Simply fantastic week of RAGBRAI training. Absolutely fantastic. I logged 133 total miles this week, making it the fourth week over 100 miles so far. Also, that is the biggest weekday mileage I’ve ever had, another first for me. Until about six months ago, I thought weekly mileage of 100+ was completely unrealistic and out of my bounds. It is more proof if you keep pushing your boundaries, you’ll be able to accomplish things you never thought possible. In other great news, I won a race for the first time, the Echo Valley 50 Miler.
With RAGBRAI only six weeks away, I wanted to post one big week of mileage. During the work week, I spent my time running the trails around Joint Base Lewis McChord and Point Defiance Park. The run at Point Defiance, a huge swath of forest in the middle of Tacoma, was just what I needed. With no particular route in mind, I ran trails, roads, jumped over downed trees, through bushes, explored the beaches, and stopped to rest staring out on the Puget Sound. And what stared back at me, but a herd of 18 sea lions, all looking at me quite curiously!
After logging 38 miles Monday through Thursday, I anxiously looked forward to the three day weekend and the pain it would include. 20 miles on Rattlesnake Ridge Friday was quite enjoyable and was a good warm up to the Echo Valley 50 Miler near Lake Chelan on Saturday. I meant Saturday to be a training run, but something inside me just has to race when I toe a starting line. Echo Valley was a beautiful trail running destination with a wide open valley, gentle climbs, and soft dirt running trails. I was never sure what place I was in during the whole run, but was just out having a good time while still pushing my engine. My best vibe came when I ignored my watch and pace and directly ran off how my body felt. With 2.5 miles of downhill left at the end, I realized I could break the 8 hour mark, something I had never even come close to before. With the afterburners turned on, I sprinted down the last section and ran the 2.5 miles in 17 minutes, somehow ending up in first place. My first ever win of a race of any sort, on what was supposed to be a training run, with having ran 20 miles the day prior, was one of the most spectacular moments I’ve had. Plus, I won wine, which was delicious.
The rest of the weekend was spent laughing, cajoling, swimming, eating pizza and drinking beer with some other outstanding trail runners. I convinced one of the other race finishers, Dave Swoish, to come out and do a few more miles with me Sunday morning on Sun Mountain. Yet another dazzling area full of lakes, mountains, and pastures, I struggled through a final 25 miles of trails to finish the week out. An epic week of running, the best I have had, totaled 133 miles in the end. I met some great people, laughed a lot, gritted my teeth against the pain, but had an incredible time.
I’m feeling strong and ready for RAGBRAI, and better yet, FOCUSED. The sun has an incredible amount of energy, but it simply warms you when it shines down on you. It is only when you FOCUS the sun’s energy that you are able to start a fire. I can have an incredible amount of energy, but unless it is focused in one particular direction, it’s just a bunch of hamsters spinning their wheels in different directions.