Monday, June 28, 2010

Western States-finished!

Finished my first Western States 29:34! Not pretty but a buckle nowcin hand. More later after I rest a bit...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

7 Days!--Lots left to do! Follow me online

Let us start with some info about next week:  Anyone wishing to follow me and the whole race itself can go to the link below:  My bib number is 280.  You can follow all of the runners here as well as a live blog cast once the race starts.  Images of each runner will be posted as well. 
Live WebCast and Tracking of Western States Runners

This field is stacked this year with some very good elite men including masters runners.  The womens field I am thinking is a bit more wide open..Cut to the chase here are my men's and women's predicted winners and two sleepers---
Mens-Hal Koerner, Women-Devon Crosby-Helms

Sleepers:  Men-Erik Skaden   Women-Rory Bosio

There is so much new talent arriving on the line that in the end for the men experience will play out.  Not to say that Geoff,Anton, or Killian will falter.  Many of these folks major victories came with wide time margins..not a lot of stacked field hanging on to push all the way...So I side with course experience to bring in the men..That is why Erik is my men's sleeper he is running well this season and can bring in one final push you never know.  For the women...Devon just seems to be the one here for me though Nikki Kimbell will force the issue now that Anita is out.  Rory is my sleeper I have scene her run alone on the WS trails..that takes strength and her effort seems minimal as she climbs these trails...Her first time at 100 but I feel she will crack the top 10 with ease....

What about me...As the race gets closer I have been calm but so many things happening at work make it hard to focus on what I really want to get complete..That is all the logistics,crew assignments..getting the drop bags ready.  Finalize my vision for split times on the course.  The taper has been minimal running to date a stagecoach run, gym elliptical to warm up and heading to the sauna.  The sauna has been hard on me with about 30minutes being the amount of time I can stand.  Next weekends temps don't look like 100 yet but I am not taking any chances..Today will be one last Sauna...My legs will be really fresh for the day.

The start will be key getting to Robinson Flat in one piece after going through the snow, slush, trails which maybe streams cause of runoff, the starting altitude, Being safe and sane.  Prep the mind for the major push from Robinson down to Swinging the quads, cool off and climb steady up to Devils Thumb, Recover well and get to Michigan Bluff...don't worry about the time it takes to climb here....Recover out of MB and enjoy the work to Foresthill and pick up my pacer and see my crew and family.  I hope to have some light as we begin the trek to Rucky Chucky.  I am guessing boats to cross the river and to be there about the time folks will be piling out of a bar on Saturday 1-2am...The river to Hwy 49 will be hard and low energy till the sun comes 49 I pick up another pacer and we take it to the barn.  I suspect I maybe walking a lot from Nohands but I want to enjoy this with my pacer and then take it to the track...Goal finish time a wide finish 27-28.5 hours...8am-9:30am.
It will be painfull, enjoyable and a lifetime achievement.  Thanks for following during this last 6months. It seems so short in this training cycle...

Maybe a short note once I hit squaw valley etc...Take Care...Tony

Sunday, June 13, 2010

13 Days Calm before the storm...

Interesting that as the days get closer I am getting a bit more calm about this whole thing. I don't know what to make of this but maybe it's because I have so many little things to take care of prior to the race that my mind is occupied.

I have a ton of work things to complete and try to postpone until after the race but I am guessing my emails and phone calls will be going right up to Friday before the race...Never mind that you put out of office the calls just keep coming. The crew instruction and pace spreadsheets are nearly complete but I need to put in all those little things like driving directions etc..I gotta remember these folks don't eat and breath these trails and roads like I do..I gotta make it as simple and easy as possible to get to the locations I want them to be. Get the house ready for the parents arrival..We will always be someones kids and always need the house just right for arrival...Oh and I forgot about my drop bags...Need to get those inventoried and created.

Still a bit of running left before the race and its time to focus more on getting some heat versus long runs. This is where I need to watch myself. My tapers sometime go to extreme..either no taper or Taper to the point of doing nothing...neither can work here. I want to focus on short runs during the week only 6 miles just to warm up then hit the sauna if the temps are not at 90 when I start my run. The sauna has been killing me of late...We did do a run Saturday in starting at noon from the Overlook to Cool and back. It was warm but so breezy it never felt too bad. I was a bit tired from poor diet during the skip dinner on Friday night and barely eat on Thursday...The next two weeks need solid meals etc..

Other than that I am thinking about life after WS as well..I want a fun 4th of July and I have a few ideas...then I need to head to San Diego the week after the 4th..then a high school reunion...eeesch I better have that buckle for that day....

I goofed up with the new templates on these blogs when I get some time I will clean this up....

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Minor Heat Training, 20 Days and thoughts on the day

After the Western States Training Weekend I admit it I was tired. After these longer or higher volume weekends I return to work with a brain that finds it hard to focus on anything really challenging. So went the week. It was a hard week for me to be doing real work, I was tired and thinking about all the things I need to complete.

I started the week having to make a hard decision regarding Western States. I had to drop one of my pacers. It was hard since she is strong running but it came down to who I felt I was most comfortable with going the distance. I felt bad having to tell her since I knew she was excited. I hate to disappoint folks but as I get closer to the this race it will be the one day where when I am out there on the course it will be about me getting this done...So I feel I made the right choice.

Back to the week..After these hard weekends I have found the cycle to be a harder recovery that takes longer so was the tale for this weekends run.
Temps are starting to climb and I wanted some heat training and so I put on a couple extra layers and met up with Rena for the first time in like forever to run Cool to Alt and back. Rena has been off the trails with some major injury at Napa..She is now back and ready to run for that 1000 mile buckle at Western States..10 finishes...that is a huge thing to do.
As we left Cool I felt pretty good a little stiff but no tiredness..I was heating up fast however and after a half hour took two S-Caps...I figured I was sweating so this will be good. We got to Browns Bar in a pretty good clip but I was getting tired..maybe all these layers..some extra heat. I promised myself I would keep the layers on to ALT. I was suffering, and feeling a bit down on myself as we ran along. I then thought back to a recent interview I heard with Anits Ortiz...She won WS last year..In her talk she recounted some advice from Dave Mackey that I was focusing on.."When things are going bad, Slow Down" That was my mantra for the rest of the day...Rena was out front and I was plodding along..I know that I will be ok for race day and just take it easy through this low day. In reality the total time was not really that just felt that way.

I spoke with my coach later in the day...I am starting to build my final plan and vision for race day. There are a few areas I want to highlight now...
1)There two unknowns-The snow conditions and the amount at the start, how it will effect us and the pace. The second is the river crossing. I am betting boat year. These I can't control but can be prepared .

2)I want to be conservative. It will be a train of runners at the start and along the early sections of trail..there will be heroes of the average runner set that will try and scream those downhills early...push you out of the way...I can't get caught in that..The quads are gonna be key to keep em fresh for as long as possible. Getting down to Swinging Bridge in one piece is important for me.

3)I am thinking my hardest section will be from Deadwood up to Michigan
Bluff. I need to be ready for this section and take it one step at a time on the final climb to MB...I want to be renergized after MB..use the final run to FH as some recovery prior to picking up my pacer.

4)Take it to the river and prep my mind for the climb up to Green Gate. That is a tough climb. Then try and relax to ALT. It will late in the night and energy low. Once I hit Browns get out of there fast..and then suck it up for the seemingly long 3 miles to Hwy 49..

5)Hwy 49 take it to the barn!

I had some good news seems like I am having a lot more support than I thought. I have Ken Blankinship, Darin Loucks helping me out along with my parents and nephew coming from Michigan..then yesterday a high school friend said he would like to come out as well..John Klees. I think he should help pace me from 49 he will enjoy that section. On the low side my friend Kaori has gone total MIA and I can't count on her to be there.
But there is so much to be thankful for that a slight bump is minor compared to the big picture...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A couple of Pictures from Robinson Flat-Day 1 WS Training Run

Two Images from Robinson Flat, notice the roof of the restroom! Images Courtesy of Craig Thornley

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

6months of Training now complete..Its in the barn next stop Squaw Valley

Yesterday was a good feeling...I was tired, I finished my Western States Training Program (the major long runs) and took it to the barn for maintenance and final preperations.  I am tired this morning.  I thought back to January 1-the official kickoff and where I have gone since then.  A lot of miles...some good and a few diffenently bad days...

So Monday was day 3 of the WS training run...Day 2 for me since I had finished the first two in one day.  We had cool overcast weather as we met up at Placer High...I saw Rena for the first time in a long time and she was out for her second day.  I met up with my pacer as well and we ran together all day.  I missed out on seeing a lot of other folks that have been training all year long by missing them at the start...could not figure that out..Oh well.  My legs where stiff and did not respond well at the start as we moved on to 3rd gate...I recalled the same from last year and as the day wore on I was fine.  I was moving slow with some good sections and tucking in with a few other runners every now and then to keep the pace slow. 
Allyson was one of those folks her and Sandra seemed to be chirping along the way and doing fine...I was pretty focused all day...not saying a lot.  Just processing and thinking that this was it...all the hard stuff was over for the 6months...and where was it going to lead?

I still had one last goal and that was to move as fast as I could down from Cool on the trail to NoHands Bridge..I did it last year and wanted to see if I could empty out the tanks and let the quads burn...I was successful in pressing it hard down the trail..not out of control but fast and steady with some pick ups along the way...I was in better shape than last year (I better be!) I pretty much walked it from NoHands to the school the quads now felt it fine...

It has been a long grind and I was kind sad and also very glad to get to the finish and see the folks cooking out and the other runners that have gone through these months of training now taking it all in..I stopped and talked to some out of town folks amazed we all are gonna be on the line June 26....I will be posting more info as the days go by but its in the barn....the dream is about to become reality...Holy Cow an average runner is gonna be on the all I have to do is finish that will be no small task!