1. What was your 2008 running highlight and running low?
HIGHLIGHT After volunteering at PCTR"s SF One Day I went running with friends. There were two people I didn't know but the other two runners were old friends. I've seen them individually but it's been a long time since we all went running together. It was a Sunday morning north of San Francisco on Mt. Tam. After 24 hours of being by the Golden Gate bridge watching runners go round and round a 1-mile flat course it was the perfect antidote - a run in the hills, trees and rough trail. It was a short run, just shy of two hours. Mary Alice left early but the rest of us stayed together. The last two miles, JP and I hauled butt back to the car dropping Jason and Duncan, highlight of my year. We were running hard and being punks, putting as much distance between Jason and Duncan. Somewhere on those last two miles the blessedness of the situation hit me; I was with friends, running my favorite type of trail, smiling between hard breaths and running like a kid after being up for most of the last 24 hours. I hope there are many more days like that in store for me.
JP, Myself, Duncan, Jason and Mary Alice at the start of our run.
LOW Walking in the last 23 miles of the Tahoe Rim Trail 100. After being loopy and fuzzy in the dark for over 12 miles, I recovered (thanks in part to the advice of a fellow runner to take more salt and liquids) only to have knee pain that cut my progress down to a walk. It was the same problem that plagued me the last 5 miles of the Kettle Moraine 100 six weeks before. That was a very long, lonely walk. Beautiful though, it was a full moon and Tahoe was breathtaking up in the ridges. It took me a little over 8 hours, from around 11PM Saturday night to 7AM Sunday morning. I was pretty pissed and dejected when I crossed that finish line. It wasn't until later in the day, at the awards ceremony, did I recover enough to want to try again in the future. TRT100, I'll be back one day and I will finish the way I wanted to the first time.
The whole knee thing was a blessing in disguise. The pain was not in the knee joint itself but a muscle above it. I saw an ART specialist and was pleasantly surprised about what she found. The problem, along with my chronic ITB issues was caused by an old hamstring injury that never fully healed. The good news is that I've been on my way to restoring more flexibility and power to the muscle. This should solve the problem as well as my chronic issues with my IT band. It will also make me faster. Second it forced me on a 2-3 week running break late in the Summer which helped me come back stronger in the Fall. Rested and hungry, I ran was able to run hard and well but no more 100s for the year.
2. What race are you secretly planning on doing (or contemplating) for 2009 but haven't made it known to the public....until now. No secret races. If I run something I hadn't planned on, it will be a surprise to me as well:)
3. Where would you like create and direct an ultra that (to your knowledge) none exists? Absolutely no desire to create and direct an ultra but I am happy that there will be a 100-miler in Oregon.
4. What is your "primary" race for 2009? I want to run well in all my 100s, especially in the one in Oregon.
5. What is the most exciting thing about your upcoming race schedule? The possibility of running races faster, stronger, better. The chance to reconnect with old and new friends. The chance to run in new venues; San Diego, Vermont, Oregon and Arizona. To meet more great runners and personalities in this amazing sport of ultra-marathoning and trail running.
6. List your planned races for 2009? You know this year I didn't list my planned races at the beginning of the season. I had a good idea of the 100 milers that I wanted to do but I only listed races in my schedule as I entered or committed to entering them. I rather like that format. The thought of coming up with a big list of races and trying to stick to it for the whole year doesn't appeal to me anymore. The only sure thing in my schedule right now would be the Quad Dipsea. I love that race and I'm aiming for 10 finishes. I just finished my 6th consecutive this past November.
That said, I plan on running the San Diego 100, Vermont 100, Hundred in the Hood in Oregon and if I'm still in good shape at the end of the year, Javeline Jundred in Arizona. I just entered my name for the Miwok 100k lottery. The race takes place in the first week of May. All my Spring race planning is on hold right now until I know the results of the lottery. I get in great, if not just fine too. Lots of great races in the Spring but hard to plan until I know for sure what will be happening the first week of May.