Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pain? What pain?

I'm been a runner for almost 20 years now; I ran track (begrudgingly; why run around in a circle so much?) and cross-country (definitely my favorite) in high school, got burned out and went away from it for part of college and then have had a love/hate relationship with the sport for most of my 20's.

Upon "retiring" from ultimate in 2004, my friend Dave convinced me to train with him for the Twin Cities Marathon. He was convinced that it wouldn't take much for me to be able to step up and do a race of this distance (despite my longest run previous being 14 miles).

Long story short, Dave got injured and had to stop training but with the help of my wife the domestique I was able to finish training and have a great race day, running 3:26. (The picture above is my post-finish "where's my friggin' Chipolte" stare)

For the first time in a very long time, running was fun. I continued to do so until we left on the trip. I really think a major reason for this was the moderation in which I trained; 4 days/week and reasonable mileage as opposed to the levels in which I'd run (and gotten burned out) previously. Upon our return, I was actually excited to get back into running. After a bit of a slow start (not running for 15 months will do that to you) I actually found myself running at a faster level than before in no small part due to the 20 lbs. I'd lost during the trip.

With this I got all geeked up; time to try to boost the mileage and try to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Unfortunately the reality of school and the job search made that an unrealistic goal. Instead I elected to just have fun with my running and do the occasional race (like the Hagg Lake 25k that left me looking like this).

Fast forward to this summer. I've been looking for a few racing opportunities just to see where I'm at speed wise but I really prefer the endurance races as they make my methodical racing style pay off. So what to do?

The Hood to Coast relay. A 12 person, 195 mile relay that I last ran as a HS'er 16 years ago. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I was able to find a team that needed a runner. So now I have just over a month to get in good enough shape to run on average 15-16 miles over a 24 hour span with little to no sleep crammed in the back of a van. No problem!

I'm excited; this coupled with a few cross-country style races in the fall have my competitive juices flowing. There will be plenty to write about so expect a few entries about my continued running adventures into the fall with a guarantee that they'll be another picture (likely much like the one above) after Hood to Coast.

Off to go for a run!



Vagablonde Bombchelle said...

Best of luck training for your race! I am also back in training, determined to break the 2 hour mark in the Northshore Inline Marathon.

Anonymous said...

For the life of me I will never understans you "running" people. Unless you are being chased by a bear, I see no reason to run. Perhaps b/c running has only ever caused me pain... never any mythical "runners high"... regardless, good luck... better you than me.

Oh, do I have to fly out to OR and beat you for the Chipolte v. Chipotle typo? :-)