The ADHD runner
Sometimes I decide to get back into running shape. I start training...and soon get distraced by my mountain bike, or kayak, or go climbing, or... Then I'm quickly back out of running shape. I've been able to maintain an actual training schedule only a few times in my life - usually only once I've sent away an entry fee for something that requires a large amount of training like Grandma's or the Voyageur. I'm trying to change this, and hopefully will get myself out the door to run more often, just to enjoy a good run.
October 5, 2009: Swain
The Swain High School Cross Country meet was held this past Saturday on top of the hill at Enger Golf Course (the only good use for a golf course).
It's always fun to see some of the top prep runners in the State battle it out on a hilly course. The hard part about being a spectator at a distance running event is that one generally can only see a small portion of the course. Luckily for me, for the last several years, I've been the "lead vehicle" on my mountain bike, so I get to watch the battle at the front all the way around.
I will say though, after leading the 7th/8th grade girls race, the 7th/8th grade boys race, sophomore girls, sophomore boys, JV girls A, JV girls AA, JV boys A, JV boys AA, varsity girls A, and varsity girls AA, by the time I get to the last 2 varsity boys races, it's all I can do to stay ahead of the leaders when going up the hills. This year though, I had another rider to split the duties with (a good thing, since the rain had made the ground extremely soft which made the riding significantly harder), so after the start, I'd take them around the first lap, and leave the 2nd lap for her, and then we'd both take them in the finishing stretch to keep the crowd back. I didn't run into anyone this year, which is nice. Several times in past years, while clearing the route for the runners, I've had people wandering into the course oblivious to my (and other people) yelling at them to move aside until I'm on them, so I have to give them a nudge off to the side so they don't get trampled.
The weather wasn't too bad. Slight wind, cool, light rain. I'm glad it wasn't like the weather on Friday!
So, not really a running post for me, but it's at least running related.
September 14, 2009: Racing
Generally speaking, I don't do a lot of racing. There is one event though that I make a priority to do every year, and that is the Wolfman Triathlon in Langlade WI. As someone who tends to split time between a few different sports, the idea of triathlons definitely draws my interest. The problem is that most triathlons involve swimming, and I find swimming to be about as much fun as repeatedly beating myself in the head with a spiked baseball bat. The Wolfman though, has a paddling segment instead of a swimming leg, and it's whitewater to boot which is even better. Follow that up with a really good Mountain Bike leg with really fun technical singletrack, and then a trail run/scramble full of rocks and roots, and an absolute gem of a course is born. And then of course there is the pig roast and free beer at the finish, and it's no wonder I've been going back for several years.
The start is staggered with a racer going every 30 seconds, so you never really know where you stand until the results, so it is really a race against the clock while hoping to not get log-jammed behind slower racers in some of the key sections if you want to do well.
As an experienced paddler, I always try to start hard and get some time advantage off the bat, which can be hard in some of the rapids where people can get broached on rocks and cause me to have to try to alter my line quickly, which is difficult in the shallow and rocky rapids of the race section, especially since I like to use a 17 foot sea kayak, which although much faster than a traditional whitewater boat, is not known for being maneuverable.
The bike leg went well, with some new sections of singletrack for this year's event that were definitely challenging to maintain good speed through, which generally suits me.
The run is always a challenge for me. Once I get going it's not too bad, but I always struggle for the first 5-10 minutes after transitioning off the bike. My heart rate shoots off the chart even though I feel like I'm barely moving. I need to figure out how to transition between those better if I want to take more time off there. Once going though, the run went pretty well and I had a faster time than I did the last couple years, even though I did have one good fall. You know how when you catch your toe on a root, and your weight goes forward, and you run extra fast to "catch up" to your body and save yourself? Well I just ran extra fast into the ground. At least I avoided injury by hitting just dirt instead of a tree, roots, or rocks.
Overall, I finished in just under 2 hrs, and in 4th place, just a few seconds out of 3rd. I'm becoming accustomed to just missing the podium there, as I've finished in that place several times over the years now. Next year hopefully I'll be able to get a little higher quality training in and get over the "hump".
One touch that was nice was that in our racer bags, instead of another t-shirt to throw in a drawer, we got a really cool aluminum water bottle with the race logo on it. Something actually useful!!! I always appreciate when race directors do something a little bit different like that.