Sunday, November 30, 2008

Turkey Kamp - 2008

OK, not like it's a surprise to anyone reading this blog, but I've got Western States on the Brain. Quad didn't work out this year due to family "issues" over the thanksgiving holiday so I decided it was as good a time as any to throw down a 100 mile week and test my fitness at the end. In a nutshell, here's how it went:

Sat. Nov. 22 - 16 miles in Adams' Gulch. Smooth, steady.
Sun. Nov. 23 - 14 Miles on the Peterson Ridge Rumble Course. Cold, windy, beautiful.
Mon. Nov. 24 - 15 Miles at Cape Perpetua on the Oregon Coast. Old Growth trees, etc..
Tue. Nov. 25 - 16 miles on the Pacific Coast Highway. Hills, wind, fog...Fun:)
Wed. Nov. 26 - 15 miles at Cape Perpetua. Repeat of Monday...
Thu. Nov. 27 - 14 miles up and back on Forest Service Road (Old Skool!)
Fri. Nov. 28 - 10 miles on roads with 5K road race in the middle (17:30) 3rd place.

Now, I'm glad to be back in Idaho nestled comfortably at 6000 ft. I'll try to keep up the volume in December before getting in to training mode after the new year. Wow, this is fun!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Running with no chain

A couple years ago I was on a Lance Armstrong kick and I read all of his books. In one of them he described an experience he had in training during which he felt so good that it felt like there was no chain on his bike. I had a running version of that experience this morning.

Today is my youngest son Tully's 6th birthday. So, I had to get my run in by 6:15 so I could get back home to make him his birthday pancakes. When the alarm went off at 4:15 I certainly did not want to get out of bed. But, knowing that I had not choice, I dragged myself out of bed and wolfed down some coffee before heading out the door for my bread and butter 9.2 mile loop.

I knew things were different today when I hit the first mile in 6:40. The 2nd one with a bit of an uphill I hit in 6:36. "Hmmmm," I said to myself, "I feel pretty good, I wonder if I can do the loop in an hour?"

Well, I finished the run in 1:00:20. It was as close as I'd ever been to an hour on that loop and it felt smooth and easy the whole way. The birthday pancakes tasted particularly good.

Sometimes running with no chain makes it all worthwhile!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I suppose it was inevitable that, with just over 7 months to go, I would begin writing about Western States and my hopes for the 2009 race. I know I'm a bit obsessed with the race and I accept that. In fact, I've even come to embrace it. That said, my running is going so well right now that I can't help but think that things are starting to point in the right direction.

This year, I plan to do the same 7 month build-up as I have done for the past five years:

November to January -- foundation.
January to March -- sharpening.
March to June -- endurance.

One thing I am thinking of doing differently this year is racing a bit more. Now, at my age and condition I never really "race" anything shorter than 100 miles but I am thinking that a few forced long runs at faster than average pace may hold off the aging process just a little. With that I am thinking of the following:

November - Quad Dipsea
January - Ghost Town 38.5
February - Moab Red Hot 50K
March - Way Too Cool 50K

Of course, after that, it's all training but we'll see how it goes. And, of course, it's all subject to change.

Man, I'm excited. I can smell the dust on the Manzanita already!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kami Semick - 42 years old, Silver Medal

You have got to be impressed with what Kami threw down at the 100K World Championships last weekend. Knowing Kami, she won't be walking around talking about it very much but 2nd place in THE WORLD as a 42 year-old woman with a family, job, etc...that, to me, is, dare I say, inspiring. So Kami, congratulations!

Now, on that topic. I have been told multiple times that a "Masters' Runner" has never won Western States. And, I get that. However, does that mean it can't be done? I know we have the "greatest field ever assembled" coming to Squaw next June. But, will a 20 or 30 something win? I'm not sure. It's likely, and the odds are stacked against us older folks but, we'll see...

I bet there were some folks surprised to see Kami opening up The Can on her last few laps of the 100K championships last weekend and they had nothing to give. She was in it, they were not. She flat out beat them!

It will be a fun couple of months, won't it?


Friday, November 7, 2008

Lingering Autumn

We've had a bit of snow up here in Idaho but the daytime temps have melted most of it to keep the trails open a bit longer. While all the skiers are gearing up for the season I am frantically enjoying every day I can of running on the dirt. It's funny, but something about the urgency of the coming of winter is making me run faster. Just this past week I've logged 86 miles and most of it has been at tempo pace. I even did an 8 mile hilly trail loop this morning in 53 minutes. The only time I've run that loop that fast was on the week before WS this year. I'm a bit miffed because there is no real reason for this other than the fact that I am excited to be on dirt. Before too long, the snow will be here in force, my cross-country skis will be taken out of the garage, and it'll be time to switch gears. In the meantime, I'll take all the hard running I can get.

On another topic, I received some great comments on my "plea from the mountains" post and it looks like the Moab 50K in February would be a good mid-winter option. Does anyone know if the race organizers would be willing to move the race to Sunday?

And, how about something for MLK weekend? Anybody out there in dirt land willing to put on a late fatass on that Sunday?

I know, I'm sounding desperate, but the winter is loooong around here.

Hope everyone is doing well. Good luck to all of you doing Javelina. Wish I could be there.