Friday, June 24, 2011

Western States: Before the Big Day

My first week of summer has brought with it beautiful trail running, roaring waterfalls, soothing time with family, and no small amount of pre-race jitters. Unless you happen to have your head in the ultrarunning sand, you know that this weekend is Western States. Waaaahooo! It would be no understatement to say that I am excited, and that I have little else on the brain right now. 

Before all that pre-race talk though, a few pictures from my first week of summer:

A perfect start to things, wouldn't you say?

I’ve had plenty of time to consider goals for Western States. Practically a lifetime. As far as a predicted finish time, the numbers have bounced around all over the place in my head. What I’ve finally settled on is this: Running Western States is a journey.

In other words, in a somewhat similar fashion to last year at TRT, my goals are centered less around a specific finish time, and more on how I want to handle things during the day. On the physical side, I want to run smart, take care of myself, and deal with every problem as it arises. On the mental side, I want to enjoy it as much as I can, appreciate the entire experience no matter how it’s going, and accept my best effort whatever it may be. I really think if I take care of myself physically, the outcome will take care of itself.

Check-in at Squaw this morning was nothing but smiles and friends and excitement on a beautiful mountain day. If tomorrow is anything at all like that, it is sure to be a good experience.

If you’re one of the few people (it seems) who won’t be at the race, you can follow the whole thing on their awesome webcast. If you want to check in on me specifically, I’m runner #119.

I also have to offer a huge advance thank you to all the volunteers, the RD, and WS Board. I’ve seen what happens at this race from the spectator/volunteer/crew perspective and it is phenomenal. I can’t wait to see it from the participant side of things.

And to all the other runners, pacers and crew getting ready for a big day tomorrow – good luck, and have fun!

We are ready to run!


  1. So excited for you! Have a great race. We'll be sending good thoughts your way -

  2. I wish there was television coverage of it! I love your perspective. Its the big dance! I want to be there someday, feeling the same pre-race jitters! Good luck! And I'll definitely be keeping an eye on the webcast! I'm so jealous! I think you'll do great!

  3. Gretchen, I am so thrilled you get to do this run, and with your awesome attitude - and hard training and great abilities - you will have a GRAND time!

  4. Gorgeous pictures...good luck this weekend!

  5. Go git 'em, Gretchen!!!

    P.S. Where was that first picture, at the top of this post, taken? So beautiful.

  6. Good luck from anonymous follower who'll be at Peachstone AS volunteering. Hope to see you pass through.

  7. I'll be tracking you all day...good luck!

  8. HOLY shiznit! You're doing so well! GO! GO! GO!

  9. 22:30?!? Are you kidding? I am so very impressed. WOW

  10. I TOTALLY predicted exactly this time, man!

  11. Hi Gretchen, Congratulations on your outstanding run and great accomplishment. I'm a friend of your dad and work at Western Medical Center. I love running but unlike you I am a short distance runner doing only marathons and half-marathons! I am truly impressed with your remarkable acheivement and hope to meet you sometime in the future.

    Khalil Sheibani