Monday, January 30, 2012

Maybe it isn't so bad...

I was going to title this post "Not Ready" because I do not feel ready for any of the upcoming events in my life. Of particular note was my failure to complete a true long run this weekend. After 4.5 hours of picking our way down icy slopes and then watching the frozen ground turn to mud as the day warmed, Lindsay and I called it quits at 16 miles on Saturday. I knew I did not have the energy or time for another 16 on Sunday to reach my goal of 59 miles for the week, so I had to let that one go. After having missed my mileage goals for so many weeks in a row anyway, it probably would have been too much anyway. I would settle for 50 miles for the week.

Lindsay is a great running buddy!
I dragged my tired, stiff body to the trails on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I have not seen so many people on the trails in months. It was pretty exciting. I trotted up the A-hill and continued across to the ridge along the reservoir. I decided to take a new trail, which resulted in some bushwhacking and bouldering to get back on track without completely back-tracking. Along the way a nice lady yielded to me as I slogged up a narrow, rocky slope. She beamed at me and exclaimed "My, aren't you fit?!" Me? Fit? I mumbled something about how much work it is, and realized that I need to get better at taking compliments. I was also reminded that, although I am the least fit of my running buddies, we are a "special kind of crazy" (a quote from my boss) and I am still a pretty-darned fit individual! That little ego boost buoyed me through several more miles.

An hour or so later, as I returned to the highest point of my run and had just a few downhill miles to go, another encounter pulled me out of the pain cave... A fit woman who looked like she could crush me in any distance race commented on what a great day it was for a run... actually, at this point, I was dragging myself at a slow walk up the last slope... to which I replied "yes, it is. I just wish I weren't so tired." (are you getting the point that I am not so quick with the comebacks on the trail?). She said, "Yep, some days are just like that." Oh yeah. Some days are just like that! I can never be reminded of that enough.

About 1.5 miles from home, I really wanted to stop. I was feeling pathetic at 10 miles I was so tired! How am I ever going to run 55k at Moab in a few weeks? Mantras started running through my head... sometimes you have to suck it up and keep going because you've got to get home somehow... when everything in you wants to stop, that is the time it is most important to keep going... just keep swimming... They had the desired effect and I cruised home on the pavement at a super-quick-for-me 9:00 min. pace.

I decided to change the title of this post after doing a little perspective gathering. I ran 55 miles last week in addition to working and going to school. In that 55 miles, I ran about 10,000 feet in elevation. That has to be a record for me. No wonder I was tired. At Moab, I will have to run about 4500 feet of elevation in 34 miles... well, on Saturday I ran about 3600 in 16 miles... with the vast majority of the climbing done in the first 12... Ok... maybe I can do Moab. What about Bighorn? That has about 4200 feet of elevation over 50 miles and I have months to train (the poor folks doing the 100 miler have 13,000 feet!)... Maybe I can do that one too!

So, I don't feel as ready as I want to be, but it could be worse. I am going to make it through Moab and have a blast doing it. Rather than thinking in terms of improving my time from last year, I am going to set an alternative goal... like just trying to make it back to the car before my fellow FCTRs break into my beer.


  1. There was beer left when I finished last year, there certainly will be when you finish. Don't be so hard on yourself. Also, don't be so quick to claim that least fit title, maybe we should race for it!

  2. Brian, we did race for it! We ran Towers together on Thursday and you dropped me like a hot rock! Yes, there was beer left, but Scotty had started to drink mine... I would like to try to get there before the fast dudes are tempted to break into my stash!

    Thanks for the encouragement. I turned a corner today. I was tired and sore, but felt awesome running tonight... I am psyched for Moab!

  3. We're 1-1 on the last two trips up that hill. Glad you had a good run and glad you're psyched for Moab, it's going to be fun.