Sunday, January 25, 2015


Consistent running for the past two weeks--including a couple long runs--has been a welcome return to routine. 

Fifteen miles yesterday was nice and reflective. About halfway through the trek, I was feeling confident and healthy, thinking, Hey, I got this. I'm back. I got mad running skills. 
As these and other thoughts of grandeur flowed freely through my mind, I heard the familiar warning, "on your left," coming from behind me. 
I moved over to the right side of the trail to make room for a guy pushing his child in a jogging stroller. 
Ah, yes, I thought. I remember those days taking the kids on my morning run. Good for him. 
I glanced over to give my fellow father a kind nod and word of encouragement. 

And that is when I was passed by a dude pushing a punching bag and a 45-pound plate in a jogging stroller up a hill at a much faster clip than I was able to muster with only a half-empty Nathan pack and an empty granola bar wrapper. 

Screw that guy. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Finish lines.

Always on the run.  That's Annie, alright.

I have come to the conclusion that I need a goal. 

As much as I would like to project a laissez faire attitude when it comes to my outdoor endeavors, I must reluctantly admit that without some sort of finish line on the horizon, I am likely to allow apathy to take hold and slow any progress to a snail's pace.  

Don't get me wrong.  I haven't stopped working out.  To the contrary, I lift weights two to three times a week, and I run at least three times a week. 

But the reps have lessened, the weights have gotten smaller, and the distances have diminished in length.  Another glass of wine often wins over an early bedtime and good night's sleep.  Sleeping in often takes precedence over stepping outside and hitting the trail.   

It probably started--at least mentally--back in 2009, after I completed Heartland.  Running 100 miles had been a goal since I ran my first ultra.  After I slayed that dragon, my motivation began to slip--ever so slightly at first, but eventually gaining enough steam where it was easy to just phone it in.

Sure, I still ran a bunch of races, including several 50+ milers.  But my heart wasn't really in it like it had been previously. 

By 2013, I had stopped recording my mileage.  And I learned that when you stop writing it down, you stop doing it, at least at the same level and with the same consistency.

I didn't run at all during the first week and a half of 2015.  That's the first time I haven't started the new year off by getting outside since probably 2000. 

So I have a new finish line.  I'm going to run 1,000 miles in 2015.  It's fairly modest, but it will get me back out there. 

I'm not putting together a full year's race schedule, but I've got the Cowtown 50km at the beginning of March and the Waco trail run (not sure which distance) in April.  Let's do this.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Losing my edge or getting smarter?

Nell, Ezra, and I headed down to the Cowboy Capital of the World a little over a week ago so I could run a 25 km jaunt at the Hill Country State Nature Area. 

I love running Joe's races, and Bandera is probably my favorite trail run in Texas.  It's where I finished my first (and only) 100 km race back in 2009.  It's a great way to start the new year.

Alas, t'was not to be in 2015. 

Earlier in the week, I was besieged by what felt like strep throat (but wasn't).  I missed two days of work, and by the time I was beginning to recover, the weather down south had chosen to take a turn for the north, greeting us with 30 degree temps and freezing rain. 

I've run Bandera in the cold, and I've run Bandera in the rain.  Coming off being sick, there was no way in hell I was going to run Bandera in the cold AND the rain.

Instead, I lived vicariously through my son.  Ezra knocked back the 1-mile Bandera kids trail run in 9:07 (faster than his dad's marathon pace these days).  At least someone is still running trail races. 

Instead of gutting out a miserable 15.5 miles over slick, wet, cold, muddy, nasty terrain, I opted for a nice weekend with 75% of my family.  (Annie hung out in Funky Town with her godparents.)  We kicked back at  West 1077 Ranch--the best place to stay in Bandera. We wandered around Fredricksburg.  We gorged ourselves at Alamo Springs CafĂ©.
 All in all, a nice, relaxing weekend.

 So either I've lost my edge, or I've gotten smarter.  I'm going with the latter.

And once back in North Texas, I ran a nice 13.5 mile run Saturday.


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