2018 Javelina Jundred

This was my fourth go at the Javelina Jundred with finish times now ranging from 21-something to last year’s 17:38 for 8th overall.  After the race last year, it was hard for me to imagine how I could top that although my mind wandered and then pondered a 16-something. 

After getting sidelined with an injury, returning to full training, and getting closer to the event, it was obvious to me that I wasn’t in the same kind of shape as last year.  That said, I’m thankful to be running and extra thankful to be able to run a hundred in order to fulfill my Western States lottery obligation.  This will be my fifth year in the lottery and with 16 tickets, I’m hopeful -- I’m hopeful every year but 16 tickets seems like more than a few.  Perhaps not, we’ll see next month.  One paragraph and I’m already off topic…

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2018 Grand Canyon

A few years ago, I ran across the Grand Canyon and back (Rim to Rim to Rim), with a group of friends.  In the highlights reel of my life, this is somewhere near the top and it’s always an adventure that I’ve wanted to do again. 

Back in January, I booked a room at the Bright Angel Lodge with the idea that I might do it again.  I didn’t know for certain but I figured I could cancel the room if things didn’t work out.  Well, things did work out and this past weekend, I set out for a solo double crossing. 

Life has been chaotic lately and a run as big as this really helps put things into perspective.  But little did I know!

On Saturday, I got up at 4am, drank some cold brew, got my gear together and sometime just shy of 5am, I was off into the Canyon.

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2018 Jackrabbit Jubilee

It’s been a while since I’ve written – mostly because I was dealing with an injury earlier in the year.  Nothing huge but I had to take some time off which caused some loss of fitness.  The injury healed and since then I’ve been focused on getting back to my former shape.  I’m not at 100% but I’m making progress and I’m happy to be running.

2018 goals were pushed aside when the injury appeared and the primary goal became getting back to the ability to run a hundred mile qualifier for the Western States 100.  Assuming I will check that box off by the end of the year, I’ll have 16 tickets in the lottery.  Every year I say that should be enough to get me into the race and every year another 1000 people enter the lottery.  So that being a factor, I’ll just say I like my odds better with 16 tickets and I don’t want to lose them. 

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2018 Redding Marathon

What a fun race!  She-Ra has talked about it for the last few years and the timing just never really worked for me.  Signing up for CIM after Javelina seemed like a bad idea so I went looking for a marathon.  She mentioned she was doing Redding again, I signed up, and we recruited others.  As things go, a few people fell off for various reasons along the way – and then there were four. 

My training since Javelina was stellar.  I’ve been in the best shape, runs seemed effortless, and nothing ruins a great streak like getting the flu.  But this wasn’t your garden variety flu, this was full-blown, high fever, double whammy flu.  I started getting sick on 12/29.  With Redding still far enough out, I thought – no big deal.  Wrong.  It took at least four days for the fever to subside and then the stuffy nose, congestion, coughing part kicked in. 

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2017 Javelina Jundred

Every so often, we go into a race following a great block of training, we taper down without injury or incident, and in general, everything has gone right which presents us with an opportunity to really put things on the line.  That’s how I would describe my preparation for this race.  It was perfect.  I managed to string together some really big weeks of training, topped out at a 100 mile week, brought it down to a point, and without any issues.

In the final weeks, I had an idea of what I wanted to do -- break 18 hours.  In my head, that meant 17:59:59.  That would put me closer to the top 10 than in my previous attempts and it could also put me first in the age group.

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Dear Whole Foods

I went to Whole Foods the other day to get lunch and the only outside seat available was directly next to the bins labeled:  Compost, Landfill, and Recycle.  The front of the bins are covered with photos of what you’re supposed to put in them.  These bins are confusing to me!  I attempt to throw out my trash, I want to do the right thing but I feel like it’s some sort of test.  Tests give me anxiety and as I’m standing there, I can feel the eyes on me.  “He doesn’t know what to do…”.  The pressure becomes too heavy and I toss everything into the landfill bin.

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Body Composition

The other day, I saw some people tweeting about a blog post in which the author talked about “ideal” body composition.  Few things fuck with people more than to plant a seed such as this little gem.  It’s almost a disservice really but those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.  That’s my way of saying that when I was learning how to hack web code, I wrote a few calculators that did something similar but I’ve since removed them.  I know better.

This kind of talk of “ideal” weight can send someone on a path and I know how this story goes – it ends with a subpar performance and crying.  #truestory

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2017 Rocky Raccoon 100

At this point in my athletic career, what I do now is more to satisfy my curiosity than anything else.  When I signed up for the Rocky Raccoon 100, I thought it was a relatively flat and easy course.  This would allow me to answer a question that I’ve been asking -- How fast can I run a hundred miles?  Not run a hundred miles with gain and loss, not run a hundred miles with technical terrain, just the act of running a hundred miles.

Sure, I could do one of those looped NASCAR-style hundreds where you run a one mile loop over and over again but does that actually sound like fun?  Not to me.  The monotony scares me and I might quit from boredom.  I kid.  It’s probably fun in its own way but it’s not what I went looking for at the time I signed up for Rocky Raccoon.

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The 2017 Survival Guide to Being Coached

I thought I'd come up with a simple set of rules for being coached.  Call it a survival guide of sorts.  A mutual understanding between you and your coach -- because most of the coaches I know are doing this out of love, not for profit, and to ignore these rules will make them less sane.  You want to keep us sane.  In the words of my mother:  "Don't make me crazy!"

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2016 California International Marathon

This was my third go at the California International Marathon -- aka the Tour de 7-11 to some of the locals.  This unflattering name, I assume, refers to the lack of visual stimulation.  The course basically runs from nowhere, through suburbia, and ends in downtown Sacramento.  While not the most exciting scenery, it’s a fast course, sees more BQ’s than any other marathon (so I’ve been told), and it’s where I hold my PR’s, and my one and only sub3 marathon.

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