#49: Did you say something? No, I did.


This week was another step in the right direction……

  • After a short-burst-brick (13 ride + 2 run) on Sunday 
  • I was able to follow up with a tough/hilly 17.5 mile run on a muggy Monday, 
  • Tuesday RECOVERY day
  • a sloshy 8 mile “headlamp tempo” run on the trail on Wed evening, 
  • a trip to the ER with #2 kid as we got through her 3rd (in 7 years of life) mishap resulting in sutures (this time 7 and busted tooth from a chin-led fall)
  • a short 3 mi recovery run on Friday 
  • and another sloshy AM 9-mile tempo on Saturday.  

Got my mileage above 40 for the week and the hip is a good 60-70% better than last week…..still stiff and cranky at the onset (as well as a few hours after workouts), but it seems to be holding in there on the runs and getting better by the day….which is refreshing.  If it were only a physical game…..no doubt it’s a solid chunk physical, but there are definitely other areas that I’ve been trying to work on as well…..namely the mindset, which is about patience (it takes years for most folks to excel in ultra-distance), but also enough desire to keep pushing hard enough, long enough. 

Mind2After reading Lindsay’s blog and the, uh, compliment (?) she paid to Eric and I for being a bit, well, unstable, I found myself wondering if maybe this was true.  Is this a crazy obsession? Nah……or……maybe……

In looking back at my relaxed Saturday (where even kid soccer was cancelled), I’m thinking the “normal” person might think this is a little questionable: 


After a typical work week, where most of my days start well before the sun (alarm +/- 440AM), I was pretty darn tired….yet, there I was Saturday AM with my alarm clock going off around 6-ish so I could be up in time to meet another runner on the trail for a 7A start of an 8-9 miler.  Truth is, I really really value sleep.  Why on earth would I sacrifice it to go and run?  I must be crazy.
As I rode up to the trailhead sipping some coffee and eating something that would bring my blood sugar up quickly (the breakfast of champions), I got caught behind a pick-up truck on the single lane road……and apparently he wasn’t on quite the same schedule as I.  As we plodded along and I watched the minutes tick by, I arrived 5 minutes late……oh well, no worries, Marc (who I was meeting) didn’t appear to be there yet.  I grabbed a few OhFar signs to post “out there” and waited.  By 7:10A, I found myself thinking I should just go.  I’ve only run with Marc a few times and I wasn’t sure if he was going to be there.  I sent him a text and with no response, decided to head out.  As I got on the trail and started a jog, there it was on the opposite side of the lot all by itself…..Marc’s car.  

Who’s chasing who?
CRAP!  He was already out, probably pissed at having to wait for me. An emotional role reversal that I wasn’t prepared for……surge of adrenaline at realizing I was now at least 10 minutes (+/- 1.25 miles) behind – [sidebar: I have a “thing” about being late when it’s under my control……a personal demon that being over committed in general has me fighting often and losing to several times, which is probably the root], but I figured if I pushed it, I might be able to catch him……and so I pushed.  It was a definite change in plans (somewhere around a min faster per mile than I was planning) but as it turned out, it was great motivation; I had a reason to push hard, and it felt good.  About 1/4 mile before the 4 mile turn I saw Marc, apologized and said “keep going, I’ll catch up with you”.  It meant I had gained about 3/4 mile on him and had 3/4 left to go, so if I could continue my pace I’d catch him right at the end.  I pushed on.  About 2 more miles in I started wondering…..”why DO I do this?  Maybe she’s right…..I AM crazy?” It shouldn’t really be fun…..but logic aside, it was……thrill of the hunt I guess….another mile in, I had to divert for a precious minute (don’t ask) and then back on track.  

With about 1/2 mile to go I was feeling it……my legs were tired, my energy level was depleting (starting to run out of internal fuel and didn’t bring any supplements) “this definitely IS crazy” I thought……..I mean, I’m not crazy…..but THIS is…..you know “don’t blame the player” and all that.  I could start to hear myself breathing heavier and then at the last 1/4 mile I saw Marc, but I just couldn’t get him…..he had just finished up.  What a fun way to get a pretty serious session in.  I thanked him for providing such great motivation and for (without knowing it of course) getting me through a pretty solid 8 mile workout.  I saw him off and then did a cool down mile while popping a few more signs in.

As the day wore on, and as my legs got a little achy, my knees got that fatigued feeling and my back stiffened a bit from pushing harder, I started wondering…..If I’m crazy, what does constitute a “normal person’s” weekend? Guess I’ll never know firsthand…..after all, this time next year I’m hoping to be arriving on the “big island” and driving the Queen K highway and possibly checking out the “energy lab” to see how bad that’s really going to be……and if I’m going to do that, well, the crazy might be just beginning.  

You want to get nuts? Let’s get nuts,

Mike E.

Not sure which version I like better