Ultra-good news, and More

It’s been quite the week in RCW land. Along with working at three events (Stegosaurus Tri, Island Lake Tri, and the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run), I’ve gotten back into the swing of training – with all that comes with hard effort – and some family news, too. So here we go with three pieces of news.

1.  Party time in Denver, as my niece Robin completes the Golden Gate Dirty 30 – her first ultramarathon! 32 miles (just over 50K) with lots of healthy elevation change. “Body hurts,” she reported, “but definitely want to keep doing them!”

It’s official – she’s turned to the Dirt Side!

Well, what better incentive could there be to sign up for…

2. An ultra in Colorado!

Last year I signed up for the Indian Creek 55K in Colorado. I’d chosen it because it was a UTMB qualifier, and looked like fun. Sadly, I had to cancel due to my wife’s cancer diagnosis and start of chemo. This year, with her responding well to treatment, we have the go-ahead to travel. We’ll be heading there in October to see our daughter Rachel, and for me to run the race, hopefully with Robin! Looking forward to it.

Another thing I like about this race is its no-nonsense code of conduct. Direct quote:

The two biggest rules we have: Don’t be a jerk, and no whining. Additionally, You agree to abide by the following code of conduct while at our event: You will be respectful to all other athletes at all times. You will be respectful, kind, and thankful to all volunteers. You will be respectful to HPRS Staff and Directors. You acknowledge that should you treat ANYONE poorly at this event, for any reason, you will be listed in the results as a DQ and banned for life from all future HPRS events. 

This is one of the biggest reasons I run trail events. Because trail runners are basically like this anyway. (Except maybe with their crew when hot, dehydrated, and exhausted. But we’re not going there right now.) Wouldn’t it be great if everyone followed this CoC everywhere, all the time? Imagine a worldwide Burning Man, with freaky costumes and hugs for everyone!

Heaven, right?

3. And to run an ultra, ya gotta train for it. And so I’ve been stepping it up at Body Specs, and getting back into a running routine. And the Wednesday 6:00 a.m. club run turned into one of those frustrating “not-quite-tempo” runs, where the pace is too fast to be easy, yet too slow to be helpful speed work. I could have asked them to slow down a bit, but I think my readers understand my attitude on that kind of thing.

So I suffered along, until, with a mile to go, we reach Keech St., a side road with a long eeevil climb up past Michigan Stadium. Having run hills the day before, I am really hoping we pass it by and take the easier route back. Colleen, our fearless leader, has other ideas.

Colleen: “Hey, wanna go up Keech?”

Me: “NO.”

Everyone else: <ignores Jeff, turns onto Keech>

Me: <swears softly and follows>

So, as tired as I am at this point, am I going easy up this hill? I think my readers understand… No, I am not going to be that guy 50 yards behind who everyone stops and waits for at the top. So I pretty much give it everything I have left, and reach the top with everyone else. At which point my gut says “sit, or puke, dude.” So I sit on the curb and everyone stops and waits for me anyway.

Colleen: “Was it Keech, Jeff?”

Me: “No. My ego.”

I vaguely remember training being enjoyable, somehow. Sure hope I get back there.

I might be exaggerating. A little.
(Original photo By I, Luca Galuzzi, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1810976)

3 thoughts on “Ultra-good news, and More

  1. That’s great news that your wife is responding well to treatment! So do you want to run UTMB? I assume so since you mentioned the race in Colorado is a qualifier? I’d love to hike there but not run the race.

    1. I did want to try for UTMB but not so sure anymore. Travel is still iffy and the UTMB folks have changed the rules and gone all commercial. Still plenty of challenging trail ultras out there that keep it sweet and simple.

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