Thursday, January 24, 2008

Winter Park

Well, today I drove out to Winter Park, Colorado with the Mendoza brothers, Scott and Phil. We went out to surprise Lenny Stemmons for his 40th b-day. After 8+ hours in the car we arrived and met our friends. I got the pleasure to take a nice leisurely stroll with Scott Jaime and Phil. It was very cold but very beautiful. As we were running I came across another first. We ran right past a moose leg in the trail. Now that is just something you don't see on the treadmill. We covered about 5 miles and it felt pretty nice. It was different to get outside but it was enjoyable. Only a few more weeks until Moab. I am not going to worry about it. I will toe the start line and have a nice training run.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thought of the week.... Patience

This has been a pretty frustrating week. I haven't posted for a couple days for good reason. I haven't run. Plain and simple. I have been going through some ups and downs. Patience is such a key word. I was first taught this by my father. Of course with him it revolved around fishing. I was really young and just couldn't grasp the idea of sitting there staring and the water and my fishing pole. Where the hell are all the fish anyway! Patience is practiced daily all over the world. Unfortunately for me, I have never been real good at it no matter the circumstance. I need results. That is where I am now. I am going through running pains everywhere I can think of. I realize its part of the sport but come on. The biggest pain I am going through is my brain. I cant seem to put everything in the right perspective when it comes to training and running. Maybe I read too much on trail running or too many blogs for the "elite". I see where their at and see where I am at and often wonder..."Whats the point?" I know, I know- this isn't how it works. Everyone does there own thing and you are competing against yourself. Well only if it was that easy. I have been decent at most things I have tried throughout my life except for ultra running and marriage. :) Maybe I just need to not read so much and look at times. Maybe I just need to go out and run, not worrying about mileage. Whatever it is, I hope I can figure it out. I know I enjoy it and I know I really look forward to running know but it just hasn't clicked yet.
The famous words of the Fast One...."Slow and Easy. " Well I definitely have the slow part down!
Here fishy, fishy........

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Much Needed!

Man, did I need today. I wanted to do 8 miles today, so I did. Still having some problems with my left shin. The first couple miles were very frustrating. After about 2 miles, I decided to walk a little and increase my incline to change my foot strike. Not sure if that's what did the trick but I ran the rest of the day and even though the shin was a little tight, it wasn't hurting enough to stop. The last mile I increased the speed and really pounded it out. 8 miles isn't that impressive considering what distances I need to go but I am trying very hard to play it smart. I did 8 miles in 81:00 minutes. Basically a 10 minute mile. I just keep trying to remind myself that I need to take it slow, build a good base, lose some weight and hopefully near the spring/summer or hell even fall- I have a chance to run through the trails like I've dreamed.
All in all today was a success. Keep moving forward and RUN THROUGH IT!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Facts of Life.....

No, I am not talking about Tooty or Jo! I decided to take Wednesday day off and on Thursday I had my soccer game. I woke up Friday morning and I could barely move. I thought I slept funny but I must have been wrong. I think I tweaked it at the game. I didn't (couldn't) run on Friday. I woke up and went to my MRI and decided even with my back really stiff, that I needed to run. I only went 5 miles and it seemed to take forever. Anyone that actually reads this needs to throw in some suggestions. I CANT SHAKE MY LEFT SHIN PAIN, maybe a shin splint. The right one is fine. I have no choice but to stop and try and stretch it. I spent a good deal of time today walking fast and the max incline just so I felt like I was actually doing something. The goal tomorrow is to run 8 miles followed by 6 on Monday, 8 on Tuesday and indoor on Wednesday. Not sure about the rest of the week, I am going to Winter Park, Colorado for a few days to spend time with close friends at Lenny Stemmons 40th b-day. I have big plans for the year but the FACTS of Life are bigger. All in all I was actually pleased I did 5 miles today. I was ready to stop a few times but I keep hearing a familiar voice ring through my head saying, "Its all about time on your feet." Thanks for the advice Fast One!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fighters Fight!

Well, I have a new motto for 2008...RUN THROUGH IT! I just put in another 5 miles and it felt great. Left shin a little tight but hopefully time will take care of that. The title of todays post comes from Rocky Balboa (the last one). While on the treadmill I threw in that amazing movie. During the movie, the Italian Stallion struggles to decide if he wants to fight the new champ. While in his sweet pimpin van, Rocky and a girl are talking-he looks for advice and the girls says Rocky, fighters fight. That was my motto for Squaw Peak in 07 and my wonderful wife got me a pocket watch with the quote engraved on it.
Anyway, I will take tomorrow off and I have an indoor game on thursday. I figure I will take a day off and see how the knee feels. So far so good and 2008 looks ggrrrrrrreat!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Oh Please, Please, Please

Well, lets hope that tonight was an indication of the future. I did 5 solid miles with absolutely no discomfort or pain in my knee. Left shin was tight as usual but I can so deal with that right now. I took it fairly easy for the first 2 miles and then it was like getting right back on a bike. I am so hopeful that I can move on from here and "run right through this". I have dreams and desires about running ultras. I am intrigued, I am nervous and even scared...I FEEL SO ALIVE!


Well, I had my Dr. appt. this morning and it went well. The Doc did X-rays and had his Sports Medicine PT look at them and then sent them to SLC for a look over. X-rays show everything looks good. He said "I would go ahead and run and see if you can run through it", I really liked that answer. He said ice and NSAID's. He thought it was a really odd situation. We decided to do an MRI on Saturday just to ease my mind. 2008 is big for ol' number 8 so that's good. He recommended not to increase mileage. Tonight I will get on the treadmill and go for 5 miles- "nice and easy". I am not going to push to much. Sure, I wont do as well as I wanted to in Moab but its a training run and a good chance to see my friends and jump start the year.
So anyone who reads this you know.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Thought of the week.....Frustration

Well not much of a week. Lots of thoughts though. Pinning it down to one was pretty easy though. This entire week I have had knee pain. I ran on it for a couple days with some decent mileage and it felt great running. So this week I am fearing the worst. I've never really had a "serious" injury. In 1998 I got a slight tear in my left knee's PCL. It wasn't bad enough for surgery but the rehab wasn't fun and I had to wear a big brace for a couple years during physical activity. When that came off I dislocated my right ankle. That felt great. Both times I at least knew it was bad. This time I am not sure what to think. When I go see my Dr. tomorrow I don't think I will get the answer. I have a Ortho appt. a week from this coming Wednesday so hopefully by then. Frustration is where i am stuck. Will I be able to run Moab? Buffalo? Squaw? What? I really am putting a lot into this year. I know you wont see my name at the front of any race or even a place in my age group. I just have bitten by the Ultra bug and it feels so good. i want to pursue it and see where it takes me. Maybe nowhere but anyone who has run a long distance in the mountains takes you places, physically and mentally. I never thought I would run 10 miles at once, never a marathon, never and ultra and sure as hell not 50 miles. Well my friends, I did and so can you! Go to a race, volunteer or support a close friend. Its infectious. I have enjoyed the privilege of watching my good friend Scott Jaime in few ultras- went on training runs with him, helped at aide stations, paced and even been paced by him and let me tell you- its emotional, its exciting, its addicting and most of all its fulfilling. I am frustrated. I am unhappy. Hopefully for just short time. Stayed tuned......

Friday, January 11, 2008

Now What?

Alright, this is getting old or maybe I am getting old. I have had to take the last 2 days off and there is a good chance it will be through the weekend. I have had some issues with my right knee. It is not the same problem I had last year either. This is a very sharp pain that runs on the inside of my right knee. I have played soccer and put on many miles and it seems fine but everyday use doesn't work too well. I have tried to get into an Orthopedic but good luck with that. I have a Dr appt on Monday with my main Dr to see what he can find out. I have a appointment scheduled with 2 different Ortho's. One on Jan. 23rd with Dr. Byck and one on Jan. 29th with Dr Baranko. I will see Dr Byck first and go from there. I am really hoping it is just a simple case of a strain. I have been on every knee website I can find to self diagnose myself but nothing really fits. I really, really hope this isn't serious. I have gottten a great jump on the year and my race schedule looks stellar. I will keep you posted (with my fingers crossed).

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Body is a crazy thing.

Well today my wife had a friend over for dinner so I had to hurry home and make a decent dinner. We decided on tacos. MISTAKE! I only had 2 small soft tacos but that was enough to throw my stomach in knots. I sat and tried to get my stomach to settle. I finally got up and put my running stuff on made a slow move down to the treadmill and thought 3 miles would suffice considering how I felt. Well I set the pace at 5.5 and took off. Not blazing but I thought "hey get on your feet". Well after 3 miles miles I felt alright so I upped it to 6. BAM! It felt great so I kept going and going and going. I ended up running out of time cause I had to get a few things done. 7 miles and feeling great. I ran without any pain, cramps, tight muscles or aches. When was the last time that happened? I know it was just my body responding to the Jazz game but I'll take it.
After I got off I felt some nice sharp pain in my right knee. Perfect! The body, gotta love it. I am trying to convince myself that my knee is hurting just to remind me that I am truly alive.

Monday, January 7, 2008

White Rim Trail Moab Invitation

Well, today I took another step forward in the game of life. My good friend Scott Jaime and a new friend Brian Fisher are going to run the White Rim Trail in Moab in September. They were gracious enough to invite me and after a month or so considering it, I accepted. This is a trail primarily done via mountain bike but Scott and Brian are running it. It is over 100 miles and the plan is to do it in 3 days. Stay tuned for more info but this looks like yet another EPIC adventure......
Thanks again to my friends for the invitation.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Thought of the week...BELIEF

As you read the thought of the week, remember that some may be close to the same or even tied together. I generally come up with these depending on many variables.
Belief is another powerful word. Belief can define a person. You can have belief in almost anything. Belief in religion, God, a company, philosophy, Santa Claus, Easter bunny and even the tooth fairy. The one that can make or break any situation is belief in YOURSELF.
A few weeks ago I found an old 8mm tape that I recorded and turned it into a DVD. On it was the 1995 National Soccer club championships. Talk about belief. I remember when it all started for me in 1992. A group of guys who loved the game and a coach who knew his team. We were no where near the most talented team. Our coach instilled belief. As the season grew on we were more determined and believed more than ever. We believed in our goal...a National Championship. We went on to win 3 national championships in 4 years. That was just unprecedented. It started with a belief- in a system, a coach, a team and one another.

The reason belief is the thought of the week is because as a new Ultra runner, I need it more than ever. I need to believe in myself. I have run some races and even been on an epic hiking trip through the Uinta mountains and without belief, I would have failed at them all. I have definitely found that while your fitness is important and can set the tone for any race, your mental make up can make or break you. I need to believe in myself.
What do you believe in?

The weather outside is frightful.

Wow! 19" of snow in one day..outrageous. I think shoveling that much snow would be considered cross-training. I got up made breakfast for the family then went out in the snow storm. I shoveled for over an hour and since my muscles were warm I decided to jump on the treadmill. 8 miles and a nice and easy pace felt pretty good. Didn't mess with the incline too much but was facing some serious pain in my left shin again. It seems to be a daily thing. I got done with my run, cleaned around the house then made myself a bean burrito. Looked back outside and what to my wondering eyes would appear but more damn snow.
I keep trying to remember that the Moab Red Hot 50k (33k for me) isn't the goal but a step in the right direction. The mind set for a new runner like myself is hard. I want to do well but considering the competition I need to remember I am there for me.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Go tell it on the mountain......

Well its been a pretty slow week. I had an indoor game with Team Bad Manners on Wednesday and took off thursday and Friday. Today I decided to increase the incline and not do much flat stuff. I did 8 miles and still can feel it. I felt so amazing when I was done. It was one of those times when you can tell you did something. Tomorrow I will jump back on the treadmill and go at a small incline for an hour or so trying to get in another 8. A good friend of mine has a fun little saying..."slow and easy- slow and easy". I really dont want to do too much to early. I have a pretty solid year lined up and I think 2008 will be great. Its 2008 and my favorite number is 8, hey- lets do something special. There's a lottery on Feb 2nd......"Do you feel lucky punk!. Well, do ya."

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Well its 2008 and I have the meatball blues. Last night I made a bunch of meatballs for the guests we had coming over for New Years and boy did they hit hard. I started the new year off on the treadmill. Stayed on my feet for 63 minutes and covered just over 6 miles. I am hoping to get a decent base of around 5-7 miles per day for the week before I ramp up a bit. My first race is in Moab and I will run the 33k- roughly 21 miles. Not looking to blaze the trail but it will be nice to get outside in some unfamiliar country. Today was a big day in registering for races. I registered for another race in Moab in November and also the Speedgoat 50k. I am really looking forward to the race year. I just hope I can keep the momentum going.
While on the treadmill today, it felt pretty good. Legs feel stronger for sure. Tomorrow night I have an indoor game so that will be very good cross-training.
Soon as my training gets more involved I will be specific with miles and paces. Until then......just enjoy the ride!