UROC 100km Race Report: “Just Finish”

October 1, 2013 | By | 74 Replies More

I’ve never wanted to quit so bad in my life.

At 10,600’ on the top of Vail Pass, and 33 miles into the race, I was leading the UROC 100km. But I had worked way too hard to get to that point. A fierce pack of world-class mountain-ultra-trail runners were right behind me: Rob Krar, Dakota Jones, Killian Jornet. They differed in age from 22 to 36, but all had run 100-milers before and all had experience in the snow. And we were running fast!…and Hard!…too hard …(for me).

After a frigid 20-degree start outside of the Vertical Runner store in Breckinridge, CO, I had lead the charge up the first climb of the day to an altitude of 11,000 feet. We hit a couple inches of snow right away and I wanted to make sure the pace was kept “honest.” In retrospect this was probably a poor choice as with longer races those who start in the lead seldom end in the lead, but I took advantage of the uphill to make sure we had a gap on the chase pack.

Leading up the first climb for $100. Photo: Vertical Runner of Breckinridge

Leading up the first climb for $100. Photo: Vertical Runner of Breckinridge

Early on my legs felt rigid, stiff, and tired. Later on in a race I usually hit a patch of miles where my legs actually (kind of) feel  “good,” light and fast.  This never happened; things only got worse. We rolled into the streets of Frisco about 15 miles into the race where Killian, Dakota and Rob were almost a minute ahead of me. I made up a good 30-40 seconds on the road after stopping for a bathroom break in the woods.

 

Soon, we were running up the Colorado Trail between the 10-mile traverse range at an altitude of close over 12,000 feet. The four of us were together, breaking through snow drifts that varied from 6 to 16’’ in depth. I reached for a hat that I had zippered into my jacket pocket. No luck! The zipper was frozen shut. I pulled my UD gel flask and tried to squeeze out some sugar…also no luck! The gel was solid from the sub-freezing temps.

Rob, Dakota, and Killian were all more comfortable on the snow. As I followed them across a ridge trying to keep my balance in the white stuff, I noticed how much more efficient they were than I was. I fell a couple times. This ridge was frustrating for me because one month prior I had run this section of trail and could absolutely fly on it in the hot summer sun. Not today.

 

Approaching the Copper Mtn. aid station around mile 27 I noticed that momentous pressure had formed in my lower gut. I stopped for another pit-stop in the snowy woods and lost a glove (don’t ask!). Feeling a bit sick and already quite fatigued I drew from the energy of the crowd as I entered the aid station. My girlfriend Sandi was there offering support and filming; my parents were crewing for me, and my cousins and aunts were also cheering in attendance. I couldn’t let them down! The short road section of the course was just ahead and I willed myself to get back into the race, try to warm-up, and ingest some calories.

 

Hitting the paved bike path up to Vail Pass was a refreshing change of pace for me. I instantly closed the gap on Killian, Dakota and Rob but it took a very significant effort. I knew inside that the winner of the race would come from this pack and I wanted to still me in the mix of things despite feeling like total crap and on the edge of blowing up. Even though the paved section of the course is “fast” I still could not dip under 7:00 per mile because of the slight uphill grade, cold wind and altitude of 10,000. It was a far cry from the mechanics and running style from my road marathon days of clicking off 5:15 miles at sea level. Running this intensity 30 miles into (what turned out to be) a 66 mile race really came down more to strength and aerobic conditioning…Rob, Dakota and Killian had tons of that!

Things really started falling apart after Vail Pass around mile 33. My ultra-supportive parents were out in the cold wind crewing for me, excited that I was leading the race. It was later reported that I had “slurred speech” when I spoke to them, and I really struggled to put on a jacket they had out for me. My dad asked if I was “doing okay?”…I said “no” and took off…

 

On bike path descent for the Two Elk trail Rob Krar put in a big move that opened up a minute or two on me. I slowed to 6:30ish miles, my legs slowly losing mobility and my thoughts fuzzy. Killian and Dakota slowly and steadily edged past me, giving chase.

As the miles clicked by I thought about Sandi waiting for me at the next aid station..a remote location that required a two-mile hike in from the road. I couldn’t wait to see her!

 

Near the two Elk trail turn-off around mile 40 I saw Dakota break away from Killian. We were all spread out now.  Seeing Sandi at the aid station gave me just enough energy to continue on as I was already felt defeated, hypoglycemic, and ready to throw in the towel. Being 40 miles into a 100km is always a humbling experience, but knowing that I still had a big climb up into the snow again made me cringe with fear. I started questioning myself: “Can I even make it to the finish?” and “How many guys (or gals) are going to catch me today?”

 

From then on it was basically a slog/walk for the last 25 miles of the race. My competitive juices were still flowing, but I was helpless and without gears when Cam Clayton and Ryan Ghelfi blew by me on the way to Minturn. They ran smart, well-paced races and moved up the field very well.  Another wave of nausea swept over me as I hiked through the snow on the ski slopes above Vail. I had recognized this part of the course; I had prepared and trained on it twice before….but not in these conditions, and not in a state of bonking, stomach distress, and ultimate fatigue.

 

The steep descent down to Minturn was brutal mainly because it was when I realized the race was probably going to be 4-5 miles longer than anticipated. Already fighting to keep myself upright on the more technical trail sections of rocks and mud, I started struggling with finding motivation to even finish the race.  Seeing Sandi, my parents, and relatives in Minturn snapped me out of the “world of hurt” I was in, as I tired to control my shallow breathing and dry heaving at the downtown aid station. I couldn’t stand the thought of another gel so I grabbed some potato  chips to stuff in my mouth but ended up dropping most of them on the ground.  Sandi jogged out of the aid station with me for a few blocks as I struggled with a new bottle of coke. I realized at that point the only thing that I thought sounded tolerable to injest was water.

 

I could still run on the pavement heading into Minturn...barely. Photo: iRunFar

I could still run on the pavement heading into Minturn…barely. Photo: iRunFar

Climbing out of Minturn into the final 10 miles of the course was the most brutal experience in my ultra-running career. The slight uphill, smooth, trail proved to be too difficult for me to run on…so I walked. At times I mustered up the energy to run 100 feet or so “to the next yellow Aspen.” Eventually this pattern of run-walk also became too difficult so I decided that I’d sit down on a comfy-looking log on the side of the trail for a minute or two. The sit felt good, and I stared off into the trees and grass of a nice meadow listening to running water of a nearby creek…. But then reality kicked in: I was going to get caught! I needed to move! Slowly I started walking again, but the effort seemed insurmountable. I thought about Sandi and my parents and aunts all waiting for hours in the cold at the finish line for me…I had to finish before the sun set!

 

Near the crest of the climb about three quarters of a mile from the final aid station Buzz Burrell from Ultimate Direction came running down the trail to make sure I hadn’t collapsed in the bushes somewhere (I easily could have). He filled me in on the details of how Rob Krar and caught Dakota right at the crest of the hill and then made a decisive move by accelerating across the top and down the final switch backs. I could only wonder in awe how those guys had so much strength left in their legs after what I had been suffering through for the last 10.5 hours.  Eventually, with Buzz’s encouragement, I was able to muster up a slow jog as I begun my descent down to the finish (after reloading with a single pretzel and a cup of water at the final aid station).

 

With my 11hr finish I secured my 2nd place overall standing in the World SkyRunning  Ultra Series (Killian Jornet won), and set a personal best for distance and duration that I’ve spent in a race. Since I suffered for so long and bonked so hard I have definitely have a newfound respect for those who gut it out and walk (or crawl) to the finish after double-digit hours of fighting out in the dark cold. It is a tough test of perseverance!

 irunfarfinish

Why did I perform so poorly? Well there are lots of variables at play in these longer races (and I am still pretty new to the sport) but after some reflection I think these things may have played a factor:

 

1. Getting lost on the trails in what turned out to be a Long Run 4 days before the race probably didn’t help taper/refresh my legs.

2. The three weeks of 100 miles a week and 20k vert probably didn’t kick in yet and perhaps made me even more tired. Too little too late and not specific training enough!

3. I got really cold, I burned a ton of calories at altitude (still more than I think) and I had some GI distress (perhaps from the altitude and nerves and/or something I ate).

 4. I was overtrained and undertrained. I was overraced and underexperinced. It’s been long year…100km is a long race for me and it was my third one for this year. I haven’t had more than a full 1.5 months to do a slow build-up for any given race this year. 

 5. I’m not comfortable in snow or up high in the mountains (yet). I just moved to Colorado a year ago!

 

I was feeling so sick upon the completion of the race that I pathetically couldn’t even muster up the courage to take a sip of the Avery IPA that Sandi had brought to the finish line for me. [note: I usually love to indulge in some tasty beer drinking and sharing like I did at Tarawera, Lake Sonoma and Speedgoat]  Even a couple hours later I only managed a couple bites of cheesy enchilada as I passed out in bed (unknowingly missing an awards ceremony).

 

In my 15 years of competitive running I’ve had some pretty bad races, but this UROC may take the cake as my worst blow-up ever (probably because it is the longest race I’ve done!).  I’ve been lapped during an indoor 5km on the track, I’ve been chicked by Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe in the NYC Marathon, I’ve Dnfed three times,  I’ve been a sitting duck at races like Sierre-Zinal, but the battle with myself just to finish has never been so difficult.   It was a humbling experience….and always a learning experience.

 

Hats off to Krar and Jones for making the 2013 UROC 100km a really exciting race! Those two had super impressive, strong runs on what I thought was a very tough and fair course.

 

I’d like to thank Sandi, my family, my relatives from Denver, and my sponsors for supporting my running endeavors. It was a long day out there for all of us! Also, thanks to those of you who read this and have followed along in my adventures – I really appreciate your support!

 

Finally, I’m excited to announce that my new film project “MUT Runner” has been successfully funded on Kickstarter! Thank you so much to those of you who have donated and/or spread the word! It really is a dream come-true and I look forward to sharing more creative energy about running in the coming year. Here’s the preview from YouTube:

YouTube Preview Image

Thanks again, and see you on the trails,

Sage

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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.

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Sites That Link to this Post

  1. Sage Canaday The North Face 50 Training | November 8, 2013
  2. Sage Canaday Lake Sonoma 50 Race Report 2014 | April 17, 2014
  1. patrick voo says:

    wow – great report sage, and really phenomenal result. 6th place in a test of endurance like the uroc is absolutely worth savouring, and 2nd overall in the world skyrunning ultra series next to killian – well, that’s positively awesome! you inspire everyone around you!

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey thanks so much! I was very happy with making it to the finish in one piece and getting 2nd overall in SkyRunning in my first year of these kinds of races is something that I’m very thankful for. Best of luck with your running and thanks for the support!

  2. Emir says:

    Great report Sage. Stuff happens. You had a great Sky running season and 2nd place is awesome. Keep going strong.

  3. ben says:

    you’re still a badass, in my book. hopefully see you run in bandera this year?

    • SageCanaday says:

      thanks! Will you be at Bandera? – it was a great race. I’m not sure I’ll be ready to do another 100km come January this year though!…we’ll have to see how TNF 50-miler in Dec goes. Best of luck with your training too!

  4. Ian says:

    Boy that was a bad day. Congrats for toughing it out. Your calorie intake must have been minimal by the sound of it. Had a similar issue at race at Mt Bachelor. Only 2000m but v cold and couldnt eat due to cold and altitude. It sucks! Well done on 2nd in skyrunning series.

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey thanks! I forgot to take my gels on a regular time interval like i usually do…I’m sure the sour stomach, snow, altitude and cold didn’t help…perhaps I just don’t deal with those kinds of conditions as well as the other guys. Best of luck with your training and racing too!

  5. Thomas Nemetschke says:

    You are such an inspiration for me Sage. I started running one year ago. Your videos about running form and nutrition got me really started. Seeing you having such great results makes me very happy. I am sorry that you had to suffer so much for that, but i am sure “in the long run” ;-) it will make you stronger

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey thanks so much – that is great to hear! For my whole running career I’ve always had some big ups and downs so it’s just a part of the sport…it’s what makes good races and runs so rewarding! Best of luck with your running and thanks for the positive feedback!

  6. Julia says:

    What an inspirational post, thank you for sharing this experience. I completely agree with the above poster, although you might have felt like hell on the day, your overall performance at the race and in the ultra series are still nothing short of fantastic! I bonked really hard for the first time on a 20 miler a few weeks ago, and I remember feeling that just sitting down in the middle of the forest in the pouring rain and sobbing for a while seemed like the most sensible thing to do. (Don’t worry, I didn’t actually do that; I somehow, mindlessly staggered on at a laughable pace, finished the run and limped back to my car.) I can’t even begin to imagine what strength it must take to finish a 100km mountain race, in the snow, in that kind of state!!! Nothing but respect from me.

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey Julia, Thank you! It’s been a good year of running for me and there are lots of good memories. Glad to hear you made it out of the 20-miler safe and sound..it’s a hard thing to do! Keep up the great work and thanks for the support!

  7. HeatherD says:

    Really excited about your new film project. Loved the trailer. Sorry that you had a rough go of it at UROC, but thanks for detailing your struggle to inspire the rest of us.

  8. Martin says:

    A great effort and respectable time! A tough end to a long and fruitful season, thanks for sharing your thoughts along the way. You are an inspiration!

  9. Candice says:

    I really appreciate the self reflection and what you learned. So real and humble. These kinds of races are tough because there are so many variables at play. That’s why very few people dominate the sport for very long. Rest up, that may be your best way for you to train!

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey thanks for your comment and the support – I agree the whole ultra long distance training and racing thing has so many variables at play (overtraining, etc). But that’s what keeps it interesting!

  10. Michael says:

    finishing a race 66 miles long especially in those conditions is proof of exceptional physical and mental strength. coming in 2nd for the series is outstanding, you still have years to go with this sport and you only have one place to go. if it makes you feel any better I didnt exactly have a flawless race this weekend, hit a wall of fatigue (diaphragm and legs) during a fairly hilly 13.1, although you would laugh at the hills

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey thanks! I’ve run many a very tough 13.1 races too…actually my worst was in Philly (pancake flat). Best of luck with the recovery and in future races! I really appreciate your support!

  11. Jeremy says:

    Way to gut it out. You’re a tough dude, no doubt.

    For gel that doesn’t turn to sludge in the cold- go for gels without gelling agents- like EFS or my pick VFUEL. In a flask, these still flow down below zero. I put a splash of water and crack open a few endurolyte pills to help even more.

    Best wishes with your recovery,
    Jeremy- your SCOTT teammate

  12. Jessica says:

    Keep fighting and staying hungry, Sage! I’m so impressed by how you can endure a tough race and yet be positive about it, while others would just get discouraged and move on to other things! You’re a great inspiration to me and many of my friends, and I look forward to seeing you race with more passion and perseverance in time to come!

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey thanks so much for the kind words! Running has it’s ups and downs but the sport has been good to me overall. Great to hear from you and best of luck with your own training and racing!

  13. Mark says:

    You rock, Sage. You finished…others would have DNF’d. I’m eager to see what 2014 brings you. It would be cool to have you up in Vancouver, BC for some races (even a 10k road race like the Sun Run).

    Can’t wait for your film. The trailer literally gave me chills…

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey thanks Mark! Vancouver BC would be a great place to race (I visted there once as a child and loved how scenic it was). Glad you hear you liked the MUT Runner trailer. Thanks for the support!

  14. Jamie says:

    Thanks for the detailed review. Your persistence and results are inspirational as I work towards my first 50miler. The reflection is helpful. You should be proud of your accomplishments this year as a “rookie”. Learn from this and come back stronger in the spring. Cheers!

  15. Dan W. says:

    Way to hang tough and finish UROC. That dang irunfar and their great race coverage had me waiting on my computer to see you cross the finish line.:)I’ll be rooting for you thru the ups and downs of your races. It’s been an amazing season for you and I’m looking forward to your film next spring. Stay happy and inspired as you inspire others.

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey thanks so much for the support! There was a lot of waiting for my family/crew at the finish after Minturn (final 10 miles of the race). I’ll bounce back. Best of luck with your running too and thanks for the kind words!

  16. Adam Bruss says:

    I get chicked in most races I do and it’s always a really humbling and inspiring experience. Getting seniored is the same way!(Getting passed by someone over 50)

  17. Marc D says:

    Despite having a bad race, your perseverance inspires not just me but a lot of us. it just shows how mentally strong you are! Hope you recover well and hope to see you at TNF50. Keep posting more videos, tips and race reports! I like reading/watching all of ‘em! Very educational & inspiring!

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey thank you for the support! I’m more motivated than ever for TNF50 and it will be a huge challenge for sure! Glad you like the videos and I’m really excited to be doing more creative work with MUT Runner. Thank you!

  18. Filip says:

    Great article, very helpful in many aspects! Thanks and good luck for the next seasons!

  19. Kai says:

    Good stuff. I was following the race at iRunfar and was wondering what story you’d have to tell after the race and was glad to see the report being so honest and well written. While these experiences totally suck while it’s going on, they are usually the ones that teach 10 x more than what a successful race does. I’ve been through something similar, going into a race overconfident and underestimating the course and got my ass totally kicked by the mountain. Onwards and upwards, this will surely make you a better runner for races to come!

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey thanks,
      In looking at the training I think I overtrained as well (but it doesn’t show until all the cards are down on race day of course). Lots of learning experience fore sure.. Best of luck with your training as well!

  20. Edmund says:

    Hi Sage! I have been following your career so far this year, It really must have been a very humbling experience for you at UROC. I just want to congratulate you for 6th place finish at UROC. Go get it next year, for you’ll surely get better with your ultra running endeavors. I want to say your videos had helped me a lot so far with my first year of ultra running. Looking forward for my first 50 miler this year, Keep it going Sage! Much support here from the Philippines!

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey great to hear from you! It was quite the humbling experience. Glad yo hear you like the videos all the way over in the Phillippines. Best of luck with your 50-miler. Enjoy!

  21. André Cruz says:

    Great job man !!!!
    You´ve learned a lot on this course.
    God bless you.
    Take care.

  22. Travis says:

    Only 1 way to “Blow Up” that is to give 100%.. Gutsy race, nice work bro.

  23. Charlie M. says:

    Fascinating to be a fan of this sport and get to hear what all the top dogs were going through on the course. Great job with gutting it out and with being so honest about the ordeal.

    Easy to armchair QB after the fact, but all the talk about you vs. Killian beforehand was ironic, given that the course exposed each of your weaknesses: Killian on the paved sections and you in the snow/altitude.

    If the training had “kicked in” and if the weather had been different, you would have been right up there with Rob and Dakota.

    The fact that you gutted it out speaks volumes, simply awesome. Congrats on a great year.

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey thanks so much for the support!
      Dakota and Krar ran really strong races…they’ll both be a force to reckon with for years to come (well, Dakota already has been but Rob is new to the “scene”). Yeah, I think I overtrained a bit and am still figuring the whole ultra-thing out. It sure helps to get humbled by the distance, course and competition…always a learning experience. Thanks again for your continued support and best of luck with your running!

  24. Jason says:

    Sage, so much respect. You had a great performance at your longest distance. There were a lot of variables thrown at you during UROC, and you pulled through. Way to go man! I’m 3 weeks away from my first 100k, which will be my longest distance run too, and 3rd ever ultra (my 2nd was Speedgoat, we chatted briefly in the parking lot afterwards). Congrats on your 2nd overall standing for the Sky Running Series. You had a good season of running. Looking forward to next year. All the best!

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey great to hear from you again! I wish I had the same kind of feeling/strength as I did at Speedgoat (the climbing was almost the same total: 12,000′). Best of luck with the 100km and enjoy!

  25. Rob Goyen says:

    Great Job Sage. You always seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel no matter what the results. This is probably why you are so successful and also why you and Sandi are so personable to be around. I enjoyed meeting yall again and Sandi told me on Sunday am when we crossed paths that it was a hard race for ya. Congrats and hope to see ya at Bandera again!

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey thanks Rob! Great to hear from you again. It was a challenge just to finish, but ultras are like that sometimes! Best of luck with your training and future races!

  26. darren blackwell says:

    A good honest effort mate, we live and learn. That offer of a bed and hospitality when you come back for TUM is always open.

  27. Austin says:

    I wouldn’t get too down if I were you Sage, you still had a decent race! But you did have a heck of a lot of races lately. You probably need to take it easy from all that racing, and it is almost winter so you can train in snow more. Anyway keep it up and thanks for the inspiration!

  28. Michael Gildea says:

    Everybody has a bad day and you have to remember your time on a bad day would be the run of a lifetime for a slower runner like me. As you mentioned, you have been racing. I am sure you learned a lot during the race and celebrate second place in the Sky Running series. This is an incredible achievement.
    On another note, I got to run in Ithaca, NY last weekend. What a beautiful area. I hope to run the Virgil Crest 100 up there next year.

  29. J Wilkerson says:

    Sage;

    I like that your recount of this race was by your admission “humbling”. For the “rest of us” runners to see that the top guys have difficult days, and struggle to just finish, helps us to know that everyone goes through ups and downs in this sport. I believe that this what makes us all stronger, and a little more dedicated to our training. Which, I sure, means that we be seeing you tearing it up next year? A little motivation goes a long way…

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey thanks for the kind words. For sure we all can relate to the challenge of the course and the distance! It’s a tough sport…but also very rewarding! Best of luck with your upcoming events as well – I’ll see you on the trails!

  30. Kaci says:

    Very inspiring and impressive race, Sage. I was so liberating to know that even elites have bad days, but can persevere to finish. I give you mad props!! Keep on inspiring!

  31. Paulo Sousa says:

    Great report, Sage!
    I never saw a pro athlete being so honest in his reports like you do!
    You’ve had a wonderful year and the second place in Ultra Sky Running is fantastic! Europe knows your name, right now!
    Hope you win 2014 Ultra Sky Running Champ!

    Regards from Portugal!

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey thanks for the support from Portugal! That is great to hear. I value honesty and it’s nice to hear people read the report! Best of luck with your trianing as well.

      Cheers,
      Sage

  32. Wes says:

    Hey Sage,

    Well done on finishing! I ran my first 100km a few weeks ago and had a massive battle between 50-65km, but I managed to get my head together and finish of in 11:39. It’s good that you can share your good and bad times, as it puts it all into perspective. It’d be awesome to see you out in Australia for a race in 2014!

    Wes

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey Wes,
      Thats great to hear! I can relate to racing as well for 11hrs now…it is very tough! Congrats on your first 100km and finish…that is quite an accomplishment!

  33. Ben Nephew says:

    Sounds like you just had a bad day for the various reasons you cited. Considering the success you have had this year, you might have been due for an off race just based on probability. Several of the issues that hurt your race can be easily addressed, but I wonder about the training and fatigue. The long run 4 days before the race must make it difficult to determine whether long-term overtraining was involved. My question is how high have you been living, and for how long? Is it possible you were slowly getting worn out by altitude? Have you been doing any workouts regularly throughout the time you’ve been at altitude; have they been improving?

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey Ben, thanks for your comment. I moved down in altitude two months ago. Boulder is at 5200’…going into Speedgoat I was living in Ned for 3 months at 8600′ (perfect in my opinion). If I could afford it I’d buy an altitude tent and sleep at 12,000′ and then train in Boulder. But I’d cycle it with 3-4 week blocks {the altitude tent part). Looking back on my training I had back-to-back hard days: Tempo then crushing a long run. But the long runs weren’t “fat burnining” enough. I should have been doing 25-30 mile moderate paced runs on the flats instead of pounding out 18 mile mountain runs as hard as possible. The cold and snow didn’t help things as well as the Flooding in Boulder. Time to get back to getting some road speed and real aerobic power (like I used to have at the start of the year). My workouts were too irregular but what I stopped doing was more road marathon training stuff (the stuff that I think gives one “the edge” when competing against pure mountain/trail guys).

  34. Shelby says:

    You’ve had a great couple of years of learning about MUT running and applying those lessons learned to some impressive performances. As a student of the sport you have a great future in it. I can’t help but think that an ultrarunning coach could take you to the next level. After seeing how it has helped Dakota, it may be timely at this stage in your career. My two cents for what it’s worth. :-)

    Regardless, happy trails! I look forward to following your progress in 2014!

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hye thanks Shelby! Glad to hear you wore SCOTT shoes in Chicago and are motivated to do more speedwork for the coming season (I am too!). I agree that having a coach is a good outside perspective but I had way too much structure in college and at Hansons to ever have a serious coach again (I would much rather blame myself for my training mistakes). There is for sure a lot to learn though and I’ve only been doing MUT running for 1.5 years (and only lived in the mountains and trained on trails for the past year) so I have a lot of work to do to catch up to these more experienced runners! Best of luck with your training and racing – thanks for the support!

  35. Michael says:

    Sage, are you a vegetarian, or a vegan?

  36. Tom says:

    Hi Sage!

    You’re a great inspiration. How do you manage to run so much and stay injury free?

    I’ve been a rather mediocre jogger for years. I never had any coaching as a youth and as a result and also as a result of bad form I really tightened and over-strengthened my left hamstring to the point where my left hip flexor and quad don’t give me any real forward momentum with my left leg. (Kind of like the right leg runs and the left leg just drags along.) It wasn’t until I discovered and understood the importance of core strength training about two years ago (thanks to the internet) that I began a very slow process of correcting or “healing” the very severe bio-mechanic defect I had worked myself into from years of mis-running with bad form.

    Now, in addition to doing core strength training four-five days a week I do prolonged stretching of the left hamstring to try to lengthen to muscle which is still too short, too tight, and too strong relative to the front of my left thigh. Any suggestions?

    Thank you in advance for allowing me to learn from your knowledge and experience.

    • SageCanaday says:

      Hey Tom,
      Great to hear! It’s always a challenge to keep the body in-tune and to run with correct form (esp when tired or late in a race). Glad you found out about core work and stretching…I think those are key (but obviously something that I struggle with as well!). I’ve found some yoga poses to work well as they are basically dynamic (i.e. moving slightly) stretches that improve both strength and flexibility. As runners were are never really super flexible because running itself requires some sense muscle tension…and if we do it with good form then that’s a good thing! I’ve also found some light strides and speed work improve running mechanics and open up the hips…the thing is you want to take care when starting off as running fast all of a sudden tends to pull things! Gradually progress with some short speed that is not tiring and make sure you have some good shoes/surfaces to run on. Best of luck!

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