Monday, September 10, 2012

Legend 2 & a Little on Why I Stopped Posting

Warning:  This post is a month overdue.

Last year's Legend beat the hell out of me, so this year I told myself I would come back and kick its keester.  The race itself had other plans.  The humidity that day was out of hand, and instead of giving us a nice steady mist and rain like last year, we got heavy doses of sun beamed directly at us every time we popped out of the wooded areas.  It was tough, and if you won't take my word for it, here is a second opinion.

Before Shot
This year, I got to expose J to this race, and he kept my excitement level up going into this race, quite a bit.  They separated everyone by pace really well out of the gate to where there was not a lot of passing at the beginning.  I went about two groups behind J, knowing I was going to start conservative and hopefully catch up in the later rounds.  I just like passing people, so I stay back to be a "ringer" in the slower group.  It gives me the illusion that I'm actually good at running.

I kept in step with everyone just in front of me, not bothering to even pass when I thought they were going too slow.  Plenty of time for that.  I could just relax for now.  A very small amount of people charged just ahead of me, and I latched onto their stragglers when things opened up. 

When we got to the first really steep hill, I heard a collective gasp somewhere in the woods, and thought "Yes, you don't know it now, but there will be more of these."  I didn't say it aloud, because, you know...spoilers. 

I triple-fisted (at least) every water station, because there were only maybe 4 on the course.  I, knowing better, made an unwise decision to keep the hydration pack in the car.  "I just want it to feel even to last year when I didn't have it," said the foolish ninny.  Dumb decision, and it won't happen again.  I must have looked rough because a few stations asked if I was okay.  "Yes, I'm fine, I'm just a human waterfall, and I'm running out of water reserves to run the falls."  One of them even dumped a cold water on me without really asking, but that's fine, I wasn't actually dry anywhere.

At mile 7 I thought maybe I should try to bump up a gear, but talked myself out of it, because halfway in this race seems to be mile 10, not 6.55.  So I held off, and I came in almost a minute slower than last year with a 2:30:55, which I thought would be impossible.  Just like last year, it did not feel like I was moving that slow. 

After shot
I was really disappointed with my effort in general, and I didn't leave it all out there like last year.  I was ready for it.  Last year, afterwards, I said, as long as I was up to 17+ miles on the road, I'd be much better prepared.  Well, I was, and I didn't execute.  It's not that I wasn't tired after the run (more dehydrated than anything), but I probably could have left more out there.  J put up a Half-Mary PR on a freakin' trail, and probably could have went to go get food between his finish and mine.  Don't get me wrong, he's been really solid running all summer, but we're doing most of the same miles.  We should not be that far apart.  I'm either being a cupcake, or he's just hit a big improvement stride (maybe a bit of both).  I'm getting my ass handed to me by him on a fairly regular basis.

I still have to recap 2 more races since, and maybe partially cover why I've been absent.  It's a mix of frustration with running with a nagging "injury," and a loss in our extended family of one of my younger cousins to a car crash that kind of shook me out of thinking anything I write is necessary or has any importance.  Probably also a little guilt on my part that we weren't closer, as well, which I'm going to make a point to try to remedy with my other cousins now.  I had a small assist with that from above, but more on that later.

Our families were a lot closer years ago, and the fact that my best memories of him were severely dated made me realize how much time and potential memories we've all missed.  The fact I knew so little of the wonderful man he was growing up to be bothers me, and now it's really too late.  I've never seen so many people come out to pay their respects.  I'm not sure, even if I remained on my best behavior and suddenly drank some super extrovert potion, I would ever reach that many people in a full lifetime, let alone only 23 years.  Needless to say my thoughts have been with him and his family a lot in the past month.

I don't know.  I'm only back because I realized that he reached a good number of those people through golf, and maybe somehow I can reach a few through running.  Maybe I'll open this thing up a little more.  I know I don't often get too mushy or go into how I feel about even the running itself.  My uncle put out a challenge to all of us to try to be better and reach out to more people with our gifts as he did.  I'll try to do just that.


  1. I've been wondering where you went off too, was thinking maybe summer fun and marathon training was consuming all your time. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Losing someone so young like that is hard and rocks your world, it makes you realize just how short/precious life is and how we're not really invincible. I've lost two cousins way too young, one from leukemia when he was 17 and one from a complete freak accident when she was 20, both had so much life, love, and promise. It really changed everyone and brought us all closer together, I hope it does for you too.

    As for this race, dude... stop being a cupcake! Starting off conservative is one thing, but staying that way when you want more is another. If you want to PR you gotta run like you mean it. So, run like you mean it. (There, that's my tough love.)

  2. I know it's cliched to say, but it's a Truth. You don't know what you got until it's gone. As we get older, we get slapped in the face more often so we begin to appreciate that sentiment . . . and try to do something about it.

    The running helped me. I've gotten closer to people because they've seen the changes I've made. Physically and spiritually. Not religious-like, but more open to people and accepting. I've allowed myself to be more open to family. I was kind of an asshole. Not outwardly, but in the way I thought of others. I'll still express it to those that deserve it, though! They need their OWN slap in the face!

    I think I'm going to take Redhead Running's advice as well. I've gotta stop being a cupcake and start running like I mean it!

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your loss, but it's good to see you're reflecting on it in a positive way. Make relationships that are strong and steadfast and live the heck out of the life you have. Sort of on that same note, toughen up with the running. Make sure nothing else was going wrong in the race (health/injury wise) and see if you can't flex the mental toughness guns :)


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