Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Club XC Wrap Up and What's Down the Road

Welp, Club Cross is done and dusted and happily our women came away with second place, and our dudes got third. But those things are old news by now, and we got the job done. Next year I think we are due to move up a place though.

As always, there was not a dull moment the entire time. Cody must do some sort of behind-the-scenes psychoanalysis/interview/Rorschach Inkblot Test before allowing people on to the team to make sure that their personalities are sufficiently quirky enough to sync together in a really freaky way. No other team stops traffic the way that we do (and in Brie's case I mean this literally). And Levassiur, you're an excellent dancer, don't let them call you Ape Arms.

I would go over highlights from the trip, but Bobby took my idea so never mind.

So now it's back to the grind and looking ahead...what next? First order of business, get my foot straightened out, it didn't fail me in the race but had me pretty nervous leading up to it. Let's just say that the Minimalist Experiment was not the success that I was initially envisioning. After that, USA Cross Country is on the docket as usual, maybe an indoor 5k (for the sake of trying to PR, NOT because I like track. I don't. It's flat, and hard, and unnatural, and oval, and everyone looks like a bunch of freaking graceful impalas running on it EXCEPT for me who looks like a laterally-lurching-bow-legged-pigeon-toed ox for whom foward locomotion is an absolutely authentic praise Jesus miracle that defies all laws of nature. I mean, my arms....why are they doing that? No. Just no. Track is a necessary evil and that's it.), then hopefully Gate River....and I think that three months seems like a more than adequate time-frame and I'm not looking past that.

In any case, I would like to try some new stuff in 2013, perhaps dabble in the trail and mountain running scene just a little, and while I don't like to put goals out there in print because I believe in Do-First-Talk-Later, there's a little rinky-dink half-marathon in late summer that goes up this awfully big 14,000 foot hill that overlooks all of Colorado Springs, and it's been calling my name for a couple of years now, this might be the year to actually acknowledge it, we'll see.

I've also been debating the possibility of having a coach help a little bit, I've briefly had a couple since being out of college, but in looking back I've truthfully never really wanted one, it always felt necessary because everyone else seemed to have one. But sometimes I debate their effectiveness, and mostly I just don't like the feeling of having lost ownership of my own running because it's my project, I dislike feeling the need to "people please" and like I owe someone else success, especially when I know that they will only be there during said success and won't want to know your name otherwise. So I get nervous and I get cold feet and then I run away...sounds coachable! And admittedly so far I've wanted to do what I want to do and that's not necessarily what Coach So and So wants to do: They say 25x400, I say hills, they say tempo run, I say miles (and I'll be damned if I'm doing them on a track). But after a while it's like, I have forever to do what I want to do, I have now to really do something, and that might eventually require conceding to someone else's knowledge. I already know what I'm going to get doing it myself, I don't know when I might stumble on a good match and turn a corner if I never even give it a fair shake. I mean, I do the same thing like every week: Pyramid Fartlek The Original, then Pyramid Fartlek Version 2.0 (which is the same as The Original, but now with hills for added exertion!). But that's all still really up in the air, it always seems like such a big risk because running's a lot more important to me than I know that it should be, so relinquishing control of it sometimes rubbs me the wrong way. Either way, I have a lot more soul-searching to do on that one, it really comes down to keeping my head on straight, which is no small feat.

That's all I got, usually I strive for deeper meaning in my posts and try to employ similes, metaphors, and complex symbolism, but I think that I sound sufficiently undecided about pretty much everything in life by now so this is a good stopping point. Great work to everyone at Clubs, it was as always a joy seeing everyone kick some ass and represent.

BUS 900 out.
Mattie and Brie's kickass-fest that I thoroughly enjoyed being part of.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Down, But Not Out

It's been over a week since Club XC's, and I think it's taken that long to (almost) fully digest my (disastrous) race. When a race doesn't go your way, it's always disappointing, but it's only a failure if you let it end you, otherwise, its' just another lesson learned along the journey to a better race. So after nearly a week, I've decided to not let this "end" me, but use it as yet another lesson-learned.
When you build yourself up to something for so long it's hard to let it go and move forward. Bad races are like gravity, they keep pulling you back even long after the race has been run. The phrasing "Let us kill the spirit of Gravity!" rings in my mind, and I try to convince myself to take it to heart as Zarathustra did (the fictional Zarathustra, not the prophet). Indeed, gravity must be killed in this sense. No one ever moves forward by looking back, you can learn where to go by looking back, but the act of moving forward must come with actually looking in the direction you wish to go, which is this case is (you've guessed it), forward.
When replaying the miles and steps in between the start and finish of the race, I'm still having difficulty putting my finger on exactly where I let go of my desire, but somewhere in the puddles of mud and hundreds of wild men in long spikes it fell out and got lost. The answers to bad races always seem to elude us until time has passed, and other races have been run, so in the mean time, I'll just chalk it up as a question mark and move on to the next challenge. The lesson will sink in when my mind is ready to absorb it.
Besides the race, the weekend itself was incredible. I feel proud to be a part of the best club team in the US, and surrounded by so many great runners and people. This was my first Club XC experience with BRC/Adidas, and it was a memorable one. With a variety of fun personalities, everyone fit like puzzle-pieces together to form an awesome team, one I'm truly honored to be a part of.
In an attempt to focus more on the positive or more fun memories of the weekend, I decided to come up with a highlight reel, which some things are explained, while others I'll leave un-explained, as they have now turned into some version of an inside joke or story to be told for years to come.

Highlights of the Weekend:

- Cutting your pizza tip-first is considered "weird"
- Driving down an "exit only" after circling Lexington for 20 minutes
                - Brianne persuading a cop to let the van in… Against traffic
                - Cassie's brush with the Lexington PD
- Sweatpants in public + collared shirt = The Old Man's Mullet
- Jay watching Japanese television
- The $7 sausage
- "Flossing your Nerves"
- Mattie & Brianne Dominate
- Men's & Women's teams Top 3
- "Wack! Wack! Wack!"
- Post-Race Levassiur : "My goal is to puke tonight"
- Tally of those who owe me gummie bears:  Cassie, Brianne
- Hotel room party
                - The Empty Fridge
                - DJ BJ
- Stella's got her groove back
- Dogs can count as children
- Whiplash on the dance floor
- Don't ever pack with a hangover
                -Fortunately, the Hyatt-Regency in Lexington has excellent customer service.
                (I received   the items I left neatly folded in the dresser drawer.)
- Hanging out at the Lexington airport. Enough said.

So now, onward into the cold, dark winter months. Back to running in the shadows, dreaming of better races and bigger results. I would've loved to sprint in through the mud with a great performance, but that'll have to be saved for another day, another race. The disappointment will wear off as the miles click by. "Come, let us kill the spirit of Gravity!"

It's only a failure if you let it end you.