Monday, December 29, 2014

I Felt Like Running

Geoff Roes in UNBREAKABLE says something that I couldn't agree more with. When it comes to "training" I'd much rather go out and run and enjoy it rather than have a structured schedule. I've always said that I'll take breaks or stop once running feels like a job or a chore that I have to do. Running is way to important to me in many ways. And to treat it like a job would just ruin everything I've worked towards. That's not to say there's no structure at all to my training schedule. I'll still go to the gym and get thrown through a strength and conditioning routine every Tuesday. I'll still have my long days and short days. There will still be my days where I get my body stretched. But my focus has and never will be on "ok i have to run this many miles at this tempo for this long." I would rather just go out and run and enjoy every minute of it. Putting limits and stuff on my "training" just kills the vibe for me. Does that make sense?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Running On Empty

Sunday's are nights where I don't get out of work until after midnight because this company comes and waxes the floors. When I get home,it's near impossible for me to go straight to bed. Add in the fact that I've been on my feet all day for some  10+ hours and I haven't been staying on top of my nutrition plan and you'll see a guy who's running on empty. But some how, I dig deep and continue on, knowing that if I don't go run that I'll regret it. 

The source escapes me, but I read somewhere something that has really helped me. It goes something like "you have to become comfortable with being uncomfortable." Makes total sense. Think about it, how many times have you been out there in the trails or road trying to muster all you have to get through that given run? Many times, I've questioned why I even do this but I don't stop. I embrace those moments allowing them to mold me or evolve me. It's moments like wanting to quit that are uncomfortable and I'm trying to really embrace those times. It's almost like I force myself into those situations so that I can get used to them. 

I'm running on empty, but I don't give up and I won't give up on what I love, who I love, my passions my goals. 

Sorry for the choppy post, woke up with a headache and I'm having one of those moments where I don't want to run. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Reflecting

Shot from my run the other day. Funny, I was just thinking about where I've come from and where I'm headed. Never would I have thought I'd be where I'm at now this time last year. I'm curious where I would be had I taken different paths, but perfectly content with the "trail" I'm on now. Life is very mysterious and we often find ourselves looking for answers when we should be focusing on the present, living. Letting go and having faith in your journey is a very vulnerable feeling which is extremely scary. But at the same time, letting go can be the most freeing experience ever. If you know me, you'll know I'm afraid of heights  Amy asked me recently "if you are so afraid of heights, how can you run trails?" "Because I feel so alive." Reminds me of the Deep Puddle Dynamics song " i taught myself to survive without my feet on the ground i never felt so alive as when i drowned..." Sitting at Cartel, reflecting  I'm so thankful for the gift and for everyone in my life that's believed in me. I love you. I've found my home.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Progress and Inspiration

There was a time I would watch martial arts movies as a kid followed by going outside with my brother, acting out the scenes. One movie, Cyborg, was best when it was raining outside. Remember that scene at the end when he was fighting Fender? It was pouring rain and so my brother and I would go outside and reenact that very clip. As I grew up, watching skate videos would motivate me to go outside and hurl myself down stairs, or skate ledges, or anything involving a skateboard. I can remember sharing Wallenberg in SF and attempting the big set.

Now that I've discovered running, watching anything that involves running, further inspires me to try harder, to push myself to and beyond my limits. For instance, I watched Desert Runners just recently and had that itch to go cover an insane amount of distance. But I also had the gears in my head, turning, coming up with fun runs and challenging obstacles for myself.

There comes times where training doesn't necessarily become stagnant, but it isn't changing either. Your run, bike, swim, what ever, tends to stay the same, but doesn't really progress or improve. This is different than staying in a valley (you've heard me talk about mountains and valleys when it comes to training) and feeling whatever journey you're on is more of a job than a passion. Recognizing the lull in progress an adding new challenges could possibly catapult you into a whole new category and the progress is astonishing.

I've been working on strength and conditioning with my coach, once a week. And running trails almost every other day, time permitting. In the past, hills were such a chore to get up, but I have always been persistent and kept going back to them, hoping I could get up and over them without much struggle. My breathing, legs and overall performance suffered, but I wasn't about to give up. I understand that hard work pays off and it takes time to reach elite status. So I have been really embracing hills, constantly going back to them over and over and finally, I'm and to make it up close to 2000' of elevation gain without stopping. I don't power up, I take it steady, understanding that I must conserve energy for the downhill and flats. The most important part of this is I'm coherent of what I need to be doing instead of trying to hard. I'm taking it easy, one small victory at a time and I'm really enjoying the progress that's apparent.

No challenge is easy, but I'm hoping others out there see things the way I do. Keep going, work hard and don't ever give up on what you love.

GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Experimentation

"Getting lost is finding yourself"---Me.

Today I went out for a run, training for a 52k(although my buddy Carl is talking me into changing that to a 52miler) and experimenting with nutrition. I measured water into my Ultimate Direction bottle and added 4 dates. I blended the mixture and went out on a run. It was a little to sweet, but the calorie content was spot on and I felt this would be a better choice than coca cola that they have at aids stations during races. My point is trying to find sustainable sources of nutrition that will give me adequate calorie content and sugar for long lasting energy during ultras. I'm training hard and finding natural ways to do this without the use of powders or other processed supplements. I will carry salt tabs for safety, but again, I truly believe it's possible to endure through proper food consumption. I carry in my pack, apple sauce, water and my date-r-ade. I'm going to try adding lemon juice to the mixture and have a recovery drink for post runs. Honestly, I've never felt stronger or more confident than I do now.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Found My Home

Running, getting lost on trails, looking for a rock that doubles as a slide can really get your brain thinking.

For the longest time, I've fought against making Arizona my home, consistently having one foot out of the door, just praying for an opening to get out. Originally, I thought my children were the only reasons I stay here because living 2 hours away from them is already brutal as it is. My heart traveling the country, looking for my home, roaming and never really feeling settled. But I was wrong...

There are many reasons why I stay here, why Arizona is a wonderful place. I have made connections with some of the most wonderful people that remind me of what growing up in the Bay Area hardcore scene was like. I feel apart of a family here, something I desire and need. Thinking about leaving the friends I've made here just bogs me down. You are all huge pieces in my life's puzzle and constant motivators. And if that weren't cause for calling Arizona my home, the trails have become my church. I feel spiritually sound, filtering through all my thoughts, journaling without picking up a pen. My mind is at ease and I know it doesn't seem like much to a lot of you reading this, but I feel at peace and like I can go forever when I'm out on the trails here. The distance isn't what keeps me going to the trails, it's the connection to myself, to god that keeps me going back.

All in all, life here in Arizona is wonderful. It wasn't where intended or ever thought about making my home, but I've found peace in where I'm at and during a run the other night, I've realized that this is my home, this is where I'm supposed to be. But you never know what the future will bring, I'm just living in the now.

I'm happy to call Arizona my home.