Breaking through my barriers

I am training for Bandera 100k Trail Race in January so this is why I am running this race in Palo Duro.  I have been preparing for endurance running since last year.  Currently my longest run is 20.36 miles.  When I was in my forum the leader, Steve Zaffron was 70 years old and he was doing 100 mile runs in the Rockies.  His goal was to be the strongest man for his age.  This really inspired me.

I had stopped running in my early thirties because of knee injuries.  I am 56 years old now. I had been telling myself that I could not run. So after Landmark Education training I started creating some possibilities and my life was being transformed.  There were several areas that Landmark provided me with tools to make my life fulfilling.  I transformed relationships at work, home and with my children, but I wanted more.  I wanted to really challenge myself to do something that I had no way of figuring out how to do it except that I was going to take a big leap of faith and say that I wanted to do it.  My goal is to run 100 miles.

When I started running again in February 2005 I did not have the idea that I would want to run.  I actually got involved with an exercise program at work through the Cancer Association Active For Life.  HT got a RunTex coach to come on campus to help several faculty and staff prepare for a 5k race that would benefit HT.  I was planning on walking the event.  What happened in the next few months was amazing, I got a pair of shoes and with the coaches help I started running.

My co-worker Stephanie Bond-Huie and I started running during lunch last year. She was training for this 50 mile trail race.  At the time I could barely keep up with her on a four mile run.  She was very encouraging with me and told me that I would love trail running if I would only try it.  I thought she was nuts but I was inspired by her determination to run 50 miles.  Well this year I signed up for the Rouge Running Trail 101 class.  The prerequisite was to be able to run 6 miles without stopping.  I spent the winter running loops around LBJ lake so I was very comfortable in running 10 miles without stopping.  After running on a trail for the first time I was so excited that I could not contain myself.  I thought to myself that I have gone all of my life walking on hiking trails and I never thought once to run on them.

I entered my first 10k trail race called The Saint and I ran it in 1 hour. I placed 102 out of 232 10k runners. I entered my second 10k race, a road race the Nike Human Race which I finished in 53 minutes. At the start of this year I made a goal to run 1,000 miles in one year.  Currently I am at mile 767.27.

Now I am in a trail training class to run 100k at Bandera.  When I signed up for the class I could not imagine how I would run 62 miles.  I have never even run a Marathon of 26 miles.  Once again I am using Landmark tools to create a gap or breakdown and then work towards creating a bridge to get across it.  Along the way I am meeting new friends and getting a lot of knowledge about how my body works.  One thing that I know is that when you hang out with people that say you cannot do something and you also tell yourself that you cannot do it then you most likely will have a tough time doing it.  When you hang out with people who are doing amazing things and they encourage you to do amazing things then you will have an easier time accomplishing whatever you want.  I am running with men and women of all shapes and sizes and they have one thing in common, they love endurance running.  My trail coach is 55 years old and his wife is about 50.  They both have run several 100 mile races.

So on Friday October 17 my wife and I will hit the road in our Dodge Cumins diesel and haul our 5th wheel Grand Junction to Palo Duro before.  We plan to arrive dark and enjoy the pre race pasta dinner.  I will start my run at 7 AM on Saturday.  The course will be open for 7 hours.  I am running 2 12.5 mile laps and one 6 mile lap. I run about 10 minute miles for 10 miles so I may average 13-15 minutes for the 30 miles.  Stephanie tells me that the race crowd is pretty laid back.  The canyon is beautiful so I will see the floor of the canyon for 30 miles on Saturday.  We will hang out on Sunday and start back to Austin on Monday.

20.36 miles, My longest run in my life

Last weekend I ran 16 miles.  This weekend I ran 20.36 miles.

The LBJ Lake loop (minus the MoPac to Ist street 2 miles)

Total distance: 8.05 mi

Total Time: 1:34

Avg Pace: 11:40 per mi

Total Ascent: 1214 Ft

Total Descent: 1208 Ft

The Barton Creek loop

Total distance: 10.31 mi

Total Time: 2:26

Avg Pace: 14:12 per mi

Total Ascent: 3280 Ft

Total Descent: 3277 Ft

Total distance 20.36

Nike Human Race 10k

I ran the race in 53:32:35 at 8:31 minute per mile.  You can view my stats here. The Ben Harper concert was so fine. Ben played a solo on the tombolas during his first song and then threw the drum sticks in the audience and I caught one.

The race was a blast, but it was challenging.  It was really hot and humid and there was little breeze.  I am glad that I trained in the afternoon and evening during the heat so that I was prepared for this race. Running with 13,758 runners who were all wearing the same red shirt was amazing.  As I looked up ahead of me I felt like I was a part of a flowing read blob that was winding it’s way through the streets of Austin.

Austin had more runners than New York or Los Angeles. which are much larger cities by population and area. There were more than 700,000 runners world wide running in the race. Out of the 750,000 runners I finished in 46,721st place. In Austin out of 13,758 runners I finished in 1,114th place.

One of the nice things that happened during the training for this event is that I met Pamela LeBlanc.  I met her and talked to her before I learned that she was a journalist for the Austin American Statesman.  Pamela writes a blog Fit City.  It is nice to live in a city where you can actually meet people that write for your local newspaper and they are  runners just like me.