Started the year off with watching The Bourne Ultimatum with Richard, Nicole’s dad. What a movie. If Bond ran into Bourne in a dark alley, I would have to put my money on Bourne but that would be one battle to witness. After some toasting and seeing some fireworks from our deck, we called it a night. Started the day with a hike and let Dylan run through the mud puddles then joined many of the locals for the Resolution Run in Auburn. The rain drops stopped just as we toed the start line. I haven’t entered a race like this in a LONG time – years. There would be no pushing the jogging stroller, carrying the pace sign, chatting at the aid stations. So I knew I would be entering the uncomfortable zone – that time when the mind and body are raising the caution flag and there’s one guy in the corner of my head insisting on keeping his foot on the gas pedal. And these moments of truth are why I enjoy running a race. There’s no sweet talking through a race. There’s no telling how much better you could have done. There’s no selling yourself a faster time than what you are truly capable of running. The truth is if you want to win, you’d better be ready to be the fastest one out there and when it hurts you have to look that hurt in the eye and, with a smile, ask for some more. When you cross that finish line and see the time, good or bad, first or last, that is the moment of truth. And today, a couple others were faster. Oh the run will not suffer the fool. But another truth is that I finished and finishing any race, just being able to be outside and run in these mountains, is a good thing.
My typical HR average when pacing a 3:10 marathon is around 140 BPM. Today I averaged 167 BPM. I don’t think that I have pushed my heart that hard in a long time. Conditions were perfect for a trail race, the air was damp, the trail muddy and the temperature cool. Jane Kibil, a female runner likely just out for a morning jog (rumor is she’s a professional Kenyan runner and I’m buying that rumor), kept kicking my butt up the hills the last 5 miles. I had another guy riding my heels the last few miles and I sensed he was going to have a strong kick the last 100 yards. With 1/2 mile to go the three of us were bunched together in a line on the trail. But as we kept climbing, she and her 100 LB body would pull ahead. And sure enough as we entered the Staging Area, the kicker on my heels zoomed around me as my engine began to sputter, my will withered, and I held onto a 3rd place finish with a finishing time of 1:03:54. The race had me at a 6:23 min pace but I think the course is a bit short. The winning pace was a 6:21 min per mile – impressed me.
If you haven’t read the article 501 Pounds: A Story of Love, Willpower and a Bike by Frank Bures of Scott Cutshall, I highly recommend it. I had passed it onto someone recently and they didn’t understand what Scott Cutshall had done, other than lose weight, that was so impressive. For me, the story meant so much more. For someone to change themselves, to really change who they are, is nearly an impossible journey for many of us. I can imagine that Scott wanted to change who he had become, locked in his house and his dreams of living a different life with his wife and daughter. Seeing new places, meeting new people, living life. And he was able to change himself for the better. New Year’s resolutions come and go but his is a life resolution.