Thursday, April 16, 2009

Celebrating The End of My 30's with 3 Races in One Week

It's t-minus two weeks until my 40th birthday, but I'm exiting my 30's with three great races in one week. Saturday is the Ruth Anderson 50k in San Francisco, CA, Monday is the Boston Marathon, and the following Sunday is the Big Sur Marathon. Then a few days to recover, and it's time to toe the line as a Master at the Miwok 100k. Is this the ultrarunner version of a midlife crisis?

Nah. It's just my inability to say no to a good time. I keep waiting for this so-called midlife crisis to come (although it apparently only affects 15% of adults), but have yet to desire a Corvette, new 20-year-old girlfriend, or a gold chain to dangle from an open shirt. My life is too splendidly chaotic and adventurous to worry if it's on the right track or drown in a monsoon of mortality. I think ultrarunning really helps avoid this mess. Perhaps this is why I always meet so many happy ultrarunners in their 40's and 50's...they are all too busy having fun to make room for a midlife crisis. Although there are a few Corvettes in the parking lot. ;-)

I'm just giddy thinking about the races on the horizon. Is it just me, or do you feel younger the moment you sign up for a race too? When I fill a schedule for the year, I swear it takes me back to being a kid with three awesome summer camps on the agenda. Just look at what I have stacked up:

Ruth Anderson 50k - A great 4.5 mile loop course that lets you spend the day with fast and slow runners alike, tackling distances from 50k to 100k that you can choose as you go. Rajeev Patel, Stan Jensen, and the other volunteers put on a great race, and its small communal nature captures all that is good with the ultra family. I clocked my 50k PR of 3:52 here a few years ago on a perfect sunny day, but last year was a storm and a half. Who knows what Saturday will bring, but I'll have plenty of company to smile through it. I just hope I have the sense to stop at 50k!

Boston Marathon - This is my fifth Boston, and it gets better every time. I'll be running with my Dad, who qualified at the Eugene Marathon last year and will be doing his first Boston at age 67. It took some convincing to get him signed up, but he's trained, stoked, and ready to roll now. We'll have to see who is slowest - me two days after an ultra, or him at age 67. I get the feeling my ass is going to be handed to me at the finish. Shout out to Jean Pommier who is doing the Ruth/Boston double too...see you on the red eye flight!

Big Sur Marathon - Christi (my wife) put together an awesome weekend of relaxation and fun in Carmel/Big Sur for my b-day, culminating with the gorgeous Big Sur Marathon along Hwy 1. You can't possibly get enough pictures of this course, but I'm going to do my best to fill the camera. Then plenty of rest and relaxation on the beach (aaaahhh).

Miwok 100k - My longest race of the year before States, Miwok is a great way to enter the Masters ranks. Challenging, hilly, stacked competition, and breathtaking at every turn. One would think that I stood a better chance at placing in my age group, but the Lantz and Pommier's of the world just keep getting faster. So no excuse for me...I should get faster too!

Throw in a ton of beer, some good friends and family, an endless amount of "old man" jokes, and it should be a whirlwind of fun. Hope to see y'all out there!

- SD


  1. I think it's awesome! Especially the fact that you are getting to run Boston with your father in his first one. That will be special I'm sure. I would tell you to have a great time at all of your races, but I think you have that figured out already.

    Oh, and Happy 40th Birthday!

  2. It only gets better with time. 40 just means you know what you like and have the experience to go after it. You are right-on with the mid life thing - Never had a problem with it myself thanks to an awesome family and Ultras to keep me grounded with the simple things in life.

  3. I turned 40 last year, and as you already know, it's over-hyped. Just another year. I injured myself last week at Muir Woods, but I'm still planning to be at Big Sur again this year.

  4. I absolutely love your outlook on life!!! It's great to be so positive.

    Your race schedule is quite impressive, I really hope to make it to your caliber in the next few years!

    Thanks again for visiting my blog-- and your comment-- that was very good of you to do. I will check back with your blog-- but If I miss it have a great birthday--- and embrace those 40's!!!! They are the new 30's after all!

  5. Well, at least I don't have to compete with you at RA for points...but at Miwok!?! Damn, there go a few more points down the drain! ;-)

    In all seriousness, good luck at all your races Scott, and have a very happy birthday. Personally, I've loved gettin older, and so far my 40's have been fantastic. No mid-life crisis for me so far, and don't ever want one. I'm very happy the way things are.

  6. Glad to see trail running is keeping you in line and off the streets (literally) ;-)

    Have fun in all the upcoming races!

  7. Happy 40th birthday Scott. Call it a mid-life celebration. Being in your 40's and in probably the best shape of your life is reason to be happy and thankful. Roaring into these 40's is the way to do it.

    I turned 40 in January and thought about it for 5 minutes. I race several times a month and routinely finish ahead of younger runners, so it really boils down to what you decide to do with that body of yours. I will say, though, don't ignore biology and work in some serious rest/recovery days.

    Hope to meet you at a race someday. I read all your posts (including the one regarding Eugene where I'll be running in 2 weeks).

  8. Trust me it ain't that bad although you are moving into a fiercely competitive age group!

  9. I agree with Stuart, awfully competitive up here in the 40's. As for Midlife crisis, I'm 48 and still wondering what it is all about. Good luck and Happy birthday.

  10. Thanks for the well wishes! Sounds like many of you are validating my ultra-fountain-of-youth theory.

    Phil - I hope your recovery is going well. I will see you at the Big Sur beer gardens!

    Andy B - No worries about me competing for points this year. Thanks to the USATF rule, I get to be graded as a 30-39 year old for the remainder of the season. But I'll getcha next year!

    Runalex - I'm with you on the recovery. This season I went harder on hard days, slower on easy days, and many more forced rest days. It definitely works.


  11. sounds like an awesome way to end your 30s ... and good luck with the new age group!

  12. stopped by your blog today to check it out. You are quite the busy guy with all those races coming up. Makes me happy to see that you are grounded in who you are, and not run by the evil midlife monster. *wink*
    Happy b-day coming up and have a blast on those runs!

  13. Hi Scott,

    I found so many ultra-friends born in April. Me too! A few years ago, I had the unexpected Ruth Anderson 3rd place in age group a few days after my 40th birthday - my first utlrarunning award. But you were doing much better today - congrats to your winning at Ruther Anderson 50K - my Ruth Anderson pictures.

    Hope you rest well with fast recovery for Boston Marathon on Monday,

    Btw, you'll be also fast enough to write up three race reports in time :-)



  14. Btw, I learned today that Jean is not doing the RA/Boston double, wisely saving himself for Miwok. Sorry to spread the rumor, Jean!

    Had a great day at RA today. Just a wonderful event! Hopping on my red eye to Boston now to catch up with Dad...


  15. Happy 40th, Scott, and may you thrive in every thing you do during that midlife crisis of yours - family, running, work, friends and writing! Beer drinking good wishes too:) I fear turning 40, and it's a few scant months away! Everybody is so fast! But then again, everybody is so fast these days in every age group, it's awesomely crazy!

  16. Article is interesting & useful


  17. 40 ain't no-thang....seriously. I crossed it a few months ago and hardly noticed it.

    I'm dying to hear how your three races went.

    Happy Birthday!

  18. You're aware of the new age-group initiation & fees, right?

    Will G.

  19. Wow, 3:45, your father is qualifying again!! I doubt that was on the bucket list, was it...? ;-)

    What a nice story, can't wait for doing the same with my boys (I feel lucky I may not have to wait 22 years for that...).

    Enjoy the post-race and family party, looking forward to hearing about it on the blog. When you have time between all these races and trips!

    And congrats again for winning and PR'ing at Ruth Anderson on Saturday!

    Farther Faster

  20. Scott,
    Getting older is awesome! It definitely beats the alternative. :)
    The 40's are better than the 30's. For sure!

    Marco D

  21. Neat -- I'm running Big Sur (my first marathon) with my Dad (his first since '84). I'll be on the lookout for a 40 year-old blowing past me! Happy Birthday.

  22. Scott -

    I would love to talk with you and your readership about the recent McNaughton Park 150 mile run. Contact me if you want...Ryan Dexter

  23. The 3 races in a week sounds like a great way to celebrate! Happy Birthday! Can't wait to hear more about the races, especially the Boston with your dad!

    Thanks for sharing and continuing to inspire!


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