So it's been a week since an epic experience at the Western States 100 miler, and my 38 mile pacing duties. I went into the weekend definitely not wanting to ever run a 100 miles in a day, ran my section still in that frame of mind, but coming away, reading the accounts of the runners and seeing Dave's (my runner) elation, and that he recovered quickly, has replanted the WS seed.
Reading the blogs of some of the contenders this week has been inspring, but also instructional, as to how to train and run the race. The heat has always been a negative factor with my running, and that would be my biggest fear. As well of course as the distance, 89km being the longest distance I've run in one go.
Local runner Yassine Diboun who surprised many;
Ex-Pat and now on the West Coast Ian Sharman;
Joe Uhan, who dropped late in the race, really worth a read;
Lining up for WS 2014 is still pretty much a remote possibility given the number of factors involved; 1. Qualify by running at least a 50 miler by November (and one of the designated races as decreed by WS). 2. Get into the race! There is a lottery process where you have a 1 in 10 chance IF entering as a US resident. 3. Training properly for the race, gobbling up enough miles to get into the shape I would want to be in. 4. I know this either sounds arrogant or an unrealistic possibility, but I would want to toe the start line with a realistic chance of top 20 which is pretty much a sub 20 hour finish. Don't ask me why, that's just something I have in my head. To GET to that standard requires a hell of a lot more than I'm doing now.
100 miles is a long, long way further than the 38 I did at WS on probably the easiest part of the course and in the 'coolest' conditions of the day. But I have recovered well and pinged out a 2,58 marathon on 4th July, so I DO have some leg speed and speed endurance. I just need to then convert that into all day endurance! Luckily, here in Oregon we have a plethora of excellent ultra trail runners including both winners this year and many of top 10 runners. I wouldn't be able to use lack of influences as an excuse!
This year I've run more miles, more trail and and climbed more metres than most previous years. So I guess that IF there is to be a year for WS it should be 2014.
In the meantime, theres still some running fun ahead. In two weeks time it's the Speedgoat 50k in Snowbird, Utah, with some hills and a bit of altitude. Then a possible 50 mile WS qualifier in Sausalito in September, followed by the Grand Canyon rim to rim to rim run with a friend in October. Oh, and hopefully some very special pacing duties at Leadville next month. Watch this space!