Sunday, November 20, 2011

Taste of Winter, Gambling on Summer

As I prepared for the week's promised early snow, I tossed my name in the hat for the Western States 100 next June. My feelings mirror my early trepidations of last season, "will I ever make it to marathon distance?", "can I endure something like Firetrails?". I ran through my simple fears with each week of this season, finding pleasure and accepting the occasional pain. I only expect to do the same thing in 2012, though the bar will certainly be set a bit higher.

Footfeathers posed some interesting questions regarding the WS100 on the Inside Trail website; they got me  thinking about Western States and 100s in general, a process that actually convinced me to jump into the lottery (369 runners get in, a few dozen avoid the lottery based on a previous year's Top 10 plus several special cases). Oddly, my biggest concern about entering was the fact that I might get selected! That'll be great, but what a way to kick off a first attempt at the 100-mile distance. I am also concerned that a 100-mile newbie might draw the place of a more competitive and deserving runner. But rules are rules, and, as of today, there are about 1,700 entries so it won't be me who steals an entry from someone else!

Lottery entries close Nov 26th and the drawing is held -- I presume using an actual hat -- in Auburn, CA, on Dec 10th.  What are the odds of Darren and I (and our coach Footfeathers) actually getting in?  I could get my calculator, but I'd rather let the lotto resolve itself on the 10th.  Good luck to all.

Not much running this week. Fieldwork took me away on both of my mid-week trail days. Because I'm in rest-mode I didn't worry about getting some kind of run in on either Tuesday or Thursday. I did get to the gym for my elliptical and leg workouts, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. That's actually been enjoyable; I certainly hope it pays off.

The predicted snow arrived late Friday and early Sunday morning. It wasn't much but the flavor of the air has changed making the runs crisp though a little damp. I kept to my 30-minute efforts, doing one lap of the cemetery (Town Loop 3) and my favorite little jaunt along the Combination road and single-track. Sunday's snow along the Combination reminded me that I can enjoy the crunching trails through the pinyon and I look forward to some longer snowy trails coming soon. (And I need to remember my camera!)

Received some McDavid arm-warmers from Footfeathers this week, so I can use the calve-sleeves appropriately (back on my calves!). They're Dodger-blue, but I can forgive him for that.  Thanks Tim, good luck on your new trails!

Dennis and Mary are getting ready for their Thanksgiving Turkey 5K in Grand Junction, CO. Mom didn't get to run last year because of an injury, so they'll both get to shoot for PRs this week! They've PR'd just about all their distances this season, so we have high expectations. Mostly, have a good run!

In honor of Marta's birthday we've updated the Trail Pages link in the sidebar. There's some location and description information included. Darren and I look forward to building on this through the winter. Marta (a friend of the Young Mountain Runners) has asked me about our local trails and I know she's been leaving some tracks out there. Happy Birthday.

Week Summary

Town Loop 3: 3.1 mi (+230 ft); 8:55 pace
Combination OB: 3.6 mi (+240 ft); 8:14 pace

Weekly Totals: 6.7 mi (+470 ft); 00:57:26 on trail


  1. Only a week or two left and we can emerge from this purgatory state and begin the journey! I don't know about you but I'm ready for some long days on the trail. Really looking forward to meeting up with you and Darren for runs.

  2. The throes of house buying, reading too many poorly written essays (but one does have to pay the rent) and my own embarrassing wuss-factor regarding the cold and dark means I have not been on the trails much in past weeks. That was remedied by a wintry run though in the beautiful morning light on my birthday and then another on Thanksgiving Day, which I was indeed thankful for :) I worked off my meal and (later Des's pie) that morning along the Carson River to the turn around point where I could see my new house from a different vantage point. I plugged along at a leisurely pace while my speedier friends Liz and Cortney gradually pulled away in the last three miles of almost 9. Those moments through the small canyon west of the Mexican Dam were lovely! In a few weeks Lily should be fully recovered from her surgery and we will be exploring the other side of the river in the new environs of our acreage :) Thanks again for the birthday wishes :)