Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sometimes you just need to slow down and wait for yourself to catch up.

I’m not sure when It happened, not exactly sure what it really is for that matter but at some undefined point on some trail or during some race I reached a milestone….or better yet…Call it a mid life running crisis. Right now I’m cancelling a running race that I’ve been waiting to run, I’m cutting back my scheduling for “meeting up” not because I don’t like the venue or the people I run with but it’s more of a defensive posture, a sort of reverse engineering of my running self to save what little I might have left of my past desire to run. A time long ago I’d get up every morning at some crazy time when only spiders and their dew covered webs would be on the trail…… my legs fresh and my mind clear just bursting with excitement to run.

I’ve always ran; at least as long as I can remember. I would run when ever my schedule would allow and when I ran I would run without much gear, no compression shorts, running watch, handhelds or packs….I ran without toe socks, just standard whities. With a dab of Vaseline I was gone, sometimes just taking off in any direction and running for an unknown amount of time, turn around and head back. At that time I would only run one race a year… the L.A. Marathon, but that was it. I also didn’t have as much responsibility as I do today; three children and a wife later, my bills and responsibilities are a marathon in themselves. And my gear; I’ve got drop bags full of gear, bottles, tubes, baggies, shoes, clothes … overload of stuff.

In the beginning I’d create a log of my running that I sometimes read to revisit for fun… and as I progressed to trail running I would always take my camera, stopping many times to take pictures of various interesting things along the way…

To the present…. and many marathons, 50ks, 50milers, 100 miler, Grand Canyon and Badwater experiences later I’m worn. I realized that I’m running to “run” and not “experience” anymore, I’m not getting up and looking forward to the experience because I view my running lately as a schedule to meet, trying to advance myself beyond my “last run or race” and not stopping to enjoy where I am but rather how fast I can run through it…..let’s face it when you advance past 40 your PR experiences dwindle leaving only the value of running in the “Experience” of the moments rather than pure performance.

So… I’ve decided my cure will be on multiple levels.
1. I’m going for deep muscle massages to wake my legs up
2. No schedules, no races, no long range plans, no commitments……..
3. Day on, day off with compression gear.. ( I feel looser, cool and free that way, my strides feel unrestricted bring me back to pre-injury mentality) it was after my hip flexor injury that I began using compression gear while running.
4. I’m running more consistently but closer to home, old stomping grounds, 5-8 miles daily with weekend runs of higher mileage. Running, walking and intentionally stopping to enjoy where I am…… note: clear your schedule before running long…don’t push your finish due to expectations or prior commitments.
5. Mentally rewinding, de-racing, de-stressing to find out why I loved to run in the first place….

It’s beginning to work, I can feel myself again and I’m looking forward to hitting the trails that earlier seems to have become drab and unexciting… Oh, one more thing for my list of remedies……

To just slow down so that I can just simply catch up to myself……….

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

San Diego 100 – Update 2 – We are not alone…

San Diego 100 – Update 2 – We are not alone…

I’ve officially secured a pacer for the SD100, I’m pretty pumped! Last years solo attempt didn’t work out to well so I needed someone with the intestinal fortitude to tell me off and get me back on the trail when I begin to mingle and waste time… Rachael Kadell is the lucky pacer and I’m confident that she will do nothing short of kick my A$$.

So I’m ready now, a slight taper next week, no hills, and that’s it.

I’ve decided to carry my Nathan pack but sans water, I will carry water bottles for both water and mix and that should be sufficient.

My training up till now has been fairly strong, I’ve put in some good mileage mixed with speed and hill work so we’ll just take it one stride at a time.

I plan on documenting this one with as much detail as I can pictures and all so when this tread finishes it will finish with my final SD100 summary. Cant wait. Just run.


Friday, May 27, 2011

San Diego 100 - update 1 - Enlightened

San Diego 100 - update 1 - Enlightened

Last year I had attempted to run the SD100, I was headstrong and independent, turns out I was just unprepared and alone when I shouldn’t have been. I ran a pretty strong race but ran into issues when I ate to much “roast beef sandwich” midway through my attempt.

I had spent the day pushing the pace when I should’ve been monitoring it and conserving; these mistakes tend to build up mile by mile in a 100 and by 60 I had regretted the fact that I didn’t recruit a friend for pacing duties. As I strolled , limped, crawled into the 80 mile station “sunrise” I had all but convinced myself to sit the remaining mileage out…. I said “ I think I’m done”………silence. With no pacer to offer a stubborn rebuttal my mind had won and I was done.

This year is a bit different, I’ve gone a whole year with the “What if’s” and I’m tired of em. I signed up for San Diego 100 and have been training and planning my offensive maneuvers around the 100 beast. This time armed with a pacer and partial crew, probably the same person … I plan on putting this one to bed.

My mileage is consistent and its remained at around 75-80 miles a week, overtraining in mileage has never helped me so I’m comfortable with the training so far.

I also plan on adding twitter to the blog so that I can record every fun filled mile as I go!..yay…

I’m running Los Pinos on Saturday for training run which is a pretty brutal trail run just by itself, will go moderately slow being that I need to start thinking about a logical taper and all….. I’m stubborn that way so we’ll see…. This is the first of a few SD100 updates…


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Distance, Weight, Water, Luggage……

One early Saturday morning as I prepared for my 100 miler the adrenaline was pumping, everyone was excited but yet calm and stoic as they gathered gear. There were many with water bladders, every make and model and some without.

I remembered the preparation leading to this race, I did as I always do, tore apart pretty much everything I own having anything to do with running and laid it all out in my garage as not to miss a single item or possibly overlook something on my inventory check list.

My bladder pack was a double pocketed pack with the ability to expand even deeper if need be; so I began my preparations selecting the essentials first, my salt, blister kits, caloric requirements (gels and what nots). By the time I had completed my pack was full, I had packed the essentials the secondary and tertiary’s and ….not sure what the name is for the 4th in order…anyway, packed it all.

In hindsight my sons lucky he wasn’t there with me or I probably would’ve packed him too……

So here I was at the start line ready to go… and with a countdown we were off!.. Jump ahead to 50 miles, weighed down and getting tired I had decided to drop the whole pack and continue on with my pacer and two handhelds, best decision ever….I felt like I had new life and continued on happily, not needing any survival gear, ponchos, compass or anything else that I might’ve thrown in there……. Lessons learned here are what makes this sport so interesting, its those that can learn from experiences, change what didnt work and try again that are successfull.

So here you are wondering what you should take to your next race… These are my forged by fire thoughts…

• I recommend a runners bladder pack (not hikers).. such as “Nathan”, this will prevent you from being able to pack anything and everything…. As I ran along at mile 40, my buddy Bill Ramsey ran with me for a bit, “get a pack like mine” he said… “Water, salt and a few gels is all you need” he’s right. With aid stations every 6-7 miles on average…two handhelds will last about hours…. Conserve water when needed to get through rough patches yes….over pack and carry to much weight for distance…no.

• Distance is a good factor for determining pack or no pack requirements….. but when I run 100, I “pack it”, but light…. I’ve got a friend “David” that runs with a bladder pack unfilled – used to store his necessities only… he carries water bottles to transport water and will use the pack only as backup…..not a bad idea.

• Usually a 50 miler and anything less can be done with only bottles –( recommend a full carry of two bottles for anything 50k and up), carrying your salt and such in the pouches as well as some TP (you never know) which I usually baggie and flatten to store between the pouch and bottle itself to save space in the pouch compartment should be plenty between aid stations.

These are my suggestions, and might not be suited for your running, but you never might be looking at a fully stuffed Bladder pack right now and wondering...hmm maybe I'm overprepared.

It’s always a comforting feeling to carry everything you need for every situation but remember that unless your run is unsupported, your covered in most cases. Just make sure that you research your next run to ensure proper preparations…… and just run.

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New and Improved Attitude!

Hello world its been to long,

I've been unusually busy lately..nothing extraordinary, not to much to hang on my wall of achievements but with family busy is busy and because of this I'd lost focus.

My life doesnt revolve around my next run or for that matter anything to do with running; with that being said it's a constant endurance battle to remain vigilant and true to what I "know" makes me feel good about myself.

Running is not just a lifestyle it's a true connection to yourself - to your balance.. if your lucky enough to be a runner, some don't understand and the effort to convince them is not only frustrating but just plain waisted.

So from now on I'm true to myself, I heard a story once, sit down and bear with me....

A father was struggling with depression, his world was spinning out of control and everything seemed to be to much. As he sat in his chair his 7yo boy who had been playing in his room shuffled up, bored and sulking. Looking around the room, the father grabbed a magazine page which contained a large image of the earth. Not showing his son what image he had selected he then cut it up into many pieces.

With this he gave it to his son and told him to go to his room and try to put it together.. "that'll keep him busy for awhile" he thought, no more than 10 minutes had passed and to his astonishment the boy came back to his father placing a taped up magazine page with a picture of the earth on it. " How did you put it together so fast?" he said to his son. His son replied " Their were too many pieces,I started to get confused, it was then that I noticed a picture of a person on the other side of the pieces, once I put the person together the world just fell into place......"

Life can get overwhelming, pulling you in a thousand different directions, at times you need to step back and refocus on yourself and your health.... and everything else will begin to get clearer.

Thats what I intend to lets run! :)