Thursday, December 28, 2006

Planning My 2007 Race Season

As 2006 comes to a close, I'm already obsessing about the 2007 race season. Like many of you, I get twitchy when I don't have a race on the calendar. Even an upcoming 5k fun run seems to energize me with anticipation and put some spring in my step. But nothing matches the feeling of seeing a full calendar of new races and adventures for the next year. It does more than structure my training...on some deep level, it helps give my life meaning. It is proof that I'm making the choice to live in this world, instead of on this world. Each race is a guaranteed journey of spiritual and physical adventure.

(Rocky likes to run too - this year we're going for the Mutt Strutt 5k!)

Christi, my wife, has observed my race selection ritual for a couple of years now and had some good advice for me. First, she says I'm happiest when I choose new races and new trails, rather than race the same schedule and improve my times. Second, I enjoy the challenge of stretching my comfort zones in at least one race, such as going longer or steeper than ever before. Lastly, she suggests having at least 1-2 destination races where we can take a few days to check out a new town, city, or natural wonder. Sophie, now four months old, casts her vote for anything with lots of recovery time and bright colors. ;-)

With that advice, I have put together my race schedule for 2007. It has a mix of trails, road marathons, triathlons, duathlons, and plenty of opportunities for adventure. My anchor race for the year will be the Tahoe Rim Trail 100m, my first 100-miler.

Pacifica 50k, 1/20 - This is a new race (2nd annual this year) put on by Pacific Coast Trail Runs. It's not too far from my house, but I haven't run in this park yet. This will be a great way to tour the whole park in one day.

Pony Express 100k, 3/31 - I had wanted to try this loop course last year, but the race was canceled due to a washed out trail. I really enjoyed the loop format at Ruth Anderson 50k last year since it gave me a chance to run with lots of people I usually only see at the start and end of the race (because they are faster or slower).

Boston Marathon, 4/16 - My job takes me to Boston every April, which happens to align perfectly with the biggest party in town. This year is also the Women's US Marathon Championships which will be fun to watch. A friend has suggested I run in costume this year - if anyone knows where to get a good Godzilla costume, I'll go for it. ;-)

Big Sur Marathon, 4/29 - I've always wanted to do this race down the beautiful stretch of Hwy 1 near Big Sur, and Carmel is a great place to bring the family (including Rocky!). It's also on my birthday, so why not celebrate with a gorgeous run?

Quicksilver 50k, 5/12 - I've heard a lot of great things about this race in the golden foothills of San Jose, CA. Mark Lantz and Mark Tanaka tell me there is nothing flat on this course, and that sounds perfect.

Silver State 50m, 5/20 - Nearly 20,000 vertical feet in 50 miles sounds like an ass-kicking day that is perfect training for the Tahoe Rim Trail 100m. This will be a good checkpoint to see if I'm ready for TRT, especially since I can run on tired legs just a week after Quicksilver.

Mt. Diablo 50k, 6/2 - I need some exposed mountain training for TRT, and the Pacific Coast Trail Runs Mt. Diablo 50k can certainly provide that. This mountain has taunted me for years, since it's what I see from my bedroom window each morning as I look over the bay. Time to meet this devil face to face!

Pacific Crest 1/2 Ironman, 6/23 - My unlucky lottery number at Western States leaves this weekend free to join my extended family in Bend, OR, for an endurance weekend. My 7-year-old neice, Maia, will do the Kid's Tri, while my father goes for another 65+ age group podium finish in the Olympic Duathlon. Christi and Sophie are going for the 5k walk. I'm going for the 1/2 Ironman that tours the Cascade Lakes and runs through Sunriver Resort. Time to dust off that bike!

Tahoe Rim Trail 100m, 7/21 - This is it, my first 100-miler and anchor race for the year. I will be honest with you, the thought of doing this race kinda scares me. The 50k and 50m have kicked my ass the last two years, and this would be doubling down and going all night. But I have a secret plan to help me get through it - I am running this as a tribute to my late step-father, David Rowe. I think of him often as I explore fatherhood for the first time, and was able to conjure 100 fond memories of him to keep me company during the race. It will be fun to "pace" with him, and I'm sure I will get through it with his help. This is also the 100 mile national championships for both the USATF and RRCA, so I'm hoping to get some good pics of the super-elites on the out-and-backs.

12 Hours of Cool, 8/11 - As long as I'm training for night runs, how about an all-nighter on the great trails of Cool, CA? I've never done a timed event like a 12- or 24-hour, and I love the trails around this area. Sounds like a perfect mix of crazy new things, assuming I can recover from TRT in three weeks.

Mutt Strutt 5k, 8/18 - Rocky insisted that I add this man/dog race and fundraiser for the Penninsula Humane Society. We're hoping to place in the 20 lb and under category!

Trans-Sierra Crossing, 8/26 - This 16-mile trail run/56-mile bike goes up the famed Rubicon Trail near Lake Tahoe, then bombs down the other side. It's the first trail run/road bike combo I've seen, so I would like to give it a try.

Sierra Nevada Double Marathon, 9/22 - If the Pony Express, TRT, and 12 Hours of Cool go well, I should be a contender in the Fuel Belt Series. In this scenario, the SV Double would be a good one for getting points on the board.

New York Marathon, 11/6 - My job is taking me to NYC in November, so I'm going to hang around and run the urban jungle New York Marathon. It may not sound extreme, but for a trail guy like me, it's about the most pavement I can handle!

Santa Barbara 9 Trails, 11/24 - Christi's family is doing Thanksgiving in Santa Barbara this year, so I'm heading back to the scenic and challenging 35-mile SB9T. It was only my second ultra the first time around, so I'm hoping to give it a stronger effort this year.

I've also put in my lottery tickets for the Ford Ironman Triathlon Championship and The Death Ride, neither of which I have ever won. Should one of these come through, I may rearrange a little. Plus there is plenty of space to fit in other races should I have the time and energy.

Too much? Probably. It sure feels good to put it all on the calendar. Let me know if you're going to be at any of these (that means you, Olga and the SS50!) and we'll make sure to get your photo in the race write-ups.

Happy New Year!



  1. That's an aggressive season! Sorry we'll miss you at Ruth Anderson this year. I'm looking forward to hearing how 12 hours of Cool and Pony Express compare.
    - Alice

  2. Wow, you're going to be busy! I live in Monterey and have run Big Sur 11 times, so if you need any local advice, feel free to contact me.

    Have a fun year!

  3. Scott,

    Love the blog and especially these race planning entries. Gets me inspired to do my own. Do you know when the Trail Runner Series listing usually comes out?

    Good luck with the racing.

  4. Love the variety!!! Gosh, you are putting a gun to my head...or did I do it? I will definitely let you know and we should meet up for it. Sheesh, a great season! May be I should try a timed event too?

  5. Scott -
    Looks like a great schedule. I have a crazy packed one myself and also my first 100 for the end of the year. I will be at Tahoe - running the 50K and also at SB9T again so hopefully I'll see you at one or both of these races!

  6. Great! I'm glad to hear I will be running with a bunch of you. Donald, I will certainly take your advice and any scenic pics for Big Sur I can re-use. 11 times! That's amazing. I hope they have a special 10-time-finisher medal for you.

    Pete - the TRM Series races will be posted by 2/1/07, according to the packet they sent out to RD's. They are limiting it to 100 races this year (vs. 170 in 2006, and 220 in 2005). I suspect they will stick with many of the races from 2006 who sent in results to try and reduce the amount of uncounted races. It doesn't look like they will have a grand prize to Italy in 2007.


  7. I discovered your amazing blog in Fall 2005 while training for my first marathon with TNT. I'm now a veteran of 4 marathons, and my plan is to run my first ultra at Pacifica (although I'm fairly nervous about its elevation gain). Just wanted to say thanks for your great writing, photos, and interviews! And a belated welcome to the wonderful world of parenthood.


  8. Hi Scott,
    Looks like a great plan. I'll see you at the TRT100 and most likely at the Pony Express.

    Maybe you can squeeze in the Tahoe 72 Mile ultra or the triple to boost you maniac level to Ruthenium or higer :)

    happy new year and all the best to you and your family.

    Peter Lubbers

  9. Hi Scott,

    I have the same feeling and excitement as you about making up a race calendar for the coming year.

    I felt you'd take TRT100M next year and was excited to see your name there! Since you like experiencing new setting, I'll miss you at AR, Ohlone, etc, which both of us did this year.

    Road races have been getting more expensive, so I more focus on trail/ultra's (though AR is now $90, Ohlone is $70. Each is $10 up). I hopefully can do one or two marathons a year - get the feeling of "speed".

    I'll see you in Quicksilver, TRT 100M, Sierra Nevada 53M, and perhaps SS50. I'll also show up at your backyard - Woodside twice a year, one of my favorite run :-)



  10. Sounds like you have quite the schedule! Awesome! Good luck!

  11. Looks like I'll get to see you at a couple races next year. Haven't done Quicksilver either and I'm looking forward to it. You'll like Big Sur Marathon, beautiful views. I've done it as a walker and a runner, the last with my best friend - a memorable time.

  12. Scott,
    What's up? Good schedule there. That's a lot of racing. Its about time you are in a 100. You'll do great at Tahoe. Its a good moderate course. Just make sure you drag your ass out of the start/finsih after the first 50 miles. I thought that was the most mentally tough part of that race. Be more scared of Diablo. I thought that was worse than the 100! See you out there!
    Rod Bien

  13. This is great! I'm excited to see y'all out there in '07.

    Mimi - I look forward to meeting you at Pacifica. Congrats on your 4 marathons! Sounds like you're ready to branch out into ultras...


  14. You know a schedule is aggressive when the "easiest" race on your calendar is the Boston Marathon! One thing...the 2007 Boston Marathon will be the USA Women's Marathon Championships this year...and the OLY Trials will be run in 2008. This year will be more exciting because all of the top USA ladies will be there running ahead of the main start. In 2008, the OLY Trials will be run the day before the marathon on a crit course. Have fun with the schedule. When you pick a course that a flatlander can handle, I will be there. Looks like Boston Maraton and NYC Marathon are the only ones where I wouldn't need altitude adjustments!

  15. That is a helluva great schedule and I agree wholeheartedly in mixing it up vs. hitting the same old races over and over.

    If you get into Kona via the lottery let me know. I am a former lottery winner and had a great time there and I would be happy to give $.02.

    Happy New Year!

  16. Scott- Great schedule- admirable. :)
    IF you have time for a great training run in February- check out the WS training run - I think it is the 17th of Feb. I did it last year- it was snowing- so beautiful and awesome- a fun training run with lots of nice people!

    Happy New year!

  17. Best of luck with that race list, Scott! And a happy New Year to you, too.

    Just had to pop out of lurkdom and let you know how much I love your blog ... even though you and yours function at a level most of us mere mortals could never aspire to.

  18. Looks like you've got a great year planned. All the best for 2007.

  19. Thanks for the WS training run tip, Kate.

    Loreth - thanks for leaving a comment! I hope things are going well in Whistler. Congrats on your finish at the Honolulu Marathon.

    Dawn - I see that you have a triathlon on your 2007 schedule! Have fun with that. Looks like you and I will both have to put some time in on the bike.

    Cheers, SD

  20. Looks like a blast Scott! I'm sticking to primarily local races myself this year. Hope to see you at TRT (I'll be going half as far as you!) and Trans Sierra. I look forward to reading about your season!

  21. Thanks for the blog, Scott. I'm new to this whole marathon thing with CIM 2006 being my first (3:33:45). I look forward to reading the interviews that you post.

    I thought 2007 was busy with 5 marathons and one half scheduled. Looks like I have my work cut out for me. Thanks for the inspiration.

  22. Thanks for stopping by, Jay Ingalls!

    See what happens when you give a specific finish time at a specific race? WE CAN FIND YOU!

    My hat is off to you if you're going from one marathon to five. I think you are officially an addict. ;-)

    I have a couple of interviews in the works, so we'll have one up shortly.


  23. Doing Tahoe Rim for your first 100 will be quite the accomplishment, but you are up to the challenge. It looks like you have a good racing year planned.

    Happy trails,
    Bad Ben

  24. Good luck with your 2007 race schedule!
    It looks like you've already scheduled something for March 31, 2007, or I'd suggest the Lake Hodges 50K in northern San Diego County (my hometown's near there). The weather's always good for running in San Diego.

  25. hi Scott,

    It was great meeting you at the race start yesterday. Hope you had a great 50K. You looked strong coming down from North Peak. My 21K was just about perfect. I loved the North Peak climb much more than the 'hill that would never end' on the 9K.

    Hope to run with you again later in the season. Most every weekend in Feb-April I've got cycling races, but our '07 race calendars overlap again at Mt. Diablo and the Trans-Sierra Crossing (if I like the way the Race Across Marin turns out).

    Berkeley, CA

  26. Correction: The women's US Olymic Marthon trials is at Boston 2008 not 2007. You'll be showing up a year early to cheer.

  27. I added a couple of races - the Napa Valley Marathon on 3/4 to get a test of where my running is at, and the Bay To Breakers on 5/21 which I will run with Kristin Armstrong, Paige Alum, and other friends. It's the day after SS50, so I'm just hoping to get through it. ;-)


  28. What? No arizona on the calendar?! :)

    I'm jealous you get to run near my homecountry in the Big Sur Marathon.

    Good luck on your first 100 miler!

    (I may not comment often, but I regularly read your posts, enjoy the many interviews - and I LOVE the race recaps!)


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