Training, thus far

I don’t know what I’m training for. I’m not signed up for a race this season, I’ve never run an ultra distance, and I have yet to set a date for my 50k long run. I’m fine with all of that, aside from yet having to run an ultra distance. All I’m hoping for is before the end of September. Wildwood Trail, end to end, and then some to make the 50k distance.

That said…I’m in training mode. I love it. The athletic base I want is within my grasp and in a couple more weeks I’m hoping it will get there. Anything beyond 13-miles is feeling kind of heavy at this point. Despite the many runners who braved the tundra and scorch of Western States 100 this weekend, I chickened out of a 17-mile long run. In typical fashion, I came up with all the reasons why I shouldn’t run instead of focusing on the singular reason I should run, being I always feel better at the end. My wife and I were going to drive to the coast (this is Friday, eve of Western States 100), I didn’t set my alarm for an early wake-up, and time became a factor. Some minimal anxiety, coupled with an easy excuse that I should be prompt about our coastal departure, gave me an easy write-off for the 17-mile long run

*It should be noted that my wife did her typical strength training/HIIT workout that was close to the length of time my 17-mile run would have been. Point being:  she got it done, I did not. Women get shit done*

Instead of coming home from a long run with the elation of post endorphin-dose, I swallowed regret as we navigated through a nightmare of Portland traffic to make our way to the coast. I won’t be skipping any other run again, especially a long one.

Other than that, training has been going great. I’ve been sticking to my four days a week of core work. The mileage is slowly ramping up, and like I said, I feel like I’m about to hit my base. I won’t be breaking any course records, but I’m confident if I keep this up I will be ready to hit the 50k distance by the end of the summer (or the beginning of the fall). I’ll continue to update my progress, hopefully with more frequency.

Other stuff: I’m currently writing a review of Sarah Lavender Smith’s Trail Runner’s Companion. If you want my overall impression, it’s excellent. This is exactly the book I wish I would’ve had when I started running again after a few years off, and as I progress in training, it has been a great resource.

As mentioned before, Western States 100 was this past weekend. Congratulations to Cat Bradley (Women’s Winner) and Ryan Sandes (Men’s Winner). Both of them ran incredibly smart races, not pushing too hard at first, but then struck when they needed to. There were certainly some surprises, at least in my picks of who I thought would win, but every runner made is back to Auburn safely, whether they finished or not. Congratulations to all runners there. One of my favorite parts of following iRunFar’s excellent Twitter coverage is the community cheering everyone on. I didn’t encounter a single negative comment about any runner, which internet-ly speaking is rare. I became acquainted with a lot of folks I’ve never met before and got to bask in the pixelated glow of positivity as the day went on.  While my wife and I were watching a humpback whale just off the Oregon coastline, I was scrolling through Twitter between the marine mammals breaches and dives.

I also pre-ordered a pair of Hoka One One Clifton 4’s. Oh man, I can’t wait to try them out. I’m also excited to get my hand on the Altra Timp, which it sounds like many of Altra’s athletes were running in this past Saturday. Turning into a shoe nerd.

Also, Kaci Lickteig, last year’s WS100 Women’s Champ, had a rough race this year. I highly encourage anyone reading this to take a few minutes and read her race report. You will be glad you did. I don’t think I’ve ever seen video or a picture of her NOT smiling while running. In my opinion, she is someone who embodies the best qualities of this community, and the enjoyment of running. Sorry to hear she had a rough day at WS100 this year, but she really made lemonade out of it with words like that.

Oh yeah, happy summer, everyone! Stay cool!

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