Training Run 411

Newbies don't understand training run etiquette. It's not exactly their fault for ignorance, so let's drop some knowledge-nuggets.

self-insert, self extracthave a workable exit-strategydon't be a martyrknow your limitationsWhat does this mean? Details follow: You are responsible for your own actions.You are responsible for knowing how you're going to get out of situations. You are not going to burden your pals with your misery. Unless they truly enjoy that shit, you'll be running by yourself.If you insist on being a martyr for the greater glory of social media, go elsewhere. Seriously, nobody cares.I don't run at elite level, and the only place I'll realistically see the elite is at a finish line somewhere. They'll be seeing their grandchildren by the time I finish up. Then I can tell the kids what great studs their grands were when we started out.BTW: that pic is from August 1990. Once upon a time, all race finishes and training runs looked like this…

Playlist of the Damned

So you're putting together a playlist for your Next Big Ultra. OK! This is part of the Enthusiasm For The Sport®™ that is so endearing.

I don't buy into it. Its one more piece of gear that will entangle, distract, and fuck you up. You also might miss an important sound cue from outside your bubble. Batteries, cable, playlist, BPM, and the unplanned mockery when those inspirational lyrics are the soundtrack to you doubled over, talking to the ants. 

Its even more annoying when you haul into an aid station, and whoever's in charge thinks you really want to hear Journey, or whatever at volume, because its a party. And everybody's in some costume [another story altogether]. Shit makes me crazy. I'm trying to think, get a grip, and a PA is drilling into my head. I've fled aid stations to get away from the noise and discovered my bottles were unfilled. 

Over the years I've relied on memory. Music emerged from deep tissues, and had something to say at that moment. He…


Ultras have now matured so that people work at cheating on them. It's always something. I've suspected it in various 50ks, 50-milers, and a few 100-milers. Marathons had their wakeup with Rosie Ruiz, and her 1980 subway-assisted Boston Marathon win.

Cheating can occur in the following scenarios:
Races with interior loops, staffed by volunteers, with little or no help, and irregular contact with other volunteers running HAM and finish line dutiesLong stretches were people can get rides without scrutinyOut & back sections with no monitoring, or proof of completionWhere trails parallel paved or graded roadsCheating has always been rumored, but the rise in timing chip/Garminesque GPS tech watches has closed the gap. Provided the registered entrant is wearing the watch etc.  
This will percolate downwards into the sport. Time-testing will undoubtedly accompany drug-testing in marquee races. 
Race directors don't get a pass on this. Huh?
if they don't adequately monitor probl…

Curated Scrapings

Change comes slowly if at all to the venerable Angeles Crest 100. 

In late 2017 the cryptic Delphic oracle spoke to Race Management as in a dream, and the revelation was that [you might want to sit down here], there was going to be a waiting list

For the 2019 Race.

Which will now be lotteried the weekend after the WSER100 Draw. Instead of the previous Post Apocalyptic Race Day Plus One Death Scrum. You now have 120 days to ponder an entry.

So for all those who got States-missed, here's your chance. You'll get to elbow your way past the newbies who are just now over their poison-oak fever-dreams in a completely inscrutable process.

Also: AC100 newcomer entrant Jim Walmsley of recent Lake Sonoma 50 win fame is listed as Bib #8. In years past the first 10 bibs were reserved for previous AC100 finishers of note. Perhaps race management thought he'd get lost in the crowd at the start, even though his credentials are solid. But hey! It'll be interesting to see if he actually do…

When life gave me lard, I made LardAid

When life gave me lard, I made LardAid.

Ever wanted 3000 calories on tap, ready to burn 70 miles into that 100? Or do you know some kale-n-broccoli smoothie victim that just needs that extra something outta life? 

The answer is LardAid®™. Harvested from only the finest vintage ultra-talent, not the cheap filler from obese, sclerotic couch-dwellers. 

LardAid is available as injection, vape, or a topical application.

LardAid was first revealed by Obscure Mexican Mystic Dr Sevende Sandia in 2005. D&L Holistic Industries chemists isolated the unique properties, and have brought it to you, the conflicted ultra-gearhead. 

In full disclosure, here are some possible side-effects of LardAid:

Latent memories of Cuban cigarsRecollection of fart-jokesRemembering “Letters to Penthouse Editor”A sudden desire for single-malt ScotchKnowing the occult meaning of LS/MFT
After LardAid, I was striding up Horn-Dog Cyn in to the lowering cloud cover, a veritable swirling “Crullers In The Mist” scenario. Confi…

Missed Manners

Periodically I'll go to an event's training run. Certainly not to establish World Dominance, but just to see who and what. This time we [yrs truly and my enigmatic unindicted co-conspirator "J"] ran the training loop backwards, to see some of the talent that had signed up for the upcoming race. My speed went off a cliff some time ago, and frankly, I'm past giving a shit. 

Here come the frontrunners. Oh boy! The gear, enthusiasm, fresh faces, and KOM FKTs blasting past you. You've got that GoPro Game Face you already imagine in a Thundering Ultra Movie About You. They hit the finish in record time, did the obligatory "aw shucks-gee whiz way-to-go-bro" moves, like in those movies, downloaded your Strokas by Cheezing the Garmin, and so on.

Then there are the dogged middle-packers, who seemed to be looking their first trail race in the face, going "holy shit, really?" Finally, there were several weary old-timers who were keeping a good pace, but…

Just playing thru, don't mind me...

In finest Ray Miller 50/50 tradition, I was chicked and dicked right from the start. Being surrounded by all that fine talent can only put my race into perspective. Such seriousness and devotion to purpose! In classic Olde English Ailing it would be “Beowulf Watch!”, only I was the slo-mo.
"Tell us about the race, Mr Trail Safety!"Alright. I started slow and it only got slower. I was 2min/mile slower than the last RM50k outing. It's been a colorful interlude. Nothing like finding out through acupuncture that rewiring over 20 years of anatomical malpractice takes time. Butt! I digress.
As my talent has fled the stage, Tempis Fugit, Et Merde®™, my final refuge in ultras is merely hanging on. International Orange was the color of my spirit animal that day. That morning I made back my entry fee by parking cars on the highway at $20 a pop. Even the signs warning not to pick up hitchhikers dissuaded anxious runners from their appointed time in the PortaSquat Confessional.  There …