Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Things Learned and Things Unlearned...

Today:
Run 50 miles

Yesterday:
Classic ski 12 miles
Bike Commute 3 miles


A brief look back at '07:

Mileage logged:
  • XC Skiing - 397 miles
  • Running - 2,434
  • Running by month:
  • January - 259
  • February - 175
  • March - 66
  • April - 137
  • May - 237
  • June - 197
  • July - 196
  • August - 129
  • September - 154
  • October - 184
  • November - 308
  • December - 392
  • Biking -3,145
  • Biking by month:
  • January - 63
  • February - 75
  • March - 165
  • April - 534
  • May - 404
  • June - 539
  • July - 141
  • August - 190
  • September - 194
  • October - 393
  • November - 290
  • December - 157

    A few fun things I learned:
  • How to skate ski
  • That I'm not nearly as naturally strong of an endurance biker as I am an endurance runner
  • With hard work though I can be a strong endurance biker (hopefully)
  • How to mostly ignore angry political rhetoric (I've always been one who gets very bent out of shape when I hear someone politically speaking their mind on something I don't agree with, but this year I found myself much more able to simply tune out and ignore the madness - I guess having a president who more or less forces me to cringe every time he speaks kind of forced me to ignore political rhetoric.
  • How to save more of my competitive streak for when I actually want it. I actually ran a few low key, "just for fun" local races this year in which I didn't push myself to the limit as soon as the race was underway. I think this helped me be more determined in the races that I focused on.
  • How to chop and prep food all quick, neat, and fancy the way you see them do it on TV. This is an easy one. You get yourself a good knife and a job in a kitchen and pretty quickly you look like a pro. Not sure what this is worth but I guess it's kind of cool.
  • There are a lot of great people out there who are just as much or more into endurance training / racing as I am. I knew these people were out there but it was nice to meet several of them - notably Pete, Dave, Dave, Chris, Karl, and Lynda. Being able to match a personality to these name makes me feel a little less alone in what I'm trying to do.

Most memorable racing moments:

  • Running into Pete B. with about a mile to go in The Crow Pass Crossing. He seemed to "know" that I was going to win that race but I was so certain until that point. It sunk in really quick though and I got to enjoy a victory lap type feeling for that last mile.
  • Last lap of 24 Hours of Light. I felt pretty strong through most of that ride but as I began my last lap I just felt like I just wanted it to be done. I was convinced it was going to be the worst lap of that ride but no more than 2 miles into the lap I began riding with a team rider for awhile. Turned out she was riding almost the exact pace as me and we stayed together the entire rest of the lap. We pushed each other to a faster lap than either one of us would have ridden alone and what looked for certain to be a struggle to the finish turned into my favorite lap of the entire race.
  • Finish of Resurrection Pass 50 miler, and the next 48 hours to follow. The finish happened so quickly. I thought I still had at least a few miles to go and suddenly there was the finish. I felt great and pushed a short sprint to the end. I didn't feel as though I had run more than 20 miles and I had run about an hour faster than I really felt possible. The process of coming to terms with all of this took the better part of the next 2 days, but that was a confusion I'd be happy to experience again someday.
  • Lining up for the start of the Susitna 100. Even though I won this race, and broke a course record what I remember the most fondly was the feeling of lining up with the other riders to start the race. I was about to run twice as far as I ever had in my life and I was surrounded by so many experienced and accomplished racers (most notably Pete Basinger and John Stamstad). I felt at once so intimidated and overwhelmed, but also strangely confident and certain that things would go well.

Some favorite new gear discovered:

  • Montrail Odyssey - Used 4 pair of these this year and now I'm trying to find a good deal on several more
  • Nuun - If you haven't tried this yet you're missing out. I'm hooked to the point where I pretty much take some on every run.
  • Surly Karate Monkey - Only got a few hundred miles on "my monkey" before winter hit but that was enough to know that I'm definitely going to like this bike
  • Nathan running vest - can carry 50 ounces of water, a small camera, and 800-1000 calories of nutrition and not hardly know any of it's there.
  • Western Mountaineering Sleeping bags - I'm a fairly cold sleeper. I was very concerned that the highlite 35 degree bag wasn't going to be warm enough for me unless it were 40 or warmer. I had heard good things and I went for it though and it kept we plenty warm at least 5 times below freezing. Pretty impressive considering that it weighs 16 ounces.
  • Hammer Perpetuem - I think of this stuff as liquid gold anytime I'm training or racing for more than 5 hours. I'm sure it's psychological but I usually feel like I get a burst of energy just as soon as I swallow it.

A brief look ahead at '08:

Things I hope to learn:

  • How to swim
  • If I really can run 350 miles in about a week
  • If I really can ride 2,500 miles in about 3 weeks
  • How I stack up against top level ultra runners
  • How to get my debt paid off without working (this has been on my list of things to learn for about 10 years now)

Anyway, enough about all that. I had a great New Year's Day 50 mile run. Got to run it all on firm packed snow and I felt really good. Here's a few pictures:



4 comments:

Hart said...

great year! good read too.

good luck in 2008 - hopefully we can get some miles in together on the trail. be sure to let me know when you are coming to the seattle area again.

Anonymous said...

Geoff~

Amazing year Man! I don't know how you do it, but keep on doing it! Congratulations and best wishes for an excellent 2008. -dave-

olga said...

I hope you get to learn what you plan. Happy new year!

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