Sunday, January 5, 2014

Post-Sasquatch Musings

Dust has settled, I've refueled (more than once), and I've had some time to process yesterday. (Race Report HERE if you haven't yet read it.) In the meantime, official results have been posted...I'll get to that in a minute. In easy to follow bullet format, if I may:

  • I don't follow any training plan, pretty much never stretch, and never set foot in a gym. Running does not define me. I love to run...true...but it's not even in the top 3 of most-important things in my life. I don't really have hobbies, I don't like to read, I don't play video games, and I like to eat. So, it all works out...right?!
  • Without a training plan, I simply run for the pure joy of it. This makes many scratch their heads: "So you run with no music? For hours? How boring! I "hate" running! What do you think about?" So in that joy, I tend to never shutter at the weather outside, I wear the right gear to protect myself, and I'm very tuned into my body...AND I LISTEN TO IT! That's my secret to injury-free running and days like yesterday. Looking for a silver bullet? That's it for me.
  • One thing I didn't include in my race report was this...omitted really to keep things positive. BUT, I was quite disappointed in those who littered the trail. On my 2nd 25K loop, I really was sickened at the amount of candy wrappers, gel pack tops, paper cups, and other miscellaneous items. I have to assume it was mostly newbies running their first trail race and perhaps are accustomed to the road marathon mentality of "throw your crap on the ground and let the volunteers pick it up." Well, folks...this is a state forest...we're guests...we should leave nothing but footprints and a big 'ol "Thank you!" Not much more. Most running attire has pockets and other compartments with zippers. Also, many carry water bottles that have pockets, etc. on them. There is NO excuse for even a gel packet top to hit that trail. We must be responsible and if you must...STOP, consume, store your gear, then proceed down the trail. OK...rant over.
  • Last night, we really enjoyed this locally started franchise called Pies and Pints. Their slogan is "Craft Pizza and Beer." The wait was long but so worth it. We enjoyed a Smoked Gouda and Chicken gourmet pizza. Thin crust, all homemade, and phenomenal ingredients. It just may be the best pizza I have ever had. The great news is that they are opening a new one in Short North in Columbus, Ohio...which I happen to frequent. If you ever get near one, I highly recommend. They have a great, but small, craft beer selection, too.
  • After getting up a few times overnight to chug water and use the bathroom, I slept well and just a tad bit achy until I got moving this morning. I felt plenty good enough to hit the road for a recovery run. I headed out after looking at Google Maps to find a residential area near me and headed that direction. No elevation map on that image but soon I found hills that don't exist around home. I ran them all and did everything I could to squeeze that lactic acid right out of my quads. Knees were a bit sore from yesterday but all-in-all, I felt fantastic. Great 5 miles at sunrise...even saw a deer with a couple of antlers.

So the results...yea...I was a bit floored as the update came as I ran this morning. There were 65 finishers yesterday for the 50K...don't know how many started. Out of those 65, I was 15th overall! If you know me, I almost always a middle-of-the-pack to back-half finisher. Then, the age groups were overly simplified. 40 and over and 39 and below. I'm 40 so in the Male 40 and Over group, there were  24 of us...and I was THIRD! Even better, only 9 minutes separated me and 1st place in the group. Collectively, we were 13th, 14th, and 15th overall. So am I happy? Humbled and thankful is how I'd describe my feelings. I really am. As I ran the last two miles yesterday, I recalled how blessed I am for the ability to run, remain injury free, and just for everything surrounding me...then began quietly singing "Amazing Grace". It's a timeless hymn and just brings me peace, especially while pounding the trail en route to the finish. It focused my thoughts, took my mind upward, and served a reminder that it's not about never has been. I run because He has blessed me with that ability. I don't ever want to forget that. Just "running the race set before me" with endurance, perseverance, and a love/yearning for what's next...whatever that may be.

Run Happy, friends...and stay warm out there.

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