A couple of weeks ago, I was finishing off a 15 miler and had one of "those moments". I had done a long run the day before and had a hard time even getting out the door on this day. But, about 40 minutes into my run, everything clicked. I started running fast (for me) and it felt effortless. As I finished my run, there was an amazing sunset behind me framing the Three Sisters mountains and the song "Ready to Start" came on. Man, I felt electric out there and thought, I might even be able to "kick" at the end of a race if this comes on!
Anyway, now its March and I'm ready to start. March is the first month where I shake the winter blues of running and start to retire some bad habits. I start watching what I eat and cut out the crap that I've allowed myself to eat for the last few months. I'm not a big drinker anyway but that pretty much gets thrown out the window too.
My winter was pretty steady and consisted of mostly 50-70 mile weeks and I was pretty good about keeping some tempo stuff in there. I was supposed to kick off my season with Hagg Lake 50K a few weeks ago but a busy work weekend the date of the race kept me home which was probably smart as I've had a bad knee since a fall while pacing at HURT 100 miler in January.
I was also good on trying to strengthen the rest of my body by lifting weights three times per week and doing a good amount of "ab work". I think too many folks dismiss upper body strength but I for one feel just more solid and confident when I'm feeling overall fit and strong and not just from the waist down.
So, next week is Way Too Cool 50K which will now be my springboard into the season. I really enjoy WTC. Being a huge fan Western States 100, I always cherish being on the course and the rolling course very much suits my style of running. Plus, its a great time to reconnect with so many old friends and enjoy a night of Karaoke with the Eugene contingency.
However, WTC will really be the only run that I have run multiple times that I will again run this year. My line up for the year will be (drum roll):
* Way Too Cool 50K: March
* Leona Divide 50 Miler: April
* I have no idea: May
* San Diego 100: June
* Cascade Crest 100: August
Last year I ran about the most competitive line up that you can in ultrarunning: Way Too Cool, American River, Miwok, Western States, and Leadville. This year, I am looking forward to some smaller events and running against some new folks and I'm excited to check out some new scenery. San Diego has turned out (so far) to look like a competitive event and I'm guessing that course record is going to be shoved down. Cascade Crest is a race that I placed second at in 2009 and I'm looking forward to going back with more experience and course knowledge. My friend and training partner, Jeff Browning, smashed the course record and I'm excited to try and see if I have any chance of lowering it. I have great respect for him as a 100 mile runner and that course time so it will be a huge challenge but one that I am excited about.
I'm also excited to head out and pace my friends David Easa at Western States and Scott Wolfe at Wasatch. It will be a busy and fun summer for sure as long as everyone stays healthy.
Anyway, just thought I'd check in and to report that I'm ready to start.