Monday, January 25, 2010

My Sorta' Schedule

Well I'm about a month into "training," and things are feeling pretty good. My little tendon issue seems to have worked itself out, and I'm healthy *knock on wood* for the time being. Training is on track, but I still haven't completely committed to a set schedule of races. There are a few loose ends that need to get wrapped up before I can finalize my plans. I'm hoping that in the next two or three weeks I'll know for sure where and when I'll be racing. For now, I'm only signed up for Chuckanut, but I've posted my tentative schedule.

On a non-running related note, I would urge folks to go buy Eddie Vedder's rendition of Bruce Springsteen's My City of Ruins. It's available on Pearl Jam's website as well as itunes. The song itself is beautifully sung, and more importantly, proceeds go to help Haitian earthquake victims.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tiger Mountain Fat Ass

Saturday morning marked the first Tiger Mountain Fat Ass in two years. Last year the event had to be canceled due to massive amounts of snow.

Well, in my case, it was actually just a half ass. That's fitting too, since it seems like I gained about an extra half an ass in Portugal over the holidays. I ran every day while I was there, but life seems to revolve around food there, especially around the holidays. Since it's once every couple of years that I get to experience the delights of Portuguese cuisine, I don't worry too much about what I consume.

The drive out from Seattle to Issaquah was a bit discouraging. Rain was pouring down and showing no signs of letting up. However, as the 8 am start rolled around, the rain subsided and my mood perked up.

The Tiger Mountain Fat Ass, as I'm sure most are, is more a social kick off to the new year than an actual race. This year was no exception. As everyone began to congregate near the start, I was struck by how many people I knew. I guess that I've been at this for 8 or 9 years now. Considering that this is still a relatively small sport, you get to know and recognize a lot of people in that amount of time.

There have been couple instances where I treated the Fat Ass like it was a race. The first time that I became aware of Kyle Skaggs was at this event. At that point, he was just a young friend of James Varner and John Pearch that they dragged up from Olympia. He had an unbelievably beat up pair of Asics road shoes, and some super thick, non Merino wool socks. He may not have totally looked the part of uber-talented ultra runner back then, but he sure ran like it. The course was a bit modified that year, but I think we came in at or just under 2 hours. That was the first and very last time I was able to run with Kyle. Ahhh....those were the days.

Then there was the 2007 Tiger Mountain Fat Ass, when I felt I had something to prove. I didn't necessarily feel like I had anything to prove at the fat ass, but after the disaster at States, I wanted to dismiss any thoughts that I was just a one hit wonder. So at the 2007 event, I blasted from the start and ran away from the beginning. I ran a pretty good time for the loop, especially considering it was blanketed in a lot of snow, but I didn't enjoy it. I may have said "hi" to a few folks at the start, but I ran completely alone all day. Plus I was so frozen at the finish that I just hopped in my car and drove home. I realized that was pretty pathetic and goes against the spirit of the fat ass tradition.

Now I'm all about easing into to the new season. There's plenty of hard racing ahead, and racing that actually means something. There are very few opportunities to get so many runner friends gathered in one place. You've got to soak it all up.