Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Last post season meet and forward...

It was pretty much a bust.  I forgot about the time zone change (central to eastern) and missed the 100m race.  Not only did they not go on schedule, they started the 400m ahead of schedule.   I got to the McMinn Co. HS track right after the start of the first heat of the 400m.   So they put me in the second heat.   I asked them to wait for me while I jogged a half mile to a badly needed men's room, did a few leg swings, no real warm up and went.  It was totally stupid.  No blocks, starter said 'set' before I put my hands down, no starting gun, just a hand clap.  I went out too fast and really dragged my ass in the last 50m, a total rig up.   Running in lane 5 against 4 older guys, of course I never saw anyone.  I won the heat by about 150m.  It was a joke.  I had to tell the 'official' where the finish line was.  I think they actually used the blue line that starts the mile as the finish for the first heat!  They actually ran a 390m... not a 400m.  Unbelievable.


I was surprised that it was even that fast, considering the circumstances and my weight (145+).  This was the only 400m race that I've ever got physically sick after.  Good thing I didn't eat this morning, had a few dry heaves, but then was ok.  My warmup only consisted of a half mile jog to the mens room and that was about it.   Normally, I like to warm up, do a few striders up to race speed, then chill out for a while before I race.  Not today.   Despite the unpleasant feeling it was a good workout.

These 'post season' races overall were not particularly rewarding or fast.  In a way, probably a set back to the rather aggressive weight training program I had begun and foundational (longer distance) running.

Forward .... thoughts
I was chatting with a collegiate distance runner who was volunteering as a timer.  He agreed with what everyone says about the 400m race ... it's a bitch, probably the most painful event in track.  Today, it reminded me that the path I've taken is a tough one, if I am to race at the level I want to.

I understand so few people my age have essentially no understanding for why I work so hard for this, and I'm fine with that.   To follow the 'path of least resistance' and to 'enjoy life' ... like many people through daily base indulgences in rich food, booze, pot, sedentary lifestyle, etc...   It's a trend - Americans are getting fatter and less healthy.  It would be sooooo bloody easy to live like that.  I have been there and done that.  Not that I won't enjoy these things from time to time, but to live like that?   That lifestyle is not the way I want to enter old age.   I'm definitely a lone wolf in my area.   Track, like most of my pursuits has been a solitary endeavor.   I've never been one to train with music in my ears and rarely with company.  There is a meditative quality to training, the rhythm of the pace, the breath, heart beat, the air rushing past, the sunset, the sweat, and after the pain...  the endorphin high, that wonderful feeling of 'getting it done.'

There are a few things I need to change.   I really need to stop consuming so much sugar.  Just ordered some green tea which I drink without sugar.  There is no need to binge on rich food just because I'm not racing.  Yes, some carbs for muscle building are OK... but it's so hard to get to race weight, getting off those last 5 lbs is hard if I'm ballooning up 10 lbs in the off season.

Also, I want to acknowledge those of you who read my ramblings on this blog.   A few hundred people per week visit this blog, including some regular readers, in total - readers from 19 countries.  It's good to know I have some like-minded brothers out there, willing to take this path less traveled.

“Failure I can live with. Not trying is what I can’t handle!” - Sanya Richards-Ross 


  1. A newer masters runner here and another solitary pursurer of the "path less traveled." Great post about our peers and lack of understanding/perspective. Coworkers and friends often make the same comments, but I would not trade the track, hard workouts, early mornings, running in bad weather, restricted diet, etc., for anything. Running is a vital component of my life and provides a challenge every day. Sadly, many folks today avoid challenges at any cost and just want the "easy life."

    Great blog! Keep up the running and writing.

  2. Thanks, I actually edited my post, it apparently offended a (non-athlete) friend and reader who has been critical of my lifestyle. Don't want to be too judgmental. Masters athletics aren't for everyone. Thanks for the comment.

  3. We do it because we can. Of course, some of those that can't will be critical. Maybe it's jealousy or envy, I don't care. They shouldn't either.

  4. Just heard from another fellow athlete that has experienced the same sort of criticism... some remarkable similarities. Any other theories on why?

  5. All I wish to say to you is 'to hell with your detractors' and KEEP ON KEEPING ON!!!! You have a rich and enviable lifestyle; One which more of us should strive to emulate!!!

  6. Your blog is an inspiration. Keep impacting lives...we support you bro!