Monthly Summary – May 2017 (and WIEM 50k Race Report)

May was a crazy month. It felt like non-stop insanity both at home and at work. I traveled a ton, especially in the second half of the month, during which time I slept at home three nights and took six cross-country flights, going back and forth to NY three times over the course of 15 days. Despite all that, I managed to get in a decent amount of running, but my 168 miles was a relatively low monthly total this year.

The highlights of the month were:

  • Spending a fun long weekend with Elizabeth, Chase and my in-laws in Wainscott. After having to work through the first half of a planned vacation (and make a last-minute trip home to LA to help manage a work crisis), the last 4 days of the trip were great. We played with Chase and Julian a ton – at the beach, in the pool, in the yard, in the living room that became a giant play area and at the local at the Children’s Museum. I made it out for a couple nice, long runs around the Hamptons, including one in driving rain and strong winds. We took long walks around the neighborhood. I took a nap with Chase. And I ate way too much. (Then we had to travel home. That 12 hour day of driving, waiting, flying, waiting, driving sucked, but is pretty much already forgotten.)

  • Racing my first ultra in nearly three years. I ended up doing the Whoo’s In El Moro 50k on May 13. Funny thing is that last month I wrote “My concern is that I feel a bit undertrained for a 50k… So, I think I’ll plan to suffer through a 50k (or at least suffer through the last 8-10 miles of it) and maybe I’ll be happily surprised.” As it turned out, I suffered through more like 15 miles of it and wasn’t particularly happy. I’m not going to bother with a full race report. I finished in 7th place and my time was something like 4:54:XX (it’s strange, but neither official results nor photos have been posted yet). My race can be broken down into five sections:
    • First 6-7 miles: Feeling great. The group at the front went out really slow, so I ended up being in the lead and running with Jesse Haynes. I probably shouldn’t ever be running with Jesse. But I was feeling good, so I stuck with him for a while. In retrospect…
    • Next 9 miles: After I let Jesse go (or, really, after he dropped me), I continued running pretty well and feeling OK. I slowed down a bit and no longer felt as spry as I did during the first part of the race. I also started getting worried about the back half of the race, but I was still in second place.
    • Miles 16-25: Ugh. These miles sucked. My legs started getting heavy and the little twinges of cramps in my calves became full blown intermittent seizures in my calves and hamstrings. I pressed on, but walked a lot more than I ever anticipated and got passed by 3 runners. I never really considered dropping, but I did spend a lot of time wondering how I would make it to the finish.
    • Miles 26-28: These were better. My cramps were somewhat abated. I was able to run longer stretches at a time and I knew the end was coming close. The race ends with a 2 mile descent that should be fast and easy. Maybe I could stay in 5th?
    • Miles 29-31: The downhill to the finish was a whole bunch of suffering. The cramps came back with a vengeance and I got passed 2 more times with about a mile to go. I limped into the finish, just happy to be done.

Going into the race, I wondered if it would fire me up to do more racing or re-affirm my feeling that I don’t really need to race to enjoy running. It was definitely the latter. I liked seeing a bunch of people in the ultra community that I haven’t seen in a long time, but other than that I didn’t find any huge joy or sense of accomplishment in racing. Instead of racing, I’ll stick to finding little made-up adventures on my own. Thanks to Molly and all of her staff and volunteers for putting on a great race, as usual.

  • NYC running. I ran both mornings that I spent in the City. The first day I met up with Nils and we ran up the West Side Highway and through the Park. The next morning, despite not getting much sleep and feeling pretty crappy, I dragged myself out for a hot, sweaty loop around the Park. I will always love running in the City, but as I get more and more used to running in the mountains and slightly-less-busy streets of LA, I miss it less and less. I also don’t miss the days when it’s 80 degrees at 7am, like it was during my second run.  
  • Overnight trip to San Francisco. Elizabeth and I went up to San Francisco for a night in early May to see Hamilton with Aaron, Kristen and Kristen’s parents. It was our first night away from Chase. The show was great and we had a blast with the group. 

I finished The Fireman earlier this month. The last 150 pages or so (except the predictable and boring ending) were better than the middle part of the book, but in general, I was just relieved it was over. I didn’t care much about the characters and the middle 350-ish pages of the book were too slow. Or too long. Or both. Based on the ending, I’m sure there will be a sequel and I can’t imagine I’ll read it. I’m currently reading Remember Me Like This, by Bret Anthony Johnston. I started it off strong, reading regularly, but haven’t read more than a few pages over the last week. I like it much better than The Fireman so far. Follow me on Goodreads!

Here’s May by the numbers:

Swim: 5,446 meters
Cycling (outdoors): 0 miles (I should just stop tracking this, but still remain hopeful that I’ll ride again someday…)
Run: 168.4 miles
Total Run Elevation Gain: 17,806 feet
Strength Training/Yoga sessions: 1
Approximate monthly total training time: 26 hours
Weight: low 160s

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