Sunday, July 1, 2012

Failure Is Not an Option. Oh, Wait, It Is.

Not a whole lot of shining moments here, other than some fresh vulgarities and maybe some semi-nude shots.

0.0 miles -  I got up early to do a landscaping job in Loveland. After about 7 hours in the heat, I packed it in and called it a day. I was delirious, shaking, and light-headed even after going to teach water aerobics. The dry heat kind of snuck up on me. I didn't realize it was over 100 degrees, and there was no shade or cloud cover as I stomped around with a weed whacker. I suppose there's a reason that real athletes shy away from labor intensive jobs. A minor setback as long as I take care of myself. Drank up and tried to sleep it off.

Got banged up pretty bad on the Sea Doo. I hopped off to do a rescue for one of my water skiers, and clipped my hip on the running board. Nice bruise that spans my right ass cheek. Let's hope the limp it gave me isn't long-lasting. Just another day at the office, so I won't complain. Poor timing with the North Fork 50 coming up this weekend, but maybe it will induce the right amount of taper. The day still consisted of about 15 rescues, 45 minutes of swimming, hauling equiment for 25 minutes, and about an hour of walking. Not exactly quality training, but whaddaya do?

10 miles - no watch, but about 90 minutes on the flat trails. My usual running spots are closed due to the wildfires. South Boulder Creek bike path to Marshall road. I sat around all day feeling sore and a little sick, kind of a crazy agoraphobic feeling from having nothing to do all day. Not sure if it's from all the smoke drifting around town, or if I'm just feeling a little off. I finally had enough sitting and wanted to see if I would be able to run Saturday. My hip was a little tender at first(which is what I expected- it's currently a swollen, bruised mess), but after about 30 minutes, it seemed to have worked itself out. I still can't climb hills since my gluteal region feels like hamburger. It does seem to be on the mend, however.

Nada. Over exerted myself on my run the day before, which is a bit worrisome. The hip retaliated and popped/clicked as I walked around at work. It still doesn't feel too serious. I think it's just the inflammation in the area that's causing the issues. I'm afraid my tendency to do stupid things on fast motorized veihicles will stick with me into old age. I am my father's son, afterall.

5 miles - 45 minutes around town and to the coffee shop(iced coffe- it was 85 degrees by 9am.) Just some light jogging to keep the legs ticking over. After about 15 minutes, the hip quit giving me grief. Did some really short striders in the last mile to remind the legs of their job tomorrow. Go fast, you stubby little bastards. This 50 is just a long training run. Actually racing it could be a disaster for Tahoe. That being said, it will be a harder, more stressful effort than my previous long runs of the year. I've done a 45 mile day, and a 7 hour day at altitude, but running 50 miles of mountains in heat without missing a step will be a big challenge. Of course, I'll probably spend the rest of the day deciding which shoes to wear(narrowed down to MT110s or Asics Piranhas), whether to wear my race vest(to hold more GU/food/water) or not, and various other inconsequential details that I'll change last minute anyway.

31ish miles - Drove down to Pine Junction for the North Fork 50 mile. I signed up for the race on a whim several months ago, thinking I would need the motivation to do a long run before Tahoe. I still wanted to go check out a new area, get a long run in, and either reinforce or dissolve the belief that I could run a 20hour 100 at Tahoe. As most of you know, 31 miles is not 50 miles. I dropped out. Temps got really hot early in the morning, and I simply didn't have it. I don't know if it was physical or mental, but I simply couldn't keep going. I was on pace to run sub-8hrs, but got derailed when I ran out of water. I instantly felt lethargic, nauseous, and had  headache. My hip was starting to act up, but I honestly don't know if it was anything beyond the usual aches of 25+miles of running.

Stood around forever waiting for the start, but it was nice to be cold

The North Fork of the South Platte River

31 miles later, I miraculously find myself feeling like shit.

I was hot, so I dipped my sore hip in the creek. Not comfortable.

Wondering why the hell I keep doing this to myself. I'm a rediculous looking human.

In other news: Marmotts are adorable. Don't pet them though, or the rangers will fine the shit out of you.

As usual, I felt fine by the time I got home. The relentless pessimist in me says I should have just rehydrated, walked it out, and finished the run. It keeps telling me to stop pretending to be something I'm not. Go home a loser before you waste any more time. You've always been a quitter, and a move to a trendy mountain town to pretend to train won't change that one bit. Listen to the voices that tell you that "people like you don't do things like this."
Hey, pessimist Jesse, why don't you go eat a hobo's dick cheese and shut the hell up?
...Wait. We might be two entities, but we share a a mouth. Put that down.

It was a training run. I've bailed on training runs before, and I'll do it again. Gutting out this run would have been a waste of an afternoon. I'll never be one of the serial marathoner/ultrarunners who string together one slow powerhike after another, mocking those who drop out. I go hiking all the time. If I want to go for a hike, I'm bringing my girl, beer, and my camera. I think I bailed on the race because 50's are no longer scary. I'm scared to race another marathon. My 2:56 with food poisoning left me with unfinished business. I'm scared to run the 100miler at Tahoe. It's the culmination of the investment of time, money, sweat, and shit I don't care to discuss right now. I'm not afraid to hurt, but that doesn't mean I'm going to keep sticking my hand on the stove over and over again.

Maybe I've lost motivation to prove my worth. Maybe I'm thinking too much. Either way, it was an enlightening experience that showed me a little more about myself. Moving on.

EDIT: I ran 31.5 miles of gorgeous trails with a bum hip, had some laughs, and had a donut and a beer along the way. Other than, you know, finishing the race, I was a good ultrarunner. I'll stop whining now.
AM - 13 miles - Hopped out of bed and headed to the reservoir for the club's long run. I was supposed to be recovering from the 50 and not in attendance, but since I only ran 31 miles, I thought I'd use the opportunity to do back to back longer runs. Adjusting on the fly to a setback is the only way to keep from getting down. Dave and I run with the ladies' group, but we're okay with it. We do sort of wish that our group wasn't called the "women's team," but hey, at least we have people to run with. A nice run, but not particularly hilly. All the local peaks are closed due to the fire, so gentle rollers outside of town felt fine on the tired legs. Incredibly close encounter with a rattlesnake, which has never happened to me before. All we have in Michigan are salamanders. Other than feeling tired, I think I recovered from Saturday's failed 50miler. Dehydration must have been the culprit. Hip's still acting up, but I think it will heal.

This week was full of setbacks. It was as ugly as sin, but I'm proud of it anyway. When I look back on my life, I'll be proud to know that these are the times when I was tempted to pack it in and stop trying. I don't know what exactly the end goal is for this life of mine, but the closer one gets to achieving, the harder it feels. Thanks to all those who won't let me give up. You know who you are.

Trying will always beat not trying. We're either building up or breaking down. Nothing is static.



  1. Donut and beer on the run - nice! There's a thread on Robillard's site right now discussing the merits of bacon as a training food, so proper running nutrition seems to be the topic du jour.

    I'm moving out at the end of September, so hope the open spaces are, well, open by then... BTW I'll be looking for a running group/club when I get out there, and I know there's a few to choose from. Any insight/recommendations?

    1. Definitely get on the Boulder Trail Runners mailing list. People post to meet up all the time, and there are informal group runs like 10 days a week(by that I mean at least every day, but some are morning/night/etc. I'd start there to get connected. Lots of cool people in the area that love trails. I think it's a google group, and you request membership.

  2. i can totally relate to your post and the 50 miler... now that I've read the post that is.
    i had those same thoughts yesterday while running.
    thanks for sharing Jesse!