Sunday, June 24, 2012

Out with the Old...In with the NEW

It's almost been a year now since I last posted on this blog.  I would be lying if I said you I was too busy, stopped running or simply didn't care share my thoughts with anyone -- all are false.  The truth is, when finishing up my last semester at Nevada, a little over a year ago, I began to run.  I did my first road half marathon and finished with no problems whatsoever.  Immediately, I let a desire to compete and a few inspirations get into my head to push for more.  Due to being a young inexperienced runner, I did just that.  I did too much too fast and ended up hurt; battling various ongoing injuries for about 9 months.  Clearly, going into this sport, I never wanted to believe this could happen to me -- I was going to be the guy who never got hurt and could push myself to limitations others couldn't -- foolish to say the least.  So, instead of coming onto my blog and bringing negative vibes about injuries such as Stress Fractures, IT Bands, Achilles Problems, Popliteus Problems, etc. I decided to keep to myself.  As most may know I'm not the type of person who's going to ask for sympathy -- I wasn't raised that way nor will I ever go searching for it.  I made a deal with myself that I would not write anything until I finished my next Ultra.  No training plans, no weekly postings of time or miles, no sharing any thoughts during good or bad weeks, no nothing, not until I was healthy, completed a race and was back in full force.  Now that we're clear, let's get rid of the old and move onto the new.

June 23, 2012, San Lorenzo 50k, Santa Cruz, CA

31 Miles, 5 Hours 31 Minutes, 10:25 Pace
5th Place, 2nd in my age division

The Experience, Thoughts, and things I learned...

- The course/run itself was beautiful
- The course was more challenging than I expected (it's an ultra what else did I expect?), Coastal Trail Runs did a good job with the Course Map; down playing the amount of climbing and ascending.  I made sure to let the race director know how I felt about it after the race. We both got a good laugh.
- Running 3.5 miles uphill in the sand (unannounced in the race profile about the course) was a great challenge.  Very unexpected, but a nice new experience once I got to the top.
- 4 River crossings was fun, but tightened up the legs every time.
- Ultra hiking up steeps hill in the beginning of the race can be smart strategy, but who likes to hike?
- Taking more Cliff Shots (2 every hour) helped a lot.
- Still not sure how I feel about running an out and back?
-  Met a cool guy from Boston named Tony Henderson when we were treking in the sand.
- I peed on myself for the first time and I also peed out my shorts while running -- go figure. (Imagery at its finest.)

-"Run your own race" -- Dad if it wasn't for me repeating that in my head I would have had a bad day.
-"It's still early bro, let them go, we'll catch em eventually, it's a long race to go" -- Tyler Curley there were multiple points in the race that I imagined you running right next to me, keeping me calm and collected.  Once again, I thank you for everything you taught me and I can't wait to catch a run or two with you in the near future.  Also, I shouted out a few Indian/Animal calls as I left a few Aid Stations and I got some interesting looks.
- Jacob Rydman reading your blogs about your race experiences has been a true inspiration.  Your blogs have taught me more about running races and strategy than I have been able to experience on my own.  My mind game wasn't on my side the first 7 miles, I was in about 15th place, but slowly started chipping away at runners as the race got later.  It's not about how you start, but rather how you finish.  Catching people with a predator mentality is fun.

-  I didn't know it was possible to bonk in the first 5 miles (I was frustrated and down on myself early)
- You have to be able to control your lows as well as you do your highs.  If not you're in for a rough day.
- The last 3 miles of the race always feel harder than the first 28.
- Running in flat Downtown Sacramento is no way to train, but I made it work.
- Truth, I only got up to the mountains 1 time to run when training for this race.
-More leg workouts with weights and core training need to be implemented.
-More speed workouts.

Running 101

After attempting to run for the past year I can honestly say I've learned a lot.  Running is a passion that has grown on me and will continue to be constant learning experience.  I would like to share some of the things I've learned:

- Running is a year around life long sport. Yes, there are peeks of the season and races that have bigger names which mean more to some, but it does no good to be sidelined and not participating.

- Taking care of your body and health is half the battle.  Anyone can put on a pair of shoes, tie their laces, and run.  Your body is going to suffer aches, pains, bruises, etc.  It's up to you to take care of yourself.  Foam rollers, ice baths, heat, massages, stretching are all key and essential components to being injury free.

- Listen to your body and respond.  Some people can run more than others. Some can put in more miles and time in during a given week.  Each person is different.  You don't have to run multiple miles in a run to accomplish something good for yourself.  Be consistent, get in your runs (short, long, and speed), but make sure you aren't killing yourself.  Listen to your body and respond.

- There is no such thing as dieting, but there is such thing as a lifestyle change.  You have to be willing to sacrifice in order to achieve success.  Eating healthy will never do any harm to you, only make you stronger.  Eat healthy, drink health, live healthy.

- There's more to running than the race itself.  The race is the prize for the hard work you put in.  You run and win your races during training.  Find out what works for you and get it done.  Consistency, consistency, consistency.  Did I happen to mention consistency?