Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Review

2016 WV Trilogy finishers

As 2016 comes to a close, I am again filled with gratitude.  I am grateful for every step of the year.  The balance between life and running continues to be hard to maintain -- actually it's getting significantly harder.  With the addition of our second son in September, life has seemed to speed up that much more.

I only ran one ultra in 2016, the Vermont 100.  I ran a couple of shorter races -- the Forest Festival 10K, Helvetia 10K, and the Canary in the Cave 25K++ -- but all-in-all it was a pretty low key year.  Maintaining my co-directing responsibilities at Highlands Sky and the WV Trilogy are valuable commitments that deserve mention.  I really enjoy race directing and all the relationships and pleasure it provides.  I hope I am always able to do this.

Finishing the Canary in the Cave 25K++ with Michael Bee
2016 mileage total was 2,101.  Even though it's yet again one of my lower years, I am still quite happy to have even gotten in that amount.  I hope it can be a springboard me toward more mileage in 2017.  I would like to get around 2,500 if possible.  It's neat to think about hitting 40K miles this year and in a few years 50,000.  Can I make it to 100,000?  That is an ultimate long-term goal for sure.

2002: 651
2003: 2,213
2004: 2,506
2005: 2,667
2006: 3,124
2007: 2,759
2008: 2,812
2009: 3,353
2010: 3,056
2011: 4,523
2012: 2,718
2013: 2,180
2014: 2,375
2015: 2,205
2016: 2,101
Total:  39,243 Miles

Racing Plans for 2017:  Again, the goal and dream of running Western States must wait another year.  No luck in the lottery for the fifth time in a row -- and two other times prior to 2011.  I know it is not the be-all and end-all of races, but it has been a dream every since I watched the film Running Madness back in '02/'03.

I still find great satisfaction and motivation in training and running 100-mile events.  Oddly enough it's the overall training process that I really love.  I really enjoy the focus and dedication that these events demand.

I am planning on focusing on running Massanutten again in 2017.  I feel like I still have some unfinished business on that course.  It was my first 100-miler in 2008 and continues to be my overall 100-mile PR of 21:37.  I am going to focus on surpassing that mark 9-years later.  I have no idea if it's even possible, but I'm sure going to give it my best.  In preparation for Massanutten, I hope to do the Catawba Run Around route, Haulin' in the Holler 50K, and a double North Fork Mtn Trail.  After MMT, maybe a fast-pack in July and the Iron Mtn 50 in September to round out the year (?).

Happy New Year everyone . . . here's to a healthy, happy, 2017 that is full of adventure!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Vermont 100

A"bridged" version:
Ha! Get it?

I blew out my quads by mile 20. ??!!???   Suffered through 80 more miles.  Finished in 22:42.  Well off of my goal of 17-hours.  Proud to have gutted it out and found the finish line.

You can quit reading now if you would like.  If you're in to minutia, please feel free to continue on.

Unabridged version:
I had not raced an ultra since last May at Massanutten.  This occurred for a variety of reasons, but the major limiting factors were family responsibilities, lack of desire to race, race directing responsibilities, work responsibilities, and lingering injures.  Lots of responsibilities in there and other excuses, but you get the drift.  Running just hasn't been on the front burner in the last year.  Don't get me wrong, I've still been running.  There's just a big difference between "running" and "training".  Regardless, I was excited to head to VT to finally run what I intended to by my first 100 in 2007, but was side-railed with a jolly case of mononucleosis.  With five other 100's under my belt, I was excited about what I could do at a "faster" 100.  I was excited about certainly getting a new PR since my PR is 21:37 from MMT in '08.

My lack of racing in the last year would lead the casual observer to two possible conclusions: 1) I would be well rested and ready to run well.  2) I would not be sharp and probably not race well.  I believed I was ready for option one, but option two was certainly the reality to come.  Cue the excuses: I had dealt with some lingering left achilles bursitis since the winter, but felt like I had it mostly under control in March, but was unfortunately sidelined most of the month that I planned on building VT base by the flu and resulting pneumonia.  Frankly, by April I was a little doubtful that I was going to do the race considering the fact that I had not run over 20-miles for a single run since October.  Since this was my only race planned for the year, I decided to let it all hang out and I dove head first into the training.