Saturday, January 18, 2014

Wow, its been so long since I've been here it took three tries to get my password right.
I hadn't felt much like writing. I guess because late last year I hadn't felt much like running. Well I did want to run but my body just wasn't doing what I wanted it to. It was rebelling (I've said that too many times haven't I?) Or it may have been mental. Who knows? I didn't want to spend too much time trying to figure it out. So I just ran the best I could.
Here's a quick recap of my running experiences in late 2013.
In October of last year I was asked by my running buddy Robert if I knew anyone who wanted to run the 100 mile relay at Cactus Rose. Hey, maybe I want too. I recruited a co-worker who was new to trails and would take the third leg. He'd start late afternoon and end his leg in the dark. Daniel had never run at night for more than an hour and never alone. He enjoyed it. After it was over. He said he was spooked several times. The shadows play with your mind in the dark. Robert took the last leg. Kelli ran the second leg after I came in on the first. I wasn't expecting much but I think I ran one of my best 25 milers that day. Breaking 5 hours on this hilly, rocky course at 4:54 and change was a surprise. It does help knowing you're only running one loop. I was happy finishing knowing I didn't have to go back out. Having run the hundred and fifty miler at Cactus Rose I now have all the Cactus Hardware. Here I am finishing up my leg at that race.
Earlier that month I ran with my buddy Joe up in Indiana. I met Joe through running and we've become good friends. Joe lives in Chesterton, Indiana and runs "The Dunes" a National Park on the shores of Lake Michigan. I've always wanted to see one of the great Lakes. Beautiful trails here. I got to meet some of Joe's running group too and exchange race stories. Joe made some remarks that made me laugh, "these guys told me I'd slow down after fifty five. that the body can't perform like it used to after that." " I told them, yeah right, you're just getting lazy."  Then Joe said, "they were right."
Joe and I at The Dunes

Sometime between Running with Joe and Cactus Rose the San Antonio road Runners held a members appreciation run along the Guadalupe River in the Hill Country north of San Antonio. I am a member of SARR also. I have many friends in this group and enjoy volunteering as well as some of their races. Daniel and I drove up early in the morning to run this cool 10 miler along winding river road.
Daniel and I before the River road run
Fast forward to November and the San Antonio Marathon. "Let's run the SA Rock and Roll Marathon. We'll take it easy. It will be fun!" Said My good friend Lalo.
It was hell. Like running in hell anyway. The heat and humidity were the worse I have ever run in. The SA marathon was moved up to mid November a few years ago because early November is usually hot. In SA December can be HOT! 
I did like the new route though. Running along the San Antonio river south of downtown was nice but in the heat, the lower exposed areas were not. No wind! More humidity. This was also in the later miles. I would run to get under the overhead bridges so I could walk under them and enjoy the shade. Tanya, Lalo, Daniel, and I began together and stayed together through the halfway point. After that we all spread out as the heat and high humidity took it's toll. It was my slowest finishing time ever for a road marathon, 4:20 something. I'm just happy I finished before passing out. No kidding. My head began to ache at mile 20 and ached for almost two days.
"come on, it will be fun." He said. :-)
Before the San Antonio Marathon 2013
I was registered for the Dallas Marathon in December of 2013. Dallas has always been on my list. It is always held on my birthday weekend and after promising my brother for years that I'd go up and run it, I finally registered. Andy lives just north of Dallas. He was excited and said he'd drive me to the start. Andy likes crewing for me. I am reminded that he was the one who got me off my butt and exercising. I owe him so much. The Dallas area was hit by a terrible Ice Storm two days before the Marathon. The city came to a halt and the marathon was ultimately cancelled. Oh well. I'm automatically in for 2014 though!
Another run to remember was our groups run to Support Don and Helena at their tree planting ceremony at our favorite park in remembrance of the loss of their child. It was a very somber occasion. Chuck, a chaplain in our group, led a simple yet beautiful ceremony. Our group showed our love for each other that morning.
Training runs continued with friends at Government Canyon and Hill country State Natural area near Bandera, Texas. I really enjoy training runs more than racing. Having fun with friends is always a happier occasion. No pressure no clock watching.
Sub Freezing training run at Hill Country Sate Natural Area

Plans turned to our groups manning of the Nachos aid station at the Bandera 50 and 100K races held at Hill Country State Natural area on Jan. 11, 2014. We took over the aid station last year and apparently did such a good job race director Joe Prusaitus wanted us back. It is so much fun, and work, running an aid station and our Rockhopper group turns out in great numbers to help out. Many in our group run the races which makes it more fun as we see them come by. Joe wanted to meet with us before the races just to answer any questions we may have and tell us what to expect this year. We met at our favorite watering hole. Freetails Brewery. The talk was about the trail conditions, the food that would be provided and the aid station in general. The talk turned to us relating our race stories. Then Joe said, "I just can't run like I used to. My body has slowed down." I asked Joe when this began happening. "Oh, right about when I turned 55." Thats it! I'm 55 and feeling the same way. John laughed out loud and agreed. No wonder I felt that same way in the latter part of 2013! Or was it the fact that I pushed too hard in the first part of the year? Or is it because I feel I've run all the Ultras I want to? Or is it because I now want to enjoy the scenery and smell the roses? Ah heck I don't want to try to figure it out. I'll go with the turning 55 theory.
Our work at Nachos went well again this year. Here is a link to pics of the day. 

After the Bandera races our group met at our favorite watering hole to exchange races stories.
Rockhopper post Bandera party
With all the stories and laughs about persevering I thought, I need to run another ultra! I'll run the Nueces 50K. NO, I'll run the 50 miler! After two days I came back down and thought, I'll sign up for the 25K. I can take it easy, enjoy the beautiful Nueces river in the hill country, be finished way before noon, kick back and enjoy being 55. Sort of like a training run.
Oh and by the way, I didn't get into Boston. My 3:40 time at Austin qualified me but due to so many people wanting to run it in 2014 and 6000 from the 2013 field returning to complete it, there was no room for me. No big deal. It was never one I felt I had to do.

1 comment:

Lalo said...

Been waiting for you to write again!

Hey, you will always remember San Antonio Marathon 2013! No one remembers the easy ones. The hard ones build character!

And 55 is just a number! Don't fall into that mindset. If you do, it's the beginning of the end! Keep on moving and keep on pushing!

Love you Hermano!