Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rainy days and mondays

Well.  I had intended to try and put a short something in here every day but.... right off the bat I'm skipping days.   That figures as I've been skipping days running too.   No worries though.  Today was my first day back after the Marathon, just trying to shake the cobwebs out.  Been a bit longer than it should have been but I am happy I took the extra couple days as my head seems to be cool with running again.   That's a good thing.
The legs were a bit achy but it seemed to be all just regular aches and pains after the marathon, not the hip pain etc. I was having earlier.  Gonna run some on the mountain this weekend and try and get back on schedule next week for real.
Today was a double - Slow lunch run for 5 miles and faster run tonight at Fleet Feet for 4.5ish

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Going to the Big Dance

OK.  So I've been the worst blogger in history over the past year or so.  Not a single post.   Well, yesterday I received word that I've been selected by the lottery to go to Western States 100 so I figure that's a significant event in my life where I might want to document some of it.   Western States, for those of you that may not know, is the "Boston" of 100's.  Meaning it is the first, the granddaddy, the one that everyone wants to run (for whatever reason) of it's type.  And like Boston, it has a tendency to pull the best of the best.   Not in the same way as Boston at all, where Boston goes to great lengths (some of which have pissed me off this past year, but that's another story) to try and skim the cream off the top and only bring in the best runners (but then fails miserably at this by allowing anyone willing to cough up enough money get in... OK.. sorry I'll get off that horse I swear).  Western lets anyone in who has met the modest qualifying requirements (which are more for safety sake  than to get better runners.  They don't want people dying out there on the course) enter the lottery and get in the race.

The Lottery
So the lottery gets much discussion.  I obviously have some good luck as I got in on only my second attempt.  A few years back, you were guaranteed to get in if you tried 3 times in a row.  Now there are just too many people trying to get in so there are no guarantees, however each year you try (in a row) they will increase your odds a bit.   Basically they put everyone's name in a hat that signs up, then those that didn't get in the previous year get their name put in again, and they continue this for all the previous years.  So if you have tried 10 years in a row and never gotten in, you would get your name in the hat 10 times.  (but boy, you must really be unlucky after 10 years!)   Anyway,   I got in with my name in twice.  They had over 3000 names in that hat (before doubling, tripling etc up) and only about 300 or so spots.  That means your odds are 1 in 1000 of getting picked for a first year,  1 in 500 for a second (me!)  1 in 250 for 3 etc.   (at least that's how I understand it.  I'm no statistician)

So... I got in!   Yeah for me!   I am really excited, but now I've got to get healthy and train.   So, thus starts my (I hope) new efforts to blog.   I'm going to try and keep these short and sweet and just talk about my training.  Hopefully I'll get on here at least once a week.  Maybe once a day.   Just not sure.  Anyway,  I'm hoping this may help me move along in my training.  We'll see.....

(oh... and one last note.  I do have a fair amount written about my OD100 run this past year.  May eventually get that out here too someday :) )

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gearing up for the Old Dominion 100

Finally on the plane headed to my race and have a minute to reflect,   I'm worried...

After a brutal week at work, temperatures on a continual rise towards triple digits and an arm that's all jacked up with no relief in sight, I must say I have my concerns about this weekends attempt at the Old Dominion 100. Time to put my faith back into the past 18 weeks of training and hope for the best.

But wait...  the plane's #1 engine is failing... Looks like I've got one more thing to worry about. (Fortunately I'm still on the ground at this point)

This is all pretty normal I suppose. If I didn't have things to worry about before the race I'd probably be really stressed out!  Oh well. It is what it is I suppose.

So, why Old Dominion one might ask.  Well the bottom line is, because its the one where my friends were going.  Not that I just follow along like a puppy, but there is definitely something to be said about the support of friends nearby, even if you don't expect to see them for the entire race.  Someone to travel with, commiserate with and probably most importantly someone to train with.  It takes an awful lot to train for a 100 mile race and having someone to work through that with is well worth it.   Plus, its not to far from where I grew up.  (Family used to take weekend camping trips to the Shanendoah mountains.)  And I also went to school at Virginia Tech just down the road a bit.  And it's the Old Dominion!  the oldest 100 east of California (only second to Western States). Been running this race since 1979!
And on a more personal note, my first 100 was admittedly a bit of a "cupcake" of a 100 (if there is such a thing) as it was all Rails-to-Trails and not that much elevation.   OD is a classic, has 14000 feet of climb and will challenge me a bit more without the full step up to a mountain course out west.   So all in all it just seemed to be a good choice.

Now there is nothing to do but get it done.  One thing to note is that this race believes in tradition.  It's motto is "100 miles in One Day" and it means it.  There are no "copper buckles" or whatever for those that finish over 24 hrs.  If you don't do it, no buckle.

I brought a pair of pants to wear after the race that are 2 sizes too big for me and I brought a belt. But the belt has no buckle. If you see me on Sunday holding my pants up, please take it easy on me.