Monday, November 30, 2009

Back to Marin!

I'm heading back to the old stompin' grounds this weekend for a little jaunt through the Headlands. Should be fun to see what unfolds up front with Steidl, Roes, Wardian, Kaburagi, Mackey and a bunch of others ripping it up on the men's side and Semick, Beck, Smith, Hawker and quite a few others on the women's side. This race has truly become one of the big, late season ones to watch on the ultra circuit.

As for me, I'll be happy to drink some fresh Sierra Nevada and get through the run with anything under 8:30

Who do you think will win?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Getting it done...

This, from one of our Greats, Wendell Berry (and, I have to admit, it's this kind of grit that gets me up Bath Rd, Handies, Robie Pt and the rest..)


Though he was ill and in pain,
in disobedience to the instruction he
would have received if he had asked,
the old man got up from his bed,
dressed, and went to the barn.
The bare branches of winter had emerged
through the last leaf-colors of fall,
the loveliest of all, browns and yellows
delicate and nameless in the gray light
and the sifting rain. He put feed
in the troughs for eighteen ewe lambs,
sent the dog for them, and she
brought them. They came eager
to their feed, and he who felt
their hunger was by their feeding
eased. From no place in the time
of present places, within no boundary
nameable in human thought,
they had gathered once again,
the shepherd, his sheep, and his dog
with all the known and the unknown
round about to the heavens' limit.
Was this his stubbornness or bravado?
No. Only an ordinary act
of profoundest intimacy in a day
that might have been better. Still
the world persisted in its beauty,
he in his gratitude, and for this
he had most earnestly prayed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Mile - 5:14:21

As my son Carson said, "You failed epicly!" And, he was right. Back to 100 milers.

We'll have more later and, of course, you can learn much, much more over here tonight


Friday, November 20, 2009


Sometimes in life challenges rise up to meet you in ways never previously addressed. Confronting those challenges builds courage and determination, not to mention the ability to acknowledge stupidity and ignorance. Without looking failure straight in the face one might never truly understand success.

Thus, on this coming Monday at 1:30pm PST I will try to run a 5 minute mile on Hayward Field in Eugene, OR.

I will use this as my inspiration.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dad's with wives and kids poll...

...well, aside from the fact that I left off some people from the poll who've kicked my butt in the past the voters have spoken and Matt Carpenter wins the Balance prize with yours truly and Jeff Browning completing the podium.

So, Matt and Jeff, wanna race?

Sunday, November 15, 2009


The photo above was taken by my good friend Mike Stevens today on our climb up PK Pass. The photo below was one Mike took in June. Same place, different pace!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Poll

The "Balance" post inspired a lively series of responses and led me to throw out a new poll. It may be a bit offensive to some and I am sure I have left out some truly deserving dads but, what the hell, it's my blog so vote away!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Recently, on this blog, Robert Blair asked if I would be willing to write a post about how I manage to hold down a full-time job, care for my family, and run ultramarathon races. The short answer is, quite simply, my family is with me every step of the way.

Let me start with my wife Shelly. She loves the sport! A runner herself, she is smart enough to stay away from ultramarathons but enough of a thrill-seeker that she enjoys living the sport vicariously through me. Plus, she loves the warmth and closeness of the ultra community and has made many friends of her own during the years we have been doing this.

In addition, on the emotional and psychological front Shelly knows that without training and racing I am pretty much of a train wreck at work, at home, and pretty much everywhere else so usually, when the alarm goes off at 4:30am and I reach to press the snooze button, she is there to kick me out of bed, often, quite forcefully. With my training Shelly is both a coach and a counselor, carefully monitoring my moods and fatigue level to help me maintain focus and balance at the same time. On race day she is a fierce competitor never letting me whine or complain and always looking ahead, not behind. It's a subtle approach but one that works for us. She enjoys the thrill of the hunt as much as I do and so far it's worked.

Then, there are my three boys, Carson (12), Logan (10) and Tully (7). Perhaps I'm a lucky man but these guys love going to 100 mile races. And, they've been doing it since they were born. In fact, Western States has become such an annual ritual for them that they are currently lamenting the fact that they know, someday soon, I will drop out of the top-10 and the reality will set in for them that there may, in fact, be a last-weekend-in-June when we don't travel to Squaw and Auburn. I am fortunate to be blessed with three boys who love sharing the experience of running 100 milers with me and that, ultimately, makes the experience so much richer for me and for all of us.

Finally, there is me. I try my hardest not to let my training interfere with my family life. Certainly, when we pack up to go to races and essentially devote our entire vacation time to my races it does get in the way of family time but, as I noted above, they actually enjoy it. So, how do I prevent it from getting in the way of regular old life? In short, I run very early in the morning and try to be completely open and honest about what I can do and what I can't do. Then, when it comes to needing to get those long runs done in the lead-up to a big race I usually just use the training camp approach and check-out for two or three days which allows me to stay focused and also not overdo it. And again, Shelly and boys usually support that knowing that it will pay off in the long run.

So, there you have it. Not sure if it could work for everybody but for me, and for us, ultrarunning is an integral part of our family life. In fact, the boys and Shelly are, as we speak, eagerly awaiting the results of the Hardrock lottery because they want nothing more than to climb into the car after Western States in June and head out for two weeks of camping in the Colorado highcountry. Maybe, as with me, this stuff has gotten into their blood.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Short Video Clip and Article

The good folks at the local Twin Falls newspaper came up to do a story about ultramarathon runners and they ended up making this little video. Check it out. When the site opens go to the video link on the lower right-hand side. If you look closely at the end of the clip you can see my school.

And, here is the link to the full article:


Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Been a while since I've written so I thought I'd check in. No real reason for not posting other than the fact that I've been super busy at work and I've been taking it easy running.

That said, November is the month that, for me, always symbolizes the slow, gradual build-up to Western States. I know it might sound strange to some folks that I start training in November for a run that takes place in late-June but it has worked for me in the past so I guess, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Anyway, my volume has settled into the 60 mpw range for now and I have pushed back my 5 min mile attempt until the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Between now and then I'll run two 5k races (one road and one xc) and in between I'll keep hammering on the track. Saturday I managed 4x400 on pace and also threw in some 200's faster than pace so, we'll see.

Check this out from RunJunkie's Twitter feed:

And finally, congrats to...
Meb on the big NYC win.
Padre Angulo on the WS qualifier.
And Dave James on a killer Javelina CR.

From my perspective Dave's run at JJ is 3rd for POY.