Dakota Jones’ 2012 Hardrock 100 Taper Report

When I left Silverton yesterday morning, I knew I was in for a long day. The mountains around me beckoned, calling my name with their siren song of adventure – I thought that by living here for another summer I might reduce my list of objectives, but despite prolific running and climbing, the list has, if anything, grown larger. I just want to go into the mountains! Instead of running, today I bicycled. On the road. For about an hour.

At Red Mountain Pass I met my friend Brett, with whom I then travelled to Black Bear Pass, at about 12,500 feet, where we began the most grueling portion of the day: six hours, two chairs and one book each. Fueling on nothing more than fruit salad and leftover stir fry, I alternately shivered in the cold wind, walked around, read my damn good book (The Future of Life by Edward O. Wilson – read it.) and looked at the far off mountains. With Brett as a pacer, we accurately named most of the distant peaks and argued about the time we skied Red 3, which he, approaching senility, doesn’t remember but was one of the best days of skiing of my life. One of the day’s high points was a nap in the grass. The low point? Flies. Fucking flies. Everywhere.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. I think I’m losing my mind. I spent most of this morning pacing the room and running my hands through my hair. I’ve listened to so much jazz lately! Training makes me tired, and being tired makes me feel fit. When I’m not tired, I don’t feel fit. Perhaps a graph of my taper will help illustrate the point:

My Taper

Now that I look at it, that graph would also be accurate with the titles “Perceived Personal Fitness” or “Confidence in Myself.” This hasn’t been helped by my eating habits, which look something like this:

But I can’t just spend all my time running, or thinking about running. Sometimes I have to blog about running too:

Now, I’d like to be very clear that I don’t spend all my time focused on running and Hardrock. Since I don’t spend as much time in the mountains while tapering, the necessity to do other things becomes especially paramount. This is a rough outline of other ways I occupy my time:

If Hardrock doesn’t arrive soon, I’m going to do something drastic. Up on Black Bear Pass with Brett yesterday, I enjoyed the stunning views of the San Juans for a quarter of the day. But that’s a lot like sitting in front of a plate of cookies for ten minutes.

I love mountains.

Dakota Jones: explores the wild places of the world on foot and tells us about it every few weeks. He runs for Salomon and Clif Bar.

View Comments (15)

  • You are always an awesome read. And so is E.O. Wilson.

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    • Somebody has too much idle time on their hands, this too shall pass.

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  • Thanks for the laughs, Dakota - great read. Best of luck for Hardrock. PS I love mountains too.

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  • Ok. Didn't like so much the rose on Kilian deal and that was preceded by a post on running and sponsorship where I felt like you took a few jabs at some high profile runners. But this? This was funny. Good writing Dakota!
    Ps. I wish I could say good luck this weekend but I REALLY want Karl to hv a great race. Sorry.

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  • I think that was your best article yet. Hilarious!

    You should include a line for hours spent making graphs for article full of graphs.

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  • Dude, you are so ready to kick ass! "Chomping at the bit" run hard and keep enjoying life!

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  • Damn, you're good.

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  • More excellent science! Thought-provoking data! :)

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  • What???? No beer graph!

    Or, weight gained(empty calorie)from drinking beer graph ??

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  • Seriously hilarious stuff. Good luck!

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  • I think Ellie followed a similar taper schedule for WS, and we know what she did...

    ...just saying.

    Good luck out there.

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  • You're almost as good at using Excel as you are at running. Ready for the corporate world if the need ever arises, and hopefully it won't.

    Flies indeed. ****ing early July.

    Bring an extra water bottle this year, sheesh.

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  • As an inveterate procrastinator and the holder of the all-time slowest Hardrock finish, I say "wait for it... wait for it" and savor the taper as well as the run!

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  • Just as you said yourself, if just keep your mind on enjoying your running in the mountains you love the rest will follow. Good Luck!

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  • I can't beat Dakota in a race, but I can do more push-ups! Very funny. Good to see humor on irunfar.

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