Saturday, January 5, 2013

Still Gimpy after all these years

Well Gimpy managed to injure his self before even getting started in 2013.

2012 ended with a pulled hamstring, left and right Achilles strains, and shooting pains in my right calf.

It's too bad to, as I had high hopes I could retire my Gimpy blog this year and move on to whatever might be next in the way of writing about my running experiences.  I have occasionally daydreamed of no longer being Gimpy, but rather to be quietly cheering  myself on as lightning or speedy or frankly any other non-injury related nom de coureur.

I made this reference up since I have no idea how to speak French.  but instead of using nom de guerre, which translates from French to English as "name of war", I find "name of racer" much more appealing.

Oh well, it's not my biggest running set back.  In 2009 I tore my right calf muscle while skiing on the bunny slope, quite embarassing, and in 2010 I rolled my left ankle pretty hard coming down "Uproute" in McDonald Forest near Corvallis Oregon which resulted in a grade 2 strain.

I believe I've found myself face first in the dirt more often on Extendo than any trail I've run, even though it's not the most difficult.  I guess since I've run it so often I just push myself harder and make sillier mistakes.  As a result of the sprain in 2010 I spent most of 2011 recovering (almost 8 months), but I finally got into 2012 with a lot more confidence.  My running friends made a positive difference, with motivation, suggestions, and just good camaraderie.  It was for Mike, William, Eric, Tonya, Gene, and Derek's help, that I am a stronger and better prepared runner.  The aches, pains, and strains are my own doing.

Regardless, if I ignore the end of year injuries, I feel 2012 was a solid running year for me.

I started training earlier in the year and I completed a good part of the Oregon Trail 50K series, running, Hagg Lake, McDonald Forest, McKenzie River, and Flagline.  Surprisingly this resulted in a first place for my age group.  I also managed to compete at Peterson Ridge 40M, the Mt Hood PCT 50, and made it through the first 45 miles of Waldo 100K.

Twilight Run 5K
Balloons lighting up after Twilight Run
On the road, I managed some faster times with my 5K runs, especially in the Twilight run that I did with my running buddy Derek Stirling, I got a PR and as a bonus got to hang out with Derek, Valerie, and Noah while they lit up the balloons.

I had a really fun time running with my sister at Buck Mountain in the snow and mud.  These are the experiences that stand out beyond the personal challenges of trail running and road races.  I was so proud of Derek and especially my sister for sharing some of there running experiences with me. 
My Sister Sharon, running Buck Mtn

Bandera Texas - Trail Run
San Antonio Alamo 13.1 Half
In spring, I made a side trip to Texas and ran the inaugural Alamo 13.1 Half in San Antonio.

I took an extra couple of days and ran extra miles near Bandera Texas, just to see what running in the lone star state was like.  I definitely got a few cactus scratches and scrapes there,  but wouldn't mind going back in the future for both run and fun.

I ran some new runs at McKenzie and McDonald Forest and I repeated Mt Hood and Flagline for some nice PR's  and hopes of more this coming year.

Waldo 100K - Less intimidating before the start
I did experience the feelings of regret and frustration that come with my first mid-race drop.  I've been prepping towards running a 100 miler this last year and my resolve did waiver a bit when I dropped from the Waldo 100K in August 2012.

Waldo was intended to be my stepping stone on longer distances greater than 50 miles, before attempting a hundred miler.  For better or worse, I'm not sure.  This time I didn't have the mental and physical where with all to push beyond mile 45 mark and made the decision to drop after the Twins aid station.

Me looking beat after Fuji Mtn descent - Waldo 100K
I have to say the volunteers were so helpful and amazing, especially Gabi and Frank who got me everything I need to make it out of there before the cutoffs.  My son Andrew was being so supportive, but in the end I couldn't rationalize the 20+ hours it would have taken me to finish on this attempt.

I hope to take another shot at Waldo this year.  The fingers are crossed for getting in and hoping for good results now that I have a  better idea what I'm getting into.

Road trip home after Flagline 50K
Running (By the Garmin numbers)
2011 - Total miles run     ~1480 miles
2012 - Total miles run     ~1680 miles
2013 - Total miles goal    ~2000 miles

Beautiful sunset near Sisters on the way home from another long run...

So unfortunately, I've ended 2012 injured and Gimpy's working to recover from a hamstring, achilles, calf pain. . .

A future run near PCT Trailhead - Hwy 20
I still have high hopes to make a attempt for 2000 running miles in 2013. This will be quite a challenge as my current foot and leg injuries, but I need a good reason to stop vegging out in front of the TV.

That's one of many rewards that come from running the outdoors, it's a legitimate excuse to get off the butt and put in some healthy leg lift miles and to dream some dreams that might just come true some day.

SO, 2013 is another Gimpy's year...

The year to say once again, you guessed it...

Let's go Gimpy, time to run...