Wednesday, September 24, 2008

GEER Preview

This weekend I will running the Great Eastern Endurance Run 100K for the third straight year. GEER was my first trail ultra two years ago and I am really looking forward to enjoying the course once again. Gill, Frannie and Marty do a great job with this race (and all the races they direct) including awesome aid stations, great volunteers and just a fun all around experience. I am feeling pretty fit even though my training has been somewhat minimal. I have had a couple of nagging "mini-injuries" the last couple of weeks but feel pretty good going into the race. The course has a good bit of climb and descent with some pretty technical sections. There is also some road and jeep trail so one gets good diversity of running surfaces throughout the race. The weather looks to be great temperature wise (high in 70s and lower on the ridges) but it is likely we will have some rain during the race.

I plan to go pretty minimal here with only one drop bag and relying largely on aid station fare for calories (especially during the first half of the race). Plan to wear the Streaks again since they worked so well at Massanutten and Laurel Valley. I am really looking forward to sharing some of my favorite trails with some of my favorite people. Most of the CRC/Bad to the Bone team will be there so it will be cool to see all of them. I am not really worried about my time, okay that is a lie. While I would like to run faster than last year, we will see how the day goes. I have learned that I perform better when I just run and let the cards fall where they may. Hopefully, they will fall on the good side of 15 hours ;-).

There are several good races this weekend including the Bear 100 in Utah/Idaho and the Vermont 50 in, well, Vermont. Both of these are races I want to do someday. I have running friends doing both so it will be good to hear first hand how they both go. Good luck to everyone who is racing this weekend. If you are not running this weekend, check back next week for a GEER report to vicariously through.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Catching Up

Wow, it has been a few weeks since I posted. Amazing how fast time goes by sometimes. I have been running a good bit focusing mostly on medium distance (2 to 3 hours) runs at a quicker pace. On my long runs I have been mixing in much more tempo pace segments to break the monotony and have really enjoyed it. The last few days I have been nursing a sore foot. Not sure what is wrong but I think it stems from stepping on a rock last week. No big deal. I am really excited for the GEER 100K in three weeks. While my training has been a bit unconventional, it will be interesting to see how things go. Hopefully, I can imporve over last years time.

My buddy Mike Mason finished Ultra Trail Tour de Mount Blanc last weekend in 31:19 to grab 106th place out of over 2,000 starters. He said the race is purely epic and extremely rewarding. Mike is writing a report and I will post it to the blog once he completes it.

It never ceases to amaze me how popular ultrarunning has become. You will recall how quickly this year's Massanutten filled - less than 2 hours. The registration for the Umstead 100 opened up today at 12:00 PM (ET) and filled 200 spots in 19 minutes! They reserve 50 or so spots for mail-in entries and do maintain a wait list. But, most folks that weren't at a computer during lunch today are out of luck. I was fortunate enough to get in at 12:09. This brings up the controversial question of what is a fair way of selecting entrants for a race. I argue that first come, first serve is just as fair as a lottery system. I knew I was going to be flying at 30,000 feet when Massanutten entry opened last year so I had someone sign up for me. For Umstead this year, I made sure I was ready to go right when entry opened. An interesting debate but many think lotteries are a fairer way to go. I just don't see the logic behind how "chance" is any fairer than someone making entry a priority and taking the steps necessary to get in.