San Joaquin River Trail 50 – A Home Away From Home
“Roll, won’t you come roll with me, slow, fast, full speed…”
These were the lyrics I played over and over on my shuffle and in my head for the last 8 miles or so and in review they fit so perfectly well with the rhythm of my race, or at least that’s how I thought it played out – my splits could say otherwise.
I can honestly say I am proud of myself for this performance – it has been a trying past few months, but somehow I managed to keep it together. Today I ran smart – not too fast, but good enough to enjoy this incredibly beautiful and challenging course AND take the top third spot and F1. The course was gorgeous, the aid was perfect and I got really teary-eyed near the finish because I have the privilege to run and race with such good friends. So proud of everyone today, definitely a special day! 8:26:35.
An Angel Named Heaven
A few weeks ago I was asked to be the running guide for Heaven during her run portion of the iCanTri here in Fresno and without hesitation, my answer was YES! You see, Heaven is 10 years old and is blind. The opportunity to guide her on a one mile run around a grassy and bumpy high school may have been to help her, but in the end, it was obvious that she would be the guide for so many of us who let small obstacles stand in our way when trying to reach our goals.
I only met Heaven the morning of the race and I was very nervous to guide her without prior training with her. In 2011, I was one of two guides for my now good friend Adrian for the Surf City Half Marathon and I will say it again, it was actually him who helped me because at the end of the day, he inspired me through all of our training runs, forgave me for the many accidents I caused (forgetting to tell him that there was a curb coming up, or a tree branch near his head, or a pack of cyclists heading our way through Griffith Park!) and helped me with a huge PR. He taught me a lot about the human spirit and what we can achieve all by effort and attitude. Read about that race experience here.
For this event with Heaven, she started out with a swim, followed by bike and then the run. When she got to the bike/run transition, she was so calm – it was as if there were no concerns. She was there to do something and there wasn’t anything going to get in the way of that or anything else she wants from life. She did great and finished strong and happy, not to mention she inspired many. It was a great day — thank you, Heaven!
This year for Christmas, D and I headed to Colusa – we had a great time, ate a little too much red meat (did I just admit that?) and D was able to run with me for his first run since double foot surgery! We really did have a great time and this time, I was finally able to bond with Rupert, the male goat in these photos. I just love Rupert and Ida – they are so funny, as long as I don’t look into their crazy eyes, I am alright with them!
Change of Plans: The North Face Endurance Challenge (TNF50)
So, about little over a month ago I sent my running bio/resume in to be considered for a spot in the The North Face Endurance Challenge – this was after Ian Sharman retweeted something about them opening a few slots for elite athletes in the 50-miler championships.
The truth was, I really wanted an opportunity to race in this uber competitive 50-miler that just so happens to be on my favorite training ground. The problem was that by the time I realized this, the race was already sold out and chances to get in were impossible.
Within a few days of submitting, I received a code to enter into the race with a nice email, congratulating me on a great 2013 race season and well wishes in hopefully finishing out my season with a great race at the event. Of course I was elated at the last-minute opportunity, but I was also very mindful to not get ahead of myself and spend a lot of time thinking about it when I first had to get through Javelina which was only a few weeks away.
Today, after I received an email reminder that the event was only four weeks away; I decided that I would not race in this event and sent an email right away in hopes that someone else could fill that spot and to avoid being a no-show or ungrateful for the opportunity.
My reasons are simple – I haven’t been running much since Javelina because I want to make sure that I am FULLY recovered, I am not as excited about it now as I was when I first entered which will definitely play a part in my race performance, and finally, because racing needs to take a back burner for the remainder of the year.
Am I a little disappointed? Yes, but I know this is the best decision and it is the right decision. Going into 2014 healthy is also a priority and I would be devastated if I raced this event and found myself injured prior to the race because I was too selfish to listen to my mind and body. The race will be there next year, and hopefully I will have the opportunity to give-it-a-go then!
Update: My email was received and I was told they would bring in someone from the waitlist and it gets even better, they have deferred my entry to 2014. Very excited about this!
“Not all those …
“Not all those who wander are lost.” — J. R. R. Tolkien