So is running. Actually, sometimes I think half of running is 100 percent mental.
Maybe it was all in my head, but after coming back from Boston last week, I flat lined. I hadn’t run the marathon, but felt like I had. My legs were shot – and so was my head.
Normally, I’m a no-nonsense guy. I get up, I run. Simple as that. I am so mentally committed to my morning run that no extra motivation, coach or external factor is necessary. But occasionally something is troubling me and I don’t even bother trying to push through it by running so I don’t.
This time it was a weird malaise, possibly brought on by 10 solid months of marathon training, a bunch of races and back-to-back-to-back East Coast trips. For me, missing a day is a big deal. To miss an entire week without being sick or injured is catastrophic.
When I don’t run, the rhythm of my day is short-circuited and nothing feels right. I wasn’t sore or even tired, but my quads felt like concrete and I could feel myself slipping into the Self-Pity Zone.
And then it dawned on me: I needed to take two Man Pills. (Sorry to be politically incorrect but there are no Woman Pills. Women don’t need them. They are strong enough.)
Anyway, this prescription is the best remedy I have found for what periodically ails me. Take two imaginary pills and get busy and move. I don’t know why it works, but it does.
Clearly, it’s all in my head but there isn’t even any placebo effect at work because there are no Man Pills. Regardless, the following morning, I got up and for some reason, felt like running again. My quads no longer felt like someone had been pounding them with a baseball bat. Pulling on my shoes no longer felt like a chore.
If I could just make it for 10 minutes and over a short hill, I knew the Man Pills would kick in. Once they did, I continued for an easy half hour and was well on my way back to normalcy. As I did so, the cloud of uncertainty, inactivity and doubt lifted.
I no longer felt like a pud. Yogi was right once again.
O One of the pillars of our running community – Commander Fred Fletcher of APD – is leaving our fair city to become chief of police of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Fred, who is as tough as it comes to running (and law enforcement), worked his way up through the ranks of APD in his 20 years on the job as a patrolman, SWAT commander and internal affairs. We’ll certainly miss Fletch, but our loss is Chattanooga’s gain. Many congrats.
O Big ups to David Fuentes who had one of his biggest races last weekend down in Houston when he won the Green 6.2 in a PR-equalling time of 29:50 and took home $1500 in prize money. Sammy Cheptoo of Houston was second in 30:49 and Jared Carson of Austin was third in 31:07 (another PR). Amy Shackelford of San Antonio was fifth overall (and first woman) in 35:48 to also earn $1500 with soon-to-be Austinite Lauren Smith of Lake Jackson second in 37:08 and Megan Betts of Austin third in 37:43. (Megan and Jared, who both won $500 apiece, are engaged.)
O More Fuentes. One of Boerne’s gifts to Austin running, Fuentes is returning to the Grandma’s Marathon – actually the Garry Bjorklund Half – in Duluth on June 21st for another shot at getting a qualifier for the Olympic Marathon Trials in 2016. Fuentes needs to run 1:05 to get into the Trials, scheduled for February 13, 2016 in Los Angeles.
O Another running couple – Rory Tunningley and Megan Vasquez – each took their respective divisions last Saturday of the Race Like A Champion 5-K in Marble Falls. Both were easy winners: Rory in 17:35, while Megan ran 21:24 and both took home $250 for their efforts. BTW: Rory’s roommate Devin Monson took the Sunshine Run 10-K on Sunday with Rory coming in third.
O One more running couple: Joe and Kara Thorne. Although they now live in Arroyo Grande, California, the former Austinites (and Rogue runners) both won the San Luis Obispo Half Marathon last Sunday. Joe, the former UT star, ran 1:12:18, while Kara won her division in 1:21:07. But Joe’s marathon course record of 2:37:38 was broken by Ryan Neely who ran 2:34.
O Tia Martinez, who won last Sunday’s Sunshine Run 10-K in 36:17, will run her first track race of the year this weekend at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, California. Tia, who goes by a variety of last names, is coming off an injury and will be running the 5000. Other Rogue athletes entered are Matt Cleaver, Carl Stones and Sarah Pease in the steeple (different steeples), Mia Behm in the 5000 and Ali Mendez in the 10,000.
O Former UT and Bowie HS runner Marissa Lee dipped her toes into her first marathon last weekend up in Oklahoma City and finished ninth woman in 3:21. Jeff Cunningham of Dripping Springs ran the same exact time as Marissa. Luke Nelson had the fastest time (3:14:12) time of any of the Austinites who ran.
O Erik Burciaga of San Antonio easily won the Texas Wine Series Becker Vineyard Half last weekend in 1:23:58. It was merely a training run for Burciaga who is getting ready for the lightning fast (mostly downhill) Big Cottonwood Marathon in Salt Lake City (September 13) with a bunch of other Alamo City runners who are headed up there.
O Don’t look now but the UT women are ranked numero uno in the country, ahead of Florida, A&M and Oregon. The UT men have climbed to number seven in the rankings with Florida and A&M going 1-2. Both the UT men and women will be in action on Saturday in the final home meet of the season at Mike A. Myers Stadium. Other schools running include Baylor, Colorado, Stanford, TCU, North Texas and Sam Houston. Admission is free. The Big 12’s are up in Lubbock May 16-18.
O Michael Madison, one of the three dudes who runs this site, is off soon to Burundi where he’ll join several others to bike around that Central African nation. The ride is intended as a fundraiser and Madison’s goal is $8000 (he’s already reached $7700 in pledges). All raised money will go to the Gazelle Foundation and its efforts to provide Burundians with clean water systems. (To learn more about this, go to www.gazellefoundation.com/
O What I’m listening to this morning: “Heart Shaped World” by Chris Isaak.
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