Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Traditional New Years Run!

For many a trail runner in Northern California New Years Day means one thing....Gotta go run the Western States Trail...18miles from California Street (in Foresthill) and finish with the climb upto Drivers Flat!

Maybe its the new year and all but this is my top on the list of all training runs any time of the year. Granted I tend to go to bed way early New Years Eve and not head out to any parties..It seems that my party is the next day on the trail. It can be a who's who in the trail running community in Sacramento and northern California that may all be pulling into Drivers Flat to shuttle to the start in Foresthill. There always is a lot of chatter and catching up to do as we all prep..then off to the start...From there we will run on the Western States Trail with brief stops at Cal1,Cal2,Cal3(locations of Western States Aid Staions)...This section offers nice downhills, a few stream crossings and of course the 2.5mile climb upto drivers flat...I always think it would be great to end the run at the river..but NOOOOO gotta finish at the top...However we are often awarded with food and cheer once we arrive at the finish...we all bring something to pass around and celebrate the new year with many folks starting their Serious Training for Western States 2009!

Happy New Year..see many of you early New Years Day!


Friday, December 26, 2008

Gordy's Christmas Run Race Report-NICHOLS WINS!

10k Winner John Nichols! with Santa Gordy!

Gordy Ansleighs annual Christmas Run..Truely reminded me of a Michigan winter day! No race could be more laid back as this...Maybe 50 or 60 runners..a lot of dogs happy to be outside. Gordy provided the entertainiment with a lengthy discourse on the course directions with green and organge ribbons. Having been in bed sick for two days my mind was not all there...just go run. Back to the race...It was spitting sleet and temps somewhere in the high 30's. Nichols and a few others I recognized where there. It turned out that there where two races a 5 and 10k. With the weather and not feeling well I opted for the 5k, while Nichols picked the 10k...I just wanted to get a slow run.
At the sound of the horn off we went. Both races took us through the small village of Meadow Vista..Nichols went off the lead and appeared comfortable and I settled into being about 100 yards back in the first half mile...The 5k seperated and I saw up ahead 2 runners making the turn and there where three others I turned with. I was not thinking of challenging...after all I had not done any speed work in over a year! I was just happy to be running..After the turn things settled in and the group of three just ahead of me started to break up a bit. This 5k was not flat with 3 climbs. I started working a bit with the lone female in the group but I was not interested in passing her...but on the first climb I did. I was calling out our mile split since I had on my garmin watch. The course hit a canal and we passed one other runner now as I could figure we where running at least in the top 5. I decided to take it down a bit and let her work in front of me while we set our sites on a runner just ahead. By mile two we could not see two lead runners and it was myself and two others. I was breathing kinda hard but comfortable with the leg turnover. I would continue to close the gap with the women on the climbs and get within a few feet but I just did not turn the legs over on the downhill and I was settling in to not catch her. It was kinda like a yo-yo I would catch on the climb then lose it on the downhill. Oh well. As the watch rang out 3miles I did not see the finish..hmmm this is a 5k right? I held back a bit here not seeing the park...I cruised in to the finish 5 overall and hey I won my age group! Yea limited folks running..I will take it for the ego...Oh and the course was 3.3miles!

Meanwhile on the 10k Nichols was flying in his retro Nikes...He was all by himself and took the grand prize in for the day...

All in all a good day..Tony

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Cold for XMAS, Gordy's Run, Run for Dan and WS2009

Just a short note early on XMAS morning. Dang it if I don't have a nasty cold which has slowed down running the last few days. Yea..some will say it's ok to run and often I do but this time I want to take the time off which I have..But I will head to Meadow Vista and Gordy Ansliegh's kinda traditional 10k run. For those new to Western States...Gordy started the whole running 100 mile thing for us in Northern CA..the first Western Stater...anyway he has a small race on this morning I will go and waddle through. John Nichols said he will be there..It will be nice to get outside no matter what.

An update note went out about a benefit run for Dan Moore's-supporter of Western States--You may have scene him staging the Bath Road Aid Station...running in Western States or stopped in his store Auburn Running Company. January 3rd is a benefit run at the Placer High Track...funds will go support additional costs while Dan is in hospital..a very worthy cause.
For more info go to http://www.ws100/

Wow...on paper 2009 Western States 100 looks like a who's who of top ultra runners. Latest has Scott Jurek returning. The young guns will be there. It will be fun to see how all this turns out. The masters race will be very competitive as well...

Have fun today...Tony

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Road to Western States--A lot of Training

Hi all! Welcome to my first new blog location. This site will be for me to post my thoughts on training and running in Western States 100 mile Endurance Race. Though not till June 2010 I will need every day to prepare. I hope that you will contribute comments and suggestions as I move toward this life goal.

Call it a bucket list achievement but that is what it is. It does scare me a bit knowing what I have felt like when I have run only portions of the trail for 5 or 6 hours. Climbing up Devils Thumb and to Michigan Bluff have pummelled me before.

The image to the left is mile 97 of the Western States race. I would love to see this before the sun rises on that Sunday morning in June. I don’t know if that is possible but if I make it to Nohands I will be almost home. I will need a lot of support during this 18months of training. If you interested in running with me, being on my crew or pacing me on race day let me know…I know that seeing friendly faces on race day will be a big boost.

Why Western States now? I guess it all goes back many years ago..For some reason I recall reading about the race in Sports Illustrated back in the late 80’s . I was living in I think Ohio at the time and for some reason I recall thinking that 100 miles is cool. It fell to the back of my mind and then when I moved out to the Sacramento area in 2000 I was stunned to read in the Sacramento Bee that only a few miles from me was the Western States Trail! I had totally forgot about this and poof there it was again. SOOOOOO I immediatly went to the Auburn Overlook (after reading that this was a good place to hit the trail). Being way out of shape I had on my running shoes and found the overlook. Low and behold there was someone just getting ready to go on a run on the trail. I went over and asked her if she was going to run the Western States Trail…She said yes that she was doing a 15mile short training run on the coffer dam loop run..I thought Dang! 15mile training run…I said sure can I tag along…It turned out it was Rena Schumann!. Rena took me down the trail and was talking a mile a minute about the trial and all I coud do was say “yea” and “oh” I was dying! She ran with me to NoHands and I thought this is the bomb but I cant run any further..I left her then…Funny thing I did not see her for about 2 years then as all thing turn she started dating one of my best friends Mark Lantz and in 2004 I paced her at Western States for the first time…Since then I have run with Mark and Rena a ton and consider them best friends…Ok back to why…Well I have helped pace, crew and train with so many of my running friends it was time to test my own skills and run it myself. It does mean I need to alter some lifestyle and diet ways…oh and be consistant in training…

So join me in this journey and leave a comment or two…