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San Diego 100 #2

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 I just got home from running the San Diego 100. This is the only 100-miler I have ever officially run more than once (unofficially I did the Western States course before running the race.) I like seeing new places and generally have little desire to repeat things. I've repeated 50-milers and 50K, mostly because Mt. Diablo and Rodeo Beach are gorgeous, but also it's nice to occasionally have an apples-to-apples comparison of my performance on the same course with the same amount of elevation gain. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure the course of the San Diego 100 changed since I first ran it in 2011, so this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison. Start   I wasn't sure about my fitness level going into the race. I've done some long hikes in the past couple months--I tried to hike from my house to San Gorgonio, I did a loop of the Baldy Marathons with 9,000 feet of vertical gain, and last weekend I did two big runs in the Bay Area--but I would call my training neither

Sean O'Brien 100K: Yep

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I ran the Sean O'Brien 100K in Malibu Saturday. Mistakes were made, but I finished. I haven't been training a lot in the last two months since my PR at CIM, and I'm mostly fine with that. It was nice to get my Western States qualifier out of the way early in the year, and it was nice to go to LA and see friends I haven't seen in a while. ("What!? You have an 11-year old kid? Wow, guess I really haven't seen you in a while.") Anyway, the race was nice enough. It's got an 5:00AM start, which is good for getting the second climb in before the heat of the day, even though it made it for an early wake-up and cold start line.    Malibu Morning The course was shortened slightly due to some recent trail damage, so it ended up being under 59 miles. I felt fine, if not exactly fast, through the first 50K. I was on roughly a 12-hour pace and counted something like ~25 runners ahead of me on out and back sections. I thought I'd likely slow down in the second h

Just a 50K

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I ran the Calico Ghost Town 50K this past weekend. Gf ran the 30K. The race starts and ends in the middle of main street of the ghost town, which is a county regional park. No big deal, but it was nice to get out.  I finished in 5:27, which is pretty good but not great for me--it's my tenth fastest out of twenty-six 50Ks that I've done. In a longer race, my goal is usually just to run instead of walking a larger fraction of the time. In this race, I ran pretty much every single step that wasn't obviously too steep. So that's nice, but I guess to progress I'll have to actually do better on how fast I'm running, not just whether I'm running. My goal was to run under 5:10, which would require 10-minute miles. I managed that through 12 miles, but only managed it for 5 of the remaining 18 miles.  Oh well, it was fun. I had a great conversation with a fellow racer where we barely talked about running at all and instead talked about crows, desert tortoises, and gro

My 2022 Race Schedule

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Alright, here are the races I'm planning to run this year. For whatever reason I've really got my mind set on Tor this year, but it's lottery-dependent. I'm told I can buy/charity-donate my way in if I don't get picked, though. It's time for another 200-miler, and a gorgeous one in Italy that was Lucas' favorite sounds like a good one. It's also time for the pandemic to be over so I can get back out there for a full year of racing, plus international travel, and maybe a couple concerts. So obviously this plan is full of contingencies. Sunrise Bold =already registered  *=Western States qualifier  January 23: Calico 50K  February 5: Sean O’Brien 100K*  February 26: Yucca Valley 5K (ha!) March 8-10: Barkley (waitlist, very unlikely)  April 3: Cherry Blossom 10 Miler April 7-10: Istria 100M (Croatia, currently unlikely to actually do this.)  May 7: Wild Wild West Marathon/50M (Lone Pine, unlikely due to travel plans) May 21: Bishop High Sierra 50M/

Peeling the Onion

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I rang in the new year at a 10-day silent meditation retreat. Turns out it was a great way to avoid getting sick, since everyone had to be vaccinated and tested, and then we were quite effectively cloistered together in a bubble. The retreat was one of the S. N. Goenka retreats, and it was only fifteen miles from my house in 29 Palms. In fact, I had intended to walk there from my house, since that's kind of my thing, but my PCR results were not back in time, so instead I spent the morning of arrival day stressing about that and just had Amy drive and drop me off instead. More importantly, wait, what? Garret went to a meditation retreat? Is this the same embittered ex-Mormon now-atheist anti-anything-spiritual-or-supernatural burn-it-all-down-with-statistics Garret we all know and fear that we're talking about here?  Indeed. My main motivations are that I want my college brain back, I'd like to get off the hedonic treadmill, and I'd like to be more present. In college a

2021 Running Review and a PR

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 2021 is over, even if the pandemic isn't.  Strava says I ran 2654 miles and gained 315,000 feet of vertical over 573 hours. That's the most miles I've ever run, about 50 more than in 2019. Coming off an injury year and still in a pandemic, I'm very happy about that. And at the end, I was very happy to pull off a PR. More on that below. I ran 8 races: Canyons 100K (16:00) Capital Backyard (25 hours, 104.16 miles) Black Hills 100M (28:32) Kodiak 100K (17:40) Mogollon Monster 100M (31:42) Cuyamuca 100K (14:11) Euchre Bar Massacre (Missed cutoff after 5 Hills, like usual) California International Marathon (2:59:18, PR! ) I never wrote up reports on Cuyamuca or Euchre Bar. I started training seriously for CIM right after Mogollon Monster, so I wasn't even sure why I had signed up for Cuyamuca, but I was glad I did it. It was a really pretty drive there through some places I'd never been, it was easy camping in the car walking distance from the start, and it was a pr

Help Me Narrow It Down?

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I'll recap 2021 soon, but what should I run in 2022? As per usual, I'd like to run about one race a month, but I don't mind stringing together back to back weekends if it makes for a nice vacation. I didn't get into States or Hardrock, and I don't have major hiking plans, since my usual hiking partner did get in.  For the first time I'm thinking about a European race. Likely at most one trip to conserve PTO for a trip to Alaska sometime in the future, but I put a bunch of the UTMB World Series races on the list--they look gorgeous. I'm assuming I'll be based in Southern California, but that depends on a lot. Anybody have any thoughts? Bold =already signed up, or just mandatory; *=Western States qualifier Jan 23: Calico 30K/50K (about as local as a race gets)  Feb 5: Sean O’Brien 100K* Feb 13: Black Canyon 100K* March: Barkley (waitlisted, very unlikely--2023 or 2024 more likely) April 3: Cherry Blossom 10 Miler (Great time to be in Washington