Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Going back to Cali

Note: This post is the first of four that I wrote this weekend while attending the Western States Training Camp. I will post parts 2, 3 and 4 over the next three consecutive days.

Friday May 27. 2011

I'm on a plane heading out to Sacramento California to attend the Western States 100 training camp.   Last year I went to the training camp for the Leadville 100 and even though I severely sprained my ankle on the second day I found that getting to see the course ahead of time was invaluable.

I have mixed feelings about going.  On one hand it will be great seeing a bunch of the course and meeting other runners who are as nutty or nuttier than me.  Western states is known to be hard on the quads because it is an overall downhill course and it tears them up if you are under trained.  I am interested to see if what I see lives up to the hype.

On the other hand, we are not going to be able to run the canyons.  The canyons are the most challenging part of the race.  They are steep, long and extremely hot.  Like over 100 degrees hot.  My friend John has bet me $20 that I will throw up from the conditions.  They are brutal.  The snowfall in the area is at an all time record high so for the training camp we have to run a modified course.

I also am not excited about leaving Amy and the kids for the holiday weekend.  For the last several years the entire family has been my crew for the Pineland Farms Ultra Festival in Maine.  It's one of the only local races that the crews can see their runners multiple times.  The also put on a great weekend celebration with a great BBQ and lots of beer!  I have set a PR there the last two years and it has been so great having my family there cheering me on. 

I am continually thinking about what a selfish sport this is and how fortunate I am to have a family that constantly puts my desires before theirs.  It's embarrassing, humbling and inspiring all at the same time.  It makes me feel obligated to do the best I can do out of respect to them and their faith in me.

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