Sunday, October 31, 2010

Goal-less Running

Like so many others, my racing season is over. Since the first 5 Peaks in April, at Golden Ears , I've been running with a race in mind. From Iron Knee in May to the summer's 5 Peaks series, and a culmination in August with Stormy 50 and Trans Rockies, in Colorado. Following all that racing and a couple of annoying overuse injuries, I vowed to back off racing and distance. Since August 27th I haven't run anything more than 15 km - a couple races, but mostly just running without a focus or a goal in mind. No big deal, right? Or so I thought.

"Run Now" is my mantra on so many occasions, but this morning, while climbing a new route up Grouse, I had an epiphany that some recent restlessness, and lack of present-minded running, came from having no racing goals. I'd been racing and training so much it had become a way of living. About three quarters of the way up it came to me that I was enjoying myself immensely and hadn't thought about my running plans for the coming year. I was so focused on "Running Now" that I was able to just be there. When I say I had been restless, I mean that I had been looking for various races to do and something to focus on, like my next race, or yoga, or some type of gym routine. It was just an undetermined internal nagging I felt. In hindsight, the question arises, do we need a reason to run other than the enjoyment of moving freely, being outside under tree cover, or the meditative concentration it takes to run a technical trail?

This mornings run brought me to a place where I could just run without future thoughts and from that emerged my goal...or a reaffirmation of my blog namesake and mantra, RUN NOW. The fall is such a beautiful time to run or race, it's crazy to feel discontent when I arrive back home. I love that a run/hike up Grouse with friends is what brought me back to what I needed. Like many runners and racers, I am incredibly goal oriented, but fall is a time for variety and enjoyment, not racing and pushing. And that's okay.

So...when all goals are achieved, t's are crossed, i's are dotted, lists are checked, it only makes sense to just Run Now.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Trick or Run

It's late October already and Run the North Shore's final trail race of the season is flagged and ready. By 9:30 tomorrow the trails will be riddled with ghosts, goblins, and whatever other freakish garb folks can find in their closets. The trails are muddying as I write this and the wind is amping up to cover the route in ugliness - some downed trees, leaves covering holes, and roots, and who knows, maybe a forest ghost or goblin.

I had a great run at this last year as I battled out the last 10k with Katrina Driver, but this year she'll have to battle with the Lazy Trail Runner or Ms. Polizzi, who I saw registering today. It should be a great race and if Nicola Gildersleeve races, it'll get even more interesting.

It'll be great to see the finish for a change. In keeping with my resolution to only run shorter than 15k through the fall, I will run the 9.8k course. It'll be fast and over-with in under 50 minutes I hope. The course record is 40 minutes flat and is held by a real turn-over guy so I should be out there at least a couple minutes after that. It works well with my recent XC races, but isn't just running across the grass or up a few small hills. A smattering of stairs should give me the lactic hell I'm looking for. Regardless, I'm very excited about the current rainfall and the possibility of some seriously ugly trail conditions. Like a little kid in a puddle, I'll be coming home wet and messy no matter how long I'm out there.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


A brilliant morning on the trails with a crew of keen folks thinking of tackling Run the North Shore's Hallow's Eve Half, a ghostly 21 km's up Lynn Creek this October 24th.
19 of us met at 8:30 this morning, at Jaycee House while it was still a bit overcast and by the time we'd finished our 10k orientation run it was time for a coffee on a sunny patio. It was a perfect morning for fall trail play.
The Lazy Trail runner and I will be leading the orientation run for the top half of the course next Sunday, October 17th as well. It's always a great group run even if you're not planning to race. Come check it out. The run down Griffin into Snakes and Ladders is wicked fun. We meet at Lynn Headwaters second overflow parking at 8:30.

See you there...I hope.