Is Something Coming Up?

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.

For those of you who don’t know what to expect come June 25 or don’t know the course well, let me share some pictures from last year’s race and what I was feeling/thinking at the time.

Flag Raising Ceremony - Thursday. "I'm gonna kick ass."


The Toenails Getting Painted - Friday. "Big day ahead. Not much sleeping tonight."


Just Over Immigrant Pass - "This is beautiful and easy."


El Dorado Canyon. "Uh, it's friggin' hot!"


The River Crossing. "Finally made it to the river. Only 22 miles left!"


Meghan A Few Minutes Behind At The River Crossing. "When is she gonna pass me?"


Placer High School. Me: "Dude, that was brutal." Twiet: "We thought you got lost."


Horizontal - Finally. "I had been dreaming about this for hours, why doesn't it feel any better?"


    • Olga, it has been awhile since I beat AJW at WS. Thanks for noticing. Did you also notice that I didn’t mention AJW once in this post? It was an experiment. As expected he probably didn’t even read this post because it didn’t pass his “is this post about me?” filter. Now that the comments contain “AJW” his alarm will go off and we’ll probably see a comment from him. Oh, and are we going to see you at the race again? And, thanks for the photos although I forgot which ones came from you.

      • This year I’ll be hanging out at Hardrock – had to pick and choose for my use of vacation time wisely, either place is not an easy crow fly from Texas, ya know:) But I can assure you I’ll be watching many a-battles, some big, some personal, intently, and missing the action, the crowd and the atmosphere. That said, I like the underdog win. Although I like AJ to snatch that 10th spot – wasn’t it epic? May be you can do it for us this year?

  1. Craig, I’ll have my camera going at every aide station I can get to and you will have more photos this yr. But of course I don’t anticipate taking any of you laying on a cot!

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