Saturday, July 14, 2012

June 8 - June 14: The Importance Of A Runner's Ego

Weekly Totals, Time: 5:45:12 Distance: 27.47 mi. Vertical: 7,582 ft.
Weekly Averages, Time: 1:26:18 Distance: 6.87 mi. Vertical: 1,896 ft.
A an easy week to rest the legs. Had lots of time to repair any damage I've managed to accumulate during the past month. On average, I generally hit about 27,000 ft. of vertical in a month. Last month, June, I tallied 40,000+ ft. I felt great for all of it, and I hope that after a 'rest week' I'll be able to get back on the vertical train and ride it home through August. All of the down-time made my legs a bit restless, and I had trouble sleeping. One night I managed a grueling 60 minutes of ZZZ's and then had to get up. The weather sprawled with delight and I took a 'break'. Ugh. At least I had time to write:

Ran into Mike V. on Squak Mtn.

Hmm, a 30' cliff.

One of the single-most important aspects of this blog, for me, is that it's my training journal. It's a bit wordy, sometimes confusing, and fairly egotistical. But I think having some type of medium to brag about yourself, and have a record of the "ups-and-downs," is the crux and often a missing link in most runner's training regimes. I don't think every one needs a blog, but patting yourself on the back and being comfortable that others have the opportunity to rubberneck is valuable...and we don't always like to admit it:
  • Every gym runner does this: You get on the treadmill next to someone that appears to be showing off, or less fit than yourself, and you intentionally increase your speed so you're running faster. No shame.
  • Every trail runner does this: You catch a glimpse of someone ahead of you running in the same direction and you slow down to catch your breath just enough so that when you pass that sorry son-of-a-bitch he wants to stop and walk. No shame.
  • Every road runner does this: You pass a building that has reflective windows and instead of looking where you're going you casually glance, out of the corner of your eye, at your reflection in full stride, subtly pulling your stride length in to make sure that the only memory the window will have of you is perfect form. No shame.
  • Every barefoot/minimal runner does this: You run in the most crowded places so that people can see you're different, that you're more pure, more in-touch with 'our' ancestors. You didn't give in to cooperate sabotage by using 12mm heel-to-toe drop, injury causing, shoes. Nope; you only paid the same price, $100+. No shame.
Now, I understand there are some of you reading this, a cup of java, or a pint of brew close-by, that are thinking, "I don't do any of that." One phrase, for you: "Every runner does this. No shame. " We can title our "self-motivation", psychological egoism. At the roots an ego, in running, is healthy. Obviously there are limits, but running is entirely a selfish mainspring. The more you value your perceived potential the further your potential is extended. It's the deepest of motivations that enable the runner to step forward again, and again. Share your ego with the world and run free. 

Have some examples of egotistical running acts that you've done, or know of someone doing? Facebook Page.

Rattlesnake 1/2 Marathon
Joe G. and I pre-race

Joe G. running away from me. I'm an intimidating person.
Eric S., TransRockies teammate

Saturday, July 7, 2012

June 24 - July 7

Motivated. It's been more than just the trail, the silence, the vulnerability. It's been more than the agony, the failures, the pain. It's been natural. To give credit where credit is due, the Earth, for the Northern Hemisphere, is the farthest away from the sun than at any other time of the year. We've escaped our perihelion and assimilated into our aphelion; it's July: 23.5 degrees of tilt on the spin axis. The giant landmasses we reside on are heating up faster than the other 139.4 million square miles of our floating blueberry and we're experience what humankind has dubbed, "Summer." Alas, the sultry ultraviolet rays are baking us like toast in a toaster. The trails are slightly overgrown; the thorns ripping at my epidermis with cheerful violence, and my desire to sit like a hippie handcuffed to a tree is ever increasing. The American cordillera is stubbornly releasing the frozen hydrogen and two-parts oxygen molecules from the erosion formed talus and scree fields, and my mountain man instincts are salivating. I'm ascending at personal best efforts and grabbing tan lines at every break in the forest canopy. This is mountain running. This is trail running. This is running. This is my life.

July 1 - July 7
Weekly Totals, Time: 8:43:08 Distance: 49.43 mi. Vertical: 11,731 ft.
Weekly Average, Time: 1:14:44 Distance: 7.06 mi. Vertical: 1,676

Any time my week starts out with a race, I feel satisfied. Plus, two weeks in a row of 10,000 ft. of vertical. This week's race, went well. I blew up, got my shit back together, and finished in a respectable time and place. That is a very poor race report, but I've been running and writing is on a backseat. Importantly, I confidently feel I can improve. I started out way too fast, but I was having so much fun, so I just kept going until my mind and body refused. Later on in the week I raced a 5k (road) and led the Top 10 in the wrong direction within a 1/4 mi. of the start. Oops, I guess this is why trail run. Laughing, I jogged the rest of the race and chatted in up with Ryan P. at an easy 6:13 min./mi. pace. Everything else this week is summed up above. I found new views, and legs that I haven't had in years, as I ran around the Issaquah Alps. Yes, I'll take more.

June 24 - June 30

Weekly Totals, Time: 8:14:03 Distance: 36.88 mi. Vertical: 12,634 ft.
Weekly Average, Time: 2:03:31 Distance: 9.22 mi. Vertical: 3,158 ft.

What a week, what a month. I really hunkered down this week and got the job done, and in ascent and descent PR fashion. The beginning of the week started out with a great run up Granite Mountain with my training partner, and friend, Robert B. Finding ourselves about 1/2 mi. from the summit we ran into a lot of snow, took what we thought was a direct line to the summit and found ourselves scrambling over large boulders and standing in awe of the large amounts of snow still left in the valleys between the mountains.
My average run time is looking better and better in preparation of Gore-Tex TransRockies-Run. My lungs feel great on recent climbs, by arms are working amazingly, and my legs are turning-over faster than they have in at least 7 years. Quite the experience.