This is year number ten for me preparing to run Western States. Yes, I only have seven finishes; in 2006 I got injured and couldn’t start, and 2008 we all got rejected because of the fires. Ten years of preparing for one big race means that all the pieces of the training are dialed in and I’m pretty much on auto-pilot until race day. My mind and body instinctively know what to do and how I should be feeling. I’ve trashed my quads, my mileage is up, I’m tired pretty much all the time, I’m dropping weight (well, ok maybe not like when I was younger), the cultural sauna sessions have begun at the YMCA, I go out for all day runs without much thought other than throwing my bag, bottles, and shoes in the truck. The big training runs and weeks ahead are already set in motion and I pretty much just have to let it happen and soon enough I’m in Squaw Valley at the Flag Raising Ceremony. It isn’t until or unless an unexpected injury comes that I actually have to think about my training. No, I’m not injured.