Lake Sonoma 50m 2013

Lake Sonoma 50 2013

I’ve enjoyed many runs in my life; this year’s Sonoma 50 miler was not high on my list. I went into this race debating if I should even start; my knee has been out of sorts – as of late – and I did not have much faith in it holding up for 50 miles. It didn’t. I made it 15 or so miles before it buckled on me and proceeded to nag me the rest of the day. This was a race that I should have stopped, enjoyed the beauty of springtime in Sonoma and rested up with a good bottle of vino. You might have guessed that I am a stubborn person; this both aids me and hinders me in life. I’ve accomplished dreams and have also made mistakes. I feel, even when the waves crash in my face, life is a perfect storm, enjoying the ebb and flow of the waves of life. It all balances out and underneath the uncertainty there is stillness and a place of peace where I belong and where my path keeps coming back too.

Sonoma was humbling and a needed reality-check; after the dust settled it has allowed time to reflect on my daily choices as I proceed onward with the rest of the season. Sometimes when life moves at such a fast pace, it can be challenging to go within and listen to the subtle signs your body is giving you; my goal is to listen more intently and make choices that heal and nourish and don’t break me down. Enjoying what life brings, being present within each moment and moving consciously with each step and action. My race might have not gone as planned, but so it is and it is just another building block as I continue my path, growing along the way.

The race pace from the gun was brisk, leaving little breath for small talk or breathes at all. I was all business and maybe a little to focused on my boo-boo’s when I should have been enjoying springtime in California and the rhythm of my feet connecting with the ground. Things were just not in my favor come race day; I tweaked my ankle the prior day which gave me two things on one leg to worry about. My good buddy OOJ (who had a stellar race) taped my ankle the night before which was great, but my left leg was a train-wreck waiting to happen. From the start of the race I was quiet, trying to focus on each step and let the day unfold on how I wanted it to go, I was not willing to go with the flow and I paid for it. A lesson I’ve learned time and time again, maybe this time it will stick.

Early on photo by Monica Morant

12 miles in and sloshing through a creek. BP doing his thang. Photo: Monica Morant

I’m not going to go into detail about Sonoma. I had a fun day with friends and family but frankly the race turned into a rather comical display of frustration, off-key singing and a relatively monotonous pace to not damage my knee further. I started out feeling fine and rolling in a good groove, the pace was fast, but it was fun to push it early. Everyone was flying and i always enjoy being a part of the excitement. I enjoyed some early miles with mi amigo Jorge as I puffed along trying too keep the leaders within reach. I was feeling off from the start and then around mile 15 my knee gave out on me and I continued to have problems with it the rest of the day. Up-hill’s didn’t bother it much, but my main goal the rest of the day was to take it nice and easy-in and hopefully be able to recover as soon as possible. I like problem solving and I’m good with dealing with pain throughout a race, but being in good shape and having a knee not cooperate and worrying that it might give out on every step was an anxiety I should not have bared and next time I will just take the DNF, lesson learned.

Hurting but my wife is crewing and keeping my spirits up Photo by Willy OnateMy wonderful wife crewing at the turnaround. Always so good to have her cheering me in. Photo: Willy Onate

Broken but moving with Skaggs

Skaggs and I enjoying some NorCal track. Photo: Monica Morant
sonoma pic by Maria Sharoglazova

Photo: Maria Sharoglazova

I look forward to running this race again next year. It’s my favorite early season 50-mile race with the beautiful backdrop of Lake Sonoma. Tropical John puts on a fantastic event that I hope to partake for many years to come. Thanks to everyone who was out there and for all the hard work and effort that went into putting on such a fun day. Even the next day was amazing with wine tasting at Wilson’s winery. It was also fun to hear the stories from the day; Max and Cameron pushed the pace to the extreme. Sage had another amazing day and ran his own race with a steady and strong performance (it’s been really fun watching him tear it up these past two years, excited to keep watching him grow). It’s so awesome to be a part of Ultra running right now, there is so much talent and more and more people keep digging the trail and mountain scene.

Finish pic by Kelly GentineAlmost home. Photo: Kelly Gentine

When is daddy coming“when you coming dad?!” Tristan, kicking it in the BOB stroller waiting for me to come and play. Photo: Monica Morant

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Enjoying some sun and wine at Wilson’s winery the next day. Tristan was camera shy that day ;-) Photo: Chris Jones

I’ve spent  last week taking a break from running. I’ve spent the time working on a fence around my yard to keep deer out allowing my garden to flourish and produce yummy food for the summer. My upper body is sore, but my knee has been giving the proper time to recuperate and regain energy for Transvulcania, which will be on May 11th. I’m really excited for my trip to La Palma and visiting a place I’ve been obsessed with for basically a year. I’ll be traveling there a few weeks early to check out the track and soak in the suns rays.

This week as I’m finishing up this post, I’ve had some recent insight on my knee situation. While painfully trying to run I found that if I poked my butt right in the piriformis muscle the knee would feel somewhat strong again. After talking this through with my acupuncturist friend Mark, we think the problem is nerves being impinged which cuts off the connection to relay action to my vastus lateralis (lateral quad). This makes the most sense as my knee feels and does give out randomly and it was hard to verbalize this to the body workers helping me out. I think we have a hold of the matter and I’m moving in the right direction. Now it’s time to listen to my body and see what type of shape I can get into for Transvulcania in these next few weeks of training. I still need to remember to listen and take care of my body; there are so many fun journeys I’ll be on this summer and I just want to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.

Ultra trading cardLimited edition trading cards from my friends Micah and Noah of Texas. It was a pleasure to meet him, his brother and parents at Bandera this past year. I collected trading cards when I was young and am honored that anyone would look up to me. I hope to be a good example and inspire kids of all ages to go play outside and enjoy nature. Thanks Micah and Noah!

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26 Comments

  1. Sounds like you were able to keep perspective on a not-so-good running day. My kneecap gives me grief on excessive downhilling and my chiropractor husband always has to put it back in place. I hope you have a good one there as mis-alignment of any sort leads to nerve pain.

    Good luck at TV, I’ll be cheering for the Americans as they take on the Salomon machine!

  2. good job you super stud fence building animal.

  3. Proud of you Timothy for “gutting it out”. Have fun overseas; and enjoy the moment!!!

  4. I Love your honesty, and the best of all, the advice, Listen to your Body, check your Ego out in every race, and enjoy every race, doesn’t matter the result, but what you have to learn from it.
    Congratulations! Get better soon!!

  5. Great read as always Tim! It’s good to hear that time away from running is taken by runners of your caliber. Quick question on the topic of accupuncture; have you ever had treatment for hip adductors…? I’m battling big time with hip and groin adductor pain and tightness (I have a self-diagnosed groin adductor tear) and was considering accupunture for the hip (I figure accupuncture in the groin adductor may be a bit akward… hahaa) to see if I can aid recovery or promote flexibility. I’m not taking much time off for running as I’m in peak season with PCT50 and SD100 within the next couple months and wanna get to 100% as quickly as possible… Thanks in advance!

    • I truly believe in acupuncture.i think it could help those adductor muscles and just balance the body out. If there is an actual tear, I feel like some cross fiber friction massage would be great to get the tissue to heal properly with little scar tissue. When I’m trying to peak for a certain race, I try to get as much body work as I can afford,it has helped much over the years.
      Be well,
      T

  6. Life’s a garden, dig it!

  7. Pingback: Daily News, Fri, Apr 26

  8. Keep going man !!!
    Have a nice trip do Transvulcania.
    Rosalia, is a runner from Brazil, she will be there.
    See you !!!
    God bless you all.

  9. Ah, patience and wisdom, a difficult combo. Rest assured you are not the only one wrestling with these issues. Experience will guide you, it sounds as if you are traveling the right path, but remember…when there is a fork in the trail, take it. Good luck with the rest of your season.

  10. Great attitude Tim. It’s amazing the body’s ability to heal itself when given time and proper nutritian. I’ve come off some ultra runs fairly beaten up and had a knee problem earlier this year. I found adding UDO’s Oil to my protien recovery drinks helped.

  11. The trading cards are amazing, that’s so awesome. Thanks for sharing about your difficulties at LS, I can relate- I blew up at mile 38 and more or less had to walk it in.

  12. “I feel, even when the waves crash in my face, life is a perfect storm, enjoying the ebb and flow of the waves of life. It all balances out and underneath the uncertainty there is stillness and a place of peace where I belong and where my path keeps coming back too.”

    This is one of the most fantastic and beautiful descriptions of life I have ever heard or read. Thank you for sharing. And have a fantastic summer!

  13. Hi Timothy, respect for going forward in Sonoma, to quit is always easy, to stay even if you can not win is the attitude of a champion. For me you are a hero, a guy to look up, beside Kilian, Tony and Dakota you give so many trail runner a motivation. Keep going, good shape in La Palma, and really good shape in WS 100, the race of the races.

    take care thomas

  14. You certainly manage to pull it together for the pics! N.F. must love you. ;)

  15. Hope that knee is better man! Great to see you out at Sonoma! Safe travels over here for TVU!

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