Sunday, September 20, 2015

Pine to Palm 2015

"One fast move or I'm gone," Jack Kerouac repeats at the beginning of his morose novel Big Sur. I finished Pine to Palm a week and a few hours ago, and Kerouac's quote fits my second experience at this terribly awesome endurance run. For Kerouac, if he didn't get out of San Francisco quickly, he knew he'd drink himself to death. For me, if I quit P2P, I knew I'd spiral into an extended depression.

My first running of P2P in 2014 was pretty freaking great. Fit from a spring and summer of high mileage, I ran a great first 70 miles, had a big blow up but still ran it in, finishing in 21.5 hours. The race went so well minus some of those blow up miles that I forgot how hard the course actually is. You only remember how the good moments feel. Sure you can remember the bad parts, but you can't remember how they feel. Feeling the bad moments, the aches, the pain, the mental fuzz, only happens when you're in the moment. So basically I forgot large chunks of the course until I was in the moment this year. Unlike last year when I didn't know what was up ahead, I dreaded leaving aid stations this year because I knew the toughness of ensuing climbs or descents. For this reason, I believe running a 100 without specific course knowledge is beneficial. No matter though, I was going to finish.

The field this year was less than 150 runners, opposed to 260ish last year, due to P2P not being a Hardrock qualifier this year. The smaller field reflected in the runners attitudes this year. At the pre-race briefing Hal, the race director, urged us to run with our fellow runners. I ran the first 30 miles or so with a group of great five dudes. Everyone was encouraging. That feeling of all being on the same team was crucial and what made the race fun. I wanted these dudes to run well and have good days, and I believe they wanted the same for me. It's absolutely silly to put negative energy out during any of these ultra events, especially when you can only do your best and can't influence others. So we climbed conservatively, my man Stroh leading a train of dudes with a light jog, me hiking the same speed in tow. That climb has to be one of my favorites--ever. The singletrack, high altitude (compared to the Bay), sweeping views, huge doug-firs, all blend for 8ish slow miles of bliss. The decent stayed easy, and soon enough our pack was back together on gravel roads, chugging along efficiently but not too slow nor fast. The temperature wasn't quite hot yet and the day proved promising--we were already through a fourth of the race and it felt like nothing.

Atop the first climb a few weeks back!

Three of us strolled into the first crew station together at mile 28ish. My awesome awesome crew of Keely (mah gurlfriend down from Portland), Wyatt Earp (college roommate and best friend in from Indiana), and Dmack (fellow VTech ultrarunner and comedian, new to the Bay Area) swapped my crop top for a new, iced one. Some calories in and calories for the road and I was outta there. This next section I had run with Keely a few weekends ago. It's the hottest section of the course and douchegrade. If I ran all the douchegrade on the course I would crash factually. So I hiked the whole thing while my fellow runners from earlier in the race passed me running. I was playing it smart, was digging in for the next 20 or whatever miles of douchegrade, was digging in for the heat that would hit. And hit it did! Soon it was in the upper 90s and eventually cracked 100, a record setting day for nearby Medford, Oregon.

I knew it'd get hot; I knew I wasn't prepared for the heat, living in San Francisco. Pre-race I kept saying all I need is to survive the heat then I'd be ok. But my goodness, the heat cooked me even with ice around my neck, wet t shirts, and sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses. I stopped at sat for brief moments leading into the mile 50 aid station (the previous mile 40/42 aid station was a blast), and walked into the aid station saying "put some butter on me because I'm toast." My sense of humor was there and mentally ok, just frustrated that I couldn't really run because it was so dang hot. My hip flexors started giving me trouble from the extended climbs. I walked both up and down the 2 mile out and back to the peak. Crew had me sit for 15 or so minutes, trying to eat. Either Dmack or Wyatt offered me a beer, and at this point in the race my "crush-it" ambitions were far out the door, so I obliged on the beer. This moment was hilarious and a bit of a turning point in the race. Hilarious because I drank a beer half way through a 100 mile race. I'm not a huge beer drinker, I'd prefer a marg. Turning point because I needed water and calories and beer has both. Turning point because I knew I was pressing on and rolling with the punches, still trying to have fun. I saw a few folks drop at this mile 50 aid station, but I wasn't going to drop yet.

Beer. Mullet. Lowdermilk productions.

The next 15 miles solidified my race. I walked an absolute ton. My stomach and hip flexors were wonky. I started thinking about if I was going to finish the dang thing--I still had 50 miles to go. I put this song on repeat that got me thinking. If I quit, who the hell am I? I DNFed my last race (due to strep throat, but still, I didn't finish). If I quit this time around am I even an ultrarunner anymore? That's my identity man. My friends traveled here for me. My whole family is rooting for me. I'll let them all down if I quit. I'll definitely diminish in Keely's book, and I want to keep her. Most of all perhaps, I'd let myself down. I knew myself and I saw myself holing up in my room, staying in, not going out, spiraling into depression again, this time without my family, hating everything, numb to anything. I did not want that. I didn't want to say that everything is copacetic, a lie.

I thought all these things while seemingly alone in the middle of nowhere Oregon, dripping sweat on hydrophobic dirt. I'm a Rutemiller, damnit. I am an ultrarunner. I don't just quit. This quivering feeling in my throat started. One fast move or I'm gone. I'm not done as a person, as a kid, a friend, a boyfriend. Fuck that. I'm not done. One fast move or I'm gone. I might still have 40 miles, but I'm seeing this through.

The rest of the race didn't matter. The only question was how long it'd take me to get to Ashland. I had made up my mind. The temperature started to cool off, I was able to start eating and running again. I teamed up with a fellow runner and we ran to Dutchman peak, me headlampless with loads of encouragement from my crew. I ate a bunch of pesto pasta with a smile on my face in the passenger seat of my car. Our four person team high-fived and Wyatt and I RAN the next 15 miles REALLY well. However these last 35 miles hurt, they were some of my favorites of the whole run. Spending time with my best friends who I never get to see was another reason why I was still in this thing. Wyatt and I didn't talk a whole ton but we knew what was going on. We crushed it.

At mile 80 I picked up my wonderful Kangaroo after eating some more pasta. These next 10 miles are the worst of the whole race. I couldn't lift my knees any more, so they were coincidentally the most pathetic miles of my life. We climbed together and I was happy just listening to Keely giggle at me. I'd hit my toe on a rock and Keely would say, "who put that there!?" The scramble at the top of Wagner Butte was...pathetic... but awesome. We turned off our headlamps and looked at Medford, at Ashland, at the stars. Then we fell down the other side of the mountain. That trail is complete bullshit by the way. Something like, what, 15 HUGE blowdowns on the trail, I had to sit on the logs, physically pull my legs up over them, then fall on Keely on the other side bahaha. We cruised the last 10 miles surprisingly well, supper foggy-headed at 5am, asking ourselves what the heck we're doing. A fitting anti-climatic finish, and we did it.

Crew mile 42. Photo: Ashland Newspaper
Hokie love!

Running's cool. My friends are cool. Pine to Palm is hard. I'm content not training for a good while. Vibes.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Pre P2P Update

Ahhh, a lot goes on, doesn't it? After my first DNF, San Diego 100 three months ago, I needed a solid break. I had strep throat which was diagnosed a few days after the race. I didn't dwell on the DNF one bit. Pretty quickly after SD I decided I'd run Pine to Palm again, but first it took most the rest of June to get back on track physically and mentally. I kept getting sick; I wasn't sleeping enough. Things turned the corner in late June, probably while hanging at Western States. I received news that one of the top arborist representatives (sales dudes) at work announced his retirement and I'd be moving into his slot. This meant no more physical labor climbing or dragging brush, but longer hours for sure. I basically had two free months before starting this new position. I started camping again. I went to Vegas, Portland, Shasta, Ashland, Yosemite. Had some rad weekends with this awesome girl, and some rad runs. My bud Chris Demasi and I announced that our happiness is directly correlated to mountains and sleeping outside. After a few months of mediocre happiness, I was back to myself.

So now I've put in an eight week training block of which I'm proud. It wasn't excessive but it was enough for me to feel like I'm in shape and can indeed travel 100 miles on two feet without being completely miserable. Without further ado in short-form, here are my pre p2p 2015 thoughts.

  • I'm excited. P2P is special for multiple reasons. I'm itching to go. I want it. 
  • I'm low-key confident I'm going to finish. It'll be hard at some point...points ;)
  • I'm curious. Second year running the course, I know where to play it smart. I think I was in better shape last year though. 
  • I want to be able to run well the last 25 miles. 
  • I am a bit scared of the heat. Temps look to be pushing 100. San Francisco gets to a crazy hot 80 three times this summer. I've had some heat runs, but I think right now my body is in cold mode. I'll employ heat-management tactics opposed to heat-training. 
  • Two of my favorite people are coming to crew: Wyatt Earp & Keely Kangaroo Henninger!
  • A surprise appearance by David D-Mack Macanick might be joining the crew!
  • Looks to be a decent field of runners. I'd love a top ten, but an enjoyable sub 24 hours is more important. I can only do as well as I can on the day I'm given. 
  • Vibes. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

I'm not invincible.

I'm not invincible. Never thought I was, but now I know I'm not.

When I signed up for San Diego 100 back in January I had aspirations of running fast and finishing top 5. I had a great February, March, and April of training and racing, especially at Lake Sonoma. Running with the San Francisco Running Company bros (yes, we shred hella gnar) had upped my game and stoke. May took a bit of a downturn with some major work changes involving way too much commuting and stress. I needed to get out of the bay and took an awesome long weekend to Boulder. Still, I hadn't really felt good running since Lake Sonoma, but I did it anyway cause you can't fake running 100 miles. Wednesday of race week I started to feel really achey, especially in my kidney region and neck. Thursday I felt so terrible when I got home from work that I fell asleep at eight without finishing packing. I thought I might just be really sore from a tree removal I did Tuesday. I didn't feel good Friday. I forgot my race kit at home and scrambled to put together a kit of clothes and gear from my best friends (who rule). Nevertheless with all these dumb excuses, I was going to get it done, cause that's what ultrarunners do. A lot of times we don't know how we're going to do things, but we'll figure it out. We get shit done.

At mile five I felt this weight on my shoulders. One of those huge acme cartoon weights. Everything was taking effort. My heart rate was skyrocketing from simply jogging flats. I was thinking about work and all of the things I hate. By mile 10 it felt like I had run 80. Swallowing water was hurting my throat. My backup shoes that I was wearing, which I hadn't since March, were rubbing. I hadn't felt this bad on a run since I can't remember. I more or less walked the next eight miles to the mile 18.5 aid station. I asked a volunteer for her phone and called my Dad, saying on his voicemail that I was dropping. Honestly, it was an easy decision. I easily gave my bib and bracelet to the aid station captain. My body wasn't right. I was unmotivated and unhappy. I didn't have anything to prove; I felt like I was just punishing myself. Running should not be punishment.

So, now I'm heading home for my sister's wedding (yay!) and seeing a doctor. I'm still feverish and achey. I'm disappointed but there wasn't much I could do. Every step walking was taking effort. I feel worse for my friends who came out to the race for me. BUT! Jordan Chang, the best human being on the planet, repped the Hokies in spectacular fashion and finished 11th in 21:25 at his first West Coast ultra--so stoked for you Jordy.

Jordy pre-race bout to crush it! Photo: Chrissy

I try to be the person I want to be: positive, happy, inspiring. I try to live like a legend. But legends aren't invincible. San Diego was my 30th official ultra-race start. San Diego was my first DNF. At some point in your ultra career you're gonna DNF, and burning the wick at all ends for the past 10 months had caught up to me. It's back to square one now. I'm not going to run again until I feel excited about the prospect of running. When I do run, I'm not going to use a GPS watch or strava, not for a good while.

I'm not invincible. Never thought I was, but now I know. And that's alright.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Look Good, Feel Good

Lake Sonoma

I wrote a fancy blog post about Lake Sonoma 50 on a plane, but it got deleted. Story short: it was hard, it was fast, I ran really well and happy. The first half of the race was spent cruising with all kinds of awesome friends. The second half was a solo-push to the finish. I had an epiphany where I finally realized that I can only do my best. Of course, I always knew that, but honestly did I ever really believe it? No, but during LS50 I finally believed that I can only do my best. I cannot compete with guys who run 2:20 marathons. But I can push myself to be my best, to do the best I can on the given day I have with the circumstances in which I arrive at the start line. I learned pretty early in my ultra career, from an old grizzled veteran, to never judge any runner. You don't know if a person is wholly obsessed and tapered and committed to this race, if they are just using it as a training run, as catharsis, as fun. When I crossed this finish line in 7:55, I knew I ran the best I could on that day. I was so happy following the race that I almost ended my season on that high note. The rest of the weekend was amaze, and the following week I barely ran. But aye, San Diego 100 is on the calendar.

Mundo and I happily crushing it at LS50.

Canyons 100k

Come May, and I'm at the start line of Canyons 100k in Foresthill, CA. This race was totally unplanned. I entered's contest for a free entry and surprisingly won (big thanks Eric!!). My training hasn't been anywhere close to ideal for the first time in my five years of ultrarunning; I was kinda freaking out about SD100, so why not go on a really long run? No way I woulda done an overdistance run solo, so the race format, on the Western States course, with Jack Finn who I convinced to run with me, sounded like a great bad idea.

My life has felt out of control lately. Work is moving me around different offices which means I'm unorganized and commuting a ton. Trying to be social, make things align at work doing very different things including selling, climbing, and plant health care, and trying to train had me feeling like I was constantly spinning. Last Monday morning I showed up at work in San Fransisco and was told I was working a double shift with continuing night sprays from 8pm to 6am at Stanford all week. And I just signed up for a 100k. Alright. Don't know how I'm going to do this but I will. I used all these excuses frequently with those I talked to pre-race. "I haven't slept. I have a cold. I haven't been this unprepared in any of the 30ish ultras I've run. Blah blah blah."

The packet pickup lady flat told me, "shut up and stop planting excuses."

Wow, I needed to hear that. Stop planting excuses. I have a bad habit of doing that. Call it sandbagging or whatever. Rudy, who cares dude. Running is running. Go enjoy the day. You're in a beautiful place with beautiful people. You don't have to prove anything to anybody. Just run. You know how to do that.

I finished. The human body is amazing. The course was gnarly with almost 15,000 ft of gain and decent in 63 miles. The first 50k flew by. I kinda wanted to stop but wasn't feeling bad enough to stop; I just didn't really want to run another 50k. But the aid station folks were spectacular and I skidattled outta there. It got hot. 85 degrees? First hot day of 2015 for this yay-area kid. I fell, I hiked a lot, then popped in some disco tunes, took some caffeine, and caught back up to Jack. I didn't totally destroy myself as the only goal was to use the race as a training run, no racing. I finished amazed with myself that I pulled it out. Standing at the keg minutes after I finished, I blurry-eyed said "that just happened."

Did it.

Take aways

I'm compelled to applaud the ultra community again. Everyone was happy! Doing what they love, the vibes exchanged were pure, warm, love.

Somewhere around mile 15 climbing out of a huge canyon, I felt strong. I felt content with myself and my body. My movement was efficient. I Something I'd never felt during running. I felt like this is where and how I belong. I am strong. I am confident and happy. That was such a relief...Mundo and I during Lake Sonoma kept quoting Deon Sanders' "look good, play good, paid good, live good, eat good." We put our spin on it which became my motto of late: look good, feel good. And I did yesterday at Canyons. Not to be arrogant because I haven't been that confident in California, but I was yesterday, and that means a lot.

Coming into Cal2 aid station, mile 40ish, I started to ask "what's happening?" but realized mid sentence that that wouldn't sound too good, so I asked "what's happening to the next aid station?" I sat at that aid for five mins till Jack caught me and we walked outta the aid until he took off. Moral: be smart and don't ask dumb questions where volunteers would realized you're way out.

Jack and I spoke a lot about mileage this weekend. We've been high mileage guys, but haven't been in the past 8 months. We're inherently a bit disgruntled as high mileage is put on a pedestal, but we concluded that it is not necessary for good performances. A relief, I no longer feel the need to try (and fail) to bust out 100 miles a week with a busy, real life schedule. I'm not in college anymore. I can enjoy running and run well on 75 miles a week. Running is cool for plethora of reasons, but one is that it's always changing. My relationship with running is definitely changing. I'll gladly skip an 8 mile run to go climb a 200 ft sequoia.

Cheers :)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Identity Crisis at Way Too Cool

I felt like I just finished Pine to Palm 100--low key happy but moreso relieved to be finished.

A mentally difficult day where I'm still ambivalent on the funness of the race itself, but an outstanding day in the post-race community! Immediately upon crossing the finish line with T.R. (an instant memory) I was slapping hands and giving salty hugs with all the San Francisco Running Company bros.

The SFRC bros! Gram by Maggie Tides

Feelings version
I think I was the most curious out of everyone to see where my move to California would take my running. Were my obsessive days of running over? Was ultra running just a college fad, something to occupy my time in the luxurious world of university? My addictive personality, and cyclic history of passionate burnout had me admitting to friends in New Zealand in the winter of 2012, "I think my running is temporary." Around mile ten of Way Too Cool 50k this past weekend I found myself wondering the same thing.

Moderately mad at myself for no good reason, I was asking, "What do I want out of running? Do I want to be competitive? Do I want to be fast? Do I want to win? Can I even do these things out here? Do I care? Does it even matter? Or do I just want to jog, adventure, meet cool people, explore new trails, and not be fat?"

Way Too Cool was an identity crisis masked as a race. After 20 something ultras I was questioning what I was doing. As my first ultra in the hyper-competitive state of California, I felt like I had to perform, to prove that I belong in the scene. Pre-race I made cover-your-ass excuses like I'm not tapered, Way Too Cool isn't a goal race, I feel like I haven't slept in forever, work is crazy, etc etc. I was overwhelming myself.

So when my first mile was 6:35 and I was somewhere around 75th place, my main thought was "ugh." The first eight mile loop consisted of thinking about position and looking at my watch a lot, not smiling. The course was buff, flat, not my specialty and not my liking. The only thing keeping my ass from slacking off was my new friend T.R., a SFRC bro running his first 50k. His exuberant stoke was rubbing off on me, keeping me hauling with him. I am SO thankful to have run with T.R. for most of the day. His fresh perspective on the ultra scene was refreshing like cucumbers on your eyelids after a hard work day. Despite my inner battles, T.R. and I worked really well together exchanging positive talk and encouragements. We ran the first 18 or so together until he took off on a climb. When the field thinned out around mile 15 I becmore more like myself and started to enjoy the run. I never felt great, but I never felt that bad. I'd been pushing pretty much the whole morning, but knew I could turn it up in the last ten miles a tad bit. I started passing folks and felt like I was finally racing and enjoying the sweet, windy, single track. I laughed at what the heck I was wearing. When I caught T.R. with a mile to go, I knew we would finish together, because that's what ultrarunning is. It's community. It's rad people doing rad things. It's a positive lifestyle, an optimistic outlook that thing's are going to get better, that life is worth living, worth striving and stretching for, not just gliding through.

The Crop Top. It's about to blow up. Just watch. Photo: Maggie

Still a bit ambivalent, I'm happy that I ran fast, enjoyed a beautiful California day, met some new friends, got out of my comfort zone, drank many a beer, and ended the day with a smile on my face. The SFRC crushed it. What Brett Rivers and gang are doing building community at SFRC feels so right. We're bringing different types of people together for the same love of running. We're learning from each other, pushing each other, having fun together, and improving together. The stoke is real! So for now, I don't have to decide what I want out of running. I get by with a little help from my friends, as some band used to sing. I'm excited as I know what I need to work on and that I have loads of room for improvement. See you soon at Lake Sonoma :) Vibe to this below.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014 Numbers, 2015 Goals

Oh man. What a year.

Month      Run (mi)     Vert (ft)     Total activity time (includes biking, strength, etc)
Jan          285.2           43,304         56:27:16
Feb          308.9           39,521         48:50:00
Mar          407.6           65,119         80:55:37
Apr          418.1           63,412         68:41:51
May         447.6          78,881          90:00:05
June        313.8          57,005         65:01:44
July         221.0           37,090         58:09:42
Aug         305.9           54,646         53:00:00
Sept         228.3           45,159         53:33:11
Oct          254.6           30,000         43:57:16
Nov         301.5           32,582         45:56:01
Dec         180.5           29,114         31:06:33

Totals:  3,648 mi       575,832 ft     695:44:21 (just under 29 days)

273 more miles and 100,832 more ft than 2013.
1,514 more miles than 2012 when I started actually running.

Woah. I have to say I'm proud and surprised with the sheer numbers of 2014. Pretty nuts in the difference between the first half of the year and the second, obviously because school ended and work started. March, April, and May? What? I remember blurry days of carrying my running shoes everywhere, running before class, between classes, and after class. Running with anybody and everybody. The stoke was so utterly palpable in Blacksburg. I've never seen anything so inspiring as UltraVT in the spring of 2014, and I'm so happy I was able to be a part of it. We crushed it gang. We crushed it.

June and July in Colorado was pure adventure and dirtbagging. Bighorn 100 was a letdown but still a surreal experience. I still feel it in my teeth.

September was struggling with my new scenery in Marin and saying screw it, let's go run 100 miles again. Wyatt helped me finish Pine 2 Palm. I still feel it in my stomach.

I'm unsure what 2015 will look like, but I know it's going to be a good year. I hope to train with San Francisco Running Company more and more frequently, hopefully finding some guys whose schedules mesh with mine to train with. The schedule is currently looking like Way Too Cool 50k in March, Lake Sonoma 50mi in April, and San Diego 100 in June. I'm supposed to move positions (and most likely offices) within my company in late spring or summer, so I can't say what's going to happen in the second half of the year. I hope to stay in the Bay. Will I hit these same numbers? Doubt it. Will I be a better runner with a more balanced life? I'm betting so.

My goals? Run at least 3,000 miles. Commute to work not by a car at least 7 times a month (as long as I'm in the office I'm in now at least. It's a 7 mile bike ride or a 6 mile run one way). Read at least one book a month. Stay injury free. Have fun. Travel. Crush it.

My dudes visited to close out 2014 <333333

Saturday, December 20, 2014

2014 Half Year in Review Pt II

Half Year in Review Pt I.

Part two of the best summer of all time started in July. I found myself back in Colorado, this time with a LEGIT base camp in Leadville, thanks to Old Man (Eric Grossman). Grossman & Glove lived in a part of Virginia by Iron Mountain, so our "site" was dubbed "Iron Mountain High Altitude Training Camp," or "I.M. HAT C." All we did was climb 14ers. We were training, but with the sole focus of climbing big, huge, gorgeous mountains with good friends. We never pushed anything and almost exclusively hiked up and ran down. It was pretty hard to not just get up a 14er every day even though Glove and I were still in post-100 recovery mode. Nonetheless, IMHATC was a major success. Evenings were filled with Dale's Pale Ales. We cruised all over the place with no focus. Patrick McGlade, Darren, & Mike Jones were all in the fun too. I believe I tagged Mt. Massive (twice), La Plata, Mt. Sherman, Mt. Elbert, and Long's Peak (just under the summit due to weather). So great. At the end of July I moved into my new apartment in Marin, California. 

Like life does, life changed. I started working full time at Bartlett Tree Experts. I kept running and exploring every day, even after my eight hours of manual labor. I was happy learning new stuff at work and exploring after work. Towards the end of August I started to feel a little trapped (as I still vaguely feel that way), like I needed something big, another trip. You can't just cold turkey the dirtbag road lifestyle. I was flipping out and anxious about work all the time, I missed my friends, and I just needed something. So I texted Wyatt to see if he wanted an adventure, and of course he said "explicative, yes." So I signed up for Pine 2 Palm 100 miler. Adventure set, let's go. 

I started the month with my birthday and no work on labor day, so of course I ran for five hours. I had enough fitness from the spring and July's 14er expedition that I became stoked on P2P. So the first half of the month was la-la-land of pre-adventure thoughts. I then picked up Wyatt from the airport and we had an extraordinary weekend at P2P 100. The second half of the month was solid, the weather was still nice and I abstained from social media. I took 10 days completely off of running. 

The month started with friends visiting! One of my best friends from school and the ultra team and adventure club, Kelly Summers, stayed at my place for a solid ten days with her old roommate. Every day we did something fun right when I got home from work. We ate, drank, and were very merry. I was really happy to have friends from my old life in California and we soaked it up! Not concerned with running, the three of us went hiking a decent bit. We took a fabbbulous weekend trip to the PCT which was SO needed. I concluded I NEED mountains in my life. Marin has Mt. Tam, and sure it's a mountain, but, meh. I like Marin but it is not everything. To be truly happy I need real, proper mountains...Sometime this month I elected to get motivated and run CIM (CA International Marathon). It was nice to have a little bit of purpose in training again, but the training was not intense or full blown by any means. The end of the month was a work trip and a SPECIAL trip to Blacksburg which made my heart just so warm. 

I remember starting this month running the roads of Blacksburg, slightly hungover, just like old times. I popped into local delish restaurant, Gillies, and said goodbye to my good friends. The weekend was love. For the rest of the month I don't remember much on the running front. I won the Mt. Tam 30k with a hard effort on a cool course. Staying busy. Rain at the end of the month.

Rain, rain, rain, rain. And by rain I mean out of the 19 days so far in December, 17 of them have been filled with rain. Let me tell you that manual labor in the rain is probably one of the worst things. Ever. It is horrible. Terrible. Awful. It's comical for a day or two. But on the 12th day of wearing your never-dry rain gear and slipping up muddy backyards with 100 pound logs in your arms it stops being comical. Needless to say, I currently do not like my job. My mood is almost constantly cranky. I've been off and on sick all month. I tweaked my pelvis from swinging a stupid pulaski all day at work one day, which messed up my stride. I've been going to a chiropractor but it's still not 100%. I honestly couldn't tell you the last time I saw the sun without clouds in front of it. It feels like it was October. I will NOT be moving to the Portland or Seattle office. So I was not motivated to run this month. But I ran CIM in a solid 2:52:07 with room for improvement but happy for where I currently was when I ran it. The rest of this month has been and will continue to be chill, mostly running just every other day. MY FRIENDS COME SOON! Wyatt and Glove and Chrissy and Darren will be here for New Years. We're going to go on awesome runs and get wild. So the end of the month will be about 100x better than the middle of the month.