Wow, it’s 2015 and already halfway through January – time comes and goes so quickly! I have really been on the fence lately about which races I want to focus on this year and I am finally making progress (at least for the first half of the year). Late last year, I registered for Sean O’Brien 100K (SOB) which is just around the corner on 2/7. At first I was really excited and then my excitement started to wane once Coach and I started talking about marathons. As much as I love being out on the trails, there is competitive side in me that loves a painful marathon. Training and planning 50-milers and marathons together is a challenge already – throwing in a 100K just because is a different story: Lots of recovery and lots of excessive miles on my legs and less races on my calendar cumulatively.
This last week I decided to race Marin Ultra Challenge 50 (MUC)again for the third time on 3/14. This race will replace SOB. I LOVE this course – it’s definitely not an easy one, having over 11,000ft of climbing with one pretty loooooooong hill that I can barely get up hiking. I try not to think of the super hard sections – I know they are there and that is enough for me to know. No play-by-play recaps until I get close to the event so that I can focus on being tough instead of worried or scared. I will start to get more consistent with my training, run a 50k at the end of this month and maybe a half or some other short-er type of even in February before the big day.
I spent all day yesterday and this morning in San Francisco with my friend Stacie – we are so excited about the race that we decided we’d run a large portion of the course at a conversational pace. Trust me when I say that it is very rare and unlike me to run more 20-25 miles in one day, but it does happen on occasion. We had a phenomenal day – ran from the city and across the empty Golden Gate Bride and right to the race start. We ran the first section up and through SCA and then we were gone. Before we knew it, we were halfway done with our run and at Muir Beach. I suggested we go through one of my favorite sections of the course, Middle Green Gulch, which is a super long climb with lots of switchbacks. This was only one of a few hills where I took off and forced myself to envision myself right there on race day. Gosh, it felt so good, I felt so strong and I am glad I did it so I can remember this spot with a positive memory. One less thing to occupy my mind with later. 🙂
Anyway, after a solid 7 hours running, and 35 miles, we found ourselves back at her house devouring whatever food we could find until we could get some real food. We both looked at each other and said, “Can you believe we only need 15 more miles to get 50?” We both laughed, we had an amazing day and are really looking forward to this race.
As for my marathon, I am looking into a May/June event. OC on 5/3? This is the race I ran and broke my foot at mile 20 – not the best last memory. Read about that here. Or, Eugene on 5/10? Finish on the track. Not sure yet, but training begins regardless.
If you are interested in reading my re-caps from the last two years at this event, you can find them here:
“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” Napoleon Hill
This week, and probably for the rest of the year, I am focusing on getting up and over those hills. And while I sometimes think this whole blog thing is kind of pointless, I realize I that sharing my story, good or bad, is just a part of who I am.
So this morning, to momentarily take my mind off the now, I thought it’d be a good idea to read from one of my favorite and most memorable childhood books: Where the Sidewalk Ends. Well, I couldn’t read the actual hardback book – it’s in a box in the garage, but I did find excerpts all over the place on the internet. 🙂
Anyway, while reading some of his little quotes, I came across one, probably the only one I needed to find today:
“If the track is tough and the hill is rough, THINKING you can just ain’t enough!”
I have gone running three times since my last race attempt nearly two weeks ago. I knew I was not crazy that day, something didn’t feel right. The first few runs only a few days after told me that I definitely needed to take more time off before I got back on some sort of schedule. I went for it again yesterday for a six-miler and I could tell the rest did me some good. The ankle issue that I was feeling was gone, the hammies and glute still feel a bit tight. Tonight I went to the gym with my foam roller to work out these extra kinks and then did a quick circuit workout (weights) followed by push-ups, ab work and stretching. Definitely no running tomorrow but I think I will be ready to get back out there this weekend.
The only worse thing than not being able to run is not being able to run when I am so stressed out. D says he doesn’t run cause he’s not happy, he runs because he is. I always thought that was a wonderful reason, but that isn’t always the case for me – sometimes, a lot of times, I run to work things out and to free my mind of excess clutter. Right now I’d say the weekend couldn’t get here any sooner.
“Never think that someone else knows what’s best for you. Trust your way and don’t ask for so much advice. Learn how to be quiet and still enough to hear your own voice. It’s up to you: Your voice will either be silenced or will get to roar”. — Maria Shriver
“There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.”
This past weekend I had 28 miles to clear my head and refocus. I decided I would do some exploring and also prove to myself that I don’t always get lost. Well, I didn’t get lost but I did lose my car key out there. Seriously.
Anyway, it was really the first time I had ever gone trail running alone (Peter’s Canyon doesn’t count) and I absolutely loved it! I think I need these types of runs every now and then.
This quote sums it up quite nicely:
“I have never found a companion that was as companionable as solitude.” –Henry David Thoreau
I wish I’d have thought of this! Although comical to an extent, all 10 of these “commandments” should be considered. I posted earlier to Facebook placing an emphasis on the First and Fifth Commandment:
1. Thou shall not compare thyself to other runners. A mile is a mile.
Personally I’d have said, MILE AFTER F%#*@ING MILE. 😀
Like anything in life, stop comparing yourself to others! Yes, it is OK to be competitive, it’s OK to have your eyes set on the gold, but remember that the only thing that really matters at the end of the day is that you live up to YOUR expectations. If you base your success or live your life having the upper hand over others, you will NEVER find your true happiness because there will ALWAYS be someone younger, smarter, prettier and faster than you. Embrace what you have been blessed with and set realistic goals in which you work hard to achieve. Those will be the most satisfying achievements you will ever make. (more…)