Monday, June 16, 2008

Geraldi's Tag

Alan Geraldi (he of the back to back Hardrock, Badwater, TRT, Leadville, UTMB, Wahsatch this summer) tagged a bunch of Ultraholics (Jean, Michael, Chihping, Baldwyn and myself) with 5 interesting questions today.

1. my running ten years ago
I've always been a cyclist. 10 years ago I was a workaholic at Microsoft in Seattle. Once I moved to California in 2000 I got back into bike racing and then triathlons. I found, to my surprise, that running was my strongest leg. I did almost all my training on the trails around my house and loved it. I did surprisingly well in the first trail race I entered and started doing them absurdly frequently.

But it took me many years to come around to doing ultras. I only started doing them last year. I still do a lot of shorter distance trail races and I still have a lot to learn about how to do distance well.

2. the best and worst race experience
My best ultra performance was North Face Seattle 50K last year. It was a brutal 10,000 plus feet of climbing course. I was running with the big boys for almost the whole race (Tim Twietmeyer, Kami Semick, finishing second master to Tim and 15 minutes behind Kami). I have a lot of shorter distance wins that were a lot of fun. The most beautiful courses I've done (short or long) were all in the Marin Headlands.

Although I've made a ton of mistakes doing ultras (almost every classic one) I don't know that I've ever really had a truly "bad" trail run. Even the total bonk, 10 miles off course disasters were amazing experiences that I wouldn't get rid of.

3. why do I run?
Being out in nature, pushing myself to my limits, at one with the trail and the mountain, is an indescribable and ineffably moving and exhilarating experience. It is completely addictive. Although I love to race weekly and am very (probably overly) competitive, the core of the passion is really just the trail running itself. My morning trail runs in the Santa Cruz mountains are something I would find extremely difficult to give up under any circumstance.

4. best and worst advice I've been given
Hmmm, good advice? I came from an old triathlon coach: "do something every day". Simple. Effective. Not everyone follows it.

Bad advice: overhydration. Beyond the risk of hyponatrenemia, people are just beginning to discover that the body can only process so much fluids per hour. Beyond that more fluid and sports drink makes it difficult for your body to metabolize any fuel.

After doing a bunch of reading, I'm starting to become convinced that my races with big GI issues were due to too much drinking. One water bottle of sports drink per hour (supplemented with aid station cups) seems to work best.

5. tell us something surprising that most people wouldn't know about you
While I was still a hardcore cyclist, in high school my ambitions were much more geeky. I led my high school chess team to the state championship (which we lost).
But my true ambition is to be a Beastie Boy (replacing one of the other Adam's when they retire)


Blogger Baldwyn said...

Beastie Boy, and yet you still won't publicly (or on YouTube) do the Ultra-rap for us???

4:58 PM  
Blogger Adam Blum said...


OK, here's the deal. I WILL do it (with YouTube rights even). My condition: each and every Ultraholic mentioned in the rap MUST participate (I'll add a couple lines for you dude). We'll divvy up the lyrics (e.g. we won't make Mark or Alan trashtalk about how great they area). Ideally this is at the pre-race dinner for something like Western States or TRT. I'm pretty comfortable that bluff is not gonna get called on this.


- Adam

5:33 PM  
Blogger willgotthardt said...

"...and am very (probably overly) competitive"

Too funny...ya think? You got nothing on me however.

Will G.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Oh, man, I'll help on the video only if someone buys some good beer.

Do you think your chess skills are still there?

6:13 PM  
Blogger Adam Blum said...

Wow, we have a taker for the video! Lets round up the rest of the suspects!

My enjoyment is still there but I don't know about my actual skills. I've been playing more Chess960 lately. Good game if you don't have time to study openings all the time.

8:47 AM  

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