Staying Hungry

August 21, 2013 | By | 20 Replies More

 

All I want to do is drink beer and train like an animal.”

-Rod Dixon, 3:53 miler AND 2:08 Marathoner

 

 

I’m hungry. As Sandi can attest, I can always eat: gluten-free, vegetarian, ice cream, beer…you name it! I’d say I was starving, but that’s not right because occasionally we even shop at Whole Foods…in Boulder (quite the Yuppie spot).

But really, it is my soul that remains hungry. Hungry to prove  that my body can move up and down and across mountains and trails faster and farther than it previously has done. I am hungry to redeem myself after a disappointing performance at Sierre-Zinal. 

Probably ate too much like this in Switzerland!

Probably ate too much like this in Switzerland!

I’ve had some time to reflect on a tiring year of racing already. I’ve demanded a lot from my body in my first year of serious ultra-trail-mountain running. And so far it’s cooperated pretty well (knock on wood):

 

The 2013 Racing Season (so far):

January:

Bandera 100km USATF National Trail Championships: 1st place,  8:13, CR

 

March:

Tarawera 100km in New Zealand: 1st place, 8:53

 

Probably my most painful race this year...never good when you are walking the downhills

Probably my most painful race this year…never good when you are walking the downhills

April:

Lake Sonoma 50-miler in CA: 1st place, 6:14 CR

 

May:

Transvulcania SkyRunning ultra in La Palma: 3rd place, 7:09

 

June:

Cayuga Trails 50-miler in Ithaca, NY: 1st place, CR, 6:47

Mt. Washington Road Race: 3rd place, 1:03

 

July:

Speedgoat 50km in Snowbird, Utah: 1st place, CR, 5:08

 

August:

Sierre-Zinal mountain race in Switzerland: 17th place, 2:45

 

“You’re only as good as your last race.” My college coach Robert “Rojo” Johnson (co-founder of LetsRun.com) would hammer home the harsh realities of such a fickle sport like running. While many may or may not totally agree with the above quote, I’ve always taken it as a constant reminder that some of my self-worth as a competitive, sponsored runner is dependent on my latest performance.  But there is obviously more to sport than just that; there’s the hunger piece too! A bad race or performance may show poor form or a lack of preparation from the body. That is physical. However, it is the hunger of the soul that drives us to continue to persevere onward, always searching for self-improvement.

This hunger gnaws at my gut, torturing me as I drift in and out of consciousness some late nights and early mornings. I’ve become obessed about training, racing, traveling the world and trying to fulfill this competitive void…this race that is ultimately against myself. It could be a race within each and every runner who knows that if they just had more time, more resources, more energy than maybe (and just maybe) they could approach their maximum potential.  Lately I’ve been spoiled: I have the resources, I have the time, I have the support. What I don’t have are excuses. Now is the time to execute and perform (again)!

For my next race I will be running the UROC 100km from Breckenridge to Vail, Colorado. It will be a challenging course that climbs above altitudes of 12,000 feet, involves some technical trails, roads, and will have over 14,000 feet of ascent. It is the SkyRunning Ultra World Series Final and Killian Jornet and Anton Krupicka will be there to name a few. It will also be the first time that I will have “home-course” advantage; the first time I will not be running blindly into the mountains and woods not knowing the way and exactly how steep the hills are. In the next 5 weeks I plan to cover the entire 62 miles on foot, learning every bend in the trail and every steep rocky climb and descent. I will ramp up my mileage over 100 miles a week again (finally!) and attempt to actually put in more than 20,000 feet of vertical for some weeks (which will be a first).  I plan to post training updates here on this blog every week as well. As a relatively new ultra-trail-mountain runner I’ve learned a lot in the past year. But I also expect that I have a lot more to learn…a lot more tough lessons (and successes) on the horizon…hopefully.

 

The start of the Peaks Trail on the UROC course

The start of the Peaks Trail on the UROC course

view on the first (and highest) big climb on the UROC course...trail runs along the ridge

view on the first (and highest) big climb on the UROC course…trail runs along the ridge

UROC course on the Colorado trail, passing through the 10-mile traverse (10 peak traverse) at 12,000'

UROC course on the Colorado trail, passing through the 10-mile traverse (10 peak traverse) at 12,000′

 

view down to Copper Mtn

view down to Copper Mtn

A win, A course record, a decade of competitive running…it will never be enough though! My competitive soul will never be satisfied. It doesn’t matter where in the pack you finish or how fast you run…there is always faster. And that’s the beauty of sport  (or any endeavor one pours them self into whole-heartedly). That’s why I run and that’s how I can cope with the fatigue and pain of training and racing hard. One can challenge themselves in any aspect of life and if they find meaning in their progression than that sensation of self-accomplishment can be very life enriching.

 

That’s why I’ll always be hungry (but hopefully never starving)

 

Keep cooking,

Sage

 

 

And now (of course) some blatant sponsor plugs:

(WARNING: this will read much like an ad so if you are offended by that you can stop reading now!). If it wasn’t for my close network of family, friends, sponsors and the community of fellow runners that buy the products of my sponsors then none of this would be possible for me. Thank you so much for the support!

 

Gear used on a regular basis for training and racing:

 

SCOTT Running Shoes: t2 Kinabalu

kinabalu

Socks: Drymax

 

Hanging out near the Speedgoat 50km finish

Hanging out near the Speedgoat 50km finish

Nutrition: Flora Health (use 7 Sources on salad a lot now for Omega fatty acids)

 100_4483

Hydration gear: Ultimate Direction: usually use handhelds and the Jurek Essential belt

 

Shades: Smith Optics Pivlock V2 …the adjustable nose-piece is where it’s at!

 

Avery Brewing for post-race recovery refreshment

at the Avery tap room in Boulder.

at the Avery tap room in Boulder.

 

Strava: for GPS infused training

 

 

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About the Author ()

2-time Olympic Trials Qualifier, Mountain runner, Author of "Running For The Hansons," trail runner, videos for Vo2max Productioins, LLC.

Comments (20)

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  1. ALEJANDRINA COLLADO says:

    Good luck in all the training, it will be a great race, and lots of competition. Will be looking forward to meeting you and Sandi, I’ll be running the 50K race. Look Forward to the updates and videos you post, thanks for sharing and best of Luck.

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey thanks for the support! Glad to hear you’ll make it out for the 50k too! Hopefully I get a lot of info on the course posted in the next 5 weeks of training. Best of luck with your preparations as well!

  2. Benj says:

    Wow… inspiring, amazing stuff. I really admire that hunger and drive. You make me want to run out of work right now and straight up the steepest thing I can find. Good luck and enjoy the hard training. I look forward to the weekly updates!

  3. Chad says:

    Good luck at UROC, I’ll be running the 50k race, so I look forward to your course reviews once you get to the vail area, and hopefully will get a chance to meet you pre or post race. My goal is to finish the 50k before you finish the 100k 🙂

  4. Graham Peck says:

    Eating too many sweets in Switzerland is in no way a violation of the Rod Dixon quote you posted! Enjoy the training and keep the competitive juices flowing.
    I’m headed up to Ithaca in a few weeks and will be hopping into the Ithaca 10 Miler. I see that you have the best time there for at least the last decade. Hoping to be close to knocking you off that!
    Tear it up at UROC!

  5. Ryan says:

    Good luck with your training, it will be exciting to see the race fold out. Especially with the competition you will face.

    Also, you shouldn’t have to worry about people being offended about plugging your sponsors. It’s kind of sad that people are offended by that.

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey thanks for the support – I really appreciate it! If you’ve seen some of the posts/comments on iRunFar you know how sponsor plugs can go over with some people. Thank you for your understanding!

  6. Good luck for the next race, it’s certainly been interesting reading about your progress and amazing results so far this year. Keep writing!

    J.

  7. Jeff Lynch says:

    Good luck on the UROC 100Km Sage! I feel confident you will bring in the win on your home turf. Get in lot’s of vertical training and set a new CR! Tough competitors such as Killian will make it all that much more rewarding when you take the win.

    I’m running a marathon here in Wilmington, NC this Saturday in hopes to qualify for Boston. At 38 years old I ran my first marathon in March at 3:39. I have trained very hard using the Hanson Method since then and feel perfectly trained- shooting to break 3:00! You’ve been a huge inspiration for me and I look forward to being able to run in one of your ultra’s one day.

    BTW, If you and Sandi decide to ever get married and have children you will likely produce the most enduranced, hella fast, unhuman like offspring ever! Just sayin…LOL.

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey Jeff,
      Thanks for kind words and encouragement! UROC will be very tough for sure and there are always unpredictable things that happen in such a long race/event but it will for sure be interesting.

      Hope your marathon went well this weekend – a 3:39 for your first 26.2 at that agae is amazing!

      Ha ha, thanks for the advice!

      • Jeff Lynch says:

        Thanks for the reply Sage! To report back on my marathon I finished at 3:09:40, beating the qualification time by just 20 seconds! The Hanson method works! I beat my PR by 30 minutes within a 5 month period. I gave it everything I had til the last minute. I only hope that registration won’t fill up on me. I really want to run Boston.

        take care and again good luck on your race!

        Jeff

      • SageCanaday says:

        Hey Jeff,
        Congrats! That’s great to hear. Keep up the awesome work and good luck with Boston!

  8. Korey says:

    I always enjoy reading about your racing and training, Sage. This one made me think of that song “Everybody’s free (to wear sunscreen)” specifically the quote:
    “Sometimes you’re ahead. Sometimes you’re behind. The race is long. And in the end it’s only with yourself.”
    Keep it! You’re a big inspiration. This was a great read as I head out the door to run Mt. Mcloughlin!

  9. Adam Bruss says:

    Hi Sage I like your sponsor plugs. You do it in a sincere way. It’s like “Hey this is what I use” as if you were just talking to a friend. They are actually one of my favorite parts of your content. If you bombarded us with sponsor stuff then it would lose its effect but you only do it when appropriate. It’s good for everyone because they are good products that a lot of people can learn about and incorporate into their training to help themselves!

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