackey helped me. I now try to think about preserving the quads early so they will work at Foresthill.

One more thing. How much do you think your quads remember from years of pounding and do they get tougher from years of running? My experience tells me that I don't need the same amount of downhill training as I did earlier in my career. Or maybe I just did too much those early years.

Now for a little smack. Remember that no male masters runner has ever won States. So if you want to win you got defy the statistics.


Anonymous said...

I'm not posting anonymously because I'm "somebody," only because it's clearly the thing to do for AJW right now. Andy, just so you know, I love the "nice guy posts" that are really you. Don't forget about those posts! But since you're toughening up for States, I have to admit the anonymous/smack talk factor has some serious entertainment value. I especially enjoyed the series of six word memoirs posted for you. :)
Now go kick some ass!

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Anonymous said...

AJW is pretty fast- I was impressed with that caumsett 50k; so he def. has the leg speed necessary to kick butt at Western. It can be a long day in hot weather and snow at States - My money is on Krupicka if he stays healthy - to be that close to a time that Carpenter ran at Leadville says a lot for this young man. Skaden also has been runner up two years in a row at States and really dropped a bomb at AR 50 as well. I think AJW has a shot at top 10, but probably not Top 5 though unless some of the genetic freaks drop out or have problems in front of him.

You have to look at:
and my dark horse pick - Zack Miller; that fellow has never finished lower than 2nd in all of his 50 milers.

Nick Whited

AJW said...

"Probably not top-5?"

"Genetic freaks?"

I like this guy, especially since he left the two fastest 40 year olds off his list (watch out for Karl Meltzer and Neil Olson).

No doubt, top-5 for me would only happen with a big carnage factor. But, that's always a factor!

Anonymous said...

This is all in good fun. But I do consider the "god given" ability some of these runners have as genetic freaks, ha. The biggest advantage that you have is a few things:

1.) You have a consistent streak going with some of the best training you have had in quite sometime.
2.) You know the course extremely well and more than likely, will not panic if the lead group gets 20-40 minutes on you in the early miles - Until Foresthill.
3.) You eat well, and typically stay on top of hydration better than most.
4.) People underestimate the heat and altitude (dry air) and often become dehydrated after it is too late.

I did forget Meltzer; I am glad I am not running the thing - seems very stressful - just enjoy it and put no pressure on yourself; I admire your ability to do what you have done as it appears you have a tough job (I know people in your line of work) and it appears you have a good balance with good family support. I'll be rooting for you come June 28th.


AJW said...

Thanks NW, and indeed, it is all in good fun.

As for the 20-40 min lead I am used to that. However, last year when I heard Hal had an hour on me at Michigan Bluff I knew then it was his day. Some guys are "carnage immune."