Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What's Next?

It's been almost a month now since my 91 seconds after the cut-off finish at the Western States 100.  I've rested, recovered and  had plenty of time to think about what happened out there on the trail between Squaw Valley and Auburn.  There are still some unresolved questions, the biggest is, "Will I put my name back in the lottery and try to go back out to California for another shot at the buckle?"  All I can say for now is, "We'll see."  In the meantime there are some more events on the calendar.  Next week, I'm heading to the great Northwest with Nora to visit the Testermans and see where Nora grew up.  It is going to be a fun trip with visits to Nora's family and friends, sailing, rowing, visiting Seattle's famous sites and the flagship REI store, of course, an overnight on Guemes Island, kayaking in Port Townsend with the Randalls, a trip to Portland to visit my friends Ed and Vickie and their new twin girls, Sky and Sylvia and Nora's sister Jill - looking forward to the famous food trucks.  And of course... a trail race.  The day after we arrive, we are going out to Bellingham, WA for the Chuckanut Mountain 30K.  Jill, best friend Mari and I are all registered for this final race of the Bellingham Trail Running Series.  Nora and I thought it would be fun to do a trail race during our trip when we planned it back in March.  Nora's racing plans changed to allow time to recover from a recent surgery and I didn't really count on how little running I would feel like doing after spending more than 30 hours on the Western States course.  I have run maybe 5 times in the 3 1/2 weeks since WS and all my runs have been less than 6 miles.  Well, I'm not really that worried about it.  It is always fun to run in beautiful new places and the cut-off time is generous . . .  I haven't been doing much running lately, but I have gotten out on my road bike a lot more than I have in the past several years.  On the last day of school, after talking with a colleague, Katy Williams, over several beers about the Fort Collins ProChallenge Experience 108 mile Bike Ride, I signed up.  Why not?  I figured it would be a good idea to have something to train for after WS, Katy said she and some friends were doing it and it sounded like fun.  That ride, which is farther than I've ever ridden and includes some serious climbing and 30 miles of dirt roads in the mountains is now 18 days away.  I have gotten out on a few rides in the last couple weeks.  I did the 46 mile Rist Canyon/Buckhon loop on Sunday and this morning I rode a 62 mile loop through Masonville, past Carter Lake and back up through Loveland around Boyd Lake.  With the trip to Washington, I won't get much more riding in, but I think/hope it should go okay.  It will be tough, but I enjoy a challenge.  I do plan to get back to running this fall, and what better race to get back to it with than the trail race that is nearest and dearest to my heart, The Blue Sky Marathon.  This is the race that some Fort Collins Trail Running friends and I dreamed up and started 5 years ago and it is now a staple on many Front Range trail runner calendars.  For the past 5 years, I have captained the Indian Summer North Aid Station and loved it, but this year I am going to hand that task over the the very capable hands of my daughter Maddie (who has also worked this aid station every year for the past 5 years) and my partner Nora who volunteered with me last year.  Race management has been handed over to the Gnar Runners (Pete and Nick) who I am sure will continue to make Blue Sky (Along with the Quad Rock 25 and 50 and the new Black Squirrel Half) the best trail running events in Colorado, or maybe the whole world even.  Pete and Nick graciously offered me a spot to run Blue Sky this year and I am honored to take it.  This event I am going to train for and I look forward to putting in an honest effort at running a race that I will be proud of.  After that . . . I don't know.  Yeah, I think I'll want to run another 100 next year.  I really would like to figure out how to run a good 100 mile race and the only way I can do that is to keep trying.  There's one out in Washington that looks pretty good and so many others that would be fun to travel to.  I'll let you know when I figure it out.  Summer is not over yet, and there is always more running to do.
July 7 Training ride with Mike, Nora, Jessica Diana and Lara   Photo by Mike

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Western States Story on Podcast

Mile 0.1 Feeling Good  photo by Brian Stefanović 
A couple days after the race, I got a call from Gary David of Elevation Trail saying he had heard about my after the cut-off finish on the track and wondered if I'd be interested in talking to him about it.  I said "sure" and we had a conversation via Skype a few days later and he posted as an Elevation Trail Podcast.  Here it is:

Monday, July 1, 2013

Into the finish line... Just a tad late

Alex dug deep (and I mean deep) and had an amazing finish  into Auburn with a sprint in from Robie Point that didn't seem possible after 100 miles on his feet, but Cat, who never ceases to amaze me with her tenacity and endless dedication to bringing Alex home, along with a few amazing random volunteers, kept him focused. And we picked up Maddie along the way, so she got to run around the track like she's been wanting to do for the past 4 years when she watched Nick's finish with Alistair. Unfortunately, we were a bit late and even with the enthusiastic cheers of the stadium crowd and a group effort, he crossed the finish line in 30:01:31 (give or take a few seconds) and we couldn't be prouder.

Final stretch...

Alex & Cat made it through the Hwy 49 aid station 2 min before the cutoff of 9:20. Emotional time! We are heading to meet him at the high school/race finish; needs an 11am finish, so here we go!!

Thanks for all of your thoughts and support from afar...