I run happy.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Recent Obsession

Boy Scout has almost recovered from the body trauma and mental tribulations from his 50 miler.  He is now jogging a bit and plotting his next move for his 50 miler on May 11th.  Let the fun begin once again!

My plotting involves more technical trail races for the rest of the spring and maybe a fun half-marathon.  I have become obsessed with racing the Xterra race series and trying to stay at the top of my game with 15k races and some 21k races.  The trails always prove to challenge my legs and stamina like no other type of running.  I also LOVE the downhill technical trail running.  Trails like the one in the photo above make me quiver...I feel like a horse/goat/rabbit...trying to find a "safe" way down the hill while maintaining a 7:30 pace.  I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT FALLING AT ALL in this post, so I won't.    The BIGGEST challenge has been hill climbing which I enjoy but find SO frustrating.  I really don't want to walk but the steepness of some of the trails makes this impossible.  Grrr...I have a lot of mental images that I access when I feel like walking;  I picture my legs churning and churning like a well-oiled machine.  Sometimes,  I just stare at the top of the hill and imagine myself being pulled up by the runners in front of me.  This works and doesn't work.  I just want to make it more consistent.

Next week,  I race locally, an Xterra Mission Trails run.  It has a mountain called 1000 Steps, and it is.  I had *FUN* on the rocky trails the last time I did this race and two weeks ago we ran it as training.  I was able to run every hill except the 1000 Steps trail itself.  I have big plans for this weekend...NO WALKING.  There, I said it out loud(really, my dog heard me).

I might place in these races and sometimes I win(because I'm a "mature age grouper")but that's not what matters to me...tackling these CHALLENGES has consumed me and I love picking some mini/major goals like NOT WALKING,  NOT TAKING A POTTY BREAK,  STAYING STRONG and AGGRESSIVE the whole way.   I have found these goals to be the best kind and although they don't revolve around a time or pace,  they do keep me moving forward.

Marathons and half marathons are still on the calendar but for now,  my OBSESSION keep me growing and getting stronger.

What are your OBSESSIONS with your running?  What keeps you motivated to press on?

Have a great last week of January,

Sunday, January 20, 2013

50 Miler was a Smiler...

At the risk of being called a Front'er...one who puts up the iron curtain and avoids telling you all of the bubbly, ugly, smelly, brewing trouble in my cauldron...I get out the gore right away.
It wasn't an easy race.
There were dark and dreary moments despite the HOT 83-85 degree weather.
Chunks and liquids were hurled right out in the open.
Walking too place, lots of walking.
Hills were exposed to the sun, switchbacks were present.

It was ugly at times.

However, true to form,  thanks to the way our BRAINS operate,  good times were had by all.
Inspiration was everywhere!
70 years olds finished 50 milers with smiles on their faces.
In fact,  there wasn't one fifty miler that didn't have a smile on their face.  Practically, the whole time.  Maybe they were "front'n" but it was weird and eerie,  they all seemed SO happy to be out there in the heat, water on hand or on back,  tossing back salt tabs like candy and chatting it up with each other and the volunteers.

My husband rose 50 notches in my book of notches...which actually takes quite a lot.  My book is pretty full and running out of pages since we've been together almost(29 years...in a few months).  Anyway,  he was pretty calm the whole time.  Here's a quick review of his fueling stops/miles in increments of 10 miles:

Start:  He's happy of course!  It's a chilly thirty-something degrees but most runners are in shorts since they've read the weather report for weeks.

10 Mile Mark:
Smiles all around.  He cruises through, stops for a clothing change, sheds his heart rate monitor and we exchange his fuel bottle.  He eats a BONK BREAKER and washes it down with regular water.  Kisses  take place and he's off. 
 On his way!

Mile 15 was a miss for us since I was watching a friend run the trail marathon!

Mile 20 was the one on the hill, set under some oak trees for shade and lots of long grass.  Steve ate another Bonk Breaker, drank water and we exchanged bottles.  Pretty low key, he was still smiling.

Mile 30 was before this dam in Escondido.  It's like a desert out there and this is where my car thermometer read 85 degrees.  The runners running up this trail weren't talking, weren't running and were pretty ticked off.  I heard a few choice mutters as I cheered them on:

"Hmm, this is where this race gets interesting."
"OMG, do you have any water and can you pour it over my whole body?"
"How hot is it right now?  If feels like someone is slapping my neck."

Steve started to have ISSUES here.  He was cramping from the hills and switchbacks and he wasn't eating or drinking anything.  He kept walking as I passed him some roll on BIOFREEZE which seemed to work until the next aide station.  

No smiles here.

Mile 35
Pure hell.  No tears but plenty of barfing and drama.  We surrounded him and tried to get him to eat solid foods.  He drank coconut water and various sodas and then promptly threw them up.  I played BAD COP and tried to keep him walking since that was our agreement and MY PART in this whole ting...the nasty who kept him walking.  I would hold up his water bottles and food and sort of wave it around, catch his eye and then start walking backwards...sort of the proverbial carrot thing.  IT worked.  
We sent him off at mile with a prayer and some advice...hoping he'd listen or COULD listen.

Mile 40
More darkness.  More cramping and more loss of liquids from more than one hole.  No smiles but still, a determination in his step.  

Mile 45
This stop was hidden right before the last hill so we never got to it.  I heard that this is where it all turned around for him.  He ate some watermelon, drank and go his second wind.  THIS is what I had been hoping for since mile 30.  He's notorious for a second wind.  This one just took 20 miles to come.

Mile 50
The finish.  The waiting was excruciating.  His body first appeared as he left the tree clumps past the dairy.  HE WAS RUNNING.  Actually running.  I ran out and couldn't stop myself from jumping up and down and crying.  8 1/2 months following meniscus surgery, he pulls this off and FINISHES.  What an ending.

Has the training been easy.  No.  Do I need to share the details?  NO,  let's dwell on the positives.  Sometimes NOT FRONT'N is the best thing to do...it's often best to recognize the RESULT and celebrate the beauty of the present moment, not the past.


35 finisher out of 70 finishers.  First in age group 50-59!!  10:43 finish time.

You were all a part of THIS.  We cannon thank you enough for being our friends.  We truly *love* you all.

Happy Running,  TODO ES POSIBLE.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

50 Miler, 50 Miler, 50 SMILER!

Once upon a time,  a small, slight boy started running.  Perhaps away from his mother, brother or rough  little neighborhood buddies.
He ran fast.  It kept him small and skinny.
He grew...slowly.
He got tough.
In jr. high he started running to beat others.  He gained confidence.
In high school,  he ran some marathons.  He was fast.  He was still skinny.
His mom said he ate loaves of bread, drank gallons of milk right from the refrigerator.
He says he as ALWAYS hungry.  For more running.

In college, he grew his hair out.  Bleached it in the sun.  He started surfing.
Running became a memory.
Towards the end of college,  he started slam dancing.  He loved the Sex Pistols.  He cut his thick mop and opted for a mohawk.

**In Mexico, he meets a running girl.**
Yes, Mexico.
No, they don't stay there...it was a "weekend" get away that involved Hussong's and Corona's(college days, remember?).

He remembers the old days.  The hungry days.  He keeps surfing.
They marry, they have kids.  The running girl stops running.  
Mom, wife, teacher...and running doesn't have a space in her life.

He keeps surfing.

Running girl decides one day to take it up again, restore the LOVE of freedom, liberty and sweaty clothes.

Girl gets more serious and does some marathons; Rock and Roll's,  Bostons.  She has  fun.

Boy stops surfing and never looks back.  Not once.
They run together.  They compete.  They become competitive with each other in only the BEST of ways.
The have fun.  They become empty nesters...kind of.

FAST FORWARD to January 13th.
Hey, that's today!

Man tapers for his first 50 miler!!!!
He doesn't look back at his knee surgery 8 months ago.
Keeps his eyes on the finish.

Obviously, this story is NOT over.  In fact, it seems like it has just begun.

Life in the forties and fifties is looking pretty AWESOME.

ULTRA icky toe issue...

Race report next week!

New  Ultimate Direction vest...pretty light weight, room for cell phone and other treasures and treats.
He tested it out and it's pretty cool...

Happy Running...