Sunday, December 30, 2007

Planning My 2008 Race Season

It's that wonderful time of year again - time to look at the cornucopia of ultras, triathlons, and marathons available in 2008 and plan my season! I get such satisfaction out of seeing a whole year of races planned out. As I mentioned last year, a full schedule is proof that I'm choosing to live in this world instead of on it. Each race is a guaranteed adventure for the heart, mind, and soul.

(On the TRT this summer, where I hope to get back)

For 2008, I'm feeling the need to train specifically for my anchor race (the Western States 100) for the first half of the year, and leave the second half of the year flexible. I think that will give me a good checkpoint to look at where I'm at in various Series points rankings, take into account that I might need a break, or want to do some tri's as a change of pace. I've also tried to leave some space in for other races that might pop up.

Here's my tentative schedule for 2008:

1/13 - Angel Island 25k, Marin, CA - This should be a great setting for pictures and a fun way to kick off the new year. I will still be in my "aerobic phase" of my training, but variety is always good. I can also put some points on the board for the new Pacific Coast Trail Runs (PCTR) Race Series, which looks like a lot of fun. The Pacifica 50k on 1/19 is also a lot of fun - if my schedule (and wife) permits, than maybe that one too.

2/2 - Woodside 50k, Woodside, CA - My hometown course, and I have serious bridesmaid karma on this one (three second place finishes in three tries). Perhaps I can break my streak!

3/8 - Way Too Cool 50k, Cool, CA - One of the classics, and shares some trail with the Western States 100. I should be about a month into my speed training, so this will be a good checkpoint race. It will be good to catch up with everyone too. It's also a points race for the PA/USATF Series (not posted yet, but will be here), which I hope to be focusing on for the year. My last year as an under-40 runner...yikes! And I don't mean "yikes I'm getting old", I mean "yikes those 40-year olds are much faster". ;-)

3/22 - Rucky Chucky 50k, Foresthill, CA - I was pleased to see the Rucky Chucky back for 2008, and enjoyed running it in 2005. This race will give me a chance to cover that section of the Western States trail and know it intimately. ;-) This is also the first race in the 2008 Fuel Belt Ultrarunner. Net Series, which was a lot of fun last year.

4/12 - Diablo 50m, Diablo, CA - What better prep for the WS100 than 13,000+ vertical feet in the blazing sun? This race seemed to work as good training grounds for the likes of Jasper Halekas, Bev Abbs, Caren Spore and others for their summer 100's, plus I have some unfinished business on that mountain that I would like to put to rest. This race should be a good checkpoint to see where my weaknesses are, while still having enough time to adjust the training before WS100.

4/21 - Boston Marathon, Boston, MA - Why? Why not! I love this race, and have the lucky excuse that work takes me there every April. I plan to run it for fun, drink the beer at Heartbreak, get a kiss from the Wellesley girls, etc, etc, plus enjoy a day of watching America's finest female runners at the Women's US Olympic Trials. Race costume optional on both days. ;-)

5/3 - Miwok 100k, Marin, CA - A gorgeous race, and good training for WS100. I'm excited to go back and get more pics! I'm not going to run it super hard, but it will kick off a month of very long runs/races as the peak of my training. Another race for the PA/USATF Series as well.

5/10 - Quicksilver 50m, Almaden, CA - I did the 50k last year, and it was full of hills and heat. Ill take a tip from Graham Cooper and Jeff Riley (top ten finishers at WS100 last year) who did this as part of their States training last year. My legs should be tired from Miwok, so we'll see how I hold up.

5/18 - Ohlone 50k, Livermore, CA - An optional race if I have any legs left after the last two weekends. Heat and hills, and plenty of good pics. Ohlone might even be a fun one to hike!

5/25 - Western States Training Run, Auburn, CA - I plan to do the first training day of the weekend to cover the two tough climbs on the WS100 trail.

6/14 - Santa Cruz 50k, Santa Cruz, CA - One last 50k in the coastal redwoods before beginning my taper. Also in the PCTR Series.

6/28 - Western States 100, Auburn, CA - The anchor race for the year. OMG! It freaks me out just to write it down. My goal is sub-24 hour, but honestly I would be honored just to finish it.

At this point in the season, I'm planning to take a few weeks off and see where my head and heart is at, as well as where I'm at in the various Series competition. If I'm doing well in the PA/USATF Series, than the Headlands 50k and Whiskeytown 50k could be new and fun. The Series would steer me more towards the Sierra Nevada Double Marathon (which would be good to do right for once) and Lake of the Sky, which I loved last year. It I have another 100 in me, then maybe Rio del Lago or the Headlands 100, or try a 24-Hour Race. Or perhaps I will be ready to hit the bike, and do the Donner Lake Tri, Vineman, and/or some centuries. One thing for sure, I will probably make it back to the Helen Klein 50m, which is a points race for both the PA/USATF and Series. And this year, Thanksgiving will likely be at home, so the Quad Dipsea will be back on the schedule.

Whew! I better get crackin' on the training! Let me know if any of you are going to be at these races. I look forward to seeing you there!

Cheers and happy new year, SD


  1. Hey Scott,
    All the best with these races and especially with WS100. I am sure you will do great out there.
    I'm just waiting for that list of races to grow as you will, without a doubt, be at the top of all of those series by the middle of 2008.
    Are you sure you don't want to trade the Sierra Nevada for the Tahoe 72 miler, or the Triple? Think about it: there is [almost] no way you can take a wrong turn around the lake ;)
    Happy New Year,

  2. Great lineup of races, Scott. With Western States as the anchor, looks like you will have some good training runs/races scheduled.

    I have been putting together my own list of races, and so far we share a few. I, like you, have some "unfinished business" at one - specifically the Woodside 50K, which I am hoping to have a better showing at the second time around.

    I look forward to seeing you briefly at a few starting lines, then choking on your dust! ;-)

    Happy New Year-

  3. Scott,

    That's an amazing race lineup. I can't believe you're schedule looks like that when you're cutting out races! I stumbled across your blog first when you used some pictures I took at North Face Endurance Challenge SF (with credit, many thanks!) for your interview with Uli Steidl. Since then I've read a lot of it. I've wanted to get in contact with you for a while but I can't find any email link or means of contacting you on the blog. I am a junior in high school and run XC and Track and wanted to ask you a couple things. How would I contact you?


  4. We'll go head-to-head in at least four events...Woodside 50K, WTC 50K, Ohlone 50K, and the Quad.

    Happy New Year!

    Will G.

  5. This is the most exciting time of year! Our legs aren't sore and somehow we rationalize that we could race pretty much every weekend...until the better half reigns us back in. :)

  6. Scott... Scott? You Surely must know your body by now. And you may be in the top 10 percent of the population with "highly trainable" bodies. But holy smokes, even if you are, are you SURE you aren't setting yourself up to feel more like riding a wheelchair through WS? (And not a racing wheelchair, either.)

  7. That is quite a schedule, Scott. I only wish you nothing but luck!

  8. See you in Boston and good luck in 2008

  9. wow,SW100! Best of luck in your races in 2008 and hope to see you in Boston.

  10. Scott -

    Where's Waldo is the 100k championship (open and masters this year) on August 16th. I bet you could slip that in, and come visit your family!


  11. Wow! Sounds like I will be seeing a bunch of you guys out there. WillG, you may help me continue my bridesmaid streak at Woodside! It will be good to see many of you at Boston too.

    Greg - you can reach me at scottdunlap (at)

    About Me - You're right that it looks like a lot of running, but it's about what I did comfortably last year in terms of frequency and distances. My secret is that I don't run all of them like races, and take many at a leisurely pace. The WS100 packet this year had a section that recommended "doing a 3-6 hour long run each weekend" as part of training. If I have a run that long, I usually just sign up for a race and get the snacks. ;-)

    Believe me, if it becomes too much I'm not afraid to just show up and volunteer!


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  13. Hi, Scott. This is Sam McManis, reporter for the Sacramento Bee. I'm doing a story on a Sacramento ultra runner, Ray Sanchez, who just took up running a year ago. He finished a couple spots behind you in the Fuel Belt points results for 2007. Ray's a former boxer and I was wondering if I could call you and ask a few questions about him and how unusual it is (if, indeed, it is unusual) for him to do so well in such a short time span. My number is 916-321-1145 and my email is Thanks, Sam

  14. Scott,

    No big surprise and you are wise to keep some room for improvisation around and after Western States. I'm glad you'll spend more time on the Grand Prix circuit, I'll see you more often than last year!
    Not a Boston year for me so I won't see you there, but it's not an easy place to meet anyway.

    I just posted my review of 2007, I've yet to share about the 2008 program but you can guess most of it (yes, I finally made it into WS too, through my Club and work at Last Chance!).

    All the best for 2008, including for the many miles you'll put in training and racing.


  15. Hey Scott,

    I look forward to seeing you out there at a lot of the same events. Here's to a great 08'! Western States here we come!

    Happy New Year,

  16. I don't know Scott, I believe I may be the 2007 Bridesmaid of the Year with five 2nd place finishes???

    I think we'll both/all be chasing 26yo Ryan Commons at Woodside, he tore up the Muir Beach 50K a couple weeks back.

    Perhaps we'll see you at Pacifica before then.

    Will G.

  17. Scott,
    That's a tough schedule. If you arrive at WS healthy, you should have a strong race. Take it easy between Miwok and Quiksilver races. I definitely left too much of my Western race on the Miwok course. Look forward to seeing you out on some trails!
    Rod Bien

  18. Wow, you're gonna have a busy next 6 months. I'll look for you at Diablo and Miwok (assuming I sign up quickly enough) before WS this summer.

    And hopefully we'll shake hands again at Placerville High on June 29th.

  19. Looks like a great schedule! You should definitely check out the Jay Challenge series. The best/most fun race I've done.

    Good luck!

  20. WOWZERS! Fantastic schedule, Scott. Obviously, you'll need to hold back a lot during those events if you want to bring an A+ effort to WS100. It seems you're disciplined enough to do it. I always get suckered into running harder than I meant to.

    I don't think our schedules overlap at all. I may need to juggle some dates to make sure that we see eachother out there!

    Best wishes for 2008.

    - GG

  21. P.S.

    "GG" is "Garett Graubins."

    Too much coffee this morning.

    Back to work.

  22. GG -

    Sorry I'll miss ya in the first half - perhaps we will meet up in the second half!

    I hear you on holding back. One of the advantages of not being a super-elite like you is that I don't feel that pressure. Plus if I bring a camera, I feel more incented to take good pics. ;-)


  23. Any chance you could post some of your training plan?

  24. Hey Scott,
    Yeah, that's definitely quite the schedule you've got for yourself. If you arrive at WS fit AND rested, I definitely see a sub-24 for you. I look forward to seeing you on the trail at Cool Miwok, and WS, and running through the tunnel of screams at Boston.

  25. Brandon -

    I will definitely share the plan as it gets more structured. Right now (and through Jan) it's a lot of 6-10 mile runs at aerobic pace, and a few longer runs for fun. I will start incorporating speed and tempo work in Feb, adding hills in March, and using many of the races as training runs to get in some long miles.


  26. Scott et al.

    BTW, WTC won't be in the Grand Prix this year, but AR will (second race after Jed Smith), the RA (Ruth Anderson).

    See you at WTC, then!



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