Just a little backstory; from January 8th, 2013 to February 1st, 2013 I did not run! At all! It was on purpose, you can read about my terrible ITB injury (mostly caused by my rashness), but still it did my 2013 running year, really good to take a break.
I have found it interesting that in my four posts, including this one, I have written about my off-season. I just find that I really needed this break to step back and re-focus on what I really wanted in my training. I love the 100 mile distance and will be going after my second finish later this year in Arizona, but I really have zero races planned right now. Zero, that blows my mind.
First off, thanks to the race directors and all the volunteers today. Races like this are not possible without you. Can’t wait to get some more volunteer time in later this spring. Onto my report:
50 miles in 8:45:25 and yes, I think that’s a bad time for me. Not to start this post off negative but the plan today went out the window when I took off like a rocket for the first 16 miles. I came in at 2:23 in 7th place (male), way too fast for me. Also, I had told Angel to be ready for me around 2:30-3:00 for me, so she wasn’t there, my fault but I stilled had to deal with not having Tailwind nutrition for the next 16 miles.
The first lap seemed to go well, but the entire time I knew I was pushing too hard, I knew I was going to blow up, not a good pacing strategy to kill yourself in the first 16 miles of a 50 miles race. I had to the opportunity to chat with some cool guys up near the front at this point, just wish I could’ve stuck it. I also was over hydrated in the beginning. I was peeing like ever 3 miles and it was crystal clear for the first 1.5 laps.
Remember that whole, “I’m going to take a break” conversation I had with my coach before Bandera 100k. Well, there is the really fast 50 mile race this Saturday called Rocky Raccoon 50. I was already planning on volunteering with Angel, but I’m thinking about entering the race. Like, 99.9% positive I’m going to be running it. I have some Army training coming up mid-February through the first couple days of March so I will be able to have some time off physical training then to recover.
This past week has been a blessing. I have started incorporating more yoga and Biblical meditation and it has been helping my attitude throughout the day both at work and with Angel at home. Training has been so-so; Monday we did our usual, really slow company run at work, then it got much better, instead of a normal tempo or progressive ability group run on Wednesday, we did some hill sprints, like a lot of them. I felt really solid to be able to push without any pain or injury. I also had two good, better than the past couple of months, strength workouts in the gym. I did better on my overhead press, deadlift, squat, and bench press than since August last year!
"I’m taking a break after this, maybe for just a month, but I need some time off," I told my coach going into Bandera. My ITB has been starting to get much worse over the last several weeks and I remembered my dreadful January last year, I took 30 days off running because of the same issue.
I was excited going into Bandera because two of my brothers were coming out to race it; also, it would give me a chance to race my friend Dan (beat me at our last 60k). The forecast had started to change and the weather was to prefect, if not a little hot.
Recently I read, Got to Live (923 Days to Remember), by Jay Danek (@mcdowelmtnman). Such a simple story, yet so profound on how he joined the ultra-running scene. It started it with deciding to run four miles 923 days in a row to memorialize the day that his dad passed, September 23, 2008. It really spoke to me because I have a similar relationship with my dad, as Jay did with his dad. He loved hanging out with his dad, playing baseball, heck he even enjoyed the drive across the country from Michigan to Arizona with his dad.