At some point in the last few years I swore off road marathons. They are just not my style and I hate feeling like I have to sprint 26.2 miles. But last week, I registered for the Run Crazy Horse Marathon in South Dakota. The only reason I signed up is for a picture.
When I was nine years old I moved from Alabama to California to live with my dad, who I call Oldman. It was during that transition that the Oldman first introduced me to running. At first he was teaching me good health habits and then he was encouraging me through track and cross country. He has always told me to run with heart and would often just point to his chest as I ran by.
When I was 14 years old, we were in a car accident that broke two of his ribs, punctured his lung, and put a metal rod in his leg. The following year he ran his first and only marathon. It was a display of the heart he always told me to run with.
I have told the Oldman for years to name the marathon and I would go step for step with him through the race. So this October, him and I are running our first marathon together and I cannot wait to get a picture of us together at the finish line. We even have a friend from Canada flying down to run it with us.
I spent the last two weeks trying to get back into a post holiday flow with my training. I managed to run 59 miles two weeks ago and 63 miles last week. More importantly I started up with running back to backs on Friday/Saturday. I forgot how much I really enjoy B2Bs. I also have attended four yoga classes this month.
Saturday I went out with Justin, Geoff, and Bert for 22 miles on what we are calling “The Horseshoe.” I am not to sure exactly where the trail is, but it was extremely close to Seneca Creek. It was a beautiful cold run with another awesome sunrise. I will always appreciate watching the sun rise through the trees.
I was reminded of the importance on nutrition about 15 miles in on Saturday. Since Grindstone, I have not needed to order Pocket Fuel and have just carried some almonds and cheese with me on my longer runs. However Saturday, after running 17 miles on Friday, I was really feeling depleted and ready for the run to be over. I also had eaten all of the food I had on me. It was a mistake that I haven’t made in a long time and wont be making again. Food is important and without it your mood and your run can quickly turn to shit. Thankfully I had good company to help pull me through.
After two years away, I have started attending yoga classes again. It is amazing how tight and inflexible I have become. My hope is to increase my core strength while also loosening up some of my muscles and tendons.
Yoga and endurance running have a lot in common. When I am in a pose that is killing me, such as my much assisted version of Pidgeon, I think about the trail and focus on my breathing. If can run 100 miles, I know I can hold the pose just a little longer. And like any bad training run, I know I am better after being uncomfortable.