So what have I been up to in the last month? Here it is…
Shit is getting real again, and I am more excited about where I am as a runner than I have been in a long time. Things are moving, things are going, things are clicking, and things are feeling good.
Let’s start with the fact that May has been a damn good month so far. I’ve run two races and I’ve won them both. On May 7th I ran the TROT Wildflower Half Marathon in Bastrop State Park. As you can see from my Wildflower Half Course Preview this was a beautiful course in a gem of a Texas State Park. I had a blast speeding across the rocky single track and ran a strong race to take the win. The weather was perfect, the trails were sexy, and things just felt great!
A week later I ventured up to the Piney Woods to run a race in Tyler State Park. The Whispering Pines 50k was a more challenging race than I thought! First off the course was 54k so we got in some bonus miles. Second, it was way hillier than I thought with over 2,000′ of gain. The course was also surprisingly beautiful. Due to all the rain this spring, the forest was about as lush as it could be as you weaved through the densely wooded and at times rocky single track trails. I ran a strong race and took the win, but more importantly just enjoyed a good day on the trails.
While the wins were exciting, they are nothing compared to the excitement I have about going for my next goal – a PR and sub 2:50 marathon at Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon in North Bend, WA. This course is notoriously fast as it descends over 2,000′ from start to finish at a gentle 100′ per mile. The excitement is brewing as I have been nailing my workouts every week and just feel my body getting stronger. I forgot how rewarding it is to have a long term goal race, and work through a training block that builds you up to get there…yeah, it’s a pretty sweet feeling.
So before I blab on too much, I leave one thought. Success and reward is not defined by winning the race. While I enjoyed these wins, they weren’t big goal races and the journey to them had no real story (I view them as pit stops along the way – each were meant to be training runs). The reward in running comes in setting a big goal and going for it. Whether it be the next PR attempt or the hard race you go for that you never thought you could run, the reward is in the journey to get there. It’s cool to stand on top of that mountain, but the satisfaction in the view comes from the fact that YOU put in the work to climb that mountain and find that view. I can’t wait to climb that mountain, snag that sub 2:50 on June 12th, and look back on the journey and take satisfaction on nailing that goal. Over the last few months I’ve been focused on cramming races in and not setting goals…it’s been a nice relief to change that over the last 4 weeks and work toward something bigger.
Wildflower Half Marathon – May 7th, 2016 – Bastrop, TX
Career Half Marathon #7 (#3 of 2016)
Half Marathon PR – 1:22:55
Whispering Pines 50k – May 14th, 2016 – Tyler, TX
Career Marathon Ultra #51 – Ultra #10, Ultra #5 of 2016
1st Overall – 4:49:31 (Distance was actually 54k)