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Well, that was a tough weekend!  Armando and I 

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Rob Krar talks to us about his running history, hiw incredible Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim run and what his expectations are for Western States. Holly Rush talks marathon running and Comrades. Ellie Greenwood makes a guest appearance for Talk Training and provides an insight into running injuries. Nick Clark joins us for a reguar slot as he attempts the 'Grand Slam' of ultra running. We have the news, a year in the life of, and we find out: You hnow you are an ultra runner when... ?

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First blog for 2013....Yikes!!!! 

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If you want a happy feel-good race report, skip this one, and read the

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Stevie Kremer and AJ Calitz talk to us from Zegama-Aizkorri. We speak to Brendan Davies and Beth Cardelli respective winners from TNF100 in Australia. An inspirational 15 minutes of fame with Eric Browy, Talk Training is about Knees with Mitch from StrideUK. Our interview is with Ultrapedestrian Ras. Speedgoat is back, we have a blog, the news and of course, the up and coming races.

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I had very few expectations heading into the Orhangazi 80K in Turkey. I'd just raced Lake Sonoma the weekend prior, and the week in between wasn't great in terms of recovery. It included: a post-Sonoma photo shoot in high winds and unseasonally cold temps while running strides for 13 hours, 3 flights, a barge ride, and a car trip (all told totaling a couple of days worth of travel).  So I was a little startled when I saw a tweet from the Iznik Ultra congratulating me on my Sonoma race and saying they were "excited to see my talent" the following week in Iznik. That comment made me a bit nervous, as I would be running on tired legs and not planning to "display any talent."

At some point in the last few years irunfar.com published a story on trail running in Turkey. Last year, before I headed to Istanbul for a work trip, I contacted the author of the story to ask about where to run, and to see if anyone might want to meet up for a weekend run. This resulted in me being picked up from my hotel at 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning to go run in the Belgrad Forest with 5 guys.  A colleague expressed concern as to whether this was safe—going to run in the dark forest with a group of strangers (all male). I assured them it was totally legit--ultrarunners are ultrarunners the world around--although I think my colleague was skeptical. However, I was right, the guys were great, and we enjoyed a nice long run on muddy trails, followed by arguably one of my favorite meals of 2012--a post-run breakfast where I was introduced to Turkish crack (kaymak--pictured below). 


I always meant to blog about that morning on the trails with my new Turkish running friends, but I flew home the next day, and as a result of that flight ended up with DVT in my right calf, which resulted in a pulmonary embolism and 3-day hospital stay that overshadowed my lovely Turkish trail running experience. Recovery and stressing about whether I could run at Worlds became my primary focus. However, through email, FB and DailyMile, I kept in touch with my new friends, and one of them (Aykut) emailed me when he read on my blog that I would be visiting Istanbul again for work. I wrote back with the dates, and apologized for not being able to run  the Iznik Ultras, which were happening the weekend I arrived, because I was racing Lake Sonoma 50 the weekend prior. He wrote back within minutes, explaining an itinerary that would make it work--I could simply adjust my schedule to arrive 2 days earlier, and I could opt for the 42K, taking into account that I would have just raced Sonoma. This suddenly sounded like a grand idea, except the thought of a 42K after a 50 miler sounded horrible (too short and fast), so I told him I’d prefer the 75K, which I could treat as a slow suffer-fest and recovery slog. With a rapid exchange of emails, and approval from work, I had committed myself.


I arrived in Istanbul on Thursday afternoon, after a long 20 plus hours of travel.  I'd been home in Portland all of about 36 hours between returning from the long Lake Sonoma weekend, and that included a long work day, with a bonus visit at work from USADA for my second drug test in 6 weeks, and enough time to squeeze in an iron IV drip Wednesday morning before heading to the airport. I was toast when I arrived in Turkey, but I managed to stay awake long enough to eat dinner. Aykut, Caner (RD extraordinaire) and friends had graciously attended to all of the details of my trip to Iznik. Bright and early the next morning, I was picked up at my hotel to head to the ferry for the trip to Iznik.  Iznik is located only about 90 km SE from Istanbul, but part of that 90 km is across the Gulf of Izmit, so the trip to Iznik includes a ferry ride, followed by an hour drive.

One of the carrots that Aykut had used to get me to agree to run the race was that Iznik had the best meatballs in the world. I'm going to have to agree with Aykut on this one, and we made our first of many meatball stops shortly after getting into town Friday before noon. Meatballs were followed by race check-in, mandatory gear check, and some down-time in the park drinking Turkish coffee with last year's group and meeting some new friends.  Feeling antsy, I opted to get in a quick shake-out run before dinner as the 2 days of travel had me feeling tight and in need of some movement. I felt incredibly uncoordinated during my short 3-mile run along the lake, and things hurt, in general.  To top it off, I managed to face plant on concrete, losing a good chunk of skin from my left palm and knee. Not looking good. I lost enough skin that I was a little worried about falling again the next day.
There was a pre-race pasta feed later that night, and I was surprised by the attention I received. I was interviewed on camera, and had several people come up and ask me to pose with them in pictures. People seemed genuinely excited to have me there racing. I wanted to interject at least a few times, "Don't be disappointed, because I'm not planning to race!" I really wasn't trying to sandbag; I was tired.

The route around the lake, passing up into the hills to the south, and along the lake to the north, it's got a little bit of everything.

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It's all about Transvulcania! We have a special co host, Anna Frost or 'Frosty' as she is affectionately known. We have post race interviews with the mens's winner, Kilian Jornet. The ladies winner, Emelie Forsberg. We atch up with 3rd place, Sage Canaday, 4th place, Timothy Olson, 7th place, Cameron Clayton and top 50 runner, Dave James. In additional to all the Transvulcania excitement we have a blog, 15 minutes of fame with Robbie Briton, up and coming races and of course the news.

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The last month has been a whirlwind, and has left me feeling very fortunate, a bit nostalgic, pretty fit, and short on time to write about it.  This past weekend was the first one at home in over a month, and looking ahead, the summer and fall will continue at a somewhat frenetic pace.  Sadly, Portland has been having the type of spring that you never want to miss a day of--sunny and warm--almost too much sun for my liking, but as much as I like the rain, I can't say that I actually dislike the sun. I just like to be contrary.  Flying back from Turkey a couple of weeks ago into Portland and again last Sunday from Illinois I was so happy to be home. Flying over the Pacific Northwest--past Mt. Hood, along the Columbia River Gorge, and over the very green landscape into PDX-- makes me realize how very lucky I am to live in a place that I love.  But I'm also lucky to be able to get out frequently and see other places in the world that I love to visit--most recently to California for the Lake Sonoma 50, on to Istanbul, Turkey for work with a stop first at Lake Iznik for the Orhangazi 80K, and then last weekend back to Monmouth, Illinois, my hometown.

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On this weeks show we speak to 22 year old Nick Hollon who just recently finished the infamous Barkley Marathon. We catch up with Natalie White who tells us all about the future plans for UK based Inov-8 who are 10 years old in June. We have chat with Ozzies Brendan Davies and Shona Stepehenson who placed 5th and 2nd respectively at UTMF in Japan. In Talk Training we speak to Mitch from Stride UK. We also speak to Chris Mills in 15 mins of fame. We have a blog, the news, up and coming races and of course, Speedgoat.

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Breakfast time 

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What do I get out of running? I realized (or at least reaffirmed) the answer a couple weekends ago at the Lake Sonoma 50 Miler. I get mental strength. Sure the physical conditioning is great but the mental stamina and fortitude is what keeps me going. Lake Sonoma 50 is a TOUGH race. It's a rough course, w some major climbs and descents and lots of rolling hills. There is really no flat/gentle

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This weeks show honours the injured and fallen at Boston Marathon. We have daily chat from the Marathon des Sables bivouac and interviews with top placed Brits, Danny Kendall and Jo Meek. We interview Arc'teryx athlete, Adam Campbell. We discuss Mojo in Talk Training, we have 'A year in the life of...' a Blog, Speedgoat, the News and 'Up & Coming Races'.

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My Ray Miller 50 report....way past due, but I started it so might as well finish it.  And maybe more of a multi-month synopsis with some trip pictures and training updates. I think that's why I never post anything on here.  My blog entries turn into mini novelas and never get finished.

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Speedgoat makes it no35 out of 60 at Antelope 100... We speak to Richard Bowles who is about to embark on another journey! We have an extended Talk Training with Dr Phil Maffetone. We catch up with Mike Wardian on how his recovery and racing is shaping up. We have a 'Year in the life of', the last episode of our MDS' build up, '15 mins of Fame' with Tony Di Giovani, the News, Up and Coming Races and a Meltzer Moment.

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It's again that time when I start getting almost daily reminders from USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) that my quarterly "whereabouts" filing is nearly due. Most people will tell you that there is no drug testing in ultra-running, and while for the most part this is true, there are certain high profile races (Comrades and UTMB to name a couple) that do in-competition testing. UTMB tests pre-competition, and Comrades tests top finishers. There is also a way to get yourself landed in the USADA registered drug testing pool, which is to finish in the top 3 at one if the IAAF-recognized IAU world championship events.

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This weekend I linked up with a running group from the Auburn, CA area and ran 36 miles on the Western States course (an Out and Back from Drivers Flat/River Crossing up to Foresthill and back). Last weekend I ran the Lake Sonoma 25 mile training run and the weekend before that I ran Way Too Cool 50K. I'm feeling really strong and loving all of the miles on the trails I've been able to get in.

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Joe Grant tells us all about his experiences covering 350 miles at the Iditarod Trail Invitational in Alaska. New run sensation, 21 yr old Ruby Muir from New Zealand tells us what it's like dominating Tarawera Ultra and placing 7th overall. We speak with Daniel Rowlands & Rebecca Pattinson, respective winners of the Atacama Crossing in Chile. Ian Sharman discusses the News, Marc Laithwaite talks hills in Talk Training, Speedgoat has a Meltzer Moment and of course we have a Blog, A year in the life of, MDS special and the Up & Coming Races.

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Pre-Race
Got down to Sonoma/Napa County late on Friday night.  I had the privilege to chill out on Saturday with my new friend Bob, and get some good rest and shut-eye.

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