When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.
The heart of the difference is not ability or even talent, but desire
The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Weather, shoes and general musings...
Anyway, my scare with the shin injury seems to be just that – a scare. I went Sunday night for a slow poke on local trails, and the pain was quite mild, so I will call it a shin splints and be OK with it. Considering the fact that I always seem to have some kind of injury (on top of compartment), I am kind of used to it and don’t pay attention. So, as I was tallying my YTD miles after that run, it came to 1111. I found this number very funny. Like, if I didn’t go that day (and I wasn’t planning to), I would have missed it.
That number also reminded me of my shoes. You know, getting rid of old shoes with 300 (some say 500) miles on them…it should mean that I am ready to throw at least 2, if not 3 pairs. I am dumb here, I don’t keep track on exact miles of my shoes. Since I usually have 5 pairs around (don’t laugh, at first it was due to trying different brands to find a perfect match, and I am a cheapo, so don’t say good bye even if I don’t like the shoe, but use it on short runs; this year it’s due to stocking up on Montrail promotion, and yes, I still have those old shoes to finish up, and because it’s raining 9 months out of a year, I need them all)…well, back to 5 pairs of trail shoes, plus the road shoes plus the track/treadmill shoes…how in the world do you think I should remember the miles I put on them? I do remember which ones I raced and because my races are long, I just add up those miles…what may explain all those little nagging injuries I experience. If you have a better system, let me know…I doubt it will work with me, though. One pair sits at work, 2 in the car (in case I want to take off any minute)…then there are new once that as soon as I break them in, I leave them for races…It’s a mess!
What brings me back to Zane (what shoes should I pack?), and that leads to all that acceptance speech Rob had recently (where I won’t repeat him, since we practically think like twins way too often), as well as back to my Anonymous…I know, you’re pretty tired of that one, but it closely related, really.
At the beginning of the year as a member of a regional Montrail ultrarunning team I had to set goals for the races, like times, places, PRs, breakthroughs and what have you (see back for AR50 report). Hold on, I am getting somewhere. I am not at peace with myself. I am not accepting myself. I am afraid to propose goals (even to myself) and try and reach them. Granted, it is much easier to set lower limits and be happy with getting there, than to set high, and not being able to get even remotely close. I choose something in the middle. Thus came all that fury about “near-elite” thing. I am content with a “solid runner”. Or “a front of the middle of the pack, a.k.a. if nobody comes, I may place”. I do find I love to work/train very hard. However, it seems I have something left at the end of the race. Yes, fun is important. Do elite runners have fun when they fight hard for every minute? To some extent, I am sure. Do those who have fun still have to fight pain? Absolutely. Am I ready to make a complete shift from a “solid runner” to one who goes for the goal? Not sure…hmm…it’s on a personal level, how do I know if I’ve pushed well beyond? WS-2005 was a perfect example where I have no regrets for one single step. Finely executed first half, holding on to a deer guts (literally) for the second…and it actually paid off. The rest of my races, even good performances, came sort of easy (or so it seems looking back – some pain, some stuff happening, but it’s long runs, everybody has to deal with those!) May be there is a reason I sign up for more races too – I am afraid to focus solely on one race and then with all the work have something happen – and bam! No goal! Is it normal for mortals? Does it make me “near elite” anyway? Speaking of Anonymous, I am desperate to know who that is (I do have a couple of wild guesses, but leave it at that). Whomever that is, it is flattering that someone actually cares enough to follow my “running career” so to speak. Someone who is possibly a coach himself, a former (?)elite runner, who knows Lisa’s coaching style and is interested in seeing me succeed…well, here is my email, just in case: firstname.lastname@example.org. Iam ready to discuss it with anyone who is interested.
Speaking of Lisa. We emailed to discuss all those little thingies, but it is actually a not big deal between. She is the best understanding person I have ever met (and I will highly recommend her to anyone who needs a coach), perfectly figuring where I am coming from, why I am like that and what can be done to improve our relationship (as a client/coach). I’ve learned a lot, absolutely love double-hard-runs days, got to try (and hate most of them) different x-training styles (so now we go as “2 hrs aerobic training whatever you want”), but can’t make days with 9/1 or 8/2 run/walk thing (I tend to run all my training runs even though I walk a big part of my races – mentally, it’s difficult to walk when you don’t feel like it). There is no-one better (and faster) at responding to any questions, including ones concerning personal life and such. And overall she makes me very happy…if only she also wouldn’t think I am capable of more…but then again, she is a coach, she is encouraging
And back to the weather. It’s nice, hot, sunny, and it’s Christmas here! Because today Montrail runners got their packages with goodies! And it’s so much fun to throw it all around and think of new tops I get to wear, new bottles to try (courtesy of new co-sponsor Nathan) and just simply think of all the trips I get to go to and represent…what brings me back to the fact that I am in a Regional team, and as Sean Meissner and Kristin Jossi keep me calm, it means I do try and run well, but mostly I am a friendly face that loves the product and can recommend it and answer a bunch of questions about sponsor’s product and ultrarunning in general. And I will always be there with that part!!!
And back to Zane and being afraid…here are my goals. I know them, so should you too.
I would be happy to break 13 hrs. I will be also just fine with breaking 14, but hopefully closer to the inside of it. My pace chart (a.k.a. a perfect race, nothing goes wrong) is set for 12:40 – that would be elating. This crazy course (*tc, click on the link) features an overall altitude gain from 5000 at the start to 7000 at the finish and 11000 elevation gain (some loss too, but hey, who is counting?). I consider myself a hiker, so this part doesn’t freak me out. Downhills are scary with rocks and masses of stuff, and though I am good on down, I am not sure if I will be able to execute it there (see my report on MT Bridger, for some reason I think it might be close). Placing is secondary, as at my level it all depends who is coming (unlike for top, where we know Nikki Kimball is winning, the question is if she breaks her course record). Since this is far from where I am used to race, I hardly know any of the girls, so no prediction/hopeful plans here. The AS are far apart, so hydration/fueling is crucial. Angie will be helping Johnny and me – big round of applause here! Thanks, Pinky! Catra is sharing a room with me, what reminds me to email her on details. David just dropped off his free car rental certificate – telling you, friends are my best value in life (after kids, of course). I packed my bags and ready for Black Saturday – last long run before the two-race special!
As for acceptance – not accepting oneself is what drives the progress, doesn’t it?
Now back to the kitchen woman, where you belong:)