Monday, June 16, 2014

M-Cubed for 6.16.2014

M-Cubed (Monday Morning Musings) for June Sixteenth, Two Thousand Fourteen...a random smattering of thoughts that end up here on Monday morning.

- The Monday after race weekend, we meet again. I really think calling off or taking a sick day "just because" doesn't do anyone favors! Many say "take it off" but unless it's due to travel, I need some normalcy and actual production in my day to shake off the cobwebs in my muscle fibers. Putting my Navy uniform back on and getting into that "distraction" called life will do just that. So here's to the "Monday morning after race weekend"...time to go get some!

- OK...so M-Cubed today is going to be heavily slanted in one direction...just warning you. Heck...I got my 30th ultra finish...a gnarly one at that...over the weekend. My mind is still in the mountains...

- After I wrote my race report on Saturday night while my family fell asleep, it was not a good night of "sleep." Tossing and turning all night while my quads, mostly, yelled at me. Nothing was comfy. Still...just after 5am my internal alarm awoke me and I was up. I waddled to the resort bathroom, brewed my Lavazza espresso, made myself somewhat presentable and wandered out to the center of the resort and the eastern-facing balcony where the finish line once was, the fog was resting in the valleys and the sun was rising. I must have stood there for 10 minutes just feeling the cool air mist and staring at the horizon. So many thoughts swirling while looking off in awe.

The finish line was in the center in between those two roofs. We emerged from the woods on the right.
- Tiffany, a friend from Pennsylvania, read my race report from last year and took up the challenge herself. She took the advice and brought her family with her, too. She got her finish and wrote up a great race report. If you'd like a different "story" of the race from someone else's perspective, I highly recommend giving her report a read. She captured the gnarly, rough and beautiful nature of Highlands Sky well. "Again, congratulations Tiffany!!!!" Here is her race report.

- Many people have been asking my opinion about the Sgt. Bergdahl release/prisoner swap and the massacre and violence overtaking Iraq. I'm not going there in this venue. As someone currently serving, it's my job to uphold the Constitution of the United States and obey the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, whoever that may be. My personal opinions matter, of course, but they'll only be shared in personal conversation. I did see, however, that the USS George H.W. Bush carrier battle group was ordered into the Persian Gulf. If there is writing on the wall, that would be it. I do like how one friend and Army soldier put it on a post I made on Facebook...stating how we should've stayed in Iraq just like we did in Korea and Germany. I agree. I'm sad for the veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and those families of the Fallen who gave the ultimate sacrifice there. To watch this happening in a country where so much American blood was spilled... ugh.

- Back to the weekend. :) Once 7am hit on Sunday, my 3 girls' attempt at sleeping in just had to end. I whipped open the shades letting the sun in and opened up my Father's Day card. Bonus! $25 gift card to Outback! Hmmm...this combined with a free appetizer today through Thursday just might suck us in. We were soon on the road (I was already packed) and we had our same breakfast again at the Bed and Breakfast in Davis, WV. It was an easy 4 1/2 hour drive home with one stop at the Rivertowne craft brewery just east of Pittsburgh first. I've been wanting to get there and finally did. At 12:30pm on a Sunday, it was just us. They were awesome and gave my wife and I two ounce samples and profiles of everything they had while our girls enjoyed their free popcorn. Great stop and once again, I love craft breweries! Unique and one-of-a-kind every time...and a great story to boot. Arriving home to high grass, that was the task at hand last night but a visit to see my dad first took priority. The grass did get mowed but I was dead to the world by 9pm. 800mg of motrin and a pillow...

- Here are some final stats posted by Dan Lehmann last night, the race director. There were 177 starters on Saturday. 160 made it. I was 79th of the 160 finishers, bettering last year's standing by about 40-45 spots. In my age group of 40-49, I was 19 of 38. You can't get much more mid-pack than that, now can you?! Am I still pleased? Yes. But...

- I did learn something last night and it frustrated and angered the heck out of me as I mowed the yard. I had to tell my wife my frustration before I could move past it and I spent more time thinking on it this morning. It doesn't matter what we/you accomplish in life much to others...no one will ever care about it like you do/I do. I'm not big on patting myself on the back but I am big on sharing my story...you're reading it!! :)  However, I do love words of affirmation and things like that from the people close to me that I "think" will give 2 cents. Well...that can be a slippery slope or to use a term from Saturday's race...that could be a "buttslide" if not careful. I run for myself. I finish for myself. I put my body through this "stuff" by my own choice and "enjoyment." I don't do it "for" anyone else. I just have to remember that, share my story, encourage others, and move on. I also have to remember that people DO care...but I have no idea what they're going through that at this moment. I can't take it personally. I say all this to encourage not only myself to charge on but for you as well. I'm sure you can relate...no matter what "race" you're running right now, just finished, or will soon. It's good to keep it all in perspective.

- Last Thursday, I was offered a whole new kind of iced tea at my favorite coffee shop, Bent Tree Coffee Roasters in Kent. The coffee bean begins its life hanging from a tree in a cherry. The outer skin is removed, discarded as compost, and the bean inside is what we call the coffee bean. Well, that outer skin is called "cascara." It's rarely exported out of the coffee growing region but within the region, is often dried and used to make tea. I had some on Thursday and it was incredible! No sweeteners of any kind yet it was full of flavor and sweetness. They put it on sale over the weekend so I hope to pick some up. This particular batch came from Costa Rica. They are selling it for $12.75 for a 12oz bag and you can read about it, buy it, and get the brewing instructions here.

- This morning, I woke at my traditional 3:15am even though logic seemed to preach otherwise. Rest, right?! The thing is...I need my routine! Espresso brewed (proof to the right >>>) and at sunrise, I laced up and head on out...on my toes. My quads are still pretty beat up as I'm still using handrails on all stairs so the downhill 1/3 mile out of my driveway saw me running on my toes, trying to reduce the impact.  You know what beat up quads love? Hills. That realization turned me in a different direction and wow, that felt good! I was finally able to engage the quads instead of beat them up. Once I climbed the hill for 7/10 of a mile, I was feeling awesome again and got the "clean bill of health" from my body. You see? Never regret a run! The rest of the run was fantastic as I watched the sunrise and I fell into a nice, steady rhythm plus a normal running gait...no more toe-running. Ironically, what hurt was the moment I stopped at the front of my driveway. Brakes on quads = hurt. 5 miles...done. I made up another batch of Hammer Nutrition's Recoverite to wrap up my recovery and get the day moving.

- To wrap up today, I have a different kind of quote this week and it's perfectly fitting for what this past weekend was about. Enjoy and have a great week!

The 10 Commandments of Endurance

1. Expect a journey and a battle
2. Focus on the present and set intermediate goals
3. Don’t dwell on the negative
4. Transcend the physical
5. Accept your fate
6. Have confidence that you will succeed
7. Know that there will be an end
8. Suffering is okay
9. Be kind to yourself
10. Quitting is not an option

-Marshall Ulrich, Running on Empty: An Ultramarathoner's Story of Love, Loss, and a Record-Setting Run Across America

2 comments:

Trailboy said...

Congrats again. Love reading your reports: the good, the bad, the ugly -- mostly the good. Keep climbing the mountain!

Still not sure what you learned last night that made you so upset. Was that important?

Nick B said...

I'll elaborate: I didn't learn "something"...it was more of a realization. I guess I didn't say that correctly. More of expectations not realized but in the end, I just need to let it go and move on. (dangit, "Frozen"!!! Every time I say "Let It Go" I think of that movie!) Can't really say more than that...I hope that makes sense...somewhat.