Monday, August 2, 2010
The State of The Blog
Readers out there, I have hit a monumental post!
1000 posts since 2006. I wonder how many miles, pairs of shoes, socks, visors I have also gone through in that time. Nope, I'm not awake enough to calculate such things.
When I started this blog I was rehabbing an injury. In fact, a severe IT Band from running my first ultra, the HUFF 50K in December 2005.
An excerpt from that first race report (not on this blog, but I did find over on the HUFF 50K Blog):
"I was really beat after this, still am on Sunday. This seemed, afterwards, so much harder than running my first marathon. I guess because I spent 2 more hours than my longest run had been. I'm so glad I had some 24 and 26 miler runs in though, because for me at less, 20 mile training runs would not have done this for me."
I recovered from the IT Band issue in time to run my first 50 mile race, at Mohican, that June:
I was pretty much hooked on ultra running-and trails in particular after that. I've had my fair share of finishes, more DNF's, a mid-life crisis, and a weight gain. I had originally lost 75 lbs. Throughout 2007 mainly, I put almost 50 lbs back on. I was getting slower and slower in races, more despondent about getting timed out of races, and just not all that happy in general.
I changed jobs in June of 2009 and some MOST of the stress I was experiencing was gone. However, I was now having to deal with changes in schedules and work out patterns. Some races I could not get to because of work schedules. I timed out of Burning River in 2009, which really lead to a running depression.
Where I am going now
Around December, I decided it was time to snap out of this slump. I wasn't going to focus on 100 mile races. I would lose weight. I would get a running schedule. I would actually train.
So I did. I employed my friend and coach, Lloyd Thomas, for the first six months of 2010. Lloyd provided me with a simple training schedule, and recommendations of using a training log to track progress. With now reporting to someone, and being held accountable, I began running 5 days a week. Consistently. Even when I didn't want to. Which was probaly 3 days a week. I ran miles on the treadmill during the entire month of snow-covered February.
I lost some weight and got a wee bit faster. I did DNF another race, Laurel Highlands, but I don't feel bad about that.
Having lost some weight and training consistently, my thoughts turn to future races. 2011 in fact. I decided that I will put Massanutten as my spring race in 2011. In order to successfully finish this race, I need to some working toward that goal starting now, in 2010.
So why pick the hardest 100 mile east of the Mississippi? When I haven't finished but all the "easy" 100 courses?
Because of thinking like this:
"Ultrarunners tend to play it safe.
They line up "challenges" they know they can finish.
And run them carefully
Well within their "limits".
We believe that success is never failing.
At the Barkley success is about over-reaching our abilities,
and living to tell about it.
Sometimes success is getting your ass out alive.
Some people "get" the Barkley. Some don't.
But the Barkley is all about leaving the comfort zone.
The Barkley is about taking our chances with failure.
True success is not the absence of failure,
It is the refusal to surrender."
-From Laz, Race Director of the Barkley
I am nothing but determined. What I lack in speed I make up in determination, spirit, and focus. This is why I think I have a pretty good chance at finishing MMT 2011 with proper training.
So most of my races this fall and winter-starting with a run at Coopers Rock this weekend, The Ring, WV Trilogy, are focused on getting me on some hills-(mountains) for training for the race in 2011.
Thank you to all my readers out there. I have to admit, it was a bit weird a few years ago, to have a runner pass me and yell out "Love the blog!!!" or have people recognize me because of the blog. It doesn't bother me anymore, in fact, I feel flattered that folks know me because of it. It makes falling into a conversation with other reader/runners more easy. I've met many more runners because of my blog and then following other runners.
Some other forms of social media-Twitter, Facebook-has cut down on the ranks of the bloggers. As for me, I'm too wordy to get my thoughts into a 140 character message. You'll continue to get my thoughts for quite a while to come!!