Friday, January 25, 2008

My Running 2007 in Review -- Tag Answers Part 2 of 2

Last year Scott Dunlap had tagged me, so I had to answer 6 questions:

1. Most memorable moment on the trails in 2007.
2. Best new trail discovered in 2007.
3. My best performance of 2007.
4. I don't know how I previously survived without...
5. The person I would most like to meet on the trails in 2008.
6. The race I am most excited about for 2008.

I answered the first 3 earlier this month. I even tagged some other runners before finishing the assignment. (I tagged Don Buraglia, Jean Pommier, and Catra Corbett. Catra hasn't answered yet, but I'll excuse her since she just ran HURT and is organizing the Fremont Fat Ass 50k tomorrow. I tagged Chihping, but he'd already been tagged.) Then I had to work something like 100 hours in 9 days. It was horrible. Then I went to Mexico for a week. Life's tough.

4. I don't know how I previously survived without...

Ultra trail running! Handheld bottles! Arm warmers! Lube! But I guess this is supposed to be about something I adopted this past year, not the past half-decade.

Hmm, I just got a a Garmin 305 at a really great price. It's fun, but definitely something I can survive without. Gadgets are gadgets, running is running.

So that leaves me with...

Blogging! --as an outlet of minimally censored self-expression, goofiness, reporting on my races and keeping connected. Plus, I started reading more blogs too after I started writing myself. So for a guy who has weird work hours and basically trains alone all the time, and never gets to race as much as I'd like, I feel more a part of the community.

5. The person I would most like to meet on the trails in 2008.

I'll like to avoid a lot head-to-head sprints with Ron Gutierrez at the end of 50 mile races, but I guess it makes for faster times. (Click for my Firetrails 50 report--I keep inserting links to this one, so you have to read it if you haven't.) Most of my training runs are during the week and alone, so hell, I'll meet anyone.

I'm so lonely on the trails....

Hey, how about meeting that Miss France 2008? Nice, woman, you think? Looks wholesome, the kind you'd bring home to see your mother.

I was thinking this. But now I know better. In case you haven't heard, regardez! check out these links:

one of many on-line articles about the...the...scandal!

link to the provocative and racy dairy-themed image (Okay, about half of you are going to find this too lurid, so you've been warned!):

I would NOT want to meet this woman on the trails. No way! Spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E with a REALLY strong French accent! ne rien pas! I know what would happen. She'd wait for me to approach, lie down in the mud and feign some injury. Once I found her squirming on the trail, being the good samaritan that I am, I would ask what was wrong and try to help her. She would barely gasp out something in French. I would kneel down to hear what she said, prepared to assess and manage her airway, breathing and circulation using Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation and Advanced Cardiac Life Support protocols. But before I could even start to assess A for airway, she would grab me by the neck, moan, how she has this insatiable hunger-fetish for skinny dorky Asian ultrarunners and was thinking of me when she had those photos taken, how she threw away her chance to be crowned Miss World for me "pour toi," and using those wicked claws and insatiable tongue, start grabbing at my pocketed shorts, looking for gooey gels to lap up. As she's been working her tongue out, I would not have the stamina to resist her slurps. My knees would give out. I would try in vain to get up and run away. I would not be able to translate or sing the words "Leave me alone, I'm a family man." No one would hear my cries as the wind and my will would leave the last gel on my legs got lapped up and I crumble lifeless to the ground, ashamed, guilty of moral decrepitude, I would wish I had never gone out on the trails that day. I might even wish I had never taken up ultra trail running as my main hobby.

Gosh, I hope my wife is not reading this. This brazen Eurohussy is going to ruin my marriage even if I don't meet her on the trails.

6. The race I am most excited about for 2008

Well, I tell you what races I'm NOT excited about:

I would've been automatically in Western States, but I hadn't applied for 2007 because we thought our 2nd baby was going to be born around June. He didn't come until after summer, so I probably could've gotten away with it. I must start the lottery over. Maybe they will do away with the 2 strike you're in rule. Thus, I will probably make my debut in this granddaddy of all ultras in 2017. Just in time for my fiftieth birthday.

You trying to blame something on me, Daddy? I thought you loved me unconditionally! What kind of daddy do you think you are?!

For a few weeks I thought I was going to be able to do HURT 100, but there was no way my wife was going to let me leave her with a toddler and an infant on a Hawaiian island unless there was family help available, which was too hard to get at such late notice.

I would've entered the Tour de Mont Blanc, but I refrained from applying to save my marriage, because I think it takes place in France, which is filled with women of questionable morals.

I'd like to go back and defend my only ultra title, at Kettle Moraine 100 this June in Wisconsin. However, this is up in the air due to an information systems rollout at one of my hospitals. So maybe.

Despite this, lots of great runs, even if none are new:

I haven't done Miwok in 3 years, and feel confident I can shave a lot of time off the 10:44 I ran in 2005.

I look forward to an injury-free Rio del Lago 100, which will be my 4th consecutive year at this race.

But I am looking for a new race that would require travelling to in August.

Next post: The Inaugural Miss World 100km/150km Trail Series.


Tony Overbay said...

Hey Mark! I saw your post on Scott's blog about possibly giving up your WTC entry. I wasn't sure how to get you via your blog so I hope you find this comment? I'd love to lighten your load one entry :-) Hope I'm not too late? Tony!

Scott said...

Hi Tony-

Scott Dunlap sent me a note regarding your Too Cool Entry. If it's still available, I love to purchase it from you. I'm dying to get in the race.

Let me know,


Donald said...

Well then ... you kinda took that trails/mistress thing to a whole new level, didn't you? Wow.

This was a great read - I'm glad you finally got'er done.

Also - isn't Leadville in August?

Gretchen said...

Never underestimate the humor that can come from a sleep deprived, ultra-running doctor. Is this the kind of stuff that flows through your brain on those long lonely runs? I must remember to insert more fiction into my own blog to make it more readable. Rest assured I did not click on any questionable links, I have too much experience reading your blog! Funny stuff Mark. Once I picked my jaw up off the floor I couldn't stop laughing.
Anyway, congrats on a successful year, and I hope to see you out there (with no french women in sight) on the trails.

Peter Lubbers said...

great post, Mark! Too funny.
Since she was banned from beauty pageants, she might start running ultra races (more racy pictures?), so look out! :)

Rajeev said...

LOL. That was great stuff Mark.

A race in August? Lean Horse in South Dakota is a wonderful race. You could kick some serious butt there.


olga said...

Mark, you cracked me up:) What an awesome read! You should stop doctoring and start writing, hey, why don't you team up with Dunlap and put together screen plays!

Addy said...

Wonderful post :) I do love the creative twists that you add to your blog! Quite the recap of your year!

adidas San Francisco Urban Run said...

I wish I had know that you wanted to do the Tour du Mont Blanc. No one would take my lottery entry. I was so stoked about winning it, but I was also sad that I couldn't do it. Being a realist, I wouldn't plunge into a 100 miler in another country...lost in another language. Did you know that it sold out in France in 10 minutes and that more than 7300 wanted in for 2300 slots...what is it with type-A personalities and ultras?

But I will try to do it before I turn 30 (< 4 years). I hope to see you at Ohlone this year.

Best of luck,


rick said...

I still remember the day I met you, how could I forget, you passed me three times because you kept getting lost. Now look at you; handheld bottles, arm warmers and a Garmin to boot. I would be very surprised if you don't run a much faster time than 10:44. In 2006 I ran it in 10:48 and I know you are a much faster runner than I am. No Miwok for me, it's gone crazy, like trying to get in to Cool. Lastly, send your euro hussy my way, I'm single.

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Thanks for your words of support, especially all you women runners, who I was fearing might side with Mademoiselle Begue.

Rick, I'll send her your way if she doesn't totally destroy me. Don't you have a large female fan club?

About Way Too Cool, I'll contact you (Tony, then Scott, or whoever else is interested) by email. I need to check with my scheduler, since I already submitted a request. Sorry to keep you in suspense. At cost. If I drop, I will want to pick up a different weekend off.

Tony Overbay said...

Hey Mark, I feel terrible sabotaging this post trying to grab your WTC entry so I must post a second comment now that I've read the post. Darned you for getting Hall & Oats Family Man stuck in my head for 12 miles this AM! Great post, love the blog and I agree, nothing better than an outlet to talk about running like a blog. I find I'm not completely boring my real friends now that I can talk to my virtual ones! Hope to see you at a race or two this year.

Joe said...

Yo Mark!

Congrats on a great 2007! Don't know how you get in such quality training with such a busy schedule. So you toying with going back to Kettle Morraine? If you go I could possibly be pursuaded to jump in! It'd be fun.

FYI. Also started bloogiing under

Joe Kulak

Jean Pommier said...

Well, Mark, we need to work on this French demoniac thing, that doesn't seem right at all... I can talk to your wife, just let me know! ;-)

Seriously, on UTMB, I'd be more careful on the Italian side. Although, with 5,000 runners on the course (CCC + UTMB), there isn't much risk. Really.

OK, let's get back to trail running,


PS: and what about the Coastal Challenge next year?