PoDog is also one of our three slammers this year!
Enjoy his Western States summary.
Western States 100
June 23, 2012
Everyone talks about the heat at Western. I spent almost all of my training thinking about the heat. My entire race plan was how to handle the heat. So of course, we had the coolest Western in 39 years. I am definitely NOT complaining. It changed my race from being one of survival, to being a really fun day of doing what I love to do.
We started off climbing up for the first hour or so with thick clouds, about 40 degrees and very windy. By the time I got to the top, the wind literally blew me off the trail into the bushes with about 50 mph gusts. It was 30 something degrees with a sleet/rain mix. That sleet can really sting and I was pretty cold. But, I really don’t mind being cold early during a run because I can move enough to keep warm. The hardest thing was my hands were numb so it was hard to open gels, adjust my MP3 player, etc. The weather improved as we descended mostly with the wind dying down. It was about five hours before the rain ended and I could finally feel my fingers.
Having survived the cold, I found that I was having a nice run. I was running easy, felt strong, and most importantly it wasn’t going to get hot. I just needed to keep things under control, be smart about hydrating and eating, and enjoy my first Western States. At this point I was heading into the Canyons.
From all the discussions I had with western States veterans, I knew the key to States were the canyons. If I could emerge out of the canyons at Michigan Bluff [mile 55.7] feeling good, I would be in business. I know it seems strange to most runners, but I love to climb. And I’ll tell you that after you run Hardrock, you have a different perspective on what a climb is. I hit the climbs in the middle of Western with a smile. I was able to get up Devil’s Thumb [mile 47.8], the toughest of the climbs, a bit dehydrated and behind on my calories, but after spending a few minutes at the top to rehydrate and eat, I quickly recovered and I had no troubles after that. I did well on the other climbs and got more encouraged the closer I came to Michigan Bluff. I hit Michigan Bluff feeling great.I knew I would soon pick up my pacer and we could finish the run out strong.
I picked my pacer (Hugh) up at Foresthill [mile 62]. I had never met Hugh before, having picked him up through the Western website, but he was awesome. He ran exactly like I wanted, we spent the run talking and getting to know each other, which was a perfect distractor from the fatigue that was building. By about mile 85, I was ready to push to the finish. Thanks Hugh for helping finish out strong. You were great!
Overall, my run was perfect. I was able to move well and comfortably the entire race. Post-race I have no injuries and my legs feel good. My biggest issue after the race was some swelling in my feet during the flight home. Even this is much better today. (Wednesday) I’m ready to start training for Vermont.
Thanks to everyone out there who was following me and everyone else who was running. It really helps when you are running to know that someone is keeping track and sending you good vibes. And thanks to my family and all the families who let us do this crazy sport. We know it takes a lot of time to train and run these races and we couldn’t do it without the support you give.
Wow, PoDog just made running 100 miles look easy!
Congrats to him and all the best as he prepares for the Vermont 100 on July 21st!
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