Tuesday, January 29, 2008

it's been a year?...

Well, time sure flies when you're having fun.

I realized that I just had my one-year anniversary of my first ever trail race, the Winter Trail Series 12K. It was here where I discovered the joys of running and racing on trails. It was also at this event that I first met OCTR (Jessica, Wendy, Skip, Charlie, and Marissa). A month after my first trail race, I started blogging, and have met a few friends, near and far as a result of it.

Over the past year, I've regarded the trail running community as part of my extended family (as if I needed a larger family). I also completed nearly a dozen trail races, five of them being ultras, including a 50-miler. If you'd asked me a year ago, if I wanted to run 50 miles, I would've told you, "You're crazy." I could not even fathom the idea, or the reason for it. (I'm still working on the reason). And now I'm shooting for three of them this year at the hopes I can come up with a good enough rationalization for doing them. I'll keep you updated.

Looking forward to a great year ahead of running, friendship, and finding more reasons for doing these insane amounts of miles.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

clearing out the cob webs

looking at the last post, jeez, i realized it's been over two months since i wrote anything down on this blog. i came back here thinking i was just gonna do a light dusting but cobwebs have taken over (for now anyway).

so anyway, here are a few running related items i shoulda written about...

santa barbara 9 trails 35-mile endurance run
after the 50-miler in back in october—you don't have to search too far; it was just the last post—my next race was the notorious santa barbara 9 trails on november 24. i came to this race not in the best shape of my life since i'd been slacking off on the running after dick collins (1) due to the recovery period, and (2) the southern cal wildfires that took out many of our trails. i was also a bit sleep deprived

this run was a monster. actually let me reword that. this "hike" was a monster. yeah, it was more of a trek really. just look at my finishing time (10:16) which was just 30 minutes faster than my 50-mile finish. the trail was either going up or going down. it was treacherous, nasty, twisted, and just plain ugly. i twisted my ankle a couple of times early in the race (about mile 6, i think), landed on my butt, literally almost slid off the side of the hill, crawled through a stinky reed tunnel. yeah, i know some of you masochistic ultra runner types out there... you're just dying to run this one now, aren't you?

there was a full moon the night before, and it was just setting when we started the race at 6am. several octr friends (kirk, alexa, robo, wendy, eric kp, greg, and jessica as a cheerleader) were out there which made the task at hand less daunting. i managed to finish at dusk and barely made it out of the woods without needing my headlamp. at the last stretch, my brother ran with me, while my sis-in-law was enthusiastically screaming out my name with her hand-made poster. i probably have one of the loudest cheering entourage in any ultra event which makes for a very satisfying experience :)

the western states 100 lottery
so i was crazy enough to put my name in the drawing to run this 100-mile classic. december 10, the lottery day came, and i logged online to see if it was my lucky day. well, the results were a bummer. i didn't get in, but a few of some fellow octr members did. i was disappointed, but in a way, also relieved that i didn't have to commit to the type of traininga 100-miler requires.

a dear friend phoned me to express her support, and that made the letdown a lot less disappointing.

spirit of the marathon movie
they had a one-night-only screening of the movie on january 24. the movie web site has the following synopsis:

Spirit of the Marathon is the first ever non-fiction feature film to capture the drama and essence of the famed 26.2 mile running event. Filmed on four continents, the movie brings together a diverse cast of amateur athletes and marathon luminaries.

As six unique stories unfold, each runner prepares for and ultimately faces the challenge of the Chicago Marathon. More than a sports movie, Spirit of the Marathon is an inspirational journey of perseverance and personal triumph; a spectacle that will be embraced by runners and non-runners alike.

good movie. they are having an encore screening next month. go see it on february 21 at a theater near you.

well, i've had this nagging health issue that i took care of this month. doctor's orders were no exercise such as lifting or running for 4-6 weeks to give myself ample time to recover. so i haven't been doing much except eating and sleeping and going about my daily routine sans the workouts. i feel my jeans getting a little tight and my muscles a bit on the softer side. funny thing is i'm kinda enjoying this break. of course i won't be thinking that when i eventually have to go back to working out and realizing how badly in shape i would've become.

surf city half and 5k
several weeks ago i signed up to do the surf city half marathon, but given my current health condition i had to give that up and offer my entry to one of my running pals. in turn she's graciously offered to cover my entry fee for the 5k which i feel confident enough that i can cover by walking. definitely no pr's here, just finish in under an hour is my goal.

a couple of nice things about this race besides the fact it's along the pacific ocean
a) the cool surfboard type medals (which is really the main reason i want to do this race one way or the other :)
b) the expo--i need new shoes and some new apparel to get myself enthused and primed when i'm clear to run again.

so there. i think the dust and cobwebs are gone for now. i'll try to keep it clear by posting regularly again. hope to see some of my old pals and some new ones back for a visit soon.

happy running!