a minor step back…

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Last weekend was pretty rad.  I would say one of the best I’ve had in a while but all my weekends lately have been pretty awesome.

killer photo from the Bandit 50k taken by Donovan Jenkins


I woke up last Monday after racing twice over the weekend with a pretty sore left quad.  I mean most of my body was a bit wrecked after another big week and 71k of racing over two days, but my left leg was a little more sore than it should have been or than I would have expected.  I knew something wasn’t right.  So I put my recovery skills into action.  A bit of foam rolling, strapping myself to the compex, icing, and making an emergency appointment with Shari… and all that was done by 9am on Monday.

I took it easy for most of the week the week (no running, 1 ez spin, 2 days completely off)  and was feeling much better by Thursday morning.  I had a good jog and was ready to get back it by the weekend.  Friday morning Maggie and charged the hills at La Costa and I was feeling good and shaking out the races from the weekend before.  After that it was on to LA to see Go Radio play at the roxy.

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There are bunch of trails up in the LA near my sisters and most of which I have never run.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about the backbone trail and the Santa Monica Mountains and I wanted to do some exploring.  I took a look at the course map for the upcoming Coyote Backbone Trail Ultra (a 68 mile point to point race on   3/30 which I would surely be charging if Old Goats wasn’t the weekend before) and got a rough idea of what I wanted.  So we headed out to Will Rodgers State Park to get on it and in typical fashion I didn’t take a map or enough water!

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25 miles & about 5k of climbing later Maggie and I got back to my truck both equally smashed.  It was a big run, it was hot, we got lost, we both cracked, we ran out of water, didn’t eat enough, and paid the price… and it was awesome.  It may have been too big of a run the weekend after racing hard but I am so stoked we charged it.  One the biggest reasons I decided to focus on running was days like that.

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The training doesn’t feel like training.  I wasn’t out on the trails, in the middle of nowhere, contemplating how this run would benefit when it’s time to race.  There are so many awesome trails relatively close to where I live and I want to see them.  I have wanted to see them for years actually but never really had the time.  I was typically too caught up with my training and racing to stray from the “plan”.  That really doesn’t happen anymore.

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There was a good discussion on GZ’s blog last week regarding making the right choices for short & long term goals (racing and life).  I feel I have spent (too) many years sacrificing short term fun in lieu of long terms goals.  More often than not and whether the goal was achieved or not, I was left unfulfilled   It’s like all the sacrifices really weren’t worth it to me.  I don’t want to do that any more.  I want to pursue the short term fun while chasing the long term goals.  This very well could mean I don’t reach those goals or ever race to/meet my full potential… and I’m more than OK with that.  I fall asleep every night these days knowing that I am doing exactly what I want to be doing and having more fun training than I have in a very long time.

The bottom line is I am not a professional athlete, never will be, never wanted to be, but I still want to race.  I like racing for the sake of racing not necessarily just trying to win.  I like the head to head, shoulder to shoulder competition, and getting pushed to another level by the guys and girls around me.  A good example of this was at the Bandit 50k.  Up the initial steep climb Chris Price took the lead.  I was not feeling awesome but I just put my head down and tried to hold on.  My legs were screaming and my heart was in my throat but I didn’t back down.  I didn’t win the race, not even close, but looking back those first 6 miles of “racing” and suffering that ensued for the next 25 miles is what it’s about for me.  I won’t lie though…. just because winning is not my #1 reason for being out there doesn’t mean I don’t want to win on race day.  I do hope that some day, and hopefully in the near future, I can get out there and mix it up with some of the top guys and come out on top…  and if it doesn’t that’s fine by me too.

So that was a bunch of rambling…

I had a pretty mellow week of training last week with the exception of Saturday.  Unfortunately when I woke up Sunday my quad was sore again.  Not a surprise at all.  It probably wasn’t (actually I know if definitely wasn’t) a smart idea to charge 25 hard, hilly miles on Saturday when my quad was just starting to come around…. but the run was rad… so no regrets.  That means I am back to taking it easy again this week.  It’s definitely not optimal with The Old Goats 50 Miler coming up in 3.5 short weeks but at least riding my bike doesn’t aggravate it.  It actually makes feels better.  The symptoms are a bit odd.  It’s pretty tight and sore when I wake up in the morning and once I ride or start moving around it really loosens up.  After riding I don’t even notice it any more.  Any ideas?  It seems like it’s my sartorius muscle may be be causing the issue.


So it will be more riding, more self care, and more deep tissue work from Shari this week.  Hopefully I’ll be ready to go by the weekend and can get in couple of good weeks before old goats.

week of 2/18-24:

Monday: Rest Day.  Massage with Shari

Tuesday: AM 1:16, 19 miles, 673 ft. mellow Spin down to Del Mar.

Wednesday: Rest Day. I was gonna jog in the evening but this happened.  Went out for beers instead since I couldn’t get home.


Thursday: AM 1:06, 8.9 miles, 820 ft hood trails before work.  I was feeling good.  Rested. PM Massage with Shari

Friday: AM 1:40, 12.4 miles, 1796 ft La Costa with Maggie.  Good on the climbs.  Quad was good.

Saturday: 3:39, 25.1 miles, 4,308 ft. Killer run in the Santa Monica Mtns with Maggie.  We both exploded.  Fun day.

Sunday:  2:10, 35.8 miles, 1962 ft.  Mellow sunny spin on the coast.  Quad was sore when I woke up.  Felt good on the bike.

6:25, 46.4 miles, 6.996 ft running

3:20, 55 miles, 2,635 ft cycling

*update for this week.  It’s Wednesday and I still haven’t run since the 25 miler on Saturday.  I have been riding, stretching, foam rolling, compexing, and just relaxing.  I got another massage (torture session) with Shari last night and I think she broke up the rest of the junk.  It wasn’t fun!  It’s feeling WAY better now but I don’t want to push it.  I may jog tomorrow morning but if I wake up sore I won’t.   I’m fine if I don’t end up running at all this week if that means I am good to go next week.

an awesome beer courtesy of John

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  1 comment for “a minor step back…

  1. Jimmy Wills
    May 6, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Hi James,

    I really like this entry. I’ve been doing alot more of the short-term fun stuff lately mostly due to my wife having a rough string of injuries over the last 2 years, so I have sympathy not-trained and put alot more energy into my job. Its crazy, there are so many parallels to your injury and my wife’s right now…same thing with the x-ray and MRI coming back negative when she thought she had a stress fracture. It would be alot more fulfilling just to know what it is. I really miss mixing it up out on the trails though and competing. I’ve paid some hard lessons lately suffering through some races I was undertrained for…Wildflower last weekend was BRUTAL!!! Well, good luck with your recovery! -Jimmy

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