After my last post, you'd think I would kick it in high gear and post more regularly. One month later, here I am...oh well, sort of like my racing this past year...a bit half-assed. I actually formulated a post about two weeks ago and it was all centered around the Holidays and some alternate gift giving ideas. So here I am three days out from Christmas, finally dishing what is probably useless advice as you've most undoubtedly completed your shopping. But just in case you're still shopping, consider giving the gift of charity in honor of someone. My brother and sister and their spouses will be getting gift certificates to Kiva.org; and as much as I would like to give something similar to my nieces and nephews, I'm trying not to be that "way too serious, hippy" dud of an uncle. They'll be getting educational toys like puzzles and books, whoa, I know that takes me up a notch in the fun scale. Another less expensive alternate gift is a subscription at greendimes.com, an organization that works to reduce your junk mail. You can also find more ideas at: redefine-christmas.org.
On the training front, I just did my first 50K ultra-marathon this past Saturday. In a year that I'm supposed to be taking time off from racing, I found myself doing a 35K two weeks ago with 3000' of climbing and now, a 50K with 6000' feet of climbing. There were times out there during the 50K that it felt like I was doing an ironman. Trail racing is very similar to ironman in that it is all about problem solving, pacing, and how you deal with setbacks. I missed a flag and took a wrong turn, solved it. I went out too fast and raced the people doing the 30K and suffered the last 20K. I was totally bonking in the last 20K but just kept positive and worked on my nutrition and wound up finishing 2nd overall. The single most defining moment for me in this race, and also why I love endurance sports, occurred at about the 40K mark. I had not seen a single soul for about 30 minutes, was climbing up this mammoth of a mountain and totally bonking and suddenly, images of the past year started rolling through my head. On a personal level, it's been a pretty tough year and all I could think that after everything that has happened, here I am, gutting it out and trying to make it through this endeavor. Alone and depleted, and with 10K left to run, I felt a flurry of emotions come over me: self-satisfaction, peace, accomplishment, alive, and a couple more emotions. Sometimes it's nice to be able to simplify life and see it as a single task, like running a 50K, and spending the entire day with this single task and seeing it to completion. From this experience, I can say that endurance sports can be a great metaphor for life. So, if you the feeling of an ironman without having to train for the swim and bike, go out and race an ultra-marathon. Next up is the Arizona Rock 'n Roll Marathon on January 18. And I finally made the Obama swim suit and was totally bummed that the Obama logo is copyrighted so I couldn't use it, thus the massive sun as the "O". I originally put the suit on to take a picture for the blog but as I pointed the camera downward, I thought...maybe not.
70.3 Liuzhou Race Story
2 weeks ago