Thursday, December 15, 2011

189 Days Until I Run Western States 100

You know I'm a big, burly, basketball shorts wearing, half-bald headed, drama induced trail runner.  Its who I am. 

Oh yea, and I like to wear weird straps around my head when I run to hold up my nerd glasses too.  I'm fairly odd and I talk weird too.

But I do love to run trails and I've made it into my dream race of all time.  I'm crazy excited!

The short story leading up to this is as follows:

  • Graduate College after playing football.  Gain more weight and end up slugging on the couch at 315 lbs.
  • Watch the 2008 Summer Olympics Women's Marathon on TV in Beijing and decide to start running.
  • Run 100 Feet and nearly die.
  • Next day run 200 Feet and nearly die.
  • Continue to do so until I could run 13.1 miles.
  • Continue to do so until I could run 26.2 miles.
  • Got bored of roads and "Googled" Trail Running.  Signed up for Terri Hayes 2009 Buncombe 34 mile race.
  • Read Dean Karnazes "Ultramarathon Man" and dreamed of Running Western States.
  • Fell in love with trail ultras and ran 35 more of them leading up to this post.
Western States uses a lottery system to pick the 300 or so runners each year from a pool of several thousand hopeful entrants.  Each entrant is required to complete a "qualifying" race that is suppose to provide some proof that they are capable of finishing WS100.

I submitted my lottery entry for WS100 and The Massanutten 100 lotto.  Massanutten is much easier to get into and I found out earlier that I made it into it as well.  Of course with only about a 10% chance of getting into WS100 I choose it.  Plus, it's my dream race of all time!  Oh, and Massanutten looks much more difficult to me.  It may be for the best to put it off until later years.

My original goal for this winter was to go down to The Iron Horse 100 Miler in Florida and run a sub 24 and it still is, but it's hard to keep myself from thinking ahead to this summer.  I was reminded by a friend that I should not look past Iron Horse and have a bad run there because that will hurt my momentum going into Western States this June.  I agreed so for now, its full attention on "The Horse".

I don't want to sound cocky or arrogant when I say this, but I'm not afraid of running Western States.  I've only finished two 100's which isn't much experience, but I refuse to let rhetoric or horror stories get in my head about the course.   I know there are long climbs, snow, heat, and rocks on the course.  That's why I'm going.

I heard story after story from Pinhoti about the huge climb up to Mt. Cheeaha, Blue Hell, and Horn Mt. - The Pinnacle.  Yes, these were significant climbs, but I refused to bow down to them and let them consume me.

I'm not going to give in to The Escarpment, the hot canyons, breath taking switchbacks or anything else that stands in the way of me getting to that buckle at the track.

I know this really means nothing from me to just say it without doing it.  I did learn from Pinhoti that my attitude going in would dictate my results at the end.  That's really all I have to go by.

I will show up at the start line in June in the best shape of my life.  I can't call out a finish time because my plan is simple.  To run within my means and to enjoy the course.  I don't want to push too hard and risk getting pulled at one of the many medical checkpoints.  So I will call out a Sub 30 hour finish, guarantee it.

I don't believe in "jinx" or "luck".  I do believe in hard work & results.

I'm excited about being randomly selected, but also feel that it is my obligation to train hard and represent the thousands of other runners who didn't get in.  Many who are much faster and deserving than me.

I imagine there are still some doubters who would like to see me fail or silently suspect that I will DNF.  Just like Pinhoti, I'm gonna prove you wrong again.  I'm not gonna get that drama going again, but will use the thoughts to fuel my training spirit.

So I will be looking at this profile map for the next six months.  Anxiously awaiting my finest hour to toe the line and embrace the suffering that will allow me to collapse with the buckle in my hand at the finish.

Wearing the basketball shorts....of course.


  1. Now this is awesome! I can't imagine how excited you must be for this great opportunity. You can definitely chalk me up as a NON-doubter! Can't wait to see that picture with you and that big shiny buckle. Time to get lean and mean.

  2. I applied to the lottery as well but didn't make this time around. However, I'm thrilled that you got in. You've done the homework and put in the effort, so now it's time to make the big time. Congrats!

  3. Dude, You are going to do awesome!

  4. I was watching the live feed of the lottery - hoping to see my own name pulled (for the third time). Mine wasn't pulled - but I did a fist pump when I saw your name pulled out. Really pleased for you.

    If my name had been pulled - your post above is pretty much what I would have written. Well, except for the basketball shorts!

    Go get it!

  5. congrats on the WS entry... I look forward to meeting you on the course of "The Horse"

  6. I am so excited for you, Big Easy! So excited, I want. To. Punch. You. In. The. Face!

    Lol, I look forawrd to following your journey and can't wait to pick your brain while we are running FHT!

  7. Awesome luck on the draw, that's great news. Honestly, there aren't many of us that aren't envious that you'll get a chance to toe the line in Squaw Valley next Summer. I know I am!

  8. Your gonna go out there in them shorts & kill it! You will get the BUCKLE!Proud of you bro !

  9. No doubter here - you'll do awesome - and enjoy it like no other.

  10. You've got a great attitude! Congrats- you are going to have a great time both preparing for the race and running it.

  11. Congrats on your lottery selection and best of luck in the big dance. I'd mirror your words of "enjoy the course". There's a lot of excitement around the race making it easy to run beyond yourself. Just settle in and enjoy the experience, especially in the beginning. Then, past Foresthill and onto the river get tough and make the finish yours.