Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 Wrap-Up

2019 was highlighted by finally getting my chance to run the Western States 100.  My training was solid leading up to the race, then dramatically decreased.  The decrease was both physical and mental.   I was plagued by a few small injuries after Western States, but mostly I suffered from an extreme lack of motivation.  I should have been prepared for this.  After striving and focusing on Western States for so many years, I should have expected some severe post-race blues.  I did expect somewhat of a let-down, but I could not have predicted the severity.

Regardless, I have come through the experience with a sense of gratitude and satisfaction.  Running Western States was a dream come true.  I have learned though, after these "mountain top" experiences there is only one way to go:  down. Much like other aspects of life though, you have to be ready to ride the sinusoidal wave.

Lifetime totals:
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
2017: 2,507
2018: 2,436
2019: 2,210
Total: 46,396 Miles

Many goals and aspirations can feel empty once accomplished.  It certainly does not mean that dreams are not worth pursuit.  They most certainly are.  What I have found is that we must keep our hearts fixed upon the pursuit of adventure and keep our eyes focused upon the people and things of real, lasting importance.  I am thankful for my health and ability to still be doing what I love after all of these years.  I am thankful for my friends, family, faith, career, and for the dreams and goals for the future that spur me forward.

My goals for 2020 are far less rigid and structured than most years.  Yes I hope to run some races (I'm not sure what; no 100-mile distance this year and no lottery races) and I hope that I still have the capacity for some good results.  I may and I may not.  I am ok either way.  In 2020, I hope to be more kind to myself and others.  I hope to strive for better balance as a son, husband, father, race director, optometrist, and citizen in my community.

Happy New Year and here's to a great 2020!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Western States

Running from Demons and Chasing a Dream 

Finally getting my chance to run the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run was a dream come true.  After patiently acquiring race qualifiers and painfully enduring the lottery seven straight years, finally I was to get my chance in 2019.  I have watched the live Facebook feed of the lottery every year and I will admit that it has been a painful exercise given my level of commitment to the race.  Finally, on December 1, 2018 Kynan Matz pulled out my name from the hat.  I was ecstatic! 

Around the end of December, I kicked off my training cycle for Western States.  Six plus months is a long time to train for one race, but I was super excited and focused.  I didn’t do – or plan to do – a tremendous amount of volume (I can’t handle what I once did), but my focus for the training block was consistency and elevation gain/loss.  I can honestly say that this is the most fun and enjoyment that I have ever had training for a race.  Most weekends I was able to get together with a combo of friends: Lucas Warner, Tom Wood, and Joel Wolpert.  This was a nice change from my normal solo status.  From December 29 until June 11, I simply made sure I got in a long run of 20-30 miles and focused my other runs on getting in as much vertical as possible.   In the end, I got in around 1,500 miles of quality miles.  No speed, but no junk.  I wanted to specifically make it to the starting line in Squaw Valley healthy and not over-trained.  June 29, mission accomplished!