So far, my unorganized Western States training program is going well. Over the last three weeks, I’ve run almost every day from a hard 3.5 miler on trails (~7:11 pace) to longer tempo road run (9.6 miles at 7:50 pace) to a serious hill workout. I also ran the HUFF 50k in a decent time.
Today should be my biggest test- an unsupported long run on snowy trails of an undetermined distance. It may range anywhere from 30 to 50 miles. It should mark the longest winter run I’ve ever done.
All in all, I think I am right where I would like to be in regards to preparing for Western States. My endurance base is okay and I managed to maintain a good deal of my speed from the summer/fall.
My next actual race of significant difference probably won’t come until Mind the Ducks (12 hour) in May. This will likely mean a lot of long “adventure” runs. The greatest challenge- finding interesting trails to ward off the boredom. This may require a bit of creativity. Luckily I have a good number of potential long run partners, all of which are faster than me.
The reality of the race is actually setting in as I begin some limited planning. It looks like my crew is close to being set and includes Shelly, Brandon Mulnix, Jesse Scott, Jeremiah Cataldo, and possibly Mark Robillard. Shelly, Jesse, and Mark have crewed for me before, I’ve run with Jeremiah multiple times, and Brandon paced Roger Bonga at Western States last year. I’ll have an experienced crew that knows me well.
The Quest To Minimal Living
Shelly and I have continued our life simplification journey. Christmas is difficult; it is the time of year where our capitalistic materialism is reinforced with vigor. We had to weigh the goal of reducing what we own with playing the “Santa” game with our children. For the most part, we were successful. We managed to eliminate a good portion of the kids’ toys that never get used, so the season was a net loss.
Other people flooded our children with toys. I still haven’t figured out a tactful way to prevent or eliminate this. I consider it a work in progress.
It did give me a chance to reflect on why we give presents. What is our motivation? Is it for their benefit, or are we motivated my much more selfish reasons? I’ll likely write more about this in the future.
Paralleling the minimalist living theme, I’m continuing to research the feasibility of doing some heavy-duty travel via RV. I’m hoping to have more definite plans by mid-January, but it looks like we (Shelly + kids and I) will be spending some time traveling around after Western States. The general idea is to make our lives more adventurous.
I am also planning on conducting a variety of barefoot and/or minimalist shoe clinics around the country. I’ve met a ton of super-cool people online and would like to meet many of them in person. It will also give Shelly and I the opportunity to try out new trail systems.
I am in the “research” phase right now. As it turns out, RVs are a little complicated. Furthermore, there are a host of logistical issues I need to address. Extended travel seems relatively straight-forward… it’s just a significant and unfamiliar change from our current lifestyle. Luckily there are a host of resources available on the interwebs. I’m sure some of my readers have done some RVing… anyone have tips?