Thursday, February 06, 2014
The first rains of the year are here and while they’re much needed, I find myself resenting them. I’ve never hidden my dislike of the rain, mainly because it’s generally cold and obscures my view of the sun, and I’m already thinking about getting through this afternoon’s run.
We had the first day of rain this past Sunday, which fell between 2 amazingly beautiful days, and also happened to coincide with the Kaiser Half Marathon. I agreed to pace a teammate who was gunning for a sub-1:10:00 PR (which he slaughtered, running 1:08:19 in pretty rough conditions). I was able to stay with him on and off through 9 miles (while he thanked me britishly for my efforts, the jury is still out on whether or not I am a decent pacer). Then my right leg locked up pretty badly. I don’t think the cold and wet weather helped, but I couldn’t really do anything about it. My range of motion was limited and my calf and lower hamstring felt strained. I hobbled in for the last 4 miles (which also included a pit stop along the great highway) and then less-than-hobbled back up to my car 2 miles away. The leg was really tight Sunday afternoon and Monday, but I’ve been able to run on it fairly well and have gotten some treatment for it which has helped quite a bit.
The main setback will be that I probably won’t run the Golden Gate 50k this weekend as planned. Granted, it was going to be another long training run, but I’m still a bit bummed with the setback. At least it’s getting better by the day and I’m confident that I’ll be back at 100% shortly (fingers crossed). Only 4 weeks ‘til Cool.
In other news, there were a couple of absolutely stellar performances by mountain bros Matt Laye and Dylan Bowman. Dylan won the Sean O’Brien 50 Miler down in SoCal in fairly absurd fashion and Matt won his 100 mile DEBUT at the Rocky Raccoon 100 Miler out in Texas. It was a national championship and secured him a spot in the Western States 100 Miler in June. Both of those guys deserve the victories, as they train like madmen and are exemplary human beings. As I’ve said before, if you’re keeping score at home, these victories mean that in the last 3 months, Southern Marin has produced the 50k, 100k, and 100 mile USATF champions, as well as the winners of all three Montrail Cup Races this year. As a result, we’ve got a huge crew of guys heading to Western States.
I followed Matt and Dlyan’s performances in real-time via teh interwebs and found myself absolutely inspired. So I did something stupid and went and signed up for the Lake Sonoma 50 Miler in April. It’s exactly 9 days before the Boston Marathon, and while I will still go to Boston and participate in the race, I will likely do it as a well-attended recovery run. The top 3 finishers at Lake Sonoma get a spot at Western States and I want one. I think. However, that would put a large dent in my chances at qualifying for the US Mountain Running team a couple weeks later, so I’m not sure exactly how much I want a spot. Either way, it would be pretty hard to turn down a Western States entry. If it doesn’t happen, which is very possible since this will be my first 50 miler and who knows what my body will do beyond 4 hours of running, then give the US Mountain Running Championships my full attention I’ll crew for/pace one of my mountain bros at Western States. They can arm wrestle to decide who gets the privilege 😛
Getting sentimental, I think the performances this weekend really cemented for a lot of people just how special our running community is. A year ago, this camaraderie didn’t exist. With the opening of San Francisco Running Company, we’ve gotten something around which we can build. Brett and Victor and Jorge and the rest of the crew have fostered this incredible environment where everyone feeds off of everyone else – steel sharpens steel as someone [so eloquently] put it. You can’t help but be impressed by the performances that just seem to keep coming. And it’s not just the guys winning the races, it’s everyone who shows up to the Saturday morning runs (do so if you haven’t yet) in an effort to better themselves. It all really came to a head for me this weekend. I saw some awesome performances and was inspired to try something that hadn’t even been in the back of my mind just hours before. Plus, we’ve got to keep the Montrail Cup titles among bros, so I have to take a stab at the next one. Now we just need someone to go do Ice Age… (Here’s looking at you, Hiscott)
In the meantime, I’m focusing on Way to Cool. The Nike Trail Team will have a strong presence there, and I’m looking forward to racing with my new teammates. It’ll be a strong field and we’ll be ready. Plus we all look really good in blue.