Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Still Alive

Awhile back my friend Bill gave me some shit for not updating my blog often enough.  That was like two months ago.  So, here ya go Bill.  Hope it makes your day brighter! Anyway, Bill is right...I've been slacking.  Honestly, there wasn't much to say after Leadville...or at least not much that really compared to Leadville.  But, it's a new year, so I may as well get this thing going again.

First, I guess a quick recap of post-Leadville 2013 is in order.  Took me a few (5) days before I could even walk without pain after the race.  Legs felt alright, feet felt like total hell.  Never had blisters like that before.  Not sure why I did get blistered that bad, but I guess maybe changing out of my wet shoes/socks at some point might've helped (duh).  Lessons learned.  They healed up eventually and I was back to running.  And, I gotta say, it was quite liberating to just run whenever the hell I wanted with no set plan telling me what to do every damn day.  One week, I'd put in 40 miles, the next I'd hit 70 plus.  No rhyme or reason to it, just doing what felt good.  Race-wise, I ran the last couple of races of the Black Hills Trail Running Series, including a personal best at the series-ending South Dakota Trail Running Championships (Unofficial and Unsanctioned).  Ended up earning the 2nd place rock in the overall series standings for the year.  No bonus points for Leadville (damn).  I also made a trip to Utah to crew/pace my friend Ryan in the Bear 100  The plan was for me to run the last 25 or so miles with him, but he ended up calling it a day at mile 51, so I never actually did any running.  This was actually probably a good thing as at the time I was fighting off a lingering chest cold/cough and running through the night in low 20 degree temps probably wouldn't have help....not to mention that I couldn't run more than a half mile without stopping to cough violently.  Still, I got to see the race up close and it's definitely on my list of 100s to do in the future.

In December I took my longest ever break from running.  It wasn't a voluntary break, but the timing worked out well, I guess.  I've had a hernia for years....I mean, I honestly don't even know how long and for a long time I wasn't even sure if it was a hernia or something else.  It kind of just came and went.  Never really hurt, but some days I would "feel" it more than others.  One night in November I made the mistake of casually mentioning it to my wife. I was in the doctor's office the next day.  Got it repaired on Dec. 4th and the doctor gave me strict orders of no running for two weeks (I actually was surprised she didn't say longer).  As it turns out, the first few days after my surgery the high temp was on the wrong side of zero with -30 windchill, so I wasn't too torn up about not being able to run.  Plus, the soreness from the surgery (my first ever real surgery) for the first 7-10 afterwards was enough that even I knew it wasn't a good idea to push things.  I did jump back on the horse exactly two weeks after going under the knife and those first couple of runs were pretty rough.  Hernia felt fine, legs felt like shit.  How does it take so long to get into shape, but you can fall out of it so damn fast??  Doesn't really seem fair.  Actually, a month later, I'm still trying to get back into the groove.

And I'd better find the groove quick.  The first race on the 2014 calendar is the Zane Grey 50 down in Arizona on April 26th.  I've heard it's got a couple of rocks and a few hills.  As for the rest of 2014, I threw my name into the Hardrock hat but didn't get drawn (nor did I really want to get drawn this year).  I'll also enter the Cascade Crest lottery in February.  If that doesn't work out, then I'm considering the Bear or maybe Superior.  I'll also be at Bighorn in some form...maybe racing (50K if I do) or maybe pacing someone in the 100.  And the Silver Rush 50 back in Leadville is also on my list of maybes.  A lot of it is still up in the air, pending lottery results.  For a pastime that is kind of on the fringe of what most people consider sane, it sure is frigging hard to get into some of these races, isn't it??

SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT!!! - It isn't hard to get into the Black Hills 100 (yet).  Sign up today!!!  END OF ALERT

Anyway, there you have it.  I'm still here, plugging away.  I'll try to post more often, Bill....God forbid you actually spend your work days working! :)