Monday, April 26, 2010

Escape from Prison Hill 2010.......

Yep, you guessed it! Since I am blogging, that must mean that another race has happened since my last blog which was, dang really, only less than a week ago! You know, good thing some of these are close to home because racing is a blast and the drive after this one would have sucked severely. It's Monday, yeah two whole days after running this race, and yeah I can barely still walk. Damn hills these days!

This year I sucked up the pride and decided to take a try at the relay portion of this half marathon course. Oh come now right? It's only a half marathon which I have done plenty of lately but....This is no usual halfer in more than one way. Anyways back to the relay. Not exactly sure what the distances are for each leg but its a 2 man team which consisted of Myself and Dr. Shane Miller. When I say Dr., I am meaning veterinarian. The guy is a genius with horses and how to fix them. Not a bad partner to have when you are running on trails, right? Oh by the way, this is a partner that neglected to tell me that he hadn't run a 6 mile run, let alone a trail run, in over a year! Way to keep a secret doc, haha!

The race started at Silver Saddle Ranch on the backside of Prison Hill in Carson City. Its a cool little daughters school takes field trips there all the time so its a great recreational area. Making a little 1/2 mile loop around the entry is the easiest part of the course and the best footing as well. Just past the entry gate is where the turn into the mountains takes place and the great Dr. Shane was out of sight. The beggining is just a single track through the first set of hills with very little room to pass unless you feel like brush-hopping so Im guessing he just settled in for a little stroll at this point. Sucks for everybody who wants to read further about the first section because, at this point, I was back in the truck heading to the relay exchange point. Good luck Shane!

Hey, Im back! After a quick wardrobe change in the passenger seat at the relay point, I was out of the truck doing my little warmup. Pretty funny running on the same trails that I had just finished mobbing up and down with the dirt bike a few days earlier. So warmup complete now with some time on my hands. Time to throw the plug out there for Mom and Dad now too! They stood there at the exchange point the whole morning clapping and cheering other runners on that would pass through. I was getting anxious and, luckily, I was able to talk to them and a few of the other 2nd leggers to keep from going crazy. One by one the leaders of the half marathon came and went. Dr. Lehman(?) was the first relayer to leave with a commanding lead on everybody else. Needless to say he seemed mighty confident in what lead they had been given. Great guy and an excellent runner as well. A few minutes later, I am pretty sure it was closer to 8 1/2 minutes later, we could see my boy Shane rocking down the course. The guy wasn't even breathing hard and had a huge smile on his face. "Later Doc, Im outta here." Oh you are ready for the fun and interesting part huh? Here goes, the first mile and a half was pretty much all up hill, 1200ft gain in elevation or some crazy amount like that. For the first time ever I am going to disclose some information that nobody has ever been told......I walked a bunch of this hill last year! This year, however, no walking was to be found! Some extremely fast downhills mixed in with a few more steep inclines and a river crossing led us to the road home. Luckily I had run this road the day before in an effort to know what I was up against and it was paying off. No lie, the legs were getting a little tired and sore with 1.75 miles to go. Whatever, pain is only temporary and I hadn't caught Dr. Lehman yet. Crossing the river one last time and running in the deep sand, I looked up to see Dr. Lehman at the top of this ridge. Honestly, I didn't think I had another gear left in me at this point but that nitrous Chocolate Outrage GU that I hadn't eaten prior to race was kicking in. Here I come! Rounding the final turn at a speed that my Garmin couldn't even register, well it was registering it but makes me sound faster this way, I ran out of real estate and finished 9 seconds behind the winning team. Oh so close!!!

Overall, this race is hard as hell on the legs but a great time. The views are perfect and the weather was tremendous! Kudos to Tom and all of the volunteers, sponsors, and event organizers as this seemed to go off without a hitch. I can't wait until next year...not sure that my legs are that excited, but hey, they will get over it!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A runner.. but why??

Running as defined by is "To move swiftly on foot so that both feet leave the ground during each stride" or " To move without hindrance or restraint."
So after sitting here at work today trying to stay warm because, yes, it is snowing again here in wondeful South Lake Tahoe, I have finally decided what running really is to me.
Originally, running was basically called jogging as I was a little chunk trying to run away the pounds. There was a skinny kid trapped inside of this body that just needed some guidance. Constant motion with one foot in front of the other seemed to be a good starting point. 3 miles though, you have got to be kidding me. That first 3 mile run was a pain in the ass.....legs, feet, back, stomache, head, and every other body part! However, the weight started going and I started to enjoy it.
Alright, Chapter 2, running became a part of my lifestyle. Not only was it a way to continue staying in shape but I started becoming interested in the racing and competitive portion of it. Wow, that was an eye opener and, surprisingly, I become pretty good. Confidence booster and self achievement became the new reasons for running. I could do something.....Something that required just myself and my ability. Self achievement and gratification is amazing when there is nobody else involved but you! Hey, look at it this way, win or lose it is all on you! Who else can you blame when you give up or slow down and try to convince yourself that you are too tired to continue? Exactly, finding what you are really made of inside is amazing.....and running can do that!
Now that I have been through the first 2 chapters of what running has meant to me, lets go for Chapter 3. You ready for this one? Along with weight loss and self achievement, running has been the greatest mental release ever. I love the runs when that damn stress seems to be overflowing in every other aspect of my life. Lacing up the shoes, throwing the ear phones in my ears, putting the beanie over the head, turning on the garmin, and hitting the pavement is the ultimate release. Release from the rest of the world. No phone ringing, nobody else trying to get in your head. Heck, get all that crap out of your head and just let those thoughts flow. I can't believe the things that came from this mind when I am "in constant motion". Some people ask me why I run so many miles and what it takes to run all of them without a training partner or anything. "I can't believe you do that, I can't motivate myself to go alone, I could never run that many miles". BS!!! Everybody can run! Look where I started and look where I am now. I know not everybody will use it for the same reasons but, to me, running has been the best way to release all of the negative thoughts. Brings me back to earth and all of the real reasons that we are here.
I hope you all enjoy seeing this post and reading what running has become and what it could become for you if you focus and use it for what its worth. Have a great day!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pickin apples and....oh yeah a race!

Waking up to a little chill in the air for a 9 miler/3 miler through the Orchards of Apple Hill. Good part is that the race was slated to being at 8:30am which gave the sun a little extra time to rise and warm us up before venturing through orchard-land. Another good/great part of this race is that Diane from Breakout Racing was the course director and she puts on a great race. Now that I got the plug in there for Diane, lets get to the meat of this little blog...
So onto the course we roll! There were actually a ton of people at this race. Way more lined up at the start/finish line than I was expecting. Hmm, looking around I saw some familiar faces, a lot of new faces, and a few faces that I know are fast fast fast! Brian from the Folsom Series was there and he dominated me at a race during that series but....who knows what today would bring. Okay, so we started up a little hill and then down we went onto the road and veered left into the orchards. Good thing it hadnt rained because it would have been a slippery mess but the trails/dirt roads were great! Up, down, up, down, up, down....Seemed to be the main theme of this little course. I will have to admit that my favorite part of the course came between mile 6 and 8 where we were truly running on trails through the trees. Awesome! That was about the time that we started catching some of the 3 mile runners/walkers but they were extremely courteous and knowledgeable about moving out of the way. I even saw some people pushing strollers at this point. Im not sure about this but I believe the word for them is CRAZY because it was tough enough without pushing the kiddos. More power to them, so congrats you crazy stroller pushers! Winding down and back around to the finish was cool with a downhill crossing of the finish line! Amen, race is over!
First place overall in a time of 58:11 which will work for today. A few kids went out fast and I couldn't believe it. I thought "damn, not again" but held my own and actually ran my race for a change. Maybe thats cause Chris B wasn't there and I wasn't trying to keep his fast ass in my sights. How weird, no matter how hard I tried that it didn't work anyways. Okay, so best part of all was that my parents ran the 3 miler. Dad, if you know Dad, thinks runners are crazy so.... He must be one of us crazy people now! Mom, well shes all jacked up with injuries, but shes amazing and ran it right along with pops! Congrats guys, love ya! They were there for the high 5 at the end of mine. What a perfect day! Pizza on the way home and a nap. Doesn't get much better than that.
Good luck at Rocklin Chris. Let me know how it goes. Peace out until next time!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Step back in time....

So here we are in April of 2010 in which the time seems to be flying by. Running is going great with the exception of a slight calf injury at the moment which really made me think of stepping back into last year. Why is this?, you are asking. Well lets see, it all begins in May 2009 when some jackass decided to steal my truck. Holy crap! Yeah, thats right but thats not the crazy part of this whole situation. Yours truly decides to play superhero and jump on the side of the truck to stop the little thug from driving away in said pickup truck. Well stuff like that doesn't happen like it does in the movies because the window wouldn't break like a Bruce Willis movie or some other crazy S.O.B. with insane movie strength. Okay, so back to the story....I then proceed to get dumped off the truck while he runs over my right foot breaking a bone on the top of it in the process. Needless to say I didn't realize it was broken until later in the morning when I finally decided that the ER was a place for little running midgets with an injury.
Here is the real reason for telling you all such a story as that. Dr. Lundeen, a runner as well, was the lucky fella to deal with an overly paniced, self-motivated runner with a broken bone in his foot. Yes, you guessed it.....that would be me! After a few visits of not doing a dang thing, he decided that I could slowly get back into the training. I wouldn't really call it training during this time because I would walk and jog at a very slow pace for like 2 miles with tears in my eyes. This lasted for a few more visits to the great doctor of the west. After time and reluctant approval from Dr. Lundeen, I was able to run and begin my training at the higher level again.
It's almost a year later now and I have gotten stronger and faster every single month. It's amazing how the body can come back from certain injuries with the help of the right person. Dr. Lundeen you are amazing and I pretty much owe all of my success in this wacky ass sport to you over the past year. How many people live to run like this? Not too many! Not too many can actually accomplish their goals and really focus in on greater things within the whole running gig. So I guess, this was just a mega shout-out to my boy, Dr. Lundeen who has been able to keep me running through all of it! Thanks Doc.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Just running news....

Alright well another week is almost over in the life of hard training. Things have been moving along awesomely since the last race. I wasn't quite sure how long it would take for my body to really get back into the swing of things since I was actually surprisingly sore after the Xterra Race in Folsom. Oh well, guess that means I was putting out some effort.
This past week wasn't too hard, overall, with the exception of the long 16 miler on Monday night. That really wasn't even that difficult after about mile 7 which is where my legs finally felt like they could go the whole distance without collapsing under the weight of carrying me around. Rest of the week was pretty much recovery miles with todays challenge being a 10 mile total run with some quick speed intervals in the middle. Bring on the pain!!!!
Good news is that I have one more week until the Apple Hill Blossom Trail Run which should be challenging and amazing at the same time. Diane puts on a pretty good race! The best part about this race is that my dad is going to run the 3 mile course....and I think mom, hoping her ankle will be fine, is going to do the run with him! SWEET!!!! The whole running thing is finally becoming something that we are all doing together.
Alright, well have a great day and I'll throw you some news later about what else is crappening in the running circle that I like to call life.