Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Slam Team

(micheal and Lisa (his wife) gave me these magnets that go on the crew car for my b-day)
I am lucky to have a great support group and between family and friends there is no way I won't complete the slam this year. What's so wonderful about this group of people is they know me inside and out, they won't let me get away with anything. They all have high expectations of themselves which translates into high expectations from me which always brings the best out me. That alone is priceless and somehow I am lucky enough have them around to help me accomplish my goals. I would have to say everyone on my "slam team" brings a different strength and personality. What's interesting about that is I don't think I could live without any of them and wouldn't want to.

First off my family Bill and Alex. Bill will be at all the races and will be a main part of my crew. He won't do any pacing because he loves me to much, ha ha. The reason I say that is because he has paced me before and all I did was whine and cry like a baby and he would get so worried he wouldn't practice tough love and ended up taking care of me. I don't think tough love from Bill would work very well anyway, I would know he is faking it so I would still whine and cry like a baby again. My husband is my heart, without him I truly wouldn't beat and would not be able to realize any of my dreams. Sounds mushy but that is the honest truth I think about it everyday.

My son Alex always acts like running a 100M race is part of life, never worried about me and for the most part when I come into aid stations I am always amazed at how relaxed he is. It must be the ten year old in him.....nothing is a big deal, just smile and play with sticks! I like to set a good example for him so having him around will help me be at my best.

Bill will be well supported by his mom and dad and the rest of my crew and pacers. All of my crew and pacers are ultra runners themselves, Bill has even done a few ultras and loved it. Having ultra runners pace and crew is the best! My crew is filled serious planners so my detailed data oriented approach races is no stranger to them. If fact, they add another layer of planning and during our pre-race banter I know they have been going over race day in their head from start to finish. This kind of intensity is annoying and out right scary to others but with this group of people it's a way of life!

Micheal McCarthy (aka: The Counselor) will be at all four races but won't be on my team for Western States because he is running the race himself. He will be pacing me for a bulk of the miles where pacers are allowed at the other three 100's. I have had the pleasure of running with Micheal for 3 years now, we became instant friends one day while running the Peterson Ridge Rumble in Sisters, OR. Stacey and I had the opportunity to pace him at his first 100M race, Cascade Crest 100M in Washington where he finished in exactly 24:00:00 with legs to spare. Micheal has paced me during Where's Waldo 100K and this last year at the San Diego 100M where I set a new woman's course record. He is relentless, never let's you waver, positive but realistic at the same time. Micheal is a integral part of my training, he always is ready to run on the weekends and since he's fast it's a great way to get my slow b _ _ _ moving. He is excited to come on the journey!

Jim Rudig (aka: Batman) has paced me at Western States for the last two years after finishing the race himself under 24 hours two years in a row. He was not drawn in the lottery for the last two years so I was lucky enough to snag him as my pacer. This year he too will be running the race! A group of us met Jim at the WS training weekend about 4 years ago. It just happened that he set his tent up next to ours and once we started talking realized we were all from Oregon. Jim hasn't been able to shake us since. He is a great guy with a ton of talent, running the Spartathon, Trans Gualle and crossing the Alps with my husband and some friends. Jim is a fast runner and super knowledgeable so having him on my Leadville team will be awesome. If your going to attempt to die in the wilderness this is guy to have around because he is a First Responder and knows a ton about mountaineering. I promise I won't attempt to die at Leadville so don't worry Jim!

Stacey Bunton (aka: Stella) will be at all four events! I have known Stacey for 9 years now and we have run together almost every weekend, we have run a million races together and either paced and crewed each other at every 100M either of us has run. It would almost be an understatement to say, "this girl knows me well"! Basically I don't have to think when I run a race because Stacey can just look at me and know exactly what might be going on or what I might need. She is probably the sweetest person you will ever meet and the most nurturing. Funny how we are such goods friends because we are sort of opposite personality types but when it comes to running we are very much alike, we like challenges and we like to accomplish goals. Stacey is an awesome runner, she has won Cascade Crest 100M and took second at Angeles Crest 100M. When she puts he mind to something she does it and with a big smile on her face no matter how she feels. She is the one that named me Rooster so many years ago. I know I am in goods hands with Stella!

Darin Swanson (aka: Marathon Man) paced me last year at Western States and he taught me a lot about racing. He dabbles in the ultras but is in deep pursuit of a sub 3 hour marathon, he is sooooooo close it's just a matter of time. This year I have the pleasure of having Darin on my Western States crew again. He is a racer and that is not my strong suit so having him helping with WS is a gift. He is sort of my competitive alter ego out there on race day and I need all the help I can get in that department. I run with his wife Trisha sometimes on the trails, she is more my speed. Once in awhile when Darin needs a slow day on the trails he comes out with us, maybe for a Black Saturday hill repeat day :).

Bob Lynes (aka: The Beast) will be with me for 3 weeks straight this summer! I wonder if he knows what he is getting into? Beast is really the one responsible for all this nonsense, he got Stacey and I hooked on the trails and mainly the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood Wilderness area, he is the one that introduced us to RUNNING in those areas. Most people don't even want to hike the steep terrain but the Beast lives in the mountains almost everyday. The Beast has done several hundred mile races and many many ultras so he is no stranger to this process. I have been running with the Beast for over 5 years now and I have to be careful not to follow him to far into the woods because a training run with the Beast can last for over 8 hours of tough running in tough terrain. Beast will be my acclimation buddy for Leadville. He is spending one week with me in Utah where we will train in the Wasatch then Bill will come get us and take us to Leadville for two more weeks. Beast has run Leadville 100M and Pikes Peak Marathon so he knows what it's like to not be able to breath. We will be training all over the Leadville course for two weeks!

Tom Chapman (aka: TT) won't be pacing or crewing me but he is a big part of my slam team because he is my trail scout, track workout support and he keeps me motivated. He carries a large stick but doesn't really every beat you to hard, ha ha. Since Tom lives in the gorge he is always helping me out by finding good trails and routes to mimic my upcoming race. When I have to do track workouts he will sometimes be down at the track making sure I am not slacking off in any way, he has high expectations and doesn't like excuses either. Tom is doing four 100M races this year and when he's done he will have completed nearly 20 100M races.

That's my Slam Team!


olga said...

Go, Team Rooster!!!

Anonymous said...

Great job at Vermont! First Place Masters! (I know, that's a double edge sword, I felt the same way when I won my first race as a masters runner)! 3rd place overall. Keep up the good work and focus.

Sophie Speidel said...

Congrats on your strong VT finish, Ronda! You edged out my good friend and training partner, Kerry Owens, for the Masters title. She is one tough runner too (having finished 2nd at Massanutten and Bighorn and 1st at Superior Sawtooth 100 in 2006), so you guys were in good company together. Enjoy your family trip to acclimate for Leadville!Sounds like a blast!

olga said...

Told ya under 22 is a given for you!!! Where is the report? C'mon, write s hort thingy before you leave:)