I feel like I owe my friends and family an apology for possibly scaring them into thinking I was missing and feared dead. I’m not going to go into some annoying post about how busy my life has been lately and I just haven’t had time to write. Partly because that’s not true at all and also becuase nobody really likes reading lame posts like that anyway.
I have been writing some travel logs of our trip out to California, although I’m far from being finished yet. You can get the slide-show version by checking out the Flickr group of just a few of my photos. I am, of course, hoping that Travis will post a few of his online as well, but I’ll leave that up to him (although he’s a pretty good photographer, so those of you interested in outdoor photos should say ‘please’). I experimented with panoramas a lot on this trip and a number of them came out with impressive results, if I may say so.
Otherwise, life has actually been pretty quiet here at home. Work has settled down substantially for me post-vacation. Speaking of home, though, my pal, Johnny, and I went to purchase some lumber and hardware for rebuilding the basement stairwell this coming weekend. Stay tuned for loads of information on that and why you should probably never attempt this sort of thing yourself.
Yosemite Valley by Jason Coleman— Angela and I just spent two days with a couple of friends at Yosemite Nat’l Park. I’ll have much more here soon, but we’re enjoying Monterey, CA for the next couple of days.
I finally finished reading the last 20 pages or so of Dallas Smith’s Falling Forward: Tales from an Endurance Saga on Friday night. This should have been perfect timing, as Angela and I were to run the Monument Avenue 10k the very following morning. Dallas’ book is loaded not just with stories of his 100mi./100mi./50mi. adventure, but also with his quest to set records for shorter road races in the state of Tennessee. I tried to keep all those in mind but there were two things wrong with that.
Dallas’ book also ends on a note warning against the main cause of failure in runners: giving up. Runners’ bodies don’t fail them as much as the runners fail themselves. This was my case on Saturday morning. Actually, it goes back for over a month before, when I should have been thinking much more seriously about my goal.
Last year, I flirted with the 50 minute mark in a 10k race for the first time. Had I just shave 7 seconds off of each mile I’d have broken it. I knew I’d do it the next year given how well I’d been progressing. Having now run a marathon and several other races, I had even more confidence this would be my year to do so. Of course, your body will only prepare for what you make it get ready for. I simply hadn’t been running and when I was running, I was only doing 3–4 miles at a time.
I ran a relatively fast 5k, at which my body just felt completely out of energy. I ended up walking at every mile marker past then until the finish. The weather was warmer than we’d had in the past few weeks (at 9:00 am, anyway) and I wasn’t prepared for that kind of heat, either. That being said, it wasn’t so hot as to keep me from running fast. That was a result of not preparing. I ended up with a respectable time of 54:28, which was nearly 4 minutes slower than last year. Angela, on the other hand, took about 3 minutes off of her first 10k last year.
It’s not a matter of not finishing the race, such as in a long distance or ultra endurance race. I’ve been running enough over the past few years that the hurdle of simply finishing a 10k is far behind me (although still a very real challenge for many and well-worth working towards). However, a goal of running 8:06 minute miles is one that I can’t approach lightly. I’m not that fast and it takes real training for both speed and endurance to make that. I know I can do it, but I failed miserably this past Saturday. However, it’s a failure that will stick with me and make me work harder next year.
The Coal Men website was recently updated. The whole site is in the process of getting updated, but I like the new look. Of course, you can skip over their MySpace site for show dates and music clips. The new album should be coming soon and they just keep sounding better.