Seems as though I didn’t really acknowledge my “not getting into Western States” and briefly hinted at that a few posts ago, merely saying that I got into Miwok and plan on San Diego as being my first 100-mile attempt.
Well, I didn’t get into the Big Dance for 2014. No Statesmas for me this year. Although, I think I’m going to drive up there and be a spectator, maybe post up at Foresthill to see the leaders roll through and enjoy the party, then head down to Placer High in Auburn and see the finish. I have a good feeling that with the new qualifying standards my chances are looking much better for 2015’s run.
Anyway, I just wanted to acknowledge that. I also wanted to re-define my 2014 in the context of races I got into and new races that tickle my fancy for the second half of the year; I’m also planning a wedding with my partner, so a lot of consideration has gone into planning around that.
Here’s my amended 2014 Race schedule and wish-list (as always; subject to change):
April 12th: Lake Sonoma 50 – going to race this as an “A” race, I’m hoping to avenge my death here last year. A lot of my bruised ego is wrapped up in this after last year’s debacle so I’m looking forward to going back and crushing this course. Big time chance for redemption, and anything close to nine hours would be a huge confidence boost. Here’s my race report from last year.
May 3rd: Miwok 100 – I will not be racing this as an “A” race, treating it as a long training run in preparation for my first 100 mile attempt a month later at San Diego. This will be my first attempt at the 100 km distance and takes place on some of my favorite trails in the world, right here in nearby Marin County. Going to use this race to figure out my nutrition and fueling strategies, what it feels like after mile 50, all that sort of stuff. I’ll be testing all the gear I plan on using at SD100.
June 7th: San Diego 100 – Here it is. It’s going to a lottery this year (if it hits 250+ entrants), but right now (at press time) it’s only at 22% full, so it’s looking like a go. So much to consider here, and it’s so far out that I don’t really even have a goal yet. I guess a simple one: just finish. I can see that this race isn’t one of the “sexier” races because of 1) the heat; 2) the exposure (race is 70% exposed); 3) the drop rate during really hot years (over 50%); 4) the extremely technical nature of the trails (super rocky) and 5) it’s a double lollipop out-and-back sort of course. Oh, and 6) it gets really cold at night, looking at a possible 60 degree swing there. So, yeah- I could’ve picked an easier first 100, but what would I learn about myself?
July: going to shut it down for the rest of June, after SD100. Getting married June 21st, so I’ll skip the Woodminster XC race in Joaquin Miller Park (love that race) on the 22nd; I’ve really enjoyed running that the last 2 years. So I’ll change my focus to be all about doing some easy, base miles and chill group runs with friends, but no real training. Probably get back into serious training after the July 4th holiday. So, then- rebuilding the base for most of July.
August 10th: Skyline 50k – this is one of the funner races in the Bay Area, it’s more like a party than anything else. The aid stations and staff are fantastic, the people are great and there’s a roast pig afterwards. I have to do this one again, and I really want to go sub-5 hours. Looking forward to racing this one again.
September 6th: Lost Sierra Endurance Run – this looks like an amazing 50 km run in Plumas National Forest, about 50 miles north of Truckee. Almost 80% single-track, 35 alpine lakes and two mountain summits over 7200′ makes this a pretty cool little weekend getaway race.
October 11th: Dick Collins Firetrails 50 – THE signature East Bay 50-miler, I almost have to do this again. Just a great set-up, everything about this race is awesome, from the themed aid stations to the finish line party, the volunteers, the course; everything. Love it, and will almost certainly be on the start line come October.
November 8th: Rio Del Lago 100 – Another 100-miler? Yep, I’ve had this one on my radar for a minute now. Taking place along the shores of Folsom Lake as well as the North Fork of the American River and using some portions of the Western States trail, it’s a huge lollipop course with a double loop in the middle and a weird little out-and-back at the end; don’t know how that’s going to play out going into the finish area at mile 78 and having to go back out for 22 more miles; but it’s worth 4 points for UTMB (and I’m also going to be looking beyond possible 2015 races to start on my “bucket list” races for ’16 and on…)
December: just chillin’. Not going to race TNF again, going to give my body a full recovery from ’14 and get ready for a big ’15. Looking at possibly doing something huge, I hope WS100 is in the cards, maybe travel (would love to go race in Colorado again, maybe San Juan Solstice?), maybe overseas?
I’m going back to school in September so it will be interesting to see how I can balance a marriage, being in school full-time with a part-time job and a full racing and training schedule.
Bring on 2014.