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