Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Passing mountain bikes while running

This morning, after running for a little over two hours, I was on the Copper Creek Trail aka Post to Pillar, where the trail does an "S" turn. At the same time, five mountain bikers came down from the San Elijo road access point and went up the trail towards Brightwood.

I continued running and got a little extra energy when I realized I could catch the last mountain biker.  I reeled her in and as I came up alongside her, she said, in a friendly voice, "You're not allowed to pass me on the hill."  In response, I said, "You don't want to know how long I've been running for."  She replied, "I'm sure I don't." I then passed her.

It is one thing to pass runners, it's a lot more fun to pass cyclists!

San Elijo Hills Running Club

Friday, November 22, 2013

Running & Drama

This week has been interesting.  I'm on the board of a soccer club and much drama has occurred this week at the club.  Without going into specifics, I've spent the week being called a liar, who is engaged in a witch hunt.  The name calling doesn't really bother me.  I've got a thick skin.  I'm an litigator.  My job is to deal with people in unpleasant circumstances.  Usually, people conduct themselves as professionals, occasionally they don't.  I can play either way.  I prefer dealing with professionals, but I'm just as good as dealing with people who like to throw mud.

In any event, I've spent hours, tens of hours dealing with a situation, at the same time, I have to work.  All this has left me really tired.  I crave sleep.  I dream about sleep.  All I want to do is sleep.  But I can't.   I have to work my job, then spend all my spare time dealing with what is such an obvious, no brainer situation that I cannot understand how anyone in their right mind could take a contrary position.

What does this have to do with running 50 miles a week?  Everything.  I have no energy to run.  My normal cycle is something like sleep, work, run, eat, walk dogs, watch kids play soccer, repeat.  Throw in countless telephone calls and meetings about nonsense and I have to take out running.  My body may be willing, but my mind isn't.  I just want sleep.

End conclusion?  Running is a physically and mentally challenging sport.  To run 50 miles a week, work and raise kids, one must be absolutely ruthless and focused with their use of time.  Throwing in constant board activities was too much for me this week.  That's okay.  Since I run so much, its okay to give my body an unforeseen break every now and then.

But for the professional runner and record chaser, one must make a decision to either live like a monk with a a singular pursuit of that record or not.  There is no middle ground.  Yes or no.  Black or white.  Drama or no drama.  So if you want to be the best, be ruthless with your time and focus on that single goal, otherwise you may as well get a position on a board and forget that record.

San Elijo Hills Running Club

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The legs feed the wolf

The other day, while watching a soccer match,  I was having a conversation with Sam Lauris, Technical Director for FC Sol, a soccer club in San Marcos.  Sam was talking about an expression one of his coaches, a man from Minnesota, used to say during training: "the legs feed the wolf."

Apparently, as the spring thaw comes, the caribou migrate north to give birth, find food and escape heat and insects.  As the wolf eats the caribou, it too must go north. But the wolves without the legs to follow, fall by the wayside, starve and die.

I love the expression, both for soccer players, especially strikers, as well as runners.  If you want to score, wear down your opponent with repeated attacks, until finally you break them and score, feeding the team.  With a little bit of googling, I came across this quote attributed to Herb Brooks, coach of the U.S. Men's Hockey Team who beat Russia in the 1980 Olympics, from the movie Miracle:.

Herb Brooks: Red line, back. Blue line, back. Far blue line, back. Far red line, back. And you have 45 seconds to do it. Get used to this drill. You'll be doing it *a lot*. Why? Because the legs feed the wolf, gentlemen. I can't promise you we'll be the best team at Lake Placid next February. But we will be the best conditioned. That I can promise you.

The next time you're out running, imagine you are a wolf, running for your dinner and your life, perhaps you'll find a bit more energy.

San Elijo Hills Running Club

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Independent Middle School League Cross County Finals 2013 - Guajome Park

The 2013 Independent Middle League Cross Country Finals took place at Guajome Park on November 4, 2013.  The course was approximately 1.7 miles and the same as at a meet earlier in the year.  Again, Zach was nervous and expressed a desire not to run.  At this point, having gone down this path with Zach before, only to have him tell me afterwards he was glad he ran, I ignored him. 

Zach had a good start (see video).  He pulled away from the pack within the first few seconds and maintained a healthy gap for the remainder of the race, finishing first in 10:07, which works out to a 5:57 mile pace and a nice improvement over the 10:45 he ran for the same course in September. 

After the race, Zach told me he thought he'd like to run in middle school, so apparently winning chases away the nerves. 

Good job Zach!

San Elijo Hills Running Club