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Annie and Julie are tackling adventure and wellness at every turn!

Annie and Julie are tackling adventure and wellness at every turn!

The full moon seemed to smile at me as the sun set, like an inspirational shift change. Despite the bug plastered windshield, it stirred sweet adventure memories and radiated wellness. What a fitting culmination to a full weekend! I tasted the riches of family, friends, travel, physical challenge, coffee, shopping, dining and peaceful rest. All is well!

Mark and Frank keep entering in a young guys division.

Mark and Frank keep entering in a young guys division.

It was pretty tough for a while. Bloomsday is a little like a plunge into an icy lake. Many people view it as a spring-time tradition. We see who we are. I was confronted with my past selves and I wished I could stride like some of them. And I think maybe I can. Or not. The mysteries will be revealed and created!

Adventure partners forever!

Adventure partners forever!

People are so interesting. We offer much and sometimes deliver little. Our potential is incredible. Our limiting beliefs dance with our willingness to try to be truly open-minded, fighting for the precious ground of our souls. We rarely know when we’re missing out, choosing to think that our opinions and beliefs are sacred, accurate truths. How silly we can be!

I may have done one thing right, or not. Bloomsday officials have a new ploy called “time up Doomsday.”  They measure how long it takes to ascend the brutal hill between 4.3 and 5 miles into the 7.46 mile race. It may be a good idea for some people to buy into this chase. For me, walking the entire steep part yesterday may have saved my life. I was red-lining, after zooming past hundreds of people on the steep downhill before Doomsday. I’ve learned that I’m very good on downhill portions, and I simply love to run fast. The mob hindered me during an early downhill section, but it thinned a bit and the course widened by the middle of the race. So I hauled ass! Then I accepted my need to walk. No, I would not post one of my faster race times. But I would still do the best I could on this day, and live to race again. Hundreds of people passed me on the hill. Many of them faded badly after the hill, and I passed them back. My ego loved the times when I passed guys who appeared to be about my age. Yay! I passed another old guy! How silly I can be!

I cannot adequately describe to you how good water, coffee and food taste after long runs. It must be experienced first-hand. It is amazing!

This is how Annie feels about Bloomsday each year and about adventure in general:

This is how Annie feels about Bloomsday each year and about adventure in general: “Let’s do it!”

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Half marathon chick!

Half marathon chick!

Survival. Working parts. Yay! I finished the 2013 Tri-Cities half marathon in around 2:08, or about seven minutes faster than my goal time. I remembered the advice about setting achievable goals and blew off the part about making them difficult!  🙂

For me, today, a half marathon is difficult, regardless of time. That became crystal clear later in the race, which is a time of discovery. Early miles are relatively easy and inspired. Later miles are tougher tests!

Annie and  I passed quite a few people as the miles rolled by, and our layers were peeled off. We were running each mile a little faster than the last, and feeling good.  The limits of my training began to appear after the ten-mile mark. I encouraged Annie to go for it; she had more spunk than I did today. She looked strong and youthful as she pulled away during mile eleven. My leg and groin muscles started to tighten up. I was determined not to walk, but my pace slowed. How much mental toughness did I have today?

As it turned out, people were done passing me, and I passed a few more, including the guy with a marijuana leaf shirt endorsing “Washington: the Evergreen State.” I wasn’t surprised to see him slow to a walk! Then a big guy passed me. Not fat, just big. After the last aid station, he was my inspiration. I needed a diversion from my mind’s games, so my new game was to race big guy to the finish. I guess I could have told him the game was on. But it was a race, after all! It turned out that he was more tired than I was.

I had to put on a decent show at the finish! Did they all really need to know how spent I was? Nope. I decided to show a little ending “speed.” I could have outrun every turtle I’ve met! Annie finished a few minutes ahead of me in her first half marathon ever. Way to go Annie! You’re the champion of the family! Just remember, there’s a 10k re-match in three weeks…..

Chocolate mousse cake

Just before Bloomsday 2012

Wow!  I feel so alive!  I forgot how high I can get by running faster than I’m used to.  Somehow I ran considerably faster than I thought I could today.  The start is always easy, because there is excitement and adrenaline.  Today, at mile marker one, my mind tripped on “oh no, I’ve started out way too fast” and quickly skipped to “dang!  I’m going to run out of steam,” rehashing old experiences of defeat.  I let these thoughts pass on through, and settled on “good start; let’s see how long I can keep this pace.  Just keep running!”  That’s what runners do.  They run!  Yes, I’ve stopped and walked before.  Sometimes it was ego deflating.  Perhaps it even made walking permissible in challenging times, draining my fortitude and determination.  But all of that was in the past.  The past has no impact on the present, unless I grant that permission.  Today, as always, some people flamed out early and switched to walking.  Not me.  Not today.  I just needed to believe.  I just needed to have faith.  I only had to do the next right thing.  Lucky for me that was really easy to figure out this morning.  Left.  Right.  Left.  Right……. I was able to keep up the fast pace for the entire ten kilometers, and even sped up at the end.  In fact, when a friend snuck up and passed me near the finish, I sprinted madly to pass him back just before the line!  It reminded me of the way I test drive cars.  It felt really good to put the pedal to the metal!  ( :

Our bodies are like sexy sports cars:  they want to be pushed!  Blood flow.  Oxygen.  Clarity.  Achievement.  I remember running advisers claiming that we shouldn’t run too fast in training.  They’re probably wiser than me, but I also remember experience teaching me that we must run fast to run fast.  Deepest thought I could come up with?  I’ve had three fun and progressively faster runs in the past seven days, with two days rest between each.  Some experts say that older bodies need more recovery time.  Damn near makes me want to take a nap!  But I may be too excited about planning more adventures…..

Live well!

Surrendering  my holdout compulsions is setting me free!  I have faith that I can become a better version of me, in so many ways!  I have avoided compulsive, emotional eating for two nights.  Last evening I ran my favorite training loop in my fastest time in nearly two years.  I started out slowly, with an ache in my right ankle, but I got stronger as I ran, peaking around the four mile mark.  The flow felt good, so I brought it home with a negative split, similar to our finish at Bloomsday.  The Balloonsday run is this Saturday; I’m excited to see if I can get even faster!  I’m also excited to see who will show up for this event.  I’m hoping to find someone a little faster than me to race!  ( :

frankoshanko

I love health, humor, adventure, exercise, romance and competition. Well, I just love life! ( :

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