marathons

Walnut Creek Trail Run

First I want to congratulate everyone who ran the NY Marathon today! What an amazing race it was and always is! Geoffrey Kamworor and Shalane Flanagan winning Men’s and Women’s respectively, were exciting to watch. I teared up watching Flanagan, knowing how many years she’s battled for a first place and imagining what it must be like for her. It teaches us once more, never give up! Never, ever, ever give up!

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Mt Diablo is far in the distance

This morning, I decided to try a new place out for a trail run. 2018 is going to be a year of trail running for me, so I got on BART and headed to Walnut Creek to run on some trails in the My Diablo foothills.

Unfortunately, I miscalculated how far the trails were from BART and I walked a bit farther to the trails than I thought. I also didn’t get to the trail I thought I had, and wound up backtracking a couple miles. The paths I were first at were nice, but they were paved and not great with my trail shoes. But walking miles on the concrete sidewalks wasn’t much fun in my Saucony Peregrines either. By the time I got to the desired trail, I was pretty worn out, so I cut my run short. My feet and legs were getting sore and heavy.

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One of the many trails 

I still enjoyed myself, but it’s too difficult getting out there via public transportation. There are much easier trails to get to in Marin County. That’s the problem with much of the Bay Area, it’s great if you have a car, but if not, it’s not accessible.

Lessons learned of course and I liked the shorter run I did have. It’s been a nice weekend.

Keep going forward!

 

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MILES AND A SMILE

These days, my life can be categorized into running and non-running moments. And in those non-running times, I’m usually thinking about running. Sure, I have other things going on…work, studying for my personal trainer’s exam, but running really is at the heart of my life.

A trail from Sunday's run

A trail from Sunday’s run

Last Sunday I ran 17.2 miles. It was difficult, fun, painful and exhilarating all at once. I wanted to do 18, but I really couldn’t get any more mileage out of myself, so I was happy with how far I went. This is not to say I didn’t have moments (many of them!) when I had to talk myself in to keep running. Oh how I wanted to just stop and go home… but I knew that I must keep going.

Spending so much time focused on running has helped me learn a few things about myself. Even at my ripe old age I can still discover interesting things I didn’t know. Most things are fairly trivial but then sometimes I realize something earth shattering and I want to tell the world. Of course, no one else really cares, so I smile to myself and carry on.

Over these past months I’ve often wondered if I was still a good enough athlete to run a marathon. Sure, I could accomplish running a couple halfs, but those can be faked, I saw plenty of non-runners do that at the Giants Race in August. A marathon though, separates the real from the false, the honest from the liars. You can fake 26.2 miles, especially if you’re going to run most of them. And I had started to doubt whether I could do it again, after 28 years. The one time I ran a marathon, I wasn’t prepared, it was painful; it was one of the least enjoyable experiences in my life. I never want to repeat that again.

But with the logging of miles, the testing of different brands of socks, the shaving of legs, the tears of exhaustion comes a little confidence and a bit of understanding.

“Sure, I’m not there yet, but I know I will get there.”

I said that to myself last night when I ran a delightful 4.5 miles. I knew that somehow I would do it.

Smile and carry on.

Cheers!