Training update, and some out-loud thoughts about humility and the importance of being humble

The transformation has begun.

My legs are trashed, I’m tired, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around the distance I will run in a few weeks…BUT I’m also getting stronger, faster, and more confident in my own abilities. Training is one evolution after another, constant destruction and rebuilding back up stronger to achieve a better version of what existed prior. This is a process that is not only physical, but mental, emotional, and even philosophical/spiritual to a degree. A grueling path paves the way for a moment, that special moment…. 

Chuck Palahniuk once said of perfection: “A person had to work hard for it, but a minute of perfection was worth the effort. A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection.” 

While I’m certainly far from perfect, the point I’m trying to make is that while everyone has their own way to get there, as athletes we’re all ultimately searching for our own little “moment” to be the best we can be and overcome what is seemingly impossible. That said, I’m doing everything I can to show up to Utah the best and most fine-tuned version of myself I can be. T-minus 38 days and counting…..

Aside from the physical rigors of training, I’ve had the pleasure of making several amazing new friends this year who continue to inspire me and embrace each other’s “good crazy” eccentricities, as well as the love we all have for pushing ourselves through the sport of running. It’s wonderful to network with other athletes and develop new opportunities. In addition, it’s always nice to gain new perspective and formulate new opinions as the sport continues to grow and expand. 

Perhaps one of the most important things I’m taking into this years journey is a renewed awareness of humility as it relates to how I conduct myself on and off the trail. I have a more thorough understanding of what I believe to be innate aspects of trail running like minimalism, respect for the environment, and modesty when it comes to my attitude and accomplishments. While I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had thus far, they have afforded me to see things I like and don’t like about the sport. If one thing is for certain, it’s that everyone can benefit from toning down their ego from time to time. To elaborate even further, I’m starting to identify less with the term “ultra.” Yes, I run distances beyond 26.2, but when I refer to myself as an “ultrarunner” I am essentially saying that I am something beyond a runner. The fact of the matter is I’m just a runner. “Ultrarunning” implies doing something beyond running. Not sure what that would be…flying or levitating perhaps? Just my take on it. 

In conclusion I’m happy to be starting a new chapter and excited for what lies ahead. I’ve got a few more tough weeks ahead followed by a smooth taper into the race. This will be my first time to visit Moab and I hear it’s gorgeous so I couldn’t be more excited. That area of Utah typically has pretty mild weather in the late spring time, so I’m hoping for ideal weather conditions come race day. Before I forget, I’m gonna be trying out and reviewing some new footwear in the coming weeks so make sure to check back for that. 

May your trails be happy and healthy,

 

Adam

 

Gemini Adventures 50K @ Boulder Res Post-race Report

Gemini Adventures 50K @ Boulder Res Post-race Report

Normally Sunday is considered a “lazy” day by most. Not the case this past weekend for runners and organizers alike at Boulder Reservoir for the annual 24 Hours of Boulder Event. The race offers 3 events in which racers can “pick their poison” – a full 100 mile event, a 100K, or a 50K. I chose to run the 50K on Sunday.

It was a crisp morning at the reservoir, and I remember thinking how chilly it must have been for runners that had been going all night. We had our pre-race meeting with Reid at 6:45, and he sent us on our way right at 7 – just in time to catch an amazing sunrise coming up over the res. I settled into a swift but comfortable pace, and tried to focus on taking in plenty of fluid and gels. The course consisted of an out-and-back 7.14 mile loop around the reservoir with some minor hills and a mix of non technical single track, pavement, and open dirt road.

All was going well until about mile 24 when I started to cramp up pretty bad. Up until then, I had been taking in a steady flow of water, electrolyte solution, and energy gels but in my own foolishness neglected to take in enough salt/sodium. Thankfully, a fellow runner out on the track noticed I was in the hurt locker and saved the day by giving me a few salt caps. At this point I was on my last out-and-back loop. Once reaching the aid station at the other side of the reservoir, I took a few moments to rub my legs down, stretch, and scarf some chips. Once leaving, I literally felt like I had new legs. My body absorbed the salt, and I felt rejuvenated. I knew I had to make up whatever time I could so I smoked the last split of the loop, desperately trying to get back to the finish before 5:40 (my prior 50K PR) I literally felt like I was in another dimension the last few miles – an out of body experience if I’ve ever had one – and managed to cross the finish line at 5:32. I was ecstatic to get my PR, and come to find out, I was first across the finish line under age 30, 6th overall. Nice little comeback at the end.

This was my 3rd 50K of this year, and I learn something each time – most importantly about my own nutrition needs and how to push through the barriers I know are coming. The post-race hangout was cool – plenty of food and even got to spend some time in the recovery suit, which is basically a lower body suit that provides compression to aid recovery. Met a lot of cool people, and had a great time. Big thanks to Reid and the Gemini Adventures crew, and the Boulder Reservoir. I’ll definitely be back for another Gemini event soon!