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I reached the finish line of my symbolic 100-day diet at midnight on November 17th. No finish banner…no belt buckle…no cheering crowd…just me weighing 38 pounds less than I did on August 10th. Over the course of just 100 days, each one a symbolic mile on the Wasatch 100 mile course, I reached my ideal […]

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Blog Posts

It's the end of the year.  It's a time to be thankful and take stock. Running's a [relative] lull, and the End of the Year Post is coagulating in the brain. As a prequel to that post, this missive:

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2nd Place Female, 13th Overall 

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We have an extended interview with ultra running legend, William Sichel. William, who is now 59 years old has been setting records and winning ultra long races for years. In our show he discusses how he got started, his life, his training and highlights some of his key moments. In Talk Training we discuss overtraining and highlight some of the warning signs. Speedgoat Karl joins us and we have a Meltzer Moment. We have a blog, discuss the news and mention the up and coming races and Christmas is less than two week away!

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Podcast

In posting the Synchro-Blog piece last week, I realized I had never finished/published my UTMB race report.  OK, maybe I hadn't forgotten, but it seemed so negative when I wrote it that I hesitated putting it out there.  But, it's how I was feeling at the time, and I like to do things chronologically, so in order to move on to happier topics, like my favorite "The Year in Bad Self Portraits" or talking about plans for 2013, and to move on, it's getting posted even though it was 3+ months ago.  Just to warn you, this is going to be somewhat of a gripe-fest.  If you want to read a positive account of the UTMB experience, I'll send you to Meghan's

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I would guess that many of us entered the ultra world thinking, "I'll just sign up for 1 race."  I know that I did when I first signed up for Mountain Masochist 50+ back in 2006.  And I can very clearly remember the parking lot scene prior to a Signal Nob trail run--one of my first with my new-found group of crazy trail running friends--where Keith Knipling stated, "I'm not doing any more 100s--they're stupid."  That was shortly after he and his dad, Gary, had completed the Grand Slam, and I just assumed that Keith was serious (he went on to run at least 5 more 100s over the next 8 or 9 months including 3 in back-to-back weekends, and both versions of TWOT, which only true nutcases ever finish). And I can remember thinking at the time (fall 2006) that 50 miles was enough. I'd do it once, and then return to my normal life. I had no desire to try 100 miles; 50 seemed like punishment enough.  And I can distinctly remember finishing that first 50 and saying, "That was stupid. I will never do this again."  Yet, somehow I ended up in Wyoming 6 months later at the start line of the Bighorn 100. My first 100 was a disaster--I tried unsuccessfully to drop for 50 miles, and still wish I would have dropped rather than have finished, but that's another story.  But I'd definitely been bitten by both the ultra and 100 mile bugs. 100 miles is not my favorite distance (I prefer 50 miles, or my favorite distance, 100K), but somehow much of the past 6 years of my life has been consumed by training for and racing 100 milers.  My non-running friends have described the Ultra scene as a cult.  You get sucked in and never find your way back out.  So what's the danger of getting sucked in?  Obviously each individual is different, but getting sucked into the ultra cult has influenced my life in some significant ways.

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Going into the 2012 The North Face Endurance Challenge ("TNF"), I had it all:

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We speak to man of the moment Max King after his incredible wins at UROC and JFK50. Oz fast man, Brendan Davies talks about the ultra scene down under and his win at GNW100. Pocket Rocket Stevie Kremer tells us what it's like to move from the US to Italy and race at the highest level. Talk Training is about run shoes. We have the news, a blog, up and coming races and of course Speedgoat Karl Meltzer.

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Podcast

We interview The North Face athlete Mike Wolfe on his transition from Lawyer to athlete. Salomon athlete Linda Doke tells us all about Raid de la Reunion (Diagonale des Fous) and The North Face athlete Jez Bragg provides us with a coup at a TNF press conference held in London. We have a blog post by Frosty, the news, up and coming races and part 2 of Talk Training all about run technique. Of course, Speedgoat joins us for the a Meltzer Moment and as co-host.

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Podcast

You never forget your first: Autumn Leaves was the site of my first-ever ultra race, and the 2012 event was the two-year anniversary of that momentous (and admittedly life-changing) day.  I return to Autumn Leaves each year for that reason, and others:

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Our interview this week is with Salomon athlete, Andy Symonds. We have chat with Marathon des Sables RD Patrick Bauer and we catch up with ISF Executive Director, Lauri Van Houten at the end of the Skyrunning season. Talk Training has Pt1 of a 2 part discussion on run technique and Speedgoat gives us his Good, Bad & Ugly. We have a blog, the news and up and coming races.... oh, and don't mention my knees!

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Podcast

On October 13, 2012 I ran the Dick Collins Firetrails 50 Miler (I fell off the blogging wagon for a bit so I'm writing this at a later date)... "Firetrails" is an awesome ultramarathon that is run on an out and back course through the East Bay Hills in the San Francisco Bay Area. I live in San Francisco so I woke up at about 5am and sped out to the East Bay to check in and make the 6:30am start

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Races

No 34 come in... ! we speak to Speedgoat all about Grindstone 100. We have chat from the Royal Parks ultra with Dimitrios and Silvia from Salomon Running. Niandi Carmont catches up with inspirational ultra runner, Mavis Hutchison who paved the way for female running. Mike Le Roux tells us all about the Grand Slam of ultra. Ian Sharman discusses the news and Marc Laithwaite discusses 'winter' training in Talk Training. We have a blog for you and of course the up and coming races. A stacked show! Plus the Good, Bad and Ugly with Speedgoat Karl.

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Podcast

We honour Teresa Farriol. Ian Sharman joins us for an update and a chat about the news. We talk to Terry Conway as he embarked on his first European race. Barry Murray discusses the Paleo diet in Talk Training and we bring you three interviews from Cavalls del Vent with Joe Grant, Anna Frost and Anton Krupicka. We have a somewhat different Meltzer Moment, up and coming races and a couple of blogs.

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Podcast

King defends his titles in both the U.S. 50K Trail and XTERRA National Championships in the same weekend; Baron and Anderson take women's titles

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Talk about name dropping... episode 18 has a stellar cast! Once again I have Speedgoat Karl with me for most of the show, we discuss his incredible run at Run Rabbit Run and we also catch up and talk about all his years in the sport. We speak to Mike Morton and get some feedback on his incredible Badwater win and we also talk about his record breaking 24 hour run. Prof Tim Nokaes is a legend within all sports, his book 'The Lore of Running' has been very much a bible for the keen runner, in Talk Training we discuss Tim's new book 'Waterlogged'. If that wasn't enough we finally catch up with the man who has got so many people into ultra, including me, Dean Karnazes. We also have the news, blogs and up and coming races. Phew... what a show!

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Podcast

Let me start off by saying that I have never seen people wear so many layers of clothing in a running event. I thought Portlanders over-dressed, but UTMB'ers took it to a new level.  Racers were bundled up as if about to face severe arctic weather (and we might have, had we headed up over 6000 ft, which we didn't). It was almost laughable, and a wee bit confusing, as it made me question whether I had enough on and had packed enough extra gear for my crew.  I kept trying to remind myself that I've been running in winter weather for as long as I can remember, and would never consider wearing more than a single layer on bottom, even when it's really really cold or really wet. And I never wear more than 2 layers on top, and that usually becomes uncomfortably warm. But, as racers started to panic about weather conditions in the days prior and swarm the Chamonix stores for additional gear, I got sucked in and did the same. 

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