Monday, June 15, 2009

Does A Runner S**T In The Woods?

After, Pack Monadnock, the legs were feeling very tired. And, not just the legs. I would go out for a run and start breathing heavily right away, and not feel better at any part of the run. I was just plain tired. And, the bad thoughts came creeping in, thoughts like: What are you doing this for? I would have to think for a few seconds for the answer. In the space between those seconds is a lifetime. Who are you now? What are you trying to prove? All those illusions and games my monkey mind plays with me. The insecurities pop up like the devil on my shoulder telling me to just quit. And, day after day, as the running didn't get any easier, I wondered if the body was telling me: "You've had it. You did well for awhile, but now it's over."
Of course it's not over. I'm just getting started, but those are the mental battles that show up now and again. Which is why a meditation practice is so important for me. When these thoughts pop into my head while I'm sitting, I recognize them, I label them for what they are, and then I let them go.
We are so hard on ourselves. Most of us would not have a person in our lives who would talk to us the way we talk to ourselves.

Twelve days after Monadnock I started to feel a little better, but I had know idea how I would do at Northfield.
This USATF Mountain Series is hard and grueling. I just starting running last August and now I'm racing in VERY tough races almost every week. Oh, and did I say, that the races get harder as the series goes on.
Anyway, due to some miscommunication, I picked up Tim a half an hour later than I should have. We barreled down Vermont and Massachusetts country roads trying to make it to the race before the start. We pulled in with about twelve minutes to get our numbers, get to a bathroom and warm up for the race. Oh, and I needed to pick up new trail racing shoes from innov8, as well. -Yes I was pulling another rookie move: wearing new shoes for a race.- Now, for those who are squeamish, you should skip to the next paragraph. I got my number and noticed the bathroom line was quite long, and so I said to Tim: "Is there another bathroom here?" And, he said, "Yeah, the port-o-pottie is next to that tree." Oh man, I don't like doing number 2 in the woods. I don't like doing number 2 anywhere but my house. I'm kind of a no poop in public kind of guy. But, as they said in Ole Yeller, "I got it to do". What's funny is, while I'm doing my business, I'm thinking, being a raw vegan, if a Ranger sees this, is he going to think it's human or a bear, or something?
OK, now I'm feeling better. I start to warm up with my new shoes. They feel fantastic. Great! Five minutes of warm up, and it's line up for the race.

I'm just going to say that I ran a pretty good race. I came in 20TH overall, and the legs and body felt fine. I think I did well by taking it fairly easy between races, which gave my body time to recover.
I am still third Master in the series behind Tim and Dave Dunham, which I think, is pretty good, if I can say so myself.
Stay Positive!


RawBodyGoddess said...

Yes, they do sh*t in the woods. Often. Just be careful what leaves you use :)

You guys left so quick after the race we didn't get to see you! My hubby got a great pic of you and Tim finishing.

See you at Greylock?

michael menard said...

Oh, I'd love to see the picture. Are you on facebook?

No, Tim and I left really late, actually. We did the course again for a warm down, and by the time we got back everyone was gone.

I'm sorry we didn't get more of a chance to say hello. I had more cookies to give away too.

RawBodyGoddess said...

Yes, I am. I am Julie Hicks O'Mara on FB :)