Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Things Learned and Things Unlearned...

Run 50 miles

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:


Matt 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...


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!