Merry Christmas and a Happy 2014!

Yes – it’s March, almost April, and clearly I’ve been a little bit lazy with this here blog thing of late.  Life has been busy – with lots of fun travels, heavy workload, veggie gardening, cooking, visitors, a troublingly addictive girlfriend, and a big ramp up in training.  And a fair bit of lazing around on top of that 🙂

It seems though that I find it easier to write up my race experiences, and there haven’t really been many of note, since San Fran in December.  I did manage to somehow come 3rd overall in one of the X-TERRA trail series races I’ve been doing, in February, which is promising progress – and sets me up fantastically for a shot at winning the overall points series (and the hoody that comes with it!).  That would also bag me a comped (!!) entry into the X-TERRA trail nationals in Utah in September.  Given the next race is a local one, I’m feeling pretty good about it.

XTERRA Crystal Cove Trail Run Photos
Becoming the Mountain Man I want to be! At Crystal Cove Trail Run.  #heelstrike!

Back in February, I also got to travel out to Utah for the Moab Red Hot 55K, but had no intention of really racing hard.  It was more of a super-scenic, super-amazing training run, and a good excuse to meet up with NJ friends Denis and Angie who’d travelled over, as well as Allison – who just happened to be working nearby in New Mexico that week!  Maybe I’ll fire up a report on that event some point soon – once I’ve sifted through the multitude of awesome pictures I stopped to take along the way.  It truly was one of the most spectacular courses I’ve ever got to experience, and one I’ll return to for sure (NOTE: they had cool beer at the end – on draft).  Also, my 31st US state visited!

Plenty time to dawdle and pose for pics in the Moab Red Hot 55K
Plenty time to dawdle and pose for pics in the Moab Red Hot 55K

On top of this I’ve been training pretty solidly of late, clocking all my miles on this fancy Strava app thing – instead of the clunky old Garmin.   It’s so much nicer not having to plug it in to upload and name your runs.  You just hit start, do the run, hit finish, and it’s saved.  Gives you all the stats you need – including great detail on the elevation (which is my favourite thing to clock up these days as I try to get more hills in my legs).  Best thing is, it’s on your phone – which is also giving you your music and podcasts, and your maps for when you find yourself lost on a 3am night run!  There’s even a little announcer telling you your mile pace periodically – saving you from the constant temptation to look at your watch when you’re trying to chill out.  I’m sure this app has been around for an eternity, but it’s new and fancy to me and I loves it.

I’ve also adopted yet another a new diet – the super trendy low carbohydrate diet.  Maybe not what you’d expect from an endurance runner, but the facts speak for themselves – and I plan to write up a little post all about that, and how it’s going.  If you’re interested, check out this little blog post by Zach Bitter – the current North America 100 mile record holder – who, along with Tim Olson (current back-to-back Western States champ) has convinced me that low carb/high fat is the way to go for ultra distance runners.  And you get to eat all the cheese and nuts and avocado and oil that you like!  Yay!  My kind of diet for sure.  Listen to a great interview with Zach Bitter on the UltraRunnerPodcast.  It might just change you like it changed me.

Finally, the year is shaping up very nicely now in terms of races.   I updated my race calendar to show all that’s coming up, and there’s a lot that excites me there! Obviously Scotland is the focus race, and the one I really want to perform well in.  But for now, my short-term target is Boston in April.  The intention is to get a PR here, and with my tempo progress and mileage recently, I feel I have the legs for it.  Big Sur the week after will literally just be a fun run.  Wings for Life is an interesting race the weekend after (in May) – where you run until a chase car catches you!  Oh and it starts at 3am in LA – in sync with many other big cities all over the world – and entry fees go 100% to spinal research.  After that it’s the final X-TERRA event, then Scotland, then in October there’s a brand new event on the North Face calendar – in Park City, Utah!  I have no doubts that’ll be super fun, and a fine excuse to hang out with the Mormons once again!  I’ll close the year out with a fourth consecutive year at North Face San Francisco, and maayyyybe I’ll find something else to squeeze in between all this 🙂

That’s pretty much my update for 2014.  Cheers, and bye for now!