Western States and Tires

Western States week is always special. The coverage is amazing through sites like irunfar.com and I cannot seem to pull myself away from the hype. I don’t many ultrarunners who do not want to run the Western States 100 someday. And without a doubt this includes me. So this year when the gun went off for Western States, I was on trail getting in a nice long run. While in the near term I am training for the Grindstone 100, yesterday I was training for an eventual start at the Western States.


I will never run Boston. And honestly, I don’t really have any desire to run a road marathon again unless its with family. But I plan to qualify and enter the lottery for Western States every year until I get in. This year I will be entering if I can complete Grindstone. I have a few other friends that are also planning to enter the lottery if they finish Grindstone. So hopefully I get a taste of States next year as either an entrant or as crew. Either way, I will eventually cross that damned river and make it to that track.

Now on to this week’s training…

The Grindstone 100 has 23,000 feet of gain and unfortunately I live where it is very flat. So in preparation for Grindstone, I built a tire pull. I went out on Wednesday with the tire for the first time. It was 93 degrees and humid and pulling the tire was much more difficult than I thought it would be. I know that a gravel or dirt road would be easier, but I went out on pavement. I made it about two miles in total with an average pace of around 10:30 seconds per mile. The looks I got from people passing me in cars were interesting, the looks that I got from a couple of other runners were priceless. My plan is to build up from 2 miles with the tire to about 2 hours with the tire. If anything that should give me some mental confidence.


Yesterday I woke up and took my dog, Penny, for a four mile run. Then I headed out to the trail and got in 4 hours of trail time. All in all it was about 24 miles. I was reminded how important fueling is. I was lazy and only brought a couple packets of almond butter and some water. I was starting to bonk towards the end of the run. In the future I need to be better about having some cream cheese, bacon, and extra Ucan in the car or in my pack.

Today was going to be another 4 plus hour run, but I am listening to my legs and taking an extra off day. I tweaked my knee late in trail run and wanted to give it a day to rest. Next week I am traveling to see my son, so there will not be another long run for a couple weeks. This should give me time to heal up and have an awesome July. I am really looking forward to the Rosaryville 50k in a couple of weeks.

Next week I am going to post about a race that has my attention lately. Something about 135 miles, on the snow, in negative 20 degree temperatures, pulling a sled….drooling.

Training this week:

Tuesday: 7 miles in the morning
Wednesday: 5 miles in the morning and 5 miles at night (2 with the tire)
Thursday: 7 in the morning
Saturday: 24 miles total (20 on trail)

This week: 48 miles
28 day Starva total: 208 miles
This year: 1,116 miles

And we are back…

This is a re-launching or a rebranding of this blog. I have let it sit idle for the last eight months following Grindstone’s cancellation and really have just not written as much publicly or privately. In that time, I have run some awesome races and accomplished goals that I now regret not documenting. Going forward as I train for Grindstone 2014, this will be a regularly updated running journal of sorts.

My biggest accomplishment since my last post was completing the C&O Canal 100 back in April. I learned a lot from that race. Things such as living off almond butter for 30 hours isn’t realistic, if you think you are starting off to slow, your wrong, and its much easier running with a group of friends telling jokes than it is running alone. I also learned that a 100 mile race really needs to be you’re “A” race. I went out at Leatherwood Ultras and ran a difficult 50 mile race in horrible conditions a month before the C&O Canal 100. The drop rate at Leatherwood was about 40% and I managed to shave 25 minutes of my previous finish time the year before. I was on a huge running high following this effort. And that was a problem. It had filled that need I had for a spring adventure. C&O I just wasn’t as hyped as I should have been and I needed to be more into the race mentally. It was a good lesson to learn.


I took all of May off for the most part. My legs needed some major recovery from the C&O Canal. I ate more freely and tried to enjoy life. But, I came into June really ready to get back into the swing of things. And spent the last month testing my legs and getting back into a training rhythm. I am feeling great and geared up for a terrific summer on trail.

About 70 miles into the C&O I decided that I have not been running enough. In training the last few years I ran 5 days a week with 2 weeks of building mileage followed by one week of rest. On the weekends I would load up mileage with back to back long runs of 25-30 miles. Where I believe I am missing an opportunity is running based on time versus miles on the weekends. Running 25 around my flat boring neighborhood and running 25 on trail are drastically different experiences. Going forward I will be running based on times on the weekends, aiming for 4-5 hours for both Saturday and Sunday to start.

Grindstone comes with 23K of gain and loss and it will take me longer than the C&O Canal 100. In preparation for the event I know I need to work on my core and hill running. I have said 100 times before I would start working on my core. I would start P90X or some other routine and give up after a couple weeks. I have accepted that I spend too much time running to reasonably expect myself to stick to one of these routines. Instead I am going to keep it basic with crunches, planks, pushups, and pull ups. I also live where it is really flat. So I have built a tire-pull using the directions from UltrarunnerPodcast (http://ultrarunnerpodcast.com/tire-pullin/).  I will be inserting it into my training starting this week. I am sure there will be a post to follow on my lessons learned.


Going forward, this page should get an update every Sunday. That’s the goal I am giving myself. It will most likely always been boring ultrarunner stuff, but maybe it will be helpful to someone. I also invite you to follow me on Twitter @JaredUltraMiles and to find me on Starva.

Weekly Total: 25 Miles (rest week)

28 Day Strava Total: 198 Miles

Year to Date: 1,068 Miles