Showing posts from July, 2013

Western States Part III - The Journey

I promised myself when I was out on the course, in pain, hating pretty much everything and everyone, that I wouldn't sugarcoat this race report. I wouldn't try to re-write history and make myself look stronger and better than I was out there. I would write it as it happened, with the best recollection that I could. If you are looking for a happy race report, you might as well skip this one. It is also very long. It was my first 100 and I wanted to get all of the information down, so that I can look back on it for future races.

Race Morning
I don't need to wait for my alarm to go off. My eyes pop open at 2:15am. I allow myself a few more minutes in bed before starting my race morning routine. Shower, dress, lube the feet, put on compression socks, eat, drink, look over everything in my pack. None of this takes very long but I like to allow myself time in the morning in case anything unexpected comes up. Everyone else in the house is up early as well and at 4am we pile into J…

Western States - Part II: Training Camp & Getting to Squaw

Training Camp

A month before the race Desiree and I were lucky enough to head down for training camp over Memorial Day Weekend. This was an incredible opportunity to preview the final 70 miles of the course over 3 days. In addition to having the chance to run on the trail this would also be a solid weekend of training as we covered 75 miles over 3 days with appx 11,000 ft of climbing, and 13,000 ft of descending.

Our first day we drove to the town of Forest Hill, checked in, and boarded a bus that would take us to Robinson Flat - mile 29.7 on the course. This was a low snow year so even in late May there was no snow to contend with. When we were dropped off at Robinson Flat there was some confusion over where to go, but we followed the crowd and quickly found ourselves on single track - headed uphill. We felt the elevation immediately, and slowed down letting the faster folks pass. It took a few miles for the field to shake out, but once it did we enjoyed a lovely day of running on th…

Western States - Part I: Training

I headed out to the Columbia River Gorge on a cold, dark, wet morning in March of 2011. I was driving to the finish line of what would be my second 50k. This was the inaugural year of the Gorge Waterfalls 50k and it was a point to point course. You drove to the finish line and were bussed to the start. As I walked to the check-in point to grab my bib, I heard little snippets of conversation all around me:

"How's the training been going? You ready?"
"Well, I've been working on a lot of downhill, but I'm not sure my quads will be ready or not."
"Only 3 months to go, right?"
"I'm hoping there won't be any snow on the course this year."

Uh, oh. It quickly dawned on me that these folks were talking about Western States. People who are running this race are actually going to be running Western States this year. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks ... I don't belong here.

And you could definitely argue that I didn't. I h…