74, 25, 1

10% and 90%? No. 50% and 50%? No. 75% and 25%? That’s probably closer.

 

This is me trying to figure out the mental to physical strength I’m going to need in February. Yep, you guessed it, I signed up for a 50K trail run in Thailand. What the fuck am I thinking? Part of me said after I entered my credit card into the little box. This is going to be awesome! The other part was saying. 5:30am is not a good time to make big decisions, but I threw down the money and now I have to begin training—for realz.

 

74% mental: (I know, you think I’m nuts…bear with me) 50K is what? Like 30-something miles? That’s a lot of time on your feet, a lot of time in your brain, a lot of time to talk yourself out of something. Or in my case I’m pretty good at talking myself into things. Being here in Thailand is tough on my brain, on my emotions and on my regular life routine. Running has been a savior, if I can convince myself that 89 degrees isn’t that hot (mostly because yesterday was 94 degrees) and I can go out and run—I’m golden. Just 7-10 hours of that on race day and done is done!

 

25% physical: So yeah, I do have to train for this thing. My current idea of a training plan is as follows:

 

6xweek: run

2xweek: 2 a day runs

3-4xweek: yoga

1xweek: try to get out for over 2 hours (we’ll see how this goes)

 

Other activities: badminton, push-up, squats, lunges…etc.

 

By February 2nd it’s just going to be another long day in woods…right?

 

Wait wait wait!!! Where’s that extra 1% ? you ask?

 

1%: Support. Cheerleaders. Positive energy. Love. And Gu… don’t forget the Gu.

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Choose Your Trail

Me: I planned out our 11-mile loop,

up up up then descend.

Him: I haven’t ran in weeks, I

may not be up for that.

Me: You’ll be fine. We’ll go

slow! And we’ll figure

out what we wanna do

when the time comes.

 

We were planning on a long trail run on Thursday morning. I woke up tired, for some reason it was hard to get out of bed and just push the brew button on my coffee pot. But I had a friend to meet at 8am to run…11 hard miles. He met me at his door and we started walking, the weather perfectly chilled with Fall on it’s way. I told my friend my difficulties this morning and he said he was feeling the same.

My friend reminded me of our text conversation last night; we can do whatever we want. “oh yeah” I thought. Just because we planned on doing 11 miles didn’t mean we absolutely had to. That’s the beauty of running, you choose the distance, pace and location—all you really need are shoes.

We decided to walk up through the park and up the road called 2060. We hike up for a good 90 minutes, talking, sharing, trying to solve each other’s problems, or just be there to listen which is what we both actually needed.

 

Him: I have a plan. Let’s run down.

         Then around the park for a

few miles. Yeah?

Me: YEAH!

 

The run down was quick and easy. We turned off onto the trails of Lithia Park, I chose the direction, then my friend cut ahead and took the lead, twisting around, changing direction quickly and keeping me on my toes and eventually leading us back down town. It was a game of cat and mouse, the leader followed and then they switched places. It was fun.

A lot of times I forget how much we’re actually in control. Just because something doesn’t go as planned doesn’t mean you can’t take the reins and still make it a great run, day, experience. You’re, more often then not, in control of the direction of you future. Sometimes just making the decision to go for the run, change jobs or (in my case) move across the world, is exactly what you need to remember to make something happen—today!

 

Check out the new tab up there in the right corner…!

 

 

Shhhhh…

…Did you hear that?

Yeah, me either. It’s quiet here. There are no buzzing of cell phones, no alarms to wake up to, no roommates stirring for class or work. It’s just my sleeping bag, me and my tent; my tent that I purposely didn’t put the rain fly on so I could wake at 3am, look up and see the stars and then again just before 5am to see the sunrise.

Chilly, I rose and saluted the lake with a downward dog, my sleepy grin happy to be in the woods and happy to be the only one with in ear shot awake and welcoming the day.

 

A group of race coordinators and I camped at the Applegate Lake to prep and put on the Granite-Man Race weekend. Two days of triathlons, du-athlons, kids events and mountain runs all located in Southern Oregon’s Applegate Lake. The early mornings were calm. By 7:30am a storm of frenzied activity began brewing. Soon racers would show up, asking questions, switching t-shirt sizes, setting their bikes in the transition area, checking and double checking their gear, Gu levels and bike helmets. And, lets face it, they’ll be blowing up the porta-pottys with pre-race nerves too.

 

But 5am was for noticing the colors bouncing off the clear water. It was for paying attention to the snow atop the mountain I use as a reference point. 5am was chilly, and crisp and clear, somehow waking up with the sun had hit my restart button and prepared me for whatever the weekend held for me.

 

Insert the hectic-ness that comes with putting on a Du, aqua, triathlon, and a kids du and tri athlon all starting before 10am. Insert me on a walkie-talkie wondering where my volunteers are, running to the trailhead directing racers, grabbing parents to block the road so the kids stay out of harm’s way. But also insert most racers finishing, everyone being safe, the lake still shimmering and the snow still sparkling above us. Insert a fish jumping 100 yards off shore and children laughing and playing on kayaks. Insert that by noon I was on the trail to run up and down a mountain and by 3, in the lake to cool and re hydrate my tired body. Insert smile. Insert relaxation. Insert bliss.

 

Only a few times did I reach into my pocket for the phantom vibrations my cell phone has trained me to look for. I unplugged Friday afternoon and by Saturday night I had forgotten what my ring tone sounded like, didn’t take every scenario and try to think of a facebook update for it and didn’t have any desire to tweet or blog about anything. I was away from it all. I was where I was.

It took me over a day to realize how freeing this felt. How sitting around a campfire, the smell of bug spray wafting out of our pores talking about everything but technology can be so energizing. The stars took hold of the night again and the next thing I knew the sun was rising, my hair had to be tamed with a hat and more racers were pouring into the park for day two of our race weekend.