Month: January 2019

SELF ESTEEM IS YOUR ISSUE

In a particular running group in Facebook this week, there are a lot of slower runners. I’m a slower runner myself, that’s why I joined a while ago. But there are two particular themes that remains constant and they are how much many of them resent faster runners and why don’t they get respect.

I try to set an example and if that doesn’t work, I explain how things work for me.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Not only does comparison suck all the wonderful feelings out of a person, but it is an outward sign of poor self esteem. Instead of trying to deal with our own lack of faith and love in ourselves, we lash out at those around us.

We’ve been running a few miles and it’s been really hard. We’re struggling, breathing hard, we look like a sopping, near-death possum. And then, a thin, beautiful and young blond springs past us, lightening fast, making us look like we’re not moving. The emotional, thoughtless thing would be to get annoyed. “Dammit, why is she so fast??” We growl and we either give up, because, what’s the use, we suck, or we finish our run, unimpressed with the terrific run we just accomplished.

See how we just stole the happiness we could have flourished in for the next few hours? The attitude of resenting those faster ones who pass us builds and builds and adds bitterness to our personality. I know about bitterness and resentment. I had a lot of this in year’s past and it does seep into other areas of our lives and we don’t even know it’s happening.

It takes work to make sure we don’t do this. And did any of those who sneered at the faster runners ever try to ask them what they did to get faster? Or did they just put out bad vibes?

Again, it’s all in our attitudes. To get respect, we need to show respect. If we want others to take us seriously, we have to act like we deserve it. Make friends with other runners of all paces. Stop treating faster runners as if they’re the enemy. Most runners in San Francisco are way faster than I am. If I resented them all, I’d never leave my apartment.

Have faith and most important, LOVE in yourself. Tell yourself how wonderful and great you are! Because you really are.

 

 

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SAN FRANCISCO HOT CHOCOLATE 15k 2019

The San Francisco Hot Chocolate 15k race has been a fixture in my race schedule for six years. There was never a thought or question that I would do it, I just did. And I loved it. Every year, until this year.

I gave myself a few days to chill and think about everything before I wrote.

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It was a beautiful day at the beach!

Over the last few months, I believe I have grown out of enjoying gigantic races. Much like super large concerts, I don’t enjoy being in the center of a packed crowd of thousands like I did many years ago. I could tolerate Hot Chocolate, though, because it was one of the better organized and properly produced big races there are.

When I ran it in past years, the pace corrals were policed and slow people who shouldn’t be in the very front usually we not. The melee of the start was difficult, but not frustrating. It was okay. But all that changed this year.

It started to go to seed when there was absolutely NO policing of the corrals. I was in Corral L, a middle of the pack pace one, but I noticed that it as filled with M and N participants. Walkers were only allowed in Corral N, yet they were everywhere they should not have been. I watched many walking up to the I and H Corrals. Come on! They’re marked for a reason.

And of course, when the race started, with all these walkers, it created the nastiest, most dangerous bottleneck I’ve ever experienced. Walkers, in rows (somehow, walkers are always in rows of 2,3,4 and more), caused some runners to yell at them. And frankly, I don’t blame them one bit. Someone could have crashed right into those walkers, or tripped. Or, like me, pushed. I stopped running abruptly because if I hadn’t, I would have crashed into a row of three walkers. I did yell at that person. I’ve never been pushed before, ever in a race!

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The Hot Chocolate medal is sweet! 

After the first couple of miles, things sorted themselves out and I took my time, going a little slowly than normal. My legs were still tired from the last weekend’s ultra. The weather was beautiful and the ocean views along the Great Highway were amazing.

The only other problem with the race I’ll address here is that I’ve never seen so much cheating (besides going into a pace corral faster than you run or walk). Honestly, downright cheaters outright skipping parts of the course. I reported to the race directors and Marathon Investigates, but I’m not sure anything can be done about them. I didn’t get any pictures as I was running. It’s just another sign that I’ve grown out of this kind of race anymore.

Even with the rain, wind and cold. Even with the toughness of it, I had way more fun at San Francisco One Day the weekend previously.

I’m doing one more road half marathon and then I’m retiring from road races. It’s been fun, Hot Chocolate, but our time together is done.

Keep Moving Forward!

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Nuun is my favorite for hydration and keeping electrolytes steady!

 

 

SF NEW YEAR’S ONE DAY

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Not a bad view for a few hours!

On a blustery, windy and cold day, I finished my first ultra. Finally. After a disappointing Skyline to the Sea race in October, which was to be my first 50k, I am now able to say I’ve run an ultra. I ran 30 miles in 9 hours at the San Francisco New Year’s One Day race this past Saturday, January 5th, 2019.

Last October, I overestimated how difficult the Skyline to the Sea course would be. I missed the halfway cutoff and settled for a marathon finish. Which was fine. It was a difficult race and I’m glad I did it. People tried to tell me how hard it would be. Of course, I didn’t listen, I rarely do, unless you hit me upside the head with the proverbial two by four, I’m not going to get it. After that technical and trying trail race, I understood.

So, I was determined to finish an ultra as soon as I could. Last year, I had volunteered at the SF New Year’s One Day and that was a lot of fun. It was directly on NYE then, so we not only provided snacks and food, but passed out bubbly at the strike of midnight.

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My hydration for the day

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area management has changed this year and from what I hear, the new guy is not a runner, so it was nearly impossible to get a permit, thus the date change. A smaller crowd participated this year, but as usual, it was a friendly, energetic and excited one. I was nervous, but promised myself that no matter what, I would finish at least an ultra distance. Coastal Trail Runs is the local running company sponsoring the event every year. They do a great job and once again, they didn’t fail to provide a wonderful race. I met up with many friends and made some new ones.

We runners can have fun in the wind and rain! And we did!

The race started at 9am, which about 50 or so of us starting either 24, 12 or 6 hours. I chose the 12 hours. We began going counter clockwise, but once one loop was completed, we could go whichever direction we wanted. After a few times, I switched directions, but found the original direction my favorite, so I did more loops that way.

The rain would start suddenly, sprinkling lightly and then sometimes would blast in a massive downpour. It was really bad at one point in the race. The rain was nearly horizontal with the wind shoving it into our faces. It was then when I knew my shoes and socks would never get any wetter. The good part was that I didn’t have to avoid the puddles any longer. I ran in wet feet for about two hours. Even though the rain stopped for a bit, the wind didn’t until nightfall. It was wildly windy all day.

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At a high energy moment – haha!

After many hours, my legs had nearly given out. I knew I was undertrained. Let’s face it, with the smoke from the wild fires forcing my training to a near halt and then my nasal infection, I couldn’t get all the running miles I wanted to, so I had looked forward to a lot of walking later on in the day. And that was fine. At about my 6th hour, I started walking more than running and stopped at the aide station and had a small cup of chili. It was so delicious! It kept me warm for an hour!

At hour 7 it hadn’t rained for a while, so I changed to my second pair of shoes and socks and my feet thanked me. That kept me going for two more hours. By a bit after the 9th hour, I reached Mile 30 and I was done. Toast! Baked! Done.

And I was happy for it.

But here’s a few things I learned. My feet swell a lot after the long miles. That’s probably why I lost my big toenails at Skyline to the Sea. Next time I buy shoes, I’ll go up a half size. I’m new to the ultra stuff, I learn things every day. I also learned I’m not hungry after really long races. I don’t mind eating something small, but I don’t have the appetite for anything big. I have a huge appetite after small races, like half marathons. Then, I can eat a horse, but 30 miles, nope. I had a small slice of pizza and that was all I wanted. And the last thing I realized is that I don’t sleep well after long races. I didn’t really learn this, but I remembered this from previously. I stay hyped up and can’t relax.

It’s a learned curve. I’ll get better at this as I go along.

I’m proud of myself, I’m happy of my effort and I know that I’ll be better ready and prepared before my next ultra, the Gateway 50k at Mt Shasta in June. I cannot wait!

Keep Moving Forward!