Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Forward

I don't know about you, but I'm sure looking forward to 2010. It's not that 2009 was a terrible year, but it had some difficult moments. My best four-legged friend and primary training partner, Kiwi, had some pretty serious health issues that plagued her from Last February through most of the summer. Seeing her in so much discomfort and shelling out more money than I want to think about in vet bills, added some major stress to the better part of the year. That stress definitely affected my running performance, and not for the better.

But that was 2009. Kiwi's health is much better now, almost a year later. She's running again, although not quite as much as she once was, and getting better each month. She may not ever be out running 20+ mile runs again, but she's certainly able to go out and do 5-8 without issue.

My biggest concern, looking forward to 2010, is keeping all the dates and deadlines for races straight in my head. Getting a spot at popular ultras these days is nearly as hard as procuring Pearl Jam tickets to an intimate venue. It's exciting to see the sport gaining in popularity, but it's frustrating to be on the outside looking in on so many of these races.

For example, Andrea and I were just in Portugal. I knew that Way To Cool had gone to a lottery this year, and I knew that lottery opened on Dec. 13. Unfortunately amidst all the excitement of being abroad during the holidays, I neglected to get my name in the lottery by Dec. 19th. Thus, another year goes by without me running Way Too Cool. That means I really can't miss the January 9th registration opening for the Chuckanut 50k, just one week after Cool.

I've realized that I just need to block out two hours in order to line up my 2010 race schedule set. Those 2 hours have just been hard to come by. Don't get me wrong, I've got my plans more or less set, but I can't afford to miss any of these all too crucial sign up dates.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to 2010. Last year I started to feel a little burnt out on racing. I thought that maybe I'd just lost some of the desire to compete. However, now, as 2009 comes to a close, I'm itching to get back out and race hard in the new year.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I did it. I made the cut for Inov 8's 2010 team. I'm pretty sure it was a decision based on my career resume, and not so much on what I did in 2009. Outside of a mediocre race at Chuckanut and a win at the Sun Mountain 50k, my season was pretty lackluster.

Ahhh, but that was 2009. I've got some new tricks up my sleeve for 2010. First and foremost, as I've already stated, I'm taking a break from Western States. That just feels good to say. Anyway, I'm going to focus on 1 or 2 other hundred milers. Bighorn fits nicely into the mix, because it's only a week before Western States, and my last few years of training have been geared toward a June 100 miler. And it sounds like Hal, Ian, and the Rogue Valley Runner's crew may have a hundred happening down their way in September. That will hopefully be the second of my 100's. Then, of course, I'll sprinkle in a handful of 50k's and 50 milers to round out the year.

I'll be wrapping up my running for 2009 in Portugal. There won't be any racing, unless I stumble upon a local road race, but it'll be fun to log some miles abroad. Andrea's family is from Porto, so we're spending Christmas with them. It's not completely new running terrain for me, as this will be my fourth time there, but it's still a whole lot more novel than my daily run-commute to and from work.

Enjoy the holidays!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Almost Forgot

This coming Saturday is a very big day for many of my fellow ultra runners. For myself it'll be just another Saturday in Seattle. I have nothing at stake in the most anticipated lottery in the sport of ultra running, the Western States 100 drawing. I can certainly appreciate the nervous anticipation and excitement around the lottery. I have been a bundle of nerves myself on lottery day. However, I must admit that I almost forgot that this Saturday was the WS lottery. I've got nothing at stake in this year's random selection, and I'm quite happy about it.

Don't get me wrong. I do love the Western States 100, yet I harbor a lot of ill feelings (I won't say hatred) about it at the same time. As many of you know, Western States hasn't been exactly kind to me. I'm talking purely about the race itself, not the people involved. The canyons, the saw briars, and the heat, oh the scorching heat, all have gotten the best of me. And lets not forget the rubber. Yes, the perfectly smooth rubberized track of Placer High, that got me too.

I've decided that I need at least a year off from beating my head against the Western States wall. I'm not admitting defeat, I'm just recognizing the need to channel some energy elsewhere for a year or two. I like the timing of a June hundred miler though, so I'm thinking about running Bighorn. I've decided I just need to get a little confidence back in running that distance.

Good luck to all those who are eagerly awaiting their lucky draw on Saturday!