A Journey of Hundred Miles begins With a Single Step
Hello and welcome to my new site. There is never a perfect time to launch a website so I figured with only days left until my first Western States Endurance Run when my heart is pumping strong and I am in my taper mode, now is a good time.
Western States will by my first 100-mile race. I am fit. I am scared. And I am curious. I thank you for joining me on this incredible journey of many miles.
Even the longest and most difficult ventures have a starting point. My journey to Western States began with a work trip to Squaw Valley 2 years ago. I worked the GU booth at the race expo and the next day I showed up to see the runners head off into the darkness at 5 AM. The energy was electric. I was trying to comprehend what a 100-mile race would do to a runner’s body.
The course is rugged, accompanied by predictably unpredictable weather, over 18,000 ft of ascent, and almost 23,000 ft of descent. So it’s a “net downhill” run, and it finishes on a track. I guess that means it should be pretty fast, right?
Last year I had the opportunity to pace for Alex Varner at Western States, in his first ever 100 miler. Watching Alex push through some tough patches and finish 7th in his Western States debut was inspirational. Rob Krar and Stephanie Howe made this incredibly challenging 100-mile race look easy. I was hooked and there was no turning back.
I have absolutely loved the preparation required for ultra trail races. It is a commitment for sure, but it is so rewarding. There is nothing like getting up at the crack of dawn to start a run in thick fog and reaching the top of Mt. Tam with a group of friends. The natural beauty that surrounds us reminds me how much I love the simplicity of trail running and that I am very lucky to be a part of this incredible running community here in the Bay Area.
My mileage might be lower than what I used to log during my road and track days, but I sure spend about the same time on my feet covering a significant amount of vertical distance. And I love it. This new challenge fits my life so perfectly and has inspired me in so many ways to test my best athletic self. The best part of my preparation for Western States is learning to hike well and for that I have recruited my son Owen. We have done some mighty hikes together and I am inspired by his toughness and determination.
Race Day Nutrition
With only days left to the big race I have been asked by many about my plan for race day nutrition. My plan is to build on an already successful strategy practiced at Sean O’Brien and The Canyons 100ks where I raced on GU Roctane drink. I prefer to keep my plan very simple and give my self an opportunity to execute my plan with ease.
Every athlete is unique and so are individual fueling strategies. Nutrition needs during such demanding endurance events should focus on hydration, energy and recovery. Remembering that everyone is an experiment of one and that nutrition needs may have to change with alternation in weather temperatures, running intensity and even our fitness.
For me I find it very easy to get everything I need in a bottle of Roctane Drink and if I can get at least one to two bottles down per hour I will fuel my body with key nutrients that it can absorb and that I will need for the 100 mile journey. But my crew will also be prepared for flavor or texture fatigue since I know that I’m venturing into uncharted territory, and it is smart to be well prepared for anything in the later stages of the race.
I have never run 100 miles before, but I have read about it and talked to people that have done this distance and it sure sounds pretty demanding. How I plan to fuel during my race has a lot to do with how I wish to perform and how quickly I wish to recover. I will report back on how things play out for me after the race.
I am honored to toe the line with courageous runners and many of the former Western States champions. I sure have my work cut out for me, but I am ready to test what my body can do over this new distance. Goal is to channel my inner Ann Trason!
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear”
Cheers to many more miles ahead of us and thank you again for joining me,
Western States Gear Breakdown:
Nutrition: GU Roctane Drink: Each 21oz bottle has 59g carbohydrates, 1900mg of amino acids, 320mg of sodium. I am aiming to drink 1-2 bottles per hour
Footwear: HOKA ATR Challenger. Light, nimble and well cushioned
Hydration bottles: UltrAspire Iso Versa Handhelds
Sunglasses: Oakley Radar EDGE
Headlamp: Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp