|Mt. Shasta (14,162'). Taken while shooting down I-5 on our way home from Oregon.|
1. Consistency - At 26 years of age, I've been fortunate and blessed to devote half of my life thus far to running, and doing so injury-free (which I can't help but give thanks to God for). There's definitely much to say about being able to head out the door healthy each day, in fact, there's definitely much wiser folks to say it; but for me, running in a consistent fashion equates to certain undeniables: 1. The more consistently injury-free I am able to run, the stronger I will become as a runner and vice-versa, 2. The more consistent I am able to run, the more I reinforce such a positive discipline, 3. The more consistent I am able to do this sport I love, the more passion (and fruit thereof) to enjoy and share with others (ie: motivation, inspiration, positively challenging, etc), and 4. Consistency allows me to show up on a given day for a race and be able to compete well.
To sum it up, I've seen the necessity of being healthy in a sport where injury-rates run almost rampant it seems. Therefore, I'm continually reminded of doing the small things each day to put myself in a healthy position (of course, I could do everything right and still get injured by uncontrollable factors). Whether that be icing a particular area of my body, taking those extra 5 minutes to focus on form drills or core work, or sacrificing a day, week, or year off so that the greater reward by doing so is achieved. All in all, I want to always keep in mind that the foundation of consistency is being healthy, short-term and long-term.
2. Putting in the Work- If you're like me, you've got one ear or eye open to the "silver bullet". In other words, what's the LEGAL magical tool that's going to give me that edge over the competition. And I think over the year, I've seen it's just good 'ol fashion hard work that's the key. Different folks are doing different things and achieving tremendous results, but the commonality between guys like Geoff, Tony, and Nick are that they just simply get it done, day-in and day-out. They put in the time, the effort, and work their asses off.
It appears this next year of running ultra's is a go for me, therefore, I definitely want to step it up (with wisdom/discernment) with putting in the necessary work. Up the volume a bit, tack on that extra back-to-back long run, force myself to take necessary recovery precautions even when I don't feel like it, and so on. I feel I have a good base and can handle a decent-sized workload and over this next year, I'll see exactly what my limits and capabilities in training are and what my body can handle while continuing to stay healthy.
3. Fueling Passion- At the core of my running, this is something I don't want to lose because it really is the driving force for me. Peel away the layers, and at the center, I simply just love to run. Therefore, over this past year, I've had to be mindful of ensuring I'm nurturing my love and passion for this sport. It's too easy for me to get caught up in the results/competition aspect of running and training; focusing on the numbers (or someone elses numbers! ha ha) and being driven by that. That's not to say it isn't a positive thing to be inspired or moved by such external influences, but I don't want to let these external influences become the major driving force for me; they do just fine as the cherry on top. And I'm not critiquing those who are driven by results, I'm just speaking from my experiences as a post-collegiate runner who was so driven by results that he lost his love and passion for running. I just don't want to go back there. So, self-governance and help from my wife has kept me in check and honest about where my heart is in terms of running. In practice, this looks like: Letting go of expectations, Refraining from keeping a training log at different times of the year, focusing on serving others or being more concerned with their training, embracing a "dead-leg day" and seeing the positive in it, soaking in the beauty of my surroundings when in the wilderness (not just how I'm running that day), and turning personal challenges that appear to be results-focused into ones that are more experience-focused. Keeping the passion and fire burning fresh and fierce is a important lesson I want to keep in the forefront of my mind.
|Sara and I enjoying our weeklong annual vacation in Cannon Beach, Oregon. Such a beautiful and special place.|
|On the summit of Saddle Mt (3,283'). Was a 2.5 mile hike from the TH and we ascended 1,630'.|
There's much more I could share, but these core truths stick out the most to me. As for where I'm at currently, mainly biking and enjoying shorter runs. Everything seems to have healed/recovered since TRT. I've enjoyed the break from structured and focused training, and for the most part, have been getting back to basics such as form-work, core strengthening, and working antagonistic muscles on the bike. The bike still provides an adventurous outlet for me and feeds the need to cover terrain and my love for getting some vertical gain in. As for races, probably run the Sizzler 49'r Canyon 10-miler and Sierra Nevada 50 in September. Sierra Nevada is so special to me as it was my first ultra and I'm stoked to come back and enjoy another fantastic event put on by RD Julie Fingar. Support/crew for my wife as she gears up for her first marathon October 15th (Rock'n River Marathon which runs in reverse direction of the AR 50 course, but finishes at Negro Bar). Throw in a half-marathon and Thanksgiving Day 10k in November. Then finish out 2011 by running the North Face 50 in San Francisco. TNF 50 will be a focus-race and I'm pumped to enjoy new terrain and hopefully be in the mix with all the studs who will be there.
|Top of Saddle Mt. just ahead. Couldn't resist just hiking anymore so I ran up the steep scree to the summit. I was pretty winded at the top, so worth it though.|