I planned all of my training and racing in 2015 to get ready for States and without mincing words I blew up. It smarts to not succeed in a time-vested endeavor, but I also keep it in perspective. Ultra running is my passion, and while I may call it a lifestyle, there’s other higher priority dimensions to my life. Doing well is important to me but it certainly doesn’t define me. You put in the work, you expect the result. But you take your lumps, you roll with it. Lumps securely in hand, the culmination of all my training in 2015 was now targeted at Rio Del Lago 100m in November 2015. This was to be my last chance for a 100m finish in 2015 to earn another bid into the States lottery.
A month or so before States, I met a local runner in my home town of Sebastopol, California, Dave Moore, who I had been following for some time on Strava. He was logging runs on virtually the same routes I was running – just a lot faster. Dave had run American River 50m in 2015 and had set his sights on Rio Del Lago 100m as his first 100m race. We connected up and started running some of our regular training routes together. Though we had a shared purpose in our training, we are a physics experiment on polarity. He’s a naturally gifted runner and I’m just a guy who is passionate about running. He’s to Fred Astiare what I’m to Earl Campbell (without the talent, of course.) He’s a gazelle, i’m a bull moose. We’re yin and yang like Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Abbott and Costello, Page and Plant, but in running and training, we somehow compliment each other. We laugh ourselves into hysterics on our runs. Dave entered the scene and the training started to click. Dave’s presence challenged me to go farther, to train more consistently, to push on when otherwise I’d turn back. Dave has become an enduring fixture in my training calendar and a good friend. Part 1 End.
I have great appreciation for the Western States 100 mile Endurance Run. To get into the race you have to complete a qualifying 100 mile race. With a qualifier you have the opportunity to enter the States Lottery. The odds of getting selected for a first timer are very remote. Here’s lottery odds for the 2016 race. I’m in again this year again with only 1 ticket, so I have a 3.67% chance of getting in.
I found out that I had been selected at the lottery drawing in December 2014. The second my name was called the congratulatory texts started pouring in.
So in January I devised a training plan and race calendar that would prepare me for Western States in June. The first big race on the calendar was the Lake Sonoma 50miler. This is my hometown race. I know the trails well and run them in training runs. I felt encouraged by my performance at Lake Sonoma 50m and began to refine a 2 month training block in advance of States.
I have a demanding work schedule and an active family life so I have to wedge in my training. Over the 5 years I’ve been trail running, I’ve trained alone with very few exceptions. Part 1 End.