Fall Races and Places

It’s been a surprisingly busy “off season” – race-wise – and life-wise too.  After DNF’ing the two races I spent the entire year training for, I’ve had such a blast just running and signing up for random races here and there with no pressure.  I’ve also been doing a lot of analyzing, pondering and internal negotiating about what I want next year to look like, but more on that later.

I’ve had quite a bit of work travel over the past few months, acting as a doubled-edged sword, as I sometimes have the opportunity to run in some incredible places, and other times I’m simply chomping at the bit to get a run in.  Here’s photo recap of the past fall’s races and places:

Incredible meal in New Orleans

Incredible meal in New Orleans at Restaurant August – no time to run.

Below is an example of the sign in the fitness room at the hotel I was staying at in Washington, DC.  Note the last rule: “…at first sign of discomfort, discontinue use.”  Whoever made this sign should be shot; the first sign of discomfort is the first sign of change and improvement, in my opinion.  Needless to say, this sign gave me some motivation during my dreadmill session.

Discomfort

Home for the Holidays 5K | Click for Garmin Data

Home for the Holidays 5K | Click for Garmin Data

HRCA Backcountry Half Marathon | November 8th

HRCA Backcountry Half Marathon | November 8th

Had a blast on a challenging course | click for Garmin data

Had a blast on a challenging course | click for Garmin data

The Great Candy Run 5K | November 8th | Click for Garmin Data

The Great Candy Run 5K | November 8th | Click for Garmin Data

Quick trip to Boston | No time to run in this amazing city!

Quick trip to Boston | No time to run in this amazing city!

Gorgeous and warm miles around Balboa Park in San Diego

Gorgeous and warm miles around Balboa Park in San Diego

Surprise! Received my Hot Chocolate 5K award in the mail

Surprise! Received my Hot Chocolate 5K award in the mail

What Lloyd likes to do after I get back from a run: cuddle feet to paws :)

What Lloyd likes to do after I get back from a run: cuddle feet to paws 🙂

Squeezed in two 10-milers in Augusta, GA over Thanksgiving

Squeezed in two 10-milers in Augusta, GA over Thanksgiving

The "West Lake Loop"

The “West Lake Loop”

What it looks like when you stub your toe and drop a shampoo bottle on it all in one night

What it looks like when you stub your toe and drop a shampoo bottle on it all in one night

I don't typically share training data, but here's a good example of a negative split run with approx. 30 sec/mile difference

I don’t typically share training data, but here’s a good example of a negative split run with approx. 45 sec/mile difference between first 5 VS last 5

That pretty much sums up the past few months.  I’ve been enjoying the lack of pressure of a looming race in the future, however, I’m getting antsy about what I’d like to focus on next year.  The two DNF’s I had this past year have really gotten to me, but not from the direction you may think they have.  It’s not that I’m upset I didn’t finish (well, I am, but not in the context of this situation), but rather that I didn’t choose the appropriate races that match my strengths.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing for the past few months: trying to figure out where my strengths lie and what I want to focus on in 2015 that will not only fulfill my passion for the sport but also make me happy.  I recall a moment I had with a fellow runner and friend after I called it at the Bear Chase 100K last September, where he asked me why I didn’t just focus on one distance.  The question has stuck with me, followed me, stalked me for months.  The question just may be the best and worst thing that’s happened to me.  Why?  Because I can’t answer it, but I’m trying to.

While I’m doubtful I’ll ever be able to answer that question, I’m hopeful I’ll be successful in the journey to find it.  The first distance that came to mind when I pondered the question was 50K.  As such, I’ve dedicated 2015 to the 50K, and while I’ve already promised Pete I won’t go over that distance, I’m not making any promises.  On top of that, I’ve also registered for the Boulder Ironman 70.3 triathlon.  I’m hopeful it will remove enough demons in my closet, plus, I think it’s a perfect distance for me across all sports (see aforementioned unanswered question).

Not to be too verbose and analytic, but this question has not only provided me with some guidance I think I’ve needed while I chase goals, but also with residual questions and thoughts that support my love for running.  After an anticlimactic finish to 2014, I’m hopeful and excited for what 2015 has to offer.

Robert Frost (1874–1963).  Mountain Interval.  1920.

1. The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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2 thoughts on “Fall Races and Places

  1. Pingback: Wrapping Up 2014: December Holidays and Happenings | When It's All Said and RUN

  2. Pingback: 2015 Race Schedule | When It's All Said and RUN

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