Posts By: David Laney

About a week ago we launched a little contest, basically the contest read,

“Some of you have great years of running, and some of you may have had brutal seasons. @trailsandtarmac wants to hear those stories. If you have a friend, running buddy, family member or coworker who really crushed it this year working hard toward achieving their personal goals you can nominate them for a gnar-boss of the year award! If you had a rough year, maybe a few DNF’s, some major blowups or Injuries we want to hear those stories, and what you learned too! You can win the Epic Manure award!!! Nominate a friend for the Gnar-boss award or nominate yourself (because hopefully your friends wouldn’t do that!) for the Epic Manure award! So, to nominate email a brief paragraph or two with a photo to info@trailsandtarmac.com.”

Well the response was pretty awesome.  We learned a TON by reading the responses, and we also realize there was no way we could choose just one for either the Gnar Boss Award or the Epic Manure Award.  By far the biggest thing we learned was there was hardly any difference between the GNAR boss Award and the Epic Manure Award! Both awards highlighted these runners individual trials and how they dealt with major discouragement and never quit in the face of adversity.

Mile 107: Nothing left.

The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc lottery is done. If you got in, Congrats! If you did not, there are some great (maybe more fun) opportunities in the Alps for you.

In 2016, 2555 runners started the UTMB and 1468 finished (http://utmb.livetrail.net/stats.php). Over the course of 105 rugged miles there are unforeseeable events and challenges, but with a little more information I think more runners can finish the UTMB and swing these stats in the right direction.

There are 1000’s of articles written on how to get ready for your big race. There is a mass of valuable information on how to eat, how to train, how to recover and what gear you will need.  These are very valuable topics, but there is very little dedicated to dealing with the time everything falls apart, and at some point, at some race, it will.

Mile 106: I’m pretty sleepy, sitting in a metal chair in the doping control office, cotton ball taped to my arm, losing my ability to focus, the smell of blood mixed with alcohol wipes is overwhelming, every sound is amplified to a roar, I mutter something about needing a garbage can, I’m gonna throw up all over the floor. I already feel bad because I know my odor is less than ideal and I can’t focus enough to answer the officials basic health questions.  Everything gets uncontrollably loud and immediately peaceful. I wake up on the floor and have no idea where I am, someone is asking me questions and talking hurriedly into a cell phone, I don’t bother to answer. I put my head back down and immediately go to sleep.

“For a lot of collegiate athletes, the end of the eligibility clock represents an unspeakable evil, the sudden snatching away of the thing that for four to five years has provided their life shape, meaning, and a tight group of friends. For me, although I’d cut off one of my toes for another cross season, it feels more like opportunity. In school and work, I have more control of my schedule. In life in general, I have more time. And athletically, I can train however and as much as I want.” – Eric Ghelfi

Every runner in history has heard, “well you ought to listen to your body” without a real explanation of how one truly listens to a body, and why it matters. We often hear that we should have been listening to our body after an injury or poor performance has already occurred. We listen for a few weeks, take care of ourselves, recover and then as soon as we are able to resume training, our resolution to listen to our body dissolves and we put the metaphorical headphones back on.

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Trails and Tarmac runners, Cole Watson and Eric Ghelfi, post Rock and Roll Phoenix.

“For the last 10 years I feel like I’ve been falling short of goals, goals I’ve set for myself and lofty goals other people have set for me.  Today it was… Yeah, it was awesome. In my first race over 8 miles I was happy to be able to PR at 8k and 10k its hard to get one PR.  Its awesome to get PR’s at every distance en route to a half marathon.” -Cole Watson

It’s a Beautiful Day in Chicago

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So many guys had great races in 2015, I’m really honored to be named the 2015 UltraRunner of the Year.

The fact is ultrarunnning isn’t about times, awards, buckles, trail selfies or the newest gear.  For most of us trail running is about overcoming obstacles and working towards the goals we have set for ourselves.

Imagine you’re planning your next 100 mile race, you’re writing the training, planning the long runs, figuring weekly mileage, detailing the specifics of the taper and deciding if any shorter tune up races would benefit you. The process is a lot like cooking Thanksgiving dinner–there is a lot to think about, and everything has to be timed perfectly. If you forget something the result will leave a bad taste in your mouth and might make your friends not want to come over again (OK hopefully not). Speed is the salt of any training program. You do not need much, but a little will make a big difference.