Tuesday, August 30, 2011

UTMB DNF - What Went Wrong

My block of training after Western States leading up to UTMB was not great by any means. I got some really long, really fun runs in, but through much of this time my body wasn't recovering as smoothly from long runs as usual and this was forcing me to take more days off than usual. Three weeks before uTMB though I started to feel a lot better for a nice 10 or 12 day stretch in which I got in 3 nice long runs (about 30 miles each and about 25k ascent between the three of them) and seemed to recover right away from each one of them. This gave me a nice bit of confidence going into the race. I felt that my body was feeling better than it had all summer, and I felt that my mind and my body were as ready for this race as any race since UTMB a year ago. I was however a little bit uncertain about the fact that by the time the race would start I had not run a step in 6 days. When I arrived in Geneva on Monday my luggage was not with me. I didn't get my stuff until late Wednesday night, therefore I had nothing with me except the clothes I had worn on my flight, and thus didn't do any running in the days leading up to the race. I was a little concerned about this, but I also looked at the forced rest as perhaps a good thing since my body was having a slow time recovering all summer.

And so I started the race in what I would call a cautiously confident state of mind. The weather was pretty nasty (cold and rainy) at the start but I wasn't too concerned about this. I was carrying (by requirement) enough stuff with me to run through a hurricane. I can't imagine any conditions in which I would ever wear all the gear they make us carry in this race. I have never run a step in my life in waterproof pants, and I can't imagine a scenario in which I ever would.

At any rate, off we were and I was feeling pretty good. It was amazing how similar the first three hours of this race were to the first three last year. The weather was about the same. I was running in about the same part of the pack on the way down to Les Houches, and somewhere near town Mike Wolfe and I seperated a little bit ahead of the rest of the American runners and began the climb over to St. Gervais behind a lead group of 5 or 6 European runners, led by Kilian. On the way down to St. Gervais several runners (including Nico of course) went blowing by us and then Mike and I gradually reeled them all back in on the gradual ascent on the way to Les Contamines. By the time we arrived in Les Contamines (30k) we had caught up with the 4 person lead pack and the 6 of us ran into the aid station within a few feet of each other. Things had progressed so similar as last year to this point that I was kind of caught off guard when we weren't told that the race was being stopped. Instead we made exchanges with our crews and were off up the trail toward the first serious high alpine of the race.

I wouldn't say I was feeling great heading out of Les Contamines, probably pretty average for 20 miles into a 100 mile race. But the rain had stopped, the stars were coming out, and I felt like the 6 of us were likely settling into a lead group that would end up doing battle for several hours of time through the mountains. Mike looked strong, Kilian and Miguel I knew would be strong for a long time down the trail. I didn't know the other two runners but I just kind of had a hunch that we would all be sharing this adventure for a huge portion of the race. I also knew that Sebastien was just a couple minutes back and would probably join us for the fun.

And then we hit the first steep climbing about 20 minutes past Les Contamines and almost instantly my body felt weak and challenged. I was cramping a bit. Cramping in my legs, but also cramping in my arms and my hips and my abdomen muscles. Cramps in places I have never cramped before. This also caught me off guard as we were only just over 3 hours into the race. I've never cramped that early in a race before. And so I had no choice but to slow way down on that climb. Initially I was fine with this. I was pretty sure I just needed to drink a lot, eat a lot, take in some salt, keep moving as best I could, and things would come around for me. I made it to the top of the climb in pretty bad shape and then when I started running down it felt even worse. The muscles all over my body felt like I had already run most of the race. By the time I got down to Les Chapieux (50k) I physically felt like I should be almost to the finish, when in reality I had not even run 1/3 of the race yet. From here things just progressed further in this direction. Each mile I ran seemed to effect my body as though I had run 10. My quads were pretty much destroyed by the time I began the descent down off of Col De La Seigne.

My mind stayed strong and I shifted quickly from try to compete mode to try to finish mode. I slowed way down and tried to regroup. Ultimately it was way too late though. By the time I finally dropped in Courmayeur (78k) my body was just too thrashed to continue. I was to the point in which I was walking the steep descents backward because my quads couldn't take the impact anymore. I was doing damage to my body with every step I took and thus the decision to stop was almost not even a decision that I needed to make with my mind, my body had made it for me.

With this experience behind me it's still a bit diffucult for me to know what went wrong. There were a lot of top level runners (American and Foreign alike) who had days very similar to mine. The common thing I kept hearing from almost everyone who dropped out of this race (which was more than half of the starters) was that they eventually just hit a point where their bodies felt like they had already run 100 miles. For several folks this occured even earlier in the race than it did for me! For me though I don't know how much my troubles were isolated to this race and this specific day. The weather was a bit tough, and it's a challenging course for sure, although not enough more challenging than a few other hundreds I've done (Wasatch, HURT, and Bear) that I should have felt as beaten up physically after 4 hours as I usually do only after 17+. For me I think my diffucult race was more of a larger picture thing. My body has not felt "normal" for the better part of 3 months now. Typically I feel below average (physically) about 20% of the times I go out for a run. The other 80% is usually average or above. In the past three months though this ratio has pretty much been flipped around. I've been able to fool myself into thinking everything was OK by taking way more days off than I usually do, but this race made it obvious to me that it's not a few days off that I need, but rather a few weeks or months. Just as we hit low stretches in our running in the shorter term, I think I have hit a low stretch in the longer term. After more than 24 months of pretty steady growth and strengthing in my body, I have hit a point in which my muscles need to reset a bit before they can go forward. Basically I feel myself at the same point I was in May of 2009. At that time I took about a month off and came back to running not even sure if or when I would race again. By the end of September that year I had run (and won) 3 hundred mile races. I bounced back that time even stronger than I had been before that.

I had a very strong craving to do well in this race, but I didn't have the fitness right now to do so. I'm OK with this. I'm glad that I finally put my body up against something so challenging that I have no choice but to read the writing on the wall of such an inability of my body to perform when pushed to do so. Where this all will take me in the next several months I have no idea. That's the thing about reseting and then moving on. You have no idea what moving on looks like until you do the resetting. I'm actually really excited for the next several months, and to see where this all takes me. It's hard to totally clear the mind, reset, and just go with what feels right down the road, but this will be what I hope to accomplish over the next several weeks/months.

111 comments:

Olga said...

Mono? Any other latent viral stuff you may want to get checked for? Just in case. Seems that you've had "tired and not myself with longer recovery time" this year, and it's better to figure it out.
Bummer, of course, on how it went, and you will get crapload of flack, but I think most of us, vivid followers and hopefuls for great runs on Euro turf, settled in and are ready to begin thinking and dissecting:) I am sure you'll be dissecting it a thousand times more than all of us together. May be not, may be you'll just recover and go run when it feels right. At the end, you'll know what YOU need best than we all preach.

Speedgoat Karl said...

Just get injured for a little while, the fire comes back. I'm experiencing that now. I'm not back by any means, but I crave the trail and getting out feels good, even though it's painfully slow right now. Before Hardrock, I was just running because it was there. You'll be back, better than ever most likely.

Eric B said...

Tough race Geof, you will bounce back. Relax and enjoy the Alaska and Colorado outdoors, that will rejuvenate you.

Jason said...

Sounds like a rough day at the office. You seem to have the right attitude about it though. I lost my little sister this summer and it has severely impacted my training for my first ultra next month in Lakewood, CO. I hope I can keep a positive mental attitude throughout the race just like you seem to do. You inspire me, and for that I thank you. Best of luck during your rest/recovery Geoff.

eric said...

i wonder if you carried the feelings associated with the DNF at WS on your back running into france. maybe the burden of expectation and the desire to fulfill other's expectation of you and more importantly your own expectation of yourself could have added some weight.

what you've accomplished already is nothing short of amazing, incredible, a career full of achievement. if you reset and realize you aren't going to run another race, nothing could change what you've already done, nothing could diminish it.

those were 2 pretty big races, but still only 2 races. a mere blip.

so i hope you enjoy your reset... and i hope you come back and show us all what you can do once again, always as long and as much as you enjoy it.

A Salinger said...

Geof, it sounds like you know what to do...take some time off, slowly get back into it for the love of running trails, and see where it takes you. Enjoy your journey.

Alfonso Lopez said...

Hello Geoff, i follow your blog since 2008 and i am sure that emerge even more energy than ever, I hope to follow from Spain in the UROC race, proper rest and enjoy your lasagna,sorry for my bad english
Alfonso , Barcelona (Spain)

Marian said...

That is a major bummer. I did not get much sleep following the race over the Internet and was sorry to hear about your DNF.
Must be a lesson in patience and humility but I am sure you are the right person with the right attitude to bounce back and show them all.

pasi.koskinen said...

Do the recovery - you only knows what works for you. BUT DON`T QUIT!
Your attitude for ultra running is so right that some dnf runs are not meaningfull for continuation.
My mom past her days on february, two months after that i run 100 miles. My mind was full of pain but only for continue my life as ultrarunner i have to do it - and i did! You can always recover - but you must sometimes rest a while.

AJW said...

Geoff,

Great post. I'm with you brother. While I am certainly nowhere near the runner you are I hit a wall of sorts after WS100 and just felt crappy all summer. Finally, I gave into a bad case of PF that has forced me to push the reset button for the first time in 5 years. It's a bummer to not be out there every day but in the end, and in the long run, it'll be the best thing to do. See you in Squaw:)

AJW

Matt Hart said...

sorry to read this geoff. look up adrenal fatigue and see if that fits the bill. good sleep, good nutrition and a real break from running should fix you up. probably also worth getting a good cortisol test... meaning not just one since it should spike in the morning and dwindle at night so you can sleep. get it tested multiple times during the same day. if it's backwards, there is a problem. this leads to tired and wired - cortisol is low in the morning making you lethargic, then high at night so you can't easily fall asleep.

Cloud said...

Geoff: I may across as a dickhead and I probably am a total dickhead. I've worked with enough great athletes (mostly tri guys) over the years to have come up with some conclusions about training that are pretty solid. Firdt among these is the critical need for rest and peaking for 1-2 races a year. There have been lots of great ultrarunners who make a big splash and then disapppear because they burned themselves out. Anton is in jeopardy of this and honestly his leg injury was a God send and the best thing that ever happened to him. Kyle Skaggs did a disappearing act after Hardrock. Jurek is irrelevant now save that 165+M performance last year. Mackey should have finished nd or 3rd at States but was too tired from all that racing. And now you face the same prospect. You raced way too much in 2011 and it's caught up with you. You are not Kilian, who is, what, 10+ years younger than you are. You need to protect your body and allow recovery. Target 1-2big races a year and that's it. Show up at those races well-rested and in peak shape and you'll once again dominate.

Cloud said...

People can call me every word in the book but I aint' gonna kiss Roes ass and tell him everythings OK. The difference between elites and also-rans is that elites need people who are gonna level with them. A big reason we see elite disappearing acts is that no one was there to help them maintain and expand on their natural talents. They squandered the Gift by over-racing. Case in point Salazar.

runningfarmer said...

Thanks for taking the time to reach our and share your thoughts about UTMB. It can't be an easy thing to have such high expectations and then publicly express coming up short. That takes confidence and cohones. Perhaps one lesson for the masses in the aftermath of this year's UTMB is that a multitude of factors have to come together and stay that way to perform well. And we all know that isn't always how it comes out.
Thanks for being who you are and for doing what you do. Like many others, I look forward to the next chapter.

Cheers!

Heath and Deanna said...

There's no shame in listening to your body. You are still an incredible inspiration to me, whether it be your running results or your humility, as I train for my first ultra in December. I signed up for the UROC 1/2 marathon as a training run...just to be in the shadows of your running greatness.

Thanks for doing what you do, and making your thoughts available to the rest of us.

Dave Mackey said...

Nice efforts Geoff You are on right track with recovery. You're only human (well, mostly). Most ultrarunners completely underestimate what it takes to recover. Maybe time to enjoy the finest of fall mountain biking and camping (and beer) that the Colorado high country has to offer.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your (bad) experience at UTMB. I was wondering if you did not under-estimate the effect of jet-lag, especially on a body that as you are yourself saying, was slow to recover...
Also, the cold rain is certainly part of the reasons for the cramping (even though you may have experience colder stuff without any effect before).
I think you need a long rest, and then a strong win in a 100 Mile to recover for both the body and the mind.

With WS then UTMB, you are having a bad season. But a season is just a season... You will come back, stronger than before. I hope to see you again next year at UTMB. In the lead pack for most of the race of course... And if possible, with other resting runners, like Tony...
Enjoy your rest, do the stuff you usually don't have the time to.
And next time you take the plane, don't forget to put an extra pair of shoes in your hand-luggage.

Erwan

Ultra168 said...

Great words Geoff and a massive insight into what you elites have to go through just to make it to the start line. Anton summed it up brilliantly in that only 2% of athletes turn up to race an ultra and you are definitely one of those guys. Rest and rediscovering that spark to put a solid level of training together will come round quickly enough. I am pleased you are so honest with your feedback, it gives us a tiny glimpse into your world. Best of luck and look forward to seeing you toe the line at WS100 2012

Jason said...

Aside from Mr Mackey, I'm surprised how many of you seem to have all the answers for Geoff. How many of you have won ultrarunner of the year? How about Western States? Yeah that's what I thought. Geoff seems to be one hell of a guy, besides being a champion ultrarunner. His camp in Alaska is a great idea and shows just what kind of guy he is. The fact that some are talking sh1t and thinking they have all the answers is laughable. How did YOU do at UTMB this year? Yeah, thought so. Give the guy some respect and keep your self serving negativity to yourself.

Scott said...

know that whether you rest, or run, or race, so many of us are behind you, and rooting for you. Go, do, be.

Krista said...

Wow, tough break, Geof. I don't have any whizz-bang cool words of advice, but just want to wish you a good recovery. Mojo always comes back.

Burt said...

@ Cloud,

Your conviction is all too easy to come by when you are sitting on the sidelines. Whatever credibility might be lurking in your comments is completely eliminated by the fact that you refuse to give your name or background. Pretty gutless.

Burt Hoovis

Brick said...

Geoff,

A good honest report not blaming anybody else.
Win, loose or DNF you have great style.
And I am sure you will be back stronger than ever.

Good luck.

Betsy said...

Always on your side, Geoff! I like to believe the hard times make the good times shine even brighter. Best of luck to you as you figure it out. God help 'em when you bounce back.

mDallas said...

Geoff, thank you for your effort, and your humility in publicly sharing what must be a challenging time for you. It is an honor to learn how someone of such an elite level handles success and disappointment. I think all your readers are inspired by how you have raised the bar in running and quietly challenge us to be better in our own lives.

Eric Strabel said...

I have a feeling, Geoff, that you'll figure out what you need and how best to go about doing it. It is only a matter of some time before you come back stronger than ever, again.

JR said...

Good post! It happens to us all. Time just get out and enjoy yourself. Break out the bike and or backcountry ski's and give the body a well earned rest.

Brett said...

I confess I dont know what Cloud has previous said on the blogging message boards. I don't track and read these things that religiously.

But you shouldn't poo-poo what he's saying in response to this post here. Everyone of us should be open to constructive criticisms. It doesn't mean we have to agree with it. But who among us is a perfect person?

If you want someone who will tell you your poop doesn't smell, everything is rosy, and that you are God's gift to the world...well thats what your mother is for. ;)

DustyOldBook said...

I love the honesty and understanding in Ultras. It's a very honourable sport.

I am recovering from injury and with the goal of ccompleting a 100 miler, I am currently doing 3 2 milers a week. But hey, I'm 2% of the way there and the rest is hopefully in the post. I'll go for consistency and make it a long term goal...only 20 now so no rush ;)

dvroes said...

Brett,
Constructive criticism is one thing, but that is not what Cloud brings to the table. Also, he claims to be something that he obviously is not and he refuses to identify who and what he really is. I'm sure that it bothers most of us far more than it bothers Geoff, but his way of criticizing is hard to understand or accept.

Emma Nicole said...

Hi Geoff,
I just wanted to say that I have a lot of respect for you. You are a great runner and you are honest enough with yourself to DNF if you need to. You listen to your body and do whats best for you. That's what a good runner should do, work with your body and pick your battles with your body. I just wanted to say that I'm impressed and the best of luck with healing and your future runs.
Emma

Jason said...

To anyone who may be confusing my support for ass-kissing, etc - GROW UP. I get the distinct feeling that Geoff runs because he loves it. I doubt he runs to see how many buckles/medals/trophies he can accumulate. He comes off as a family man who loves life and loves running, and he definitely gives back. When I read posts from Cloud, I can't help but wonder "who asked ya?". This is not the NBA. There is no money involved. Just love. And Cloud, you are severely lacking in that dept, brother.

Jackalope said...

Geoff, very candid. Thanks for sharing with us. My advice based on nothing but ten years in the Army and two combat tours (shitty ones) is to take a vacation and drink a beer.

That's the extent of my intricate psychological counselling ability.

Brett said...

Jason, what do you disagree with about Cloud's feedback and why? It would be more constructive to start there then just throw out arbitrary rules on a blog about who can and who cannot reply with advice.

Brian said...

Despite what people may or may not say the advise is sound that Cloud is giving, I mean how many 100 milers at elevation, do people really feel the human body can take and be run at such at competitve level. Geoff will get it done, I am sure

Paul Mastin said...

Geoff, Tough race. But I hope you were still able to enjoy some of the most gorgeous scenery in the world, great food, and fellowship with some great folks! And presumably most or at least some of it was on someone else's Euro! Enjoy it while you can. We'll all be looking for the big comeback. I feel certain your racing (and winning) days are far from over.

David said...

In the history of Western States, who has run it faster than you? That's right, nobody. You've racked up more wins at major races than most could even dream about. You've made your mark, anything else is gravy. Relax and run for your own enjoyment.

David

s_friberg said...

Geoff, even if the UTMB went to hell for you...comfort your self with that you are the one person who made me start running and running long distance, changing my life and starting to feel good and just enjoy running ! So even if the UTMB dident turn out well for you...comfort your self with that you this year have changed a persons life. My life. Take care !

Jason said...

@Brett/Brian - first of all this is not the forum for a lengthy back and forth debate, so I'll try to make this my last comment. My problem with Cloud's post is that he writes as if Geoff called him up personally and told him all of his goals and dreams regarding running, and asked for help. The author (Cloud) comes off as an arrogant knowitall. And no it doens't make it okay that he started his post by saying "I may across as a dickhead and I probably am a total dickhead". Maybe Geoff doesn't give a shit about longevity (in a "top of the ultrarunning world" kind of way). He may just want to run for enjoyment. Ever think of that? In other words, what's so wrong with a "disappearing act" anyhow? And, has Cloud ever set a WS100 course record? Been called called ultrarunner of the year? What are his credentials? Why does he choose to remain anonymus? Geoff didn't ask for advice here. He TOLD us what went wrong. And so we, his fans, dropped by to support and comfort him, and people like Cloud (and others) basically said we were kissing his ass because of it. I disagree. And I think those naysayers are out of line. Way too many assumptions.

Jill Homer said...

Well said, Jason.

Marian said...

@Cloud: Why don't you start a blog so that we can comment on it?
:)

Brett said...

Jason, with all due respect, your last comment makes no sense. Do you really think Geoff doesn't care and intends to quit running?

Many others offered suggestions about taking time off, getting cortisol tests, etc. but you didn't seem to care about those people or those ideas.

Like I said (and he admitted too), he may come off as abrasive, but you don't seem to be able to articulate what specifically he may be wrong about.

Jill Homer said...

Brett, I'm not really one who should get involved in this debate, but I think what Jason was pointing out is that amid all this chatter about what certain runners "need," no one is asking what they want, which is the more important question.

Personally I don't have a lick of talent and for that I'm actually kind of grateful. It can wonderful to do something beautiful and challenging for the love of it, without expectations. No one has really asked Geoff if he actually cares about those expectations, or if he's just a talented guy, doing something he loves, who ended up near the front.

Not to mention he obviously already understands what it takes for him to succeed in 100-mile events. Which is why, as Jason mentioned, he's explaining what went wrong, rather than rattling off excuses or asking for advice. I'd take his word over some anonymous know-it-all who works with triathlon athletes. The fact is, ultrarunning is still too new and too small to draw conclusive scientific evidence on what works. It's really an experiment of individuals, which is one of the intriguing aspects of this sport.

Brett said...

Hi Jill, yes Geoff knew how to race 100 miles (and to win and to get CRs every time too). But look at the DNFs this season. Could it be that Geoff raced too much and it eventually caught up to him? Maybe yes, maybe no. That's Cloud's point (if I am reading it right) and nobody that I can see is discussing that idea directly. Rather they are saying they don't know who this Cloud guy is or what his credentials are or he didn't say it nicely enough.

Charlie said...

Hi Brett,

It would be worth looking back over Cloud's past comments on Geoff's and Anton's blogs however he tends to delete them.

The main tone of the posts is: I am a super coach who trains elite athletes; I wish to remain anonymous but you all know me; I have Geoff's/Anton's best interests at heart; and I am right, you are wrong and you are an (insert expletive)for doing what you are doing.

My issue with his posts is they are 1) abusive and highly disrespectful and 2) Cloud makes a number of claims about his credibility without offering any evidence while, at the same time, ripping to shreds two athletes that have done incredible things in the sport of ultra running.

I agree that everyone has the right to his/her opinion however that opinion can and should be expressed with respect and without resorting to personal abuse.

If Cloud is a coach and he treats his athletes like that I doubt he has too many who stick with him. Tough love sure, but ridicule and abuse are hardly a winning formula.

Jeff said...

Finkel is Einhorn!...Einhorn is Finkel! Cloud, I mean Brett, i think we know who you are now.

Footfeathers said...

This whole over racing conversation is not making sense. Geoff's had a pretty light year compared to past seasons. He's completed one 100 miler that he ran at his own comfortable pace non-contended.

in 09 he raced/finished three 100s, all course records. in 10 he raced 300 miles by this time of the year.
He's likely not over-raced this season and he points out that he simply didn't have the fitness to race hard at utmb. Not having the fitness is different than over-raced, so drop that line of argument; it's tiresome reading it.

Unlike everyone else here, I'm in no position to give the guy advice, other than bring warm clothes when he takes the bus back to Nederland after a Boulder run.

Jill's correct, in that he knows how to run these things. Simply, just needs a break and figure out what's going to make him happy and feel like competing.

Man, and people called ME an armchair ultrarunner before....

Brett said...

Jeff - really? lol

Ben Nephew said...

Hopefully some time off does the trick, but as others have said, it might be a good idea to get checked out for chronic fatigue and other associated ailments (anemia, Cushing's, Addison's). Training and racing at a high level is obviously stressful, and it is hard to figure out what too hard is. A teammate of mine, Peter Maksimow had a very long battle with chronic fatigue, but is now running faster than ever. He is in Manitou Springs, and he's a pretty friendly guy. Good luck with the recovery.

MannImSchatten said...

I side with Brett. Cloud has been annoying, rude and arrogant, but essentially he's been right. That's his credential from my perspective. Pretty much anybody offers here unsolicited advises, support, good mojo and other stuff. What is different about Cloud ? ... pretty much nothing and everything. I personally respect anybody's right for anonymity on the internet and judge people solely by their (online) actions and whether they turn to be right or not. Cloud's been right, and hundreds of those who despised him and said that Geoff knows better and will rock both WS as well as UTMB were not. Please don't take me wrong, I am a huge, HUGE fan of Geoff, and it hurts me to read about his DNF's, but I also believe that patting his back and telling him that "everything will be fine, and you know the best" does not lead anywhere. Geoff won all nine 100 milers he ran and most of them with CR, but suddenly he DNF'ed in two races which were the most important for him ... so obviously Geoff does NOT know everything the best. I personally have nothing for an advice - I am a mid packer myself - but I also do not want to trash a person who was right at the end (even though I hated his language). From my perspective, I think I can learn something from Geoff as well as from the (dickhead) Cloud.
Vlad - Los Alamos, NM

GMack said...

I was part of the generally poor performance by U.S. male runners at UTMB this year. Congrats to the U.S. runners who finished and thanks for salvaging some of our national dignity. I DNF’d at Champex (76 miles) because my quads were shot and I couldn’t walk. I’m experienced at the art of the death-march to finish a 100, but wasn’t even capable of that. I’ve had two other UTMB finishes and performed a little better than my abilities, so the DNF this year was especially disappointing.

Given a lot of thought, I can’t figure out why myself and so many other experienced 100 mile mountain runners couldn’t physically or wouldn’t continue. For me, I was a little under-trained. And running the first 10 hours in near freezing temps and wet, when I’d been training in 100+ degree temps at home in Dallas, didn’t help. Every time I stopped at an aid station, I’d get hypothermic and would start shaking. This took away a lot of strength.

IMO, the lesson for the U.S. from UTMB, HR and WS this year is that we need to take a new look at how we approach the sport at the elite level. It’s always been a grass-roots activity in the U.S., but in Europe, it’s become professional. Team Salomon is out to win and shows all of the preparation and focus of a Tour de France team. Sure, they’ve got Killian, but anyone can be beaten on any day. It’s team training and the organization which produces consistent results. Salomon’s reward has been dominance in major ultra events and apparently great sales for their products. In Chamonix, for instance, they couldn’t keep Salomon’s $235 running packs and $190 shoes on store shelves.

U.S. sponsored male athletes don’t seem to have the same focus required at this level, despite the talent. We’re capable of exceptional individual performances, but the structure isn’t there for sustained/reliable excellence. All of the European runners I spoke to realize this about the U.S. What’s surprising is that president of Montrail, Topher Gaylord, is one of the most experienced UTMB runners there is and he’s seen year after year of top U.S. male runners crater at UTMB. You’d think team Montrail would have been a big threat to Salomon. I’d suspect he’s planning an answer (Geoff should be a big part), and so should other trail running sponsors with their teams.

Geoff said...

Gmack,
I agree with your points to some degree, but I think there is more to it than this. I'll probably write a whole post about this sometime soon.

Vlad,
Do you really feel like it's such a black and white issue that it can be quantified as either right or wrong? If Cloud is "right" and I had tough races at WS and UTMB because I raced too much early in the year then (as footfeathers pointed out), how do you explain that in 2010 when I raced just as much early in the year I ran WS faster than anyone in the history of the race? I've been physically burnt out for the better part of the past few months but to say that this is definitively because of the racing I did in the early part of this year is pretty ridiculous when you consider that this is the 4th year in a row in which i've done this much racing and in 3 out of 4 of those years I have had a performance peak in mid to late summer. Running 100 miles is much more of an art than a science. what works for one doesn't automatically work for another. it's just not as black and white as you're wanting it to be.

as to the comment: "suddenly DNFed in the two races that were the most important for him", Sorry buddy, but you don't get to decide which races are the most important for me. just as i don't get to decide which are the most important for you. Cloud has been trying to do this all year. his constant insistence that i was wasting my time doing two-bit races in the spring when i should be focusing on the biggest race of my life (WS) was quite pathetic and comical really. For me all races are important and satisfying, sometimes in very different ways. rarely though do i think of certain races as more important than others... just different. I understand that for a lot of people WS is the most important race, but that doesn't mean that it has to be for everyone. I would have loved to do well at WS and UTMB, but despite these tough races i'm very proud of the year of running i've had in 2011. I've won 4 of the 7 races i've run (not even sure if anyone else has won more ultras than this in 2011); Chuckanut was one of the best races i've ever had; santa barbara was probably the best i've ever felt all the way through a 100 miler; and the training i did in alaska this summer (including my running camps) was probably the most satisfying stretch of running i've ever had. In all 2011 has been a great year of running for me. and now i'm a bit burnt out and i need a break. not the end of the world by any means. and my plan is to come back stronger than ever, as i've done the two other times i've been burnt out like this.

Cloud said...

Geoff=million dollar legs, golden heart (yes I believe Geoff has a very good heart and is a good person), but a five cent head.

everyone, I don't wanna go into my credentials to much. As I stated on here before my background is in tris at the ironman level but I got into ultras a little too and have finished a few decent races like ws100, hardrock, Wasatch and a few others. Today i coach anywhere from 10-15 athletes; they want my services because I design training plans WITH THEM that get them in peak shape for the 1 or 2 raaces each year that matter. i always customize a plan to the athlete. they like my honest feedback and i like the same from Them.

Anyway, back to Geoff. Geoff doesn't fucking get it in his denial that races like ws100 and UTMB are not plainly the biggest races he has on the calendar. The very fact that he would weigh them all the same--as in chuckanut being just as important as the fucking western States 100 or UTMB, says point blank what his fucking problem is. Some races mean more than others! Sorry but it's a fact! And its a fact a goddamn elite running should know!

Geoff I would think you'd realize that theres such a thing as cumulative stress. Sure you raced like a wild man last year (2010) and had a hell of a year but this year you've been kind of a nonfactor, bro. The stupid April 100 miler you did set back your already stressed body from 2010. it all adds up.

Sorry but it is a damn FACT that in competitive running you have peak cycles. you can't race yeer-round of else your gonna burn out, like what your facing now. You get up for a few race a year and design a whole training program around those.

Eric Strabel said...

Cloud, you've stated your points. And they are legitimate. No one here has a problem considering your input, but it is your tone. It is an arrogant tone that does not mesh well with Geoff's and readers' here. It is a difficult art and one that I have had to work on myself. Perhaps you forgot to change tones from coach to fellow participant.

Example, why do you feel it so important to argue with Geoff about which races are important to him? That is his right. His approach may be different than yours and mine, but that does not have to mean that one is wrong. And to grandstand that yours is the correct one is further divergence from the level of humility in this sport.

Your points are good to consider, but they lose effectiveness without presenting them appropriately to your readers.

I hope this long train of comments on this subject is coming to a close. We all have better things to do and enjoy. Good luck Geoff and we look forward to reading more of your posts!

Betsy said...

Cloud - I hate paying attention to someone like you, but I have to ask: Do you kiss your mother with that mouth? Ewwww.

Geoff said...

cloud,
your inability to understand the simple concept that you don't determine which races are the most important for me is arrogant, ignorant, and really quite comical. You're free to feel that WS is some kind of sacred and holy thing, above and beyond other 100 mile races. I acknowledge that this is the case for a lot of people, but that certainly doesn't mean that it is for everyone. If you really have 10-15 clients your insistence on keeping yourself anonymous makes a lot more sense. if they all knew that "cloud" was their coach you'd likely struggle to retain any of them.

i actually agree with you about the accumulated stress of racing a lot and that this has been a huge factor in why i'm feeling burnt out right now. the difference is that you seem to think that being burnt out is some horrible thing that one needs to avoid like the plague. it's not that big of a deal. i've felt this before and i'll feel it again. i've also rebounded really strong from this before and i will this time. you seem to think that having success as a runner only means having one or two really high performance races a year. for many people that is primarily what they want out of their running. but sorry man, that aint what i'm going for. never has been and never will be, and the sooner you accept that the sooner you'll stop looking like such a dogmatic idiot in the comments you make here and other places.

probably the most ironically funny thing about all of it though is that you are insisting that the way i train/race is so wrong and that I should just be focusing on one or two peak races a year at a time when I have had one of the best 3 or 4 year stretches in the history of the sport in terms of one or two top performances each year. you can spout off your dogmatic training advice all you want, but at some point it makes a lot more sense to believe in what has happened than in what one believes "should" happen.

MannImSchatten said...

Geoff,
of course the issue is not SO black and white, and I hope you can understand that many of the ideas expressed here (mine or of the others) are simplified for clarity and to limit the word-count. I do not believe that you went to WS nor UTMB to quit somewhere in the middle of the race. I am convinced (same as 95% of your readers/fans) that you wanted to perform well, which in your terms, after 9-0 record, pretty much means fighting for the podium at least. There were very few dissent voices warning that you will not do very well (for the sake of argument - let's forget about the rudeness factor for now). It is fair to say they were more right than me, you and most of all your fans. Did Cloud identify 100% correctly what did you do wrong ? Probably not, I can't say with certainty, but I think he had made several good points and as he does I also believe in cumulative stress, and fatigue factors as well. This may explain why you could keep going like last year for a while but suddenly it went quickly south. I do not believe that one particular race (st.barbara) broke your back, but rather that it is a complex issue of which running may only be a part. Burn-out syndrome is a serious thing in all walks of life, and I have been through that in my field myself. Yet again, few saw it coming, most of the others (including me, and perhaps you as well) not. Maybe that is the reason why pretty much all best athletes in all sort of sports have coaches who can tell them unbiased opinion from a different perspective. That is the difference between "subjective" and "objective", that is why some people may sometimes know more about you than you know yourself, even though they have never been as successful as you were nor have that much experience as you.

Concerning the most important races for you - of course, it is all your call, and I apologize for extrapolating too much based on my interpretation of your blog. I, as your fan, would like you to have WS and UTMB as the most important and the most successful races ... but it is just my wishful thinking. Perhaps I should change the wording to "most high-profile races". Anyway, I really wish you bounce back and achieve level of personal satisfaction and performance as you have in the past, I really do.

Vlad

Jeff said...

Cloud, your dad should've pulled out

UltraJegi said...

Wow,

I can't believe that some of you guys fall into the trap of a simple internet troll. There's only one way to deal with that - ignore. Seriously. Replying gives him - and more importantly the tone and method - credit. As amusing as it is to see the flame war from the sidelines, I think it takes a lot away from communicating with people who care and have something real to say.

Geoff, you do seem to be going back on your own posts claiming you didn't care much about UTMB though - 2 posts back you said it was your "focus race" for a whole year. But that doesn't bother me at all, I just think it makes you look bitter. Then again I probably would be, too.

One thing I would mention though is that all the top runners who get a lot of flak right now sort of asked for this. Let me explain.
Geoff, you call yourself elite, endorse products, take money, coach, and even baasically suggested Hardrock should let the "elite" runners in - knowing well that there is a VERY limited number of spots (I admit as a 6-time applicant who only got to run it once that's gave me pause. Hardrock is the very hard work of dedicated volunteers, and absolutely it's their race.). You're sort of telling us you're better than us. And in pure speed, there is not the faintest doubt.

The running "elite" is re-defining the sport of sorts - I remember a while back when people like Monica Scholz, Hans-Dieter Weisshaar, John DeWalt or Lucinda Fisher, who finished her first 100 miler after 17!! failed attempts in 12 years, had as much credit as the winners (and to be honest are a lot more inspiring, too). You guys don't care as much about toughing it out because, I wouldn't know but I guess - it's not really something you need or even want to train for if you aim for the fastest time. There's no reason why you should be good at it, and that's totally ok - everyone has their own goals. (It IS, however, possible to do it - without killing your body, I might add - but it's definitely tricky.) But the focus on commercial competition and the elite seems to de-emphasizes the value in other traits such as doing extraordinary feats relative to your own challenges. I don't think this comes from any of you on purpose, and maybe I'm wrong. But to me it looks a little like it.

I think it's awesome you get some support, and I hope you can make a living off it. I actually don't myself care what it does to existing ultra races, because there are other events, and always will be, where winning is secondary to the finish, and it's no problem to seek or create such events, and the more choices one has the better.

You shouldn't be surprised though that people care, criticise, encourage, etc ... as I said, you sort of asked for this.

On a different note I think it's refreshing to see that all the top level runners - American and European alike - come across as really awesome, down to earth, cool people (IRunFar's interviews are worth watching). The only reason I wouldn't want to go for a run with you guys is because I'd probably kill myself afterwards.

Btw, for a little inspiration, you should watch this. It's John DeWalt finishing his 14th Hardrock at the age of 73 ... he fell late in the race and had to tough the last few hours out: http://youtu.be/C15pOfuhZrg .

Anyways, in the end you got to where you are by doing what you like doing - not by giving a f*ck about what other people say. I'm sure if you continue on that path, you'll be successful in whichever way you define success.

Cheers,
Beat

Blade said...

Geoff--

I agree with you that the runner has the right to choose which races are important. Granted, though, -- and I'm speculating -- when sponsored, the sponsors put an emphasis on certain races; and they dictate them as more important than other races. Is this true?

Nonetheless, your effort at UTMB is commendable and I'm disappointed that so many people are perturbed by the result. Keep your head up and the running will return to you.

Geoff said...

Blade,
I'm sure this is true in some cases. This has not however been true in my case. to this point i have never had any sponsor request that I do a certain race or that I approach any race as a high focus race.

Ben Nephew said...

GMACK,

I really don't think that Salomon team training and organization is the key. North Face and Salomon both do UTMB training camps, and I don't think taking US men and putting them on Salomon team would be the difference between a 20 hour finish and a DNF.

US mountain runners are not professional athletes, but they earn team medals at World Championships and compete well at major European events all the time. Individual medals are rare, but it is more competitive sport than ultra mountain running. Many of these athletes are self coached, as are many of the top track athletes. Does anyone think that a coach approved of Kilian (and a few other UTMB runners, I think?) running up Mont Blanc 6 days before the race??

I'm not sure how US runners have less focus than European runners. We all know that if Kilian had DNF'd everyone would have said he raced too much. What exactly is meant by more focus?

In terms of talent, if we are talking about the runners at the very front, there is not much to support the claim that Americans have as much talent. In general, we only have a few races to look at, and the Europeans have done very well.

This is where the Salomon team comes in. They are well funded, and ultra trail running is much more popular in Europe than in the US. This combination may lead to faster runners going into ultra trail running in Europe than in the US. Try to find a US runner that will say he has more talent than Kilian. If Kilian has more talent, then maybe some of the guys running with him have similar talent levels. At races like UTMB specifically, you can't get expect to run up front without an extraordinary climbing ability. Sure, you can go 40-50 miles with guys that can climb better than you, but if they are at 75% or their max, and you are at 85%, you won't be with them the entire race.
The top US mountain runners don't often go into ultra running, but it seems that many of the Europeans are quite good at shorter mountain races. It will be interesting to see how Ricky Gates does if he continues running ultras.

Are the descents much worse at UTMB than in most of the western US ultras? As far as I could tell from the profile, the downhills at Hardrock are 10-13%. I've done some running out west and in the French Alps, and the descents in the Alps were much steeper on average.

Geoff said...

Beat,
I think there are some assumptions being made here. when did i say I didn't care much about UTMB? UTMB was my main focus ever since last year's race got cancelled. not sure what i said that you interpreted as me saying I didn't care much about it. sorry if i wasn't clear in something i said.

and the hardrock thing is an old conversation, but if you go back and read what I wrote i think you might be surprised. i never meant to suggest that hardrock should let elites in, i even gave them credit for being firm and not caving to requests to do so. my point of that post was that i think it's unfortunate that we don't currently have a mountain 100 miler that is super bad ass like hardrock and has the space to allow all top level runners to run (i.e. i think it's a bummer that we don't have a UTMB like race and the Hardrock lottery highlights this bummer each year). I wasn't very clear in the original post what I was meaning to say, but if you read my comments in the bottom of that post I think I made it quite clear that i wasn't saying that hardrock should change.

in terms of your first paragraph you're dead on. can't believe i actually get wrapped up in this sh!t sometimes.

see you in AK!

UltraJegi said...

Geoff,

thanks for the clarification. I totally misread some of your statements ... another reason why you always gotta take blog comments (and posts) with a rock of salt ;) Sorry. But you know, if one can maintain a sense of humor it's actually entertaining!

As for UTMB next year ... I put my vote in and suggest you run Tor Des Geants instead!! :) Much much harder (well its also 200 m, 24km vertical up), very beautiful, brilliant organization and more intimate (despite 500 runners). I'd like to see you win that one (if that distance is your thing). Current CR is 80 hours ... you can do better.

Definitely see you in AK. I have no idea how I'm gonna effectively train for that ... getting to the beach will be arduous and almost impossible during the week, plus boring as hell around here ... My achilles hurt just thinking about that race! Scary! Fun :) Btw, I finally got one of those: http://bit.ly/qtcvWh pretty small, ITI legal and reasonably priced (there's no subscription fee either).

Lastly are you ever gonna set up that crazy race in AK? That sounds like a really great idea :)

Cheers,
Beat

Chris said...

One thing I think we in the ultra community forget about sometimes is ultras (especially U.S. runners) are not a high stakes big $$$ or nation pride on the line activity. It's not the world cup, it's not Franz Klammer at Innsbruck, its not the Australian aborigine female 400m in Sydney who had to win gold otherwise her nation and her people would have been devastated. Those athletes had to peak for those events because so much was at stake. U.S. ultrarunning is currently a very low stakes sport (heck triathletes have a lot more riding on the outcome of their races) and 99.95% of the American population could care less whether U.S. runners DNF at UTMB or not. Our biggest race is WS and the Auburn stands are not exactly packed when the winners come through. Aside from personal pride, U.S. ultrarunners had very little riding on how they performed at UTMB. It wasn't like Geoff was going to get showered with hundreds of thousands of dollars if he won. So if Geoff wants to run 15 mom and pop 100s a year and risk burn out he should go for it. As I said right now this is a low stakes sport and we need to keep that in mind before we start criticizing people for not properly peaking for one or two races per year.

Bam said...

Geoff,
we French people want you back next year in the Chamonix Valley; American runners deserve a lot more than what they got this year, I swear there won't be anymore rerouting crap, perfect weather and all.
Now to Cloud, "every cloud has its silver lining", come on dude, stop showing us the dark side of your moon.
A l'année prochaine à Cham'!
Bam

Persistant Analytic said...

Geoff, I enjoy reading about your racing and training, positive and negative, the information/inspiration is much appreciated.

Any changes to your training for the Iditasport run? Not many guys are blogging about looooong distance winter running.

Tatiana said...

Sorry to hear you did not finish, Geoff. I had a nice run (even considering the storm) although I did not push it and had a shorter route... Just enjoyed the beautifull scenary and the experience.
Hope to hear that you rest well
and get back to the adventures.


Tatiana (I met you at Vallee Blanche breakfast)

Jamie Hunter said...

|Lastly are you ever gonna set up |that crazy race in AK? That sounds |like a really great idea :)

The Tongass 100!

That would be sweet!

jimmy said...

If I was an amazing ultrarunner and could do even half of what you can do, I would probably try to run every race I could. Id be burned out all the time. Setting aside all the competition and everything, I just think its really fun to race and be part of that atmosphere. People get to wrapped up in thinking they know whats best for you. Your race reports have always been awesome to read when Im killing time at work! Sorry about the bad luck at UTMB, but it'll just be that much better once you finally crush it next year!

Speedgoat Karl said...

I would be embarassed if Cloud wer my coach......

Barry Bliss said...

Anybody that lives/runs fully gets burned out on a regular basis.
It's not outside of the whole--it's part of it--as Goeff obviously understands.

brendaontheRun said...

Come race day, we all have a tiny window to perform in. Sometimes our bodies work well, and other times they don't. You're an amazing athlete regardless of the result of this year's UTMB or WS ... you'll get your mojo back, don't worry! I think all ultra runners go through this at some point, regardless of where we are in the race pack. Isn't that all part of the journey?!!! What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger!

Hone said...

I think everyone should seriously spend a lot more time running instead of wasting time dissecting your approach to racing. Just keep having fun.

Also I think it is dope you are heading back to ITI. It is not a glamorous race but I know you will feel pretty good after finishing that one.

Kiwirose said...

Geoff, I've been following your blog for over a year now but this is the first time I've commented.

I was on the course at Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme 44km into the race. I was walking the Mont Blanc trail at the time and organised my walk to co-inside with the Utmb in the hope that I would get to see you guys run past. So when I got up at 4am to see the leaders come through and when calling out your name and giving you a cheer as you come past it really meant a lot to me that you waved out in response. As you say in your report you were already struggling at this stage so to still take the time and energy to recognise your supporters tells me alot about you and your attitude to running.

Ultrarunning I believe is about challenging your mind and body against the mountains and enjoying the scenery, friendships and adventures along the way. To me you still show this ultrarunning spirit and I hope that it continues. When you start having coaches, fixed training plans and training to peak for only a couple of races a year you are losing what it means to be a ultrarunner and being in the mountains.
Thanks for the inspiration.

Mark said...

Well, first of all kudos to everyone who made the attempt. Sometimes the runner wins, sometimes the distance comes out on top. Simple, really.
Regarding those who post (positive or otherwise) today's technology gives everyone the ability register an opinion. The key point I'd like to offer is that if you post something that you would never say to the blogger's face, don't post it at all.
Geoff, thanks for inspiring us all and also with your willingness to share both the good and the bad in an open and honest manner.

Wyatt Hornsby said...

Geoff: Wishing you all the best!

Regarding your thoughts that it's too bad we don't have a super bad-ass race that lets in all the elites (versus Hardrock, which is super bad-ass but is very limited in its numbers), Leadville may not be super hardcore but it's not restrictive like Hardrock, WS100, etc. Leadville can accommodate updards of 800 runners and has two nice climbs (Hope both ways) along with some sweet elevation the whole way. Again, it's not Hardrock, but it's the one race I can think of that anyone can get into so long as they register before the event closes out.

Regarding Cloud, I think he/she makes some decent points but they undermine any logic they may have with their obnoxious tone. I really think the best policy with this individual is to ignore them...or delete their comments.

Wyatt

Speedgoat Karl said...

Wyatt, the problem with Leadvillie is with all the money they take in, there is no prize money. The real goal with a "high profile" race is prize money,not just getting in. Bighorn would also be good. It really depends on the RD,not necessariyly permits. Most races have permits that exceed the actual number who start. It wouldn't be hard to let in say 10 runners the last week. Anyway, off subject, sorry.

Nemo Camino said...

Geoff,

I'd just like to say how much it's interesting you share you're ultrarunner experience with us, when you are number one and even when it's hard, when you dnf.
Everybody who runs and try to reach a goal knows instant of great pleasure and moment of terrible disappointment : when you're tired, when your body hurts and says no, when you're injured.
We all try to find our own way (and it's a long and hard way) to have great run and great race.
For me you are like a guide and I take some inspiration and motivation for my train. Great respect for you and for what you do.
I hope you will be back to Chamonix, shave or not :-), next year.

Take care

Lars said...

First of all: from an external perspective I’ve to say it is so ridiculous what is going on here. Geoff is one of the most amazing and greatest ultra-runner in the world. Some of the guys here attack him in the rudest tone. Unbelievable. And what for? Because he does not act the way, some of you want him to? He has to justify himself for doing what he likes most? For racing when and where he likes??? Are you crazy? If you like to have one or two peaks a year, I think, that is okay to all of us. But, if there are guys that go out to compete 4, 5 or 6 major races a year, than let them do! Support them. That’s the spirit of ultra-running. That gives inspiration to me and many other people.
Geoff, I hope you’ll be back soon. I wish you a speedy recovery, especially for your mind.

Michelle said...

Hey! I have a suggestion for what you can do for the next several weeks/months...... I will pay you to come be our chef! This way, you can cook, which you love, Haley and I can eat well, which we love. And Mom would be super happy, which we will all love. ;)

phil said...

To me you are an inspiration...end of story.

momroes said...

Michelle - that sounds like a super plan to me - i was planning on seeing him in Virginia in Sept. and now that won't be happening.

Geoff - I don't care what others say you are #1 with us and you always will be - you are a fantastic person and that is all that really matters. We love you!!!

Cloud said...

"my point of that post was that i think it's unfortunate that we don't currently have a mountain 100 miler that is super bad ass like hardrock and has the space to allow all top level runners to run (i.e. i think it's a bummer that we don't have a UTMB like race and the Hardrock lottery highlights this bummer each year."

Geoff, excuse me but youve had two big races this year, full of elites, and you DNFd in both of them. Yes, you DNFd at Western States and UTMB. So don't be bitching 'bout the lack of a championship race when you failed to finish in the two races on your calendar that had you pitted against some of the top talent in the entire sport!

Sorry dude but you are dead fucking wrong about peaking. You can have more than a few really good races year-round but you can only truly peak about 2 times a year. If you disagree with me, you're also disagreeing with leading minds in the sport like Dr. Jack Daniels. Sorry but its a fucking fact that you can peak only 2 times a year and in rare cases three times.

One of the big problems in elite ultrarunning in the US is that our best race WAY to fucking much. Yes, Kilian races a lot but he's also only in his early 20s and he doesn't run much at all in the winter. You and others, such as Nick Clark race year-round and then wonder where the gas is late in the summer when you've exchausted yourself.

When the history of Geoff Roes is written, will it be that you had a great 3-year run and then flamed out or will it be that you were great for a long time? Oh, and sorry but you haven't had one of the all time best 3 year runs unless the list goes about 20 deep. You need to study up on the sport and read baout some of the greats. If you think yor even in the same league as Yiannis Kouros then yer dreaming.

Jeff said...

Cloud, go back to the zoo and stop bothering people.

Geoff said...

Cloud,
you know, if you ever are feeling bold you outta consider responding to what i've actually said rather than to what you want me to be saying so as to give yourself tangential points in which to make it known how right you are about everything. It would certainly give you a bit more credibility than your usual method of making things up to argue against... then again it probably wouldn't give so many folks so many good laughs.

Brett said...

To The Board:

I had the unfortunate luck of stumbling upon one of Cloud's more mild comments recently with regards to over-racing. I didn't necessarily agree with him, but defended his idea as something worth at least debating.

After reading several more comments from him, each one more vile and disrespectful than the next, I'd like to apologize for my earlier defense. An oral diarrhea spewing ogre need not be given any credence, even if he postulates something undeniable, like 2 + 2 = 4.

momroes said...

The language that some people use on here is really rotten. I wish that there was a way to not publish comments with such filthy language. It is not really impressive.

Mark said...

I have a pretty good idea what my dad would say re: Cloud.
"Never argue with an idiot. They only drag you down to their level then beat you to death with experience."
My father is a wise man.

Eric B said...

lol, Cloud your now a leading mind in sports. What an idiot. Please list your races you have run and those athletes you say you coach. My hunch you sit in basement munching on potato chips, sipping tab cola looking at the internet.

pasi.koskinen said...

Geoff, I´m very sorry for You when I´m reading some of these comments.
Target-oriented running is not everything. Racing is just a small part of running if you are real ultrarunner. And You are!
Just keep going. The God of trails is Quiet but demanding.

Wyatt Hornsby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tramontana said...

Cloud is right in everything he is saying about training and racing. He is very arrogant but he is right. BTW his name is Tim.

nikolailash said...

Perhaps it's time we left Clown alone with his toys and mischief. He hasn't made especially constructive comments. I think pasi.koskinen has it right that racing is only a small part of ultra running. We should all follow our own lights. Geoff, you are following yours wisely and enjoyably. I'm inspired by your thoughts and example.

Unknown said...

I know more than everyone else. I've trained hundreds of great athletes. Technically they didn't know it was me training them, but that's just how good I am. When they win, it's because they are following my advice exactly, although they might not consciously realize it. Again, that's how good I am. When they lose, it's because they didn't listen to me, so they deserved to lose. That proves they were stupid. Even though I am right about everything, know everything, and train every great athlete, I'm going to stay anonymous because my whole system only works if you don't know it's me training you. So, next time any of you do well, just know it's because of me and how crazy awesome I am. Your success is actually my success, so don't let it go to your head. Nobody can win anything without me. If you don't do well, and I find out about it, I'm going to call you out for how stupid you are and let everyone know it's because you were not training the way I told you to. Even if you got sick, or in a car accident, that would just prove you were training wrong. Also, unlike any success, your failure is totally your fault.

Unknown said...

Hold on, I was reading clouds posts and thought this was where anonymous people could talk openly about there delusions of superiority, but maybe I should be posting on his blog? Cloud, I've googled megalomania, narcissistic personality order, etc., and I can't find you? Where is your blog?

Brian said...

Cloud is right in many ways, it's just that he is painting with a very broad brush and his delivery sucks. Whether it pertains to Geoff and his plan who the f knows. Not speaking at all for Geoff or trying to put words in anyone's mouth. Obviously, Geoff is an exception athlete. Everyone is different but Americans whether it be cycling, running, triathlon, whatever, tend to make their easy days to hard and they hard days to easy. We tend to train in a gray area, which leads to burn out. Again, not judging Geoff at all as he has and will have plenty more great races, I am also from North Syracuse originally and would never disrepect a Hastings/ Central Square native!!

Best of luck!

Larry said...

Geoff:
People will criticize as part of human nature, but unless they've walked a mile in your shoes, who cares. Sure, we all wanted the U.S. runners to go Chamonix and dominate, especially you, but, maybe, some of that desire was an underlying zest in national pride and believing that we are the best. We want our best to beat "their" best. And, when that didn't happen, people were disappointed. Regardless, those are expectations for which you're not responsible in making come to fruition for others. This isn't life or death. It's running.

All the best this Fall. Can't imagine getting enjoy time outdoors in the golden Aspens and snow-dusted mountains whenever you want. Enjoy!

Alfonso Lopez said...

Geoff, a long time you're won and beat the records of racing..and have demonstrated exemplary humility..you have very good karma that will returns only good things..you'll find a way to return to winnings ways , you still very young..just look at the great year of David MCAKEY also a great champion..
Geoff you are an example for everyone, good luck¡¡
I hope to see you in the UROC

Brian said...

One thing I don't understand here, is why many or most seem to think that you need to be an elite ultra runner or have been to coach ultra runners. I don't get that.

Michelle said...

Blogs need "like"/"dislike" buttons. I keep reaching for it.

joerunner said...

Sorry about your dnf. I wish you well and good luck. Beyond that I have my own running to think about.

Rod Bien said...

Truly, Cloud, I get great pleasure at your fire starting, idiotic comments. There is no way you are a coach and I doubt that you run let alone have finished WS or Hardrock. I'm guessing your exercise is running downstairs to your mom's basement and microwaving a few "Hot Pockets" in between comments. Keep it up.

Cloud said...

The people on here who are calling me stupid, such as Rod Bien are themselves quite dumb. Tell me one thing I've said that's not correct? You won't find many coaches who will say an athlete can peak all year. You won't find many coaches who'll say you race hard in every race. Theer is such a thing and practe racing, tune up racing and peak performance racing (the latter being something you do really 2 times a year). You won't find any coach who will say rest isn't a good thing and it's OK to run hard all fuckingt year like Roes and other "elites" do. The people on here who are saying I'm an idiot--to you I say your all just a bunch of pack mob jackasses who are to busy kissing Roes ass to see that he's all wrong in what he's done in the past year and that's why he's on his ass now. Yah he had a nice run for a few years there but its all caught up to him now, ain't it?

tim white said...

YAWN..... Not sure why the internet troll is riling so many people up...??? Just a simple moron who likes to keeeeep repeating the same things. Quite boring!

nikolailash said...

Tweety Bird sings yet another sweet song!

Burt said...

@ cloud:

Still anonymous. Still gutless.

At least you are consistent.

Burt Hoovis

Rod Bien said...

Cloud, I can tell you three things that you have said that aren't correct or true.

1. That you've run Western States.
2. That you've run Hardrock.
3. That you're a running coach.

I'll go back to being "dumb" and running myself into the ground.

irun4pain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trey Bailey said...

'Cloud' may be obnoxious, callous, and comic-relief, but don't start throwing names around: "A quick google search brings up Carmichael Training Systems and Jason Koop." Whether Jason Koop is 'Cloud' or not, mis-identification can ruin a persons career. I've never met Jason Koop, or paid for any type of coaching, but for @irun4pain to not trust in Cloud's claims regarding Geoff, but to trust Cloud's claims regarding his experience is how mistakes are made with grave consequences. And fair weather to fit 'irun4pain's search. You can find anything you want if you search and skew evidence. Cloud is the only person that should be revealing his identity, not some else playing detective. www.uphillrunning.com

Geoff,

Great race, man. Good luck with the recovery and keep up the great blog posts.

eric said...

i like this quote from Geoff (last year, running times):

"When Mont-Blanc was called off, somebody commented that at least I didn't have my record blemished," he says. "I'd rather run and lose than not run at all."

just running itself is winning.