Tuesday, September 13, 2011

After the Big Race...A Bunch of Blah, Blah, Blah

Well, I think I'm mostly recovered from the Leadville 100. The race was only three and a half week ago and I'm feeling generally pretty good. My right knee, which was bothering me after the race, is now in great shape. What I'm basically dealing with now is moderate muscle fatigue and some dull achiness that comes and goes. It seems like everyday I'm feeling better. Last week I ran 61 miles mostly on dirt roads.

Lots of folks may read this and say, "Dude, you just ran 100 miles three weeks ago! Take some time off!" Why? I feel good. I think the key to excelling in long-distance running and especially ultramarathoning is consistency. I don't mean consistency over a period of several weeks or even months. I mean consistency over the years. Extreme endurance--the kind that takes you over 100 miles on treacherous mountain trails (or really any trails)--takes years to develop. This doesn't mean you have to run high mileage all year. It just means you need to run and be consistent in what you're doing. If you're tired, back off and/or cross-train. If you're injured, take some time off. But when you're injury-free and feeling good, run! So, with that said, I'll remain in the 60ish miles per week range for the next few weeks as I continue to recover and then amp it up in October to get ready for whatever big race I'll be doing to cap off the year.

Sorry, got off track. Back to my post-Leadville 100 state. Mentally, I'm in good shape. Lots of folks do their big race and then flame out for a while. Not me. I'm usually able to stay focused. Still, right now I'm fighting the "blahs" because I don't know what's next on my calendar. I'm running a little 5K cross-country race this Sunday and I'm kind of excited about it, but what keeps me motivated is that next big race on the calendar, and right now there isn't one!

I kind of wish I could enter the Bear 100 (September 23-24), a very challenging mountain race in Utah and Idaho, but I have a massive scheduling conflict that weekend. So no Bear for me. I was really into the thought of going 24 hours at the Across the Years race in Phoenix over the New Year's holiday. I want to once again gun for 140 miles! Unfortunately, with my son's school closed that week and my wife scheduled to work, Across the Years ain't gonna happen.

So as of now I don't know if I'll do another big race in 2011. Races I'm considering are the Moab Trail Marathon and the Sacramento or Vegas marathons. The baseline fitness for Sacramento and Vegas is there; I just need to work on speed to get myself back into sub-3 shape. We'll see.

I've been thinking about 2012. I want to really challenge myself. I'm chewing on the idea of 2-3 100-milers. These would include Western States, Leadville, and Bear. Western States is doubtful because of the slim lottery odds, so if I don't get into Western I might look at Bighorn or going back to Ohio for the Mohican 100 in June but only if they change the course back to the way it was. I think I could win Mohican again if the course went back to the 2008 or 2009 version. I'm not interested in the current sufferfest.


I want to say a few words about my Leadville 100 coach, Karl Meltzer, who I interviewed a few weeks ago. Last weekend Karl finished third overall at the Wasatch Front 100, which he's won six times. Wasatch throws 54,000 feet of combined elevation change at you, so it's what you would call a serious mountain race that is probably second only to Hardrock in difficulty. What makes Karl's strong finish so remarkable is that he's been fighting a bulging disk in his back for the better part of the summer and came down with the stomach flu only two days before the race. Amazing! For gutting it out, Karl is more than worthy of the Get 'Er Done Award!


  1. Another guy to talk to if you are nailing a bunch of ultras in a year of course is that footfeathers character. You might want to catch him before he dies of thirst. Of course, I think Karl was his coach too.

    So what's your take on multiple 100s and peaking for one or none?

  2. Hi GZ: I find both Karl and Tim/Footfeathers very inspiring. In 2009 I did two 100s (well, one was a 24-hour actually) that were a little less than three months apart and got 'er done in both. I loved the challenge of it all and would like to amp it up in 2012 and see what I can do provided my schedle cooperates. As far as peaking, Footfeathers, who has more talent than I do, has shown that peaking is for the birds. He's performed well in all of his 100s though he did struggle at Hardrock (who doesn't?). If I do an April marathon, I would like to be in super shape for that and then transition into a few 100s over the summer. Like you, I've been following some of the crap going on on Geoff's blog and I think the provocative individual named "Cloud" has some decent points about peaking but he/she seems to have very little understanding of ultrarunning. Case in point: Karl in 2006 and Footfeathers in 2011! "Cloud" would say they didn't know what they were doing!

    I hope you're considering a 100! There is an outside shot I do the Boulder 100 in a few weeks....


  3. Great post Wyatt.

    The comment regarding consistency resonates with me greatly. Since the last time I spoke to you I have made the successful jump to running 6/7 days a week and am enjoying my running more than ever before and monitor the body during the course of the week and back off the mileage/time for the day.

    It's probably best to back off another 100 this year and rebuild for next. I have also decided that it's best to wait until next year now for another ultra. Since we last spoke I decided to focus on building a solid base over the next 8-10 weeks of 50-60 miles (last 3 weeks have been 50-55). So that come 2012 I will be looking to do my first 100 later in the year.

    With regards to the Get'er done award I think you should award yourself :0)