Sunday, June 13, 2010

To Run or Not to Run

I was faced with a dilemma yesterday morning as I woke up to a stuffed head, runny nose, and terrible headache. I'd been fighting it for a couple days and I thought perhaps it would be taken care of before the SFU race. No such luck though.

By all google related accounts it is said that if your symptoms are above your neck go ahead and run, but below your neck, in your chest and/or bowels, do not run. For me it was above my neck, but my head felt huge and racing seemed wrong. And besides, do I really want to race and log a crappy result? This was the real dilemma.

Knowing I felt so terrible I was certain my result was going to be crap. Did I want a crap result? I tried to tell myself I'm running for me and not to externalize my results, but no can do. Once those results are posted everyone knows you logged some junk.

Thinking back to another Endurance planet podcast on Flow for the athlete I was reminded how important it is to ones performance to only race for ones self. It is when we externalize our successes and failures that our performance actually decreases. And that was it, I pinned on my bib number and zip-strapped my timing chip to my Salomon Speed Cross. It was time to race... and race for me only. It would be what it would be. If it was to go badly I would chalk it up to training under adverse conditions. As my Dad used to say, it'll put a little hair on my chest.

Hoping for the best I jumped in the start chute with the fasties. When the announcer said it was for the folks looking to get medals I thought I was in over my head, but I stayed and crossed my fingers.

5-4-3-2-1 GO! The pack flew off the mark and down the road. Consciously I had to back off. It was too much for me at first even though I'd warmed up. Cranking a hard left into Gear Jammer the descent began and was way too fast. Who are these guys?, I thought, but my head was clearing and I started looking for room to pass. having pre-run the course I knew all the passing spots and just when the climbs were coming. I saw Mr. Coo ahead of me on the first small climb and let him stay there. We still had another short loop to do. Across Dead Moped, along North Road I was rippin'. And into the climb up Mel's I caught two more runners. This is where I'd stay until the base of the Cardiac climb. Tucked in behind a runner from Australia we worked our way by the sport course racers with encouraging words and loads of silly banter. When we cleared the technical trail and came out to the big climb I got by Crocodile Dundee and began to roll. This was where I saw the Lazy Trail Runner ahead. There was a chance I could catch him and I went for it. Gaining on him with every step my heart pounded and I completely forget how sick I had been just 50 minutes prior. (Me, Oliver Utting, and Crocodile Dundee who led me through the 2nd half)

The legs ticked over nicely up Cardiac and Mr. Coo got me yet again. This time by only half a minute or so. We finished 5th and 6th and each won some hardware in our respective age groupings.

My time was slightly slower than last years, but I was very thrilled with my ability to perform under such crappy health conditions. I crashed hard when I came home and this morning I'm feeling a lot better.

XA 5's a big hit with road racer : Phil Green.
It's taken me a few years to convince coach Phil to get into the trail running scene and he's slowly getting there. He's had some outstanding races including the Hallow's Eve 10k and 5 Peaks at Golden Ears. Each of these he has done with his long standing partner shoe, Nike. Pegasus. Yesterday we got him into a pair of Salomon XA 5's and he couldn't believe the difference. This XA/XT hybrid gives you the cushioning of a road shoe, but the guaranteed grip and performance of Salomon's trail shoes. Along with his natural speed, the XA 5's got Phil a win in his age group yesterday.


  1. those salomon sneakers are good at letting you sneak up on me. i bet you can walk on newspaper without making a crinkling sound...

    lazy trail runner

  2. Thanks to Tom and Soloman for my 1st trail runners experiment. V cool shoes

  3. Nice work Tom and Duncan. You guys are going to rock at Trans Rockies!

    I love reading your race reports can't wait for the next head to head action.