Rob Krar had a nearly perfect year of ultrarunning in 2013. This year, he kicks off his season with the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile. In the following interview, Rob talks about what his off season looked like, why the Tarawera Ultramarathon wasn’t his season opener, and what this weekend’s race might look like.
[Click here if you can’t see the video above.]
Rob Krar Pre-2014 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Rob Krar before the 2014 Lake Sonoma 50. How are you doing, Rob?
Rob Krar: I’m doing really good.
iRunFar: Last time we chatted you had just had a pretty good run at TNF 50.
Krar: Yeah, that was awhile ago.
iRunFar: That was. What have you been up to since then?
Krar: I took a long break after TNF. I didn’t run a step for about six weeks. Then I kind of slowly transitioned back into it. I spent a lot of time in the mountains this winter as usual. Yeah, I’m looking forward to getting out there and racing again.
iRunFar: Has that long break been always part of your M.O. like when you were doing the faster stuff on the roads and whatnot?
Krar: Yeah, for sure. I don’t race a whole lot. Every race I do run is a real focus for me. By not racing a whole lot it gives me plenty of time to take a breather after, really listen to the body, allow it time to heal and recover, and then there’s always plenty of time to get back into the next training cycle.
iRunFar: During those six weeks of non-running I assume you were up on the skis a bit?
Krar: Yeah, I was up the whole time, for sure. I took a couple days off after the race, but we got lucky this year. Flagstaff itself didn’t get a whole lot of snow, but the mountain got enough snow to keep it running the whole winter. So I was up there pretty quickly.
iRunFar: When you are on your skis, what does that look like in terms of training? Do you have real long sessions?
Krar: It’s a bit of a combination. One run or one ski up is about 2,250 feet, and depending on what route I take it’s anywhere from 45 to 55 minutes. So sometimes I’ll do doubles; it’s pretty rare. I’m usually out there for at least one-plus, or one-and-a-half laps. From home I can be on the mountain and back home in two to 2.5 hours which is great especially on my work weeks.
iRunFar: When did you get back into the running and what did that look like heading into this focus race?
Krar: I guess it was late January that I started running again. It took a little while to get my legs back under me. I took a fall a couple weeks before Tarawera that took me out of that race. That kind of set me back a little bit. I had to take 10 days off running, but I was still able to get in the mountains so I kept up my fitness. Things really turned around kind of when I was recovering from that fall. I’ve had a really great training cycle. The last four weeks have been really spectacular, so I’m feeling really fit and really excited to get out there and race.
iRunFar: So what exactly did happen on that trip and fall?
Krar: It was on a trail I’ve been on a hundred times. I just clipped a toe and I didn’t have any time to react. I kind of landed on a big rock with my arm in front of my chest and it just punched my chest. I don’t know what happened. I probably cracked or damaged some ribs and cartilage. I knew it was going to happen. Rib injuries take forever. I still feel it now. I can do everything I want to, but it’s still there.
iRunFar: It’s pretty uncomfortable.
Krar: Yeah, especially the first week or so. Yeah, for sure.
iRunFar: Coming into a race like that, you have some pretty good competition. We just saw Max King wander up. Who’s going to be up there with you at that turnaround?
Krar: I think there are going to be a lot of people at the turnaround despite the fast pace. You know, it’s going to be the smartest of the fastest runners that are going to be hanging on near the end. It’s going to be exciting.
iRunFar: That’s definitely how it played out last year. A couple guys went off the front early—I’m not looking at Max or anything—Sage [Canaday] sort of worked his way up and got it last year. So you don’t have to be aggressive on this course early.
Krar: No, I don’t think so. It’s going to be interesting seeing everybody’s strategy out there. It’s the kind of course, even though it’s early season, it’s the kind of course that can kind of get away from you early on if you’re not careful. We’ll see what happens. It’s going to be interesting.
iRunFar: Do you think it will be like TNF 50 every year—seems like there are 20 guys at mile 20 and then there’s five or so at mile 30?
iRunFar: And then things blow up.
iRunFar: Do you think it’s similar in that you’ll have a group of people…?
Krar: Yeah, I don’t think there’s any doubt that there’s going to be a pretty good group going through midway through the race, I would say. Then it depends on how fast it goes out. If it goes out at a bit more of a moderate pace, a reasonable pace, maybe people will hang on. If it goes out fast, and that group is together half way through, stuff is going to hit the fan shortly after midway, I would say.
iRunFar: You’ve been there in that position before and hung on in some pretty good races.
Krar: Yeah, we’ll see how it goes. I’m feeling great and looking forward to the race.
iRunFar: And could be—it’s nice and comfortable here in the shade right now—it could be in the upper-70’s [Fahrenheit] out on the course and pretty sunny all day tomorrow. Has it been warm out in Flagstaff?
Krar: Yeah, it’s been warm but we’re up at 7,000 feet, so in April you’re looking at high-50’s and low-60’s—certainly no heat training. But I can’t see it getting much above 70 by the time we’re finishing about 12:30-ish. So I don’t think the heat is going to be a big factor tomorrow.
iRunFar: Good luck out there and enjoy, man.
Krar: Thanks, appreciate it.
iRunFar: Bonus question. You had a darn good April Fool’s joke—you shaved your beard.
Krar: Yeah, ‘Rob Krar’s Beard’ started something up, so I decided I’d play along for a little bit. Yeah, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
iRunFar: No? Not even with your pharmacy job?
Krar: I’ve gotten a lot more people looking at my name tag making sure I’m the actual pharmacist.
iRunFar: That you’re not an herbal pharmacist or something?
Krar: Yeah, so I’m going to hold onto it a little longer.