Monday, January 10, 2011


Actually, it's Monday and I will run today. It's a beautiful day and I feel great.

Yesterday was Sunday. I ran the Boney Mountain 21k put on by Xterra. I did it in 2008, my first trail run ever. I posted a 2:09, loved it, was hooked on the trail/mountain type of running. Loved it. No perspective on that time, was smashed afterwards, but, again, love was in the mountain air.

Yesterday was a different story. Let's make this easy. What I did not like and what I liked.

I did not like my time: 2:14. I was slower than my first trail race ever, when I was fresh off the turnip truck. I ran the race blind then. Pretty disappointing.

I did not like my preparation for this. I have not been training at all. I have been staying active, running regularly, but mostly that running has been aerobic because my allergies dictate that kind or running and aerobic running is a big part of "the program." In the last week and a half, I had a little tweak on the foot and the allergies were "there" so I was just trying to get to the line. And I got there feeling good. No foot issue, feeling pretty good on the breathing front (which is nice going into an anaerobic mountain running event). So, I got there, but I wasn't necessarily geeked on the training front. I took 2 days off the last week because of foot and allergies (but I was "tapering" so that's okay - sarcasm). I just wasn't FLYING into the event. I did not like the training.

I did not like the night before. I slept about a two hours. My wife told me she would've bailed on the race. She slept the same way. We stayed at friends in L.A. Just a bad night. Which I do not count-on. I don't put that much stock into sleep. Usually you're itching to race, so sleep is iffy anyways. The only reason I say this is because. . .

I did not like the way the race started. I was out of breath early-on. I kinda paced (led) Paul and me through the crowded single-track early-on. And that first climb (see profile) pretty much drilled me. I was not climbing very well. I did not climb much coming in, but I didn't think I would struggle that much. I was kinda gassed by mile 4 or 5.

I did not like mile 4 or 5 through mile 7-8. I was questioning my ability to run. Were my allergies that arrived last year at this time going to limit my running life? Am I done? It's been a strange year. Sure I have always had allergies, but not the kind that I deal with now EVERY SINGLE DAY. The doctor say that can happen. The body is weird. Getting older is unpredictable. Obviously. But the difficulty I was having climbing and training was starting to weigh on my mind at this point in the race. Pretty dark. Bummed. But I kept on.

I liked mile 8-9 to the finish. I found my legs. I started to climb. I started to reel guys in. I reached the top (mile 10) and started to feel good (it's about time). I descended well. I continued to chase guys down. At mile 11.5 there is a little half mile climb. Guys were walking, gasping. I ran by them. The last rolling section was 7:20s on the watch. I ran hard to the finish.

I like how I feel right now. No pain in the body. My breathing feels great. I can't wait to run today. This is a great sign.

So, a lot I didn't like. But in the end, I was smiling and running hard. Sure I was slow. I felt old, fat and struggling. But I finished feeling a lot better.

Maybe it takes me a little longer to find my breathing and my legs. I will be running 43-45 miles with a friend this spring, which is what all of this is building towards. Yesterday was a training run, a long run. Memo to self: my long runs need to get longer. Time to step things up. I may be better suited for longer efforts.

Finding my goods at mile 9 is a bad scene for a half marathon. Finding my run by mile 9 of a marathon (trail) or 50k is probably a different story. A better story, I would like to think.

Back to the first 7-8 miles. My legs were tired. I was tired. Was that a sign of the bad night of sleep? Maybe. Maybe getting older I need better prep including a solid night of sleep. But I was tired at first. And my legs. Because of my gimpy ankle/foot, I wore my compression socks for a couple of days straight. Sure I showered, but I kept wearing them. And it worked, I think. My left foot/ankle feels good. But was I cutting-off my circulation? Pretty nuts. I was looking for answers.

So, the first "race" in about a year and a half (I raced once in 2010 so I have not been lining-up, at all really). Cob-webs are kaput. I'm ready to get back at it and "earn my beers."

In other words, I found the only answer I was really looking for: Keep running!


  1. Amen. Nuttin' like a race to wake ya up. Again.

  2. That hot pace early probably cost you a handful of time later.

    Nothing shabby about your race, early season, long time since last race...

    As my new mentor says, "Now go run!"

  3. definitely a good wake up call and test. without a "test" like that how would you know where you are at how to get where you want to go.

    don't dwell on the stuff you "didn't like" just make sure the next time there are "likes."

    beers earned!

  4. I definitely got the memo and thanks for the follow-up correspondence. I have a lot of work to do. Because I have a lot of beer to drink.

  5. Don't sweat it was a good way to get back on the trails and the first one is always a measuring stick anyway. Step one in the process.

    We'll keep building on it this weekend.