New Year New Gear=FREE STUFF!

Ok, So, here is the deal, pretty sweet deal you might say. For the next week (In the spirit of the Holidays, and to get 2016 off to a great start) I’m going to be giving away free stuff on Instagram. Some Nike Trail Shoes, Some of my favorite running gear and some other rad swag from companies I like.

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Here is the pile of giveaway stuff.  Also…The shoes will be new and your size!

The details: Each day there will be one winner that will win the gift that corresponds to the day below.  Can you enter more than once? Sure, you can enter a picture every day.

How do you enter? Each day has a different photo contest, just take a picture, and put @davidlaney12  and use #WAFFLESANDMUSTACHES so I can find your submission. (Day 2 you just have to write a funny caption on the photo I post, you don’t have to post any picture)

If you win I’ll shoot you a direct message on instagram and get your address so I can mail you your winnings.  All the stuff will be mailed out at the end of the contest.

January 1: Prize- Nike Trail Mug, Hand made Nike Trail coasters and stickers

TO WIN: New Years Picture, I know you have them, don’t delete them, post them.  If you have a throwback new years picture thats even better, yes I realize January 1 is not Thursday, but really, who’s keeping track.

January 2: Prize- Simple Hydration Bottle

TO WIN: Caption contest.  I’m going to post a picture on Instagram, funniest/best caption wins.

(Even if you don’t win this one I can give you a 35% off promo code, just email me at  davidlaney12@gmail.com)  THEY ARE AWESOME BOTTLES

January 3: Prize- Ugo Bar Pack and Run Gum

TO WIN: Holiday dessert, picture and recipe, I need some baking inspiration people.  Best looking dessert wins. If you make a dessert that can be considered “BREAKFAST” bonus points.

January 4: Prize-Trails and Tarmac Mug and stickers.

TO WIN: Lets see your Goals for 2016,  Post a picture of a race or adventure from last year and write the goals for 2016 in the caption. One entrant will be drawn randomly.

January 5: Prize- Pair of Nike Zoom Wildhorse 3’s

TO WIN:  Picture of a recent rad adventure on the trails or in the mountains!  Add a great quote and get extra credit.  I’m sure there will be many great submissions so it might come down to a draw.

January 6: Prize-Ninkasi Swag.  Really cool stuff from the Eugene Oregon Brewery

TO WIN:GPS/STRAVA art, get out there and draw or write something creative.  Take a screenshot of the route on Strava or whatever you use and upload the picture. Most creative one wins.

So its easy to enter, just take a picture, upload it to Instagram and make sure I see it by using #WAFFLESANDMUSTACHES and commenting at me so I can find your contest submission. I WILL “LIKE” ALL THE PICTURE SUBMISSIONS SO IF I HAVEN’T LIKED YOUR PICTURE I HAVEN’T SEEN IT!

At the end of the contest I will announce all winners on Instagram, and send out the gear!

Thanks!!

Trails and Tarmac

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Trails and Tarmac is an idea and a business that started years ago as we were freshman in college.  Now its alive, check out the full story at TrailsandTarmac.com

Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc – 170K Of Big Free and Maybe Pain?

“Running is like getting up every morning and shooting yourself. You know that you are going to put yourself through something really painful, but you also know how much strength and speed are going to come with it. The passion of a runner is to force forgetfulness on that pain and embrace the benefits that will without fail make you a better person.” -Mark Wetmore, coach of University of Colorado XC team

They say Everything’s Bigger in Texas.  Well it turns out everything is bigger in Chamonix as well.  (except the food sizes, I’m convinced the French have stomachs the size of grapes) When I arrived at my Air B&B two weeks ago I was greeted by the biggest Newfoundland I’ve ever seen, a 130 pound pup that looked more like a bear than a dog. Her name was Guaya and judging by her smell, she avoids baths like…well like a dog, who hates baths.  Within an hour of my arrival in Chamonix, my teammate Ryan Ghelfi and I were headed out to run the Vertical Kilometer from town up to the top of Brevent (A Vertical Kilometer is a trail that has 1000 meters of ascent in a distance under 5k, the Brevent VK climbes the 1000 vertical meters in 3.8k) Over the course of the week we climbed a ton of vertical, saw massive glaciers and huge, jagged peaks of the Mont Blanc Massif.  We got to experience a taste of the suffering we would without a doubt swim in during the following weeks race. photo 1 (25) photo 2 (23)

Two days before the race I wrote in my training log, “BATTLE READY. Race of attrition. Hammer last 50k”.  When race evening came I didn’t have the usual pre race jitters.  I was really calm, relaxed and ready to run a really relaxed 50 miles, followed by a really hard 50 miles.  I felt very prepared for the tough climbs as well as the technical descents as I had spent the entire summer training on similar terrain in Mammoth Lakes, The Wallowas, The North Cascades and various other ranges and volcanoes in the American West.

The first 50 miles were really chill, treating it like a training run I was able to relax, enjoy the mountains and stars and preserve my energy for the later stages.  The moon was huge, stars were bright and crowds were ecstatic.

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At Grand Col Ferret I started rolling a bit, and by Champex-Lac (122 Kilometers in) it was hammertime.  With a conservative strategy early, this was the time to take a BIG Texas sized risk.  I was focused, hungry and attacking every step. Every climb I was able to hike and run strong, the flats and descents smooth.  My summer focus on technical downhill was paying off in a big way.  For the first time running steep technical downhill was fun, rather than stressful. I was jumping off rocks and roots, sprinting the smooth sections and charging through rollers.  The experience felt more like skiing than running.

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Every runner I passed gave me a huge surge of energy.  On the final climb up Tete aux Vents I was finally in 4th and both hunting and running scared.  I knew I was redlining and it wouldn’t take much to blow up and spend an hour in an aid station.  Every time I came to what I thought was the top of the climb it would continue another few 100 meters up.  My mind was totally focused on grinding up to the top, and then hammering back down.

At La Flegere I was finally done with the 10,000 meters of climbing, and I started blitzing down the final descent.

When I finally hit the pavement of Chamonix with under a mile to go I saw teammate Zach Miller (Previous days CCC 100k Champ) he had fire in his eyes and was yelling that I needed to sprint to the finish.  Finishing any race is hard, but kicking from a kilometer out in a 105 mile mountain race is…Well, I honestly don’t remember.  I imagine that it was painful because such an act usually is painful, and it has been 4 days since the race and I’m still sore.  So I have to imagine the finish was pretty hard, but I think my brain could only process so much information and I believe it decided to remember the screaming fans rather than the pain. Thanks brain!

Coming down the final stretch was surreal.  The crowds, hands outstretched waved us home into the finish line.  Huge mountains, dirt, hills, rocks, cows, mud, sweat, sunrises, sunsets, chaffing, blood, coke-cola, and 105 miles make a trail race, but the fans are what make this trail race an experience truly unique and memorable.

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Mountains and emotions are bigger here.

Thanks Chamonix. I’ll be back; soon.

Thanks                                                                                                                                Huge thanks to the amazing fans, volunteers and organizers! You all made it an awesome experience. Thanks to Bighorn Bistro (THE place to eat in Cham) for keeping us well fed all week. Thanks to the Ghelfi Family for coming out and supporting the team, Thanks to everyone back home cheering, and Bryon and Megan of IRunFar.com for being all over the course and providing great coverage of the event! Thanks also to Like The Wind Magazine for hosting two great social events before and after the race.   Thanks to all the Nike Running crew who came out to shred the trails and cheer us on! Thanks to Billy Yang Films for documenting the weeks adventures. Finally, huge thanks to Trail Boss Pat Werhane for regulating like Warren G, keeping food in our stomachs and shoes on our feet.

UTMB Gear List                                                                                                                 Nike Zoom Wildhorse 3                                                                                                     Nike Kiger Jacket                                                                                                               Gu, Sport Beans and UGO Bars                                                                                        Simple Hydration Bottles (email me at davidlaney12@gmail.com for a 35% Off Promo Code)  Check them out at SimpleHydration.com

Chuckanut Number 3. Two Years on the Trails

My first Ultramarathon was Chuckanut 2013, two years ago.  At the time I didn’t really know what the marathon plus world did to a person, the highs and lows of each race and season.  It’s hard to believe that I’ve only been doing this thing two years, it (like the last two miles of last weeks race) feels much much longer.

Going up Chinscraper at my first Chuckanut
2013. Going up Chinscraper at my first Chuckanut
The pack heading out the Interurban at the 2014 Chuckanut
The pack heading out the Interurban at the 2014 Chuckanut, my second Chuckanut running.
2015 Chuckanut, Here, at Sugar Bonk City, with about three miles to go, things started to fall apart.
2015 Chuckanut, here, at sugar bonk city, with about three miles to go things started to fall apart.

Trail running isn’t exactly easy. The sport destroys feet, wrecks digestive systems, frys mitochondria and occasionally sends the mind into a tailspin. But what’s pretty cool is at then end of the day there is always somebody to lift you up.  You may have had a rough few miles, or rough day on the trail, but the runners, the support system, and the family is what makes the sport amazing.  Thanks to everybody out there who knows way to much about GU, trail shoes and reads IrunFar daily, and an even bigger thanks to those people out there who don’t know much about trail running but care about it because its important to someone they care about it.

When it comes down to it, I’ve enjoyed the trails and been inspired and freed by the mountains. I’ve been strengthened by the difficulties,and toughened by the challenges. In two years I’ve learned much more than simply how to run fast in the mountains. I still have a lot left to learn.

 

Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run

June 30, 2014

48 hours ago I was hobbling onto the track at Placer High School in Auburn California.  It seems like a lifetime ago. 3 days ago I was laying in bed, in Squaw Valley, resting my legs for the next days running of the Western States Trail.  That seems like an eternity ago.

I always thought finishing the Western States 100 would curb some desire or maybe satisfy some need that I had.  Maybe punishing my body and mind for 100 miles would satisfy my appetite and allow me to check this experience off my list.  I really thought it would be a valuable experience, that I would do once.  But when I woke up this morning, and put my blistered foot on the ground I didn’t think, “that hurts” unfortunately my mind thought, “Next time I do this, I’m gonna be more careful with my socks and keep my feet dry, then maybe I will be able to really move the last 10 miles”.

The race went pretty well the first 30 miles, GU was easy to digest, I felt relaxed and was drinking plenty of water.  Coming up out of El Dorado Creek things started to get hard, it was finally getting hot and I powerhiked the entire 3 miles up to Michigan Bluff.  I knew once I got cooled off and got food from my crew at 55 my legs would be able to rock and roll to Foresthill and hopefully all the way down to Rucky Chucky; possibly beyond.  My crew forced me to regroup coming out of Foresthill, changed my socks, ate a snickers bar, got cooled off, picked up my pacer.  Considering we were 100k in I was feeling pretty good, except for one thing.  It felt like there was gravel in my right shoe, but when I changed my socks at Foresthill there was nothing there.  At Peachstone I stopped again because I was sure there was gravel in my right shoe.  Every step felt like something was biting into the ball of my foot.  We were rolling and I was feeling good, but I knew if I didn’t get the rocks out I would regret it later.  When my socks came off I saw what felt like rocks were not rocks.  Because my feet had been wet for 10 hours from the creek crossings, they had begun to, lets just say….get gross.  And the ball of my foot had 2 major creases in the skin, changing socks was useless, the damage was done.  The last 30 miles were going to be painful.  Ryan Matz, my pacer encouraged me to get rolling, as there were runners 2 minutes back.  I had been in 10th or so since Michigan Bluff. Needless to say, getting passed didn’t sound good.  The last, 3 miles into Rucky Chucky were rough. My body temperature was going between burning up and shivering. When we finally got there the medical staff asked me how things were going. Words were not going to be too convincing so I just tried to grin and gave a thumbs up, somehow that passed the test. Coming down from Foresthill getting in the cold water of the American River sounded great, but when I got there I was too cold to enjoy it, and got out as quickly as possible.  This is where things started getting real bad.  My head was good, breathing was good, nausea was setting in but wasn’t going to throw up, my quads were still tolerable, calves were blown, and my right foot was bad. Every step felt like the folded blistered skin was going to slide off. I over heard a kid walking on gravel today say, “It feels like I’m walking on Godzillas back!” That seems like a pretty good description. Somehow I decided eating and drinking were useless, and every 2 minutes I looked at my watch, thinking we should have gone a mile. As the sun set, and darkness set in, I crawled into the pain cave. I walked through the last two aid stations, because there was really no reason to stop.  My mind was absorbed with getting to that finish line. I was done learning, I was done being free, this was the time to suffer.

Sweat at Foresthill Photo by Hayden Teachout www.haydenteachout.com
Trying to rally at Foresthill
                                   Photo by Hayden Teachout    www.haydenteachout.com

Why would I want to do this again?  48 hours after the race and I still feel terrible, why would any person want to throttle their body in every way imaginable?  I keep opening up the map, looking at the rugged, majestic Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern California, and can’t help but want to go back.  I can’t wait to again see 100 miles of beautiful alpine, rivers and canyons, cover my average weekly mileage in a day, and try to do it a little better and a little faster than the year before.

Big thanks to my parents for their 25 years of support. Thanks to the Nike Trail crew for everything from sewing custom pockets in shorts to cheering us on, and my crew, Hayden Teachout, Ryan Ghelfi and Ryan Matz.

I also want to thank the Western States Board for their year round efforts, Race Director Craig Thornley for his flawless organization and execution of a massive event, Amazing volunteers, inspiring spectators and all the folks who do tasks big and small to make this event possible. Special Thanks to the awesome Ashland contingent groovin at mile 90!

Congrats to Nike teammates Alex Varner and Sally McRae for inspiring performances and top ten finishes!!

Finally congrats to all the starters and finishers who swear they are never doing that again.                                                            I bet you will.

Singlet, race number, Silver beltbuckle, trusty and dusty Nike Zoom Terra Kiger shoes.
Singlet, race number, Silver beltbuckle, trusty and dusty Nike Zoom Terra Kiger shoes.

 

 

23 Days Till The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run

The Western States 100 is getting close.  As I finish my hard training, figure out my race plan, and finalize my training schedule I sometimes think about how I got to this place. What set me on the track to be running this race?

My Dad was a ski racer, he loves the mountains and would take the family up to ski on winter weekends.  I remember one Friday night we rented a cabin at the mountain, this was pretty special because it meant we got to ski two days in a row.  TV wasn’t really something we did as kids.  We were allowed to watch the Summer and Winter Olympics and Oregon Public Broadcasting. We got back from night skiing late and the public broadcasting station was running a documentary of the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run.   Looking back at defining moments is always a bit surreal but I vividly remember watching those runners suffer over the course from Squaw to Auburn.  Something in that documentary captured my young imagination.  I remember going to bed knowing that at some point this race would be a pretty big part of my life.

Obviously there have been a lot of other factors that aided in me ending up on this path.   These include, being born with a love of freedom, having a family who valued long distance running, having great coaches, moving to Ashland for college, and getting a job at Rogue Valley Runners.

15 months ago I got talked into running The Chuckanut 50k, that race was my first experience at the marathon plus distance and since then its been all uphill, or downhill, but rarely flat. I’v gone through 12 pairs of Nike Zoom Kigers, eaten 400+ GU’s, and spent more time than is probably healthy in the ice bath.  In 23 days I’ll do what I’v done 100’s of times.  I’ll pin my bib number to my singlet and lace up my shoes.  I’ll spend a few precious moments in a dark porta-john and then I’ll start something I’v never tried awake before. I’ll run, hike, and hopefully not crawl, 100 miles as fast as I can.

 

My favorite ice bath.
My favorite ice bath spot. Lithia Creek, Ashland Oregon

 

 

 

The Reeder Mile

Quick History.  Reeder Reservoir is 3 miles (as the bird flies) from sleepy downtown Ashland, Oregon.  Reeder supplies the water for the City of Ashland, and parts of the Rogue Valley.  There is much debate as to if the trails leading to, and the road around the body of water are illegal for hikers and runners.  I’v been threatened with citation as well as waved along by both water bureau workers, sheriffs and Ashland Police working in the area. In short, I’m not overly concerned with the rumors of fines and jail time for using the trails in this area.

On a run, a few summers ago, teammate Ryan Matz and I decided it would be cool to host a mile footrace on the flat dirt road that surrounds Reeder.  We measured the course, designed and printed shirts, got prizes organized, and got our friends together for a simple but unique race.

The event was low key, but a success. Folks raced hard, reached the hurt zone far sooner than they should have and spent a warm summer evening in the mountains.

2013 Reeder Mile Shirt
2013 Reeder Mile Shirt
Tentative 2014 Shirt Design
Tentative 2014 Shirt Design

I’v said it before and I’ll probably say it again, racing is pretty fun.  Contrary to popular belief in the Mountain/Ultra/Trail world, races don’t have to be long or hilly to be fun.  Short, fast races in sweet locations can be a pretty good time as well.

One of these July evenings a few folks will line up for a mile footrace. A distance they haven’t touched since high school, it will be on dirt, around a lake. Few will run a PR, fewer will care, it is likely no one will wear a watch.

Hurting really bad for a long time is great. Hurting really bad for a short time is great. Folks, this race will be much much shorter than any other race you will run this year.  There won’t be any aid stations, twitter updates, chaffing, drop bags, or porta potties;  Just you, your shoes, and a 1609 meters of dirt.