From the beginning.....

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Perfect Trail run, but it's trying to kill me.

If you live in the Bay area, you've inevitably driven north or south on Interstate 280 at some point. Somewhere between Daly City and San Jose lies one of my (so far) all time favorite places to run. It's visible from the freeway, both northbound and southbound, and it's called Edgewood Park.

The area around the park is probably more popular with cyclists, so you will see a ton of people riding around on the long stretches of road paralleling 280, sometimes criss-crossing  under the freeway. I just love the trail though.

Why is it perfect?

I consider Edgewood the perfect trail run for several reasons:
  • the trail is local to me, and accessible to most in the bay area
  • when you are on the trail, for the most part, you are taken away from civilization
  • there is enough elevation change and variety on the trails to allow you to make it as difficult or easy as you want
  • The distance is short, but extending or varying the distance is easy
  • there is frequent traffic on the trail, so if you are in distress, you can either get help from a fellow trail visitor, or use your cell phone and get help on the way quickly
  • the people are friendly and courteous
  • the scenery is terrific
  • the signage and trails are well maintained
  • I always feel good when I am done (except this one time.....)

Trail Etiquette (taken from San Mateo Parks website HERE):

This is an example of me learning things. There is something called Sudden Oak Death (no, not related to my poison oak, thankfully).
  1. Check with Park Rangers for current information on trail conditions, and to obtain more detailed, up-to-date maps of the specific parks.
  2. On those trails with considerable horse rider usage, runners and hikers should observe a basic rule of conflicting usage. The horses have the right-of-way! Foot Traffic should always stop and stand quietly off the trail until the horse passes. Failure to observe this rule can endanger not only the hiker and runner, but also the horse rider.
  3. Pets are not allowed in any County Park/Trail.
  4. Observe any trail closure signs.
  5. The trails on this site are: a) trails which are safe. Most trails have been recently rebuilt to a standard 4' width and maximum 10% grade; b) trails which are scenic. The variety ranges from redwood forest, to chaparral, to grassy ridges; c) trails of varied distance.
  6. Always respect the plant and animal life found in these unique communities.
  7. Educate yourself on Sudden Oak Death (Phytophthora ramorum) to reduce the risk of spreading the disease. Learn more.
Friends of Edgewood
Photo Courtesy of:

I decided to write this blog a few days ago when I realized that in my fairly limited trail running experience, I consider Edgewood the perfect trail run. This pressed me to learn more about the trail, as I didn't simply want to post: I love the trail, it's awesome.

I want to encourage people to try the trail out, whether you are running, walking, jogging, or riding horses. Yep, it's an equestrian trail as well. I know this already, as I've encountered a lot of horse poop in my experiences out there.

Now that I've fallen for the trail (see below for details on that), I want to learn more about the history and share it with my faithful reader(s?).

Turns out, coincidentally, this is '2013 - The Year of Edgewood'. Lucky me! At the least, I hope to get know the park better, appreciate it more, and get other people to experience it and enjoy it the way I do.

More about the trail:
  • 467 acres
  • 78 Plant famillies
  • 70 bird species
  • protected species including the bay checkerspot butterfly
  • well known spring flower blooms
Oh, you ask, how do I know the trail trying to kill me? Well, in my last two runs out there, I've tweaked my ankle, tripped and fallen, gained a painful blister, and the coup de gras: a rather unpleasant case of poison oak.

The ankle is fine, the bloody scrapes and bruising on my knee has healed, the blister is gone. The poison oak? Not only did it take more than two days to show up, it's been slowly taking over my legs. Keep in mind that I didn't even SEE any plants on the ground where I fell, but the affected area is very clearly the area of impact on the ground. I haven't had poison oak since I was a kid, and this is much more unpleasant than I remember it being then. Also, when it happened then, it was another 100 degree summer in Eugene, living in a house with no AC.

Really, it's just (very) annoying and looks pretty gross. I can still run, and did just that yesterday, on the same trail. Yep, I've made my peace with it, and am moving on (though I'm keeping a better eye out for roots and rocks on the trail...for sure). I'm sure it could be much worse.

My advice for running or hiking the trail?

The trail can be a great workout, bring a snack or snacks, and some water to replenish your energy and keep you hydrated. Depending on where you start, there is a drinking fountain (if I remember correctly) and bathrooms at Old Stage Day Camp.

Watch out for horse poop. The piles tend to be fairly significant.

If you can do it comfortably, cover your legs and arms. As I've recently discovered, there is some poison oak out there. I've successfully avoided it 11 out of 12 trips, so you may not have to worry about it, but I'd stay on the trail (and try not falling half way off of it).

Bring some handy wipes, or something to wipe your skin off if you do fall. I have recently learned that if you can get your skin clean relatively soon after you fall, you can help reduce the amount of exposure to poison oak oil, just be sure to avoid spreading it around.

Obviously, wear comfortable shoes. I've ran the trail several times, but none more comfortably than in my trail running shoes. If you're hiking, just make sure your shoes have good tread on them, and some decent support. I wouldn't necessarily advise sandals unless you are used to wearing them out like that.

If you are hiking, bring a camera. Also, bring some pictures (maybe on your smartphone) of the types of animals, insects, plants and trees you might see. I've never stopped long enough to really check these things out, which I hope to change soon.

From a timing standpoint, plan for it to take a couple of hours. I run the 4.5 miles at an average pace of 9 minute miles, sometimes slower. If you deviate from the main trail to get to the summit, for example, just keep in mind that it will take you a while to get back to where you parked.

If you are hiking, its probably best to park at Old Stage Day Camp, this helps you avoid the .6 mile walk/hike up from the intersection of Canada road and Edgewood road. I like that .6 miles as a runner because it gets me warmed up for the trail.

Well, it's just about spring time, about time to get out on the trail huh?

Racing Giant

August 27th, 2011.

I ran the 2011 Giant Race 1/2 marathon as my first long distance race, and up until race day, I was really intimidated. My training, whether on purpose or not, included NO distances close to 13 miles. My longest run was 8 miles in my training. On race day, I was late (as usual) and didn't have time for my pre-run routine of stretching.  I was still dead set against jogging before the run, thinking that I was giving all I had in the race, and if I ran before it, how would I finish? I pretty much went into the run cold (I was also VERY not into stretching in front of people, there were about 10,000 watching me that day), I was about 215lbs, maybe more, and like I said before, I'd never run the race distance.  Once the race got started, all I could think about was finishing. I can't really recap the feelings per mile on this race, but I know I felt good the whole time. I finished strong, felt great, and had accomplished something I never even knew I would want to do 6 months earlier. I ran 13.1 miles and finished in just under 2:20.

Photo Credit to Karl 'Doctorbrew' Doerner

Fast forward to September 26th, 2012.

I feel like I'd been prepping for this race for over a year, but really had only decided to try for a serious (and ridiculous) PR towards the end of 2011.  I always want to run races the next year for comparisons sake, and for enjoyment, and really I set the goal for 'before the end' of 2012. I thought it would be great to do it at the 2012 Giant Race. I wanted to run a sub 1:30 race.

Between the 2011 and the 2012 Giant Races, I had run several (I think 5) additional 1/2 marathons, steadily improving, and dramatically improving my time on two of them. I had run a hard and fast 15k, PR'd a 10k, ran some difficult and long distance trail runs. I ran hard in my track workouts, gradually lowering my times on the track and also in my tempo runs. I started running a minimum of 2 miles a day, every day, on Thanksgiving 2011. I wanted to drop some weight, but had set a goal of drinking 500 unique beers in 1 year in December of 2010. Just before my 1 year was up, I made my goal and started driving down my weight. In a few months, I had dropped 50lbs.

I was ready for the Giant Race.

The last 1/2 marathon I ran before the Giant Race was in June (the day after my birthday), but it was a good one. I started 7 corrals behind where I should have been for my expected finish time. You know when there is that time you CAN NOT wait to go to the bathroom? No dance can cure it, no putting it out of your mind, and for me....I won't go on course. I need those minutes to be running! It was happening whether I liked it or not. But I digress, I started running in corral 9, several minutes after the gun went off. I still finished with a PR of about 1 minute, maybe 2, under my May 1/2 marathon. The June race was a hilly one too.

Seriously, I was ready.

I was on my own for Giant Race day 2012. I wasn't running with anyone but the pacer group. I had to get up ridiculously early to avoid the Seattle fiasco (and the 'I'm not telling', San Jose fiasco), so while I did have a beer and some food late night, not as late and not as excessive as in previous races.

I've developed a pretty good pre-race routine for the night before and day of:
Eat something 'soft' late, around midnight.
I don't want to be hungry in the morning, or be digesting much food pre-race.
Drink some beer. YES, I know it dehydrates you but there is much to be said for a good, relaxing feeling the night before a race. Don't drink 10 beers, that's just dumb. Have 1 or 2 and drink some water (later).  Get up nice and early but be comfortable with your time. Stressing about getting there sucks.  My pre-race meal? A banana at home, then a brownie (gluten free of course!) and a mocha.

I'll grab the mocha and brownie the night before, toss the mocha in the fridge and then microwave it in the morning. Not the best mocha you'll ever have, but it works for me!

Registered racers were strongly advised to get to the parking lot early, or carpool. Knowing what it was like in 2011, I got to the parking lot nearly 2 hours before race time. It was a ghost town. Just my luck, I thought. I have to admit though, if you charted race day parking at almost every (popular) race out there, it would look like the chart on the right. Everyone gets there right before the race..

Getting there early is always advised, and I can pretty much guarantee that extra hour of sleep you're getting will stress you out far more than that sleep will help you for the race. So, I was there early. What do to?

Having never been that early to a race, I was in a bit of a quandry. I was half-way through my mocha, eagerly anticipating my race, and I had already prepped everything I needed to do. Sleeping didn't look promising, and I certainly wasn't going to run around for 2 hours. Oh, it was pitch dark too, but provided a very unique early morning view of AT&T Park.

So I actually just double checked all my gear, snapped a couple of pictures, and sat in my car. I was partially just trying to relax, partially watching the parking lot fill up, and also going over my 'race strategy' such as it was. Closing my eyes every once in a while...sometimes I was trying to visualize my race, other times I was trying to clear everything from my mind. I'd never had a goal so tantalizingly close, yet feeling so impossible.

I'm not always great with setting goals that seem out of reach, like a dream. Having run a 2:18 1/2 marathon the year before, I set my 1:30 goal almost as something to drive me to run harder. I don't think I really intended to make the goal at first. Just try and get close because that time is impossible. I would have to run sub-7 minute miles for 13 miles.
Post race in Seattle

I knew I was getting close though, running a 1:35 in Seattle was a great boost, and the Giant Race was much more flat compared to Seattle in June.

It's finally about time for the race to get going so I head to the start line. I actually didn't know where the line was, and realized with only about 10 minutes to go that I was pretty far back. Of course, then I had to go to the bathroom again: go figure.

Luckily I was able to get things squared away and I headed up through the crowd of runners. Going further, and further, and further...I really underestimated how many people I was behind. Having started a couple of races too far back, I wasn't really trying to make any friends getting up to the front. My projected race time had me in the 1st corral, behind the elite runners who would finish far ahead of me (the winner finished in 1:04.....ONE HOUR AND FOUR MINUTES....).

Then, I ran into an old colleague who was running his first 10k. I stopped to chat for a couple of minutes as I hadn't seen him for quite some time, but then as politely as possible, I told him: I have a race to PR :)

I finally made it up to the starting line, where I was pretty much right up front. You can see me in the starting line video (if I can find it anywhere, it seems to have disappeared!). I was ECSTATIC to see my friends Jenny and Steven at the starting line, just the kind of encouragement and distraction I needed. I wasn't super nervous but definitely benefited from the smiles and positive reinforcement of running group friends smiling at the start.

Bang goes the starting gun.

So now that I'm a few 1/2 marathons into my 'racing career', I know at least a little bit about how to start my races. I've been blessed with a steady cadence by virtue of having been in marching band for 8 years, so steady pace has never been difficult for me.

The problem I had at the beginning of this race, besides a fairly narrow starting chute, was that at a pace very close to correct for a 1:30 finish, I was pulling ahead of the 1:30 pace group. I've only had a friend truly be a pacer for me in one race, and that was not a planned thing, it just happened that way. It was a nearly 20 minute PR, and I can't tell you how valuable a good pacer is.

I've found, for me, in a 1/2 marathon at least, the hardest thing is regulating your pace for the first few miles. Those are the easy miles. I regularly train at or above 5-6 miles, and can do them pretty quickly. The trick is being able to sustain that pace, or speed it up in the last few miles.

Running in the first few miles, there were some tight spaces with racers and walkers from the 5k and 10k distances either still heading out to their turn around, or people coming back on the left side of the route. Couple that with the fact that while these races are mapped and cordoned off at most points, it's still a public area and there are pedestrians along the route too. Luckily the combination of my quick starting pace, forward placement in the corrals, and the early start time (8am), I dealt with much less of this than some other racers.

You head up the Embarcadero, and once you get up to about Fort Mason, you take a left and head up a short but fairly steep hill. I was a little surprised by this as I thought the course in 2011 stayed more flat. I had pulled probably 1/4 to 1/2 mile ahead of the 1:30 pace group, so I felt good about where I was, even if I slowed down a bit. I'm a pretty strong hill runner, as long as the up is steep and the down is more flat. Once I got over that hill, I was still cruising at a decent pace, when I hit Crissy Field.

Now, here is where I got a little frustrated. As it turns out, looking at my Garmin track, I did start out a little fast, faster than the 1:30 pace group. What they did though, was pick up speed and pass me around mile 7 or so. By the timing on the Garmin, my slowest mile(s) were  10 and 12, at a 7:09 minute per mile pace. I didn't really start feeling the pain and suffering of racing until mile 10.5, and by mile 11 I wasn't going to run another 1/2 marathon...ever.

This directly coincides with the 1:30 pace group passing me, and slowly edging out of sight. I tried to keep up, but obviously the effort level had gone up with fatigue setting in on my legs. It's still pretty rare for me to feel the burn in my lungs, especially before my legs give out (yay for not smoking). I was hard pressed to keep it together as I saw the group creep out of site.

The thing about racing is, you can trick yourself. When you hit mile 11 of a 13.1, you literally only have 2.1 miles left. All things considered, that's pretty damn short! While the last two miles were pretty painful, and I didn't really increase my speed, I didn't get any slower either.

When I was nearing the stadium, heading up the embarcadero, I had totally lost the 1:30 pace group. I had been watching my times on the GPS, and knew I was still under or right at my goal pace, but not seeing the group confused me a little. By this time, they would have already finished, probably around 1:25. I feel like if the group had run closer to their pace, or if I had someone closing out the run with me the last few miles, I would have probably cleared 1:28, if not better. That is actually my only 'gripe' with the race. I passed on having someone come out and pace me because I thought I could rely on the pace group. hoo on me.
I pressed on, knowing how close I was. I could feel the burn in my legs, my lungs ached, and I was truly ready to be done. Throughout the race, I had various thoughts on my mind, but two things occurred to me throughout:  I was SO close to my 1:30, and my 'proxy' running coach Monty (with A Runners Mind). His voice was just ringing in my ears. He's always telling me how much better I can do, how much harder I can run. I've set goals in my running that, for my training and cumulative time spent running are pretty lofty. His expectations are higher. It's part of what drives me, between him and my other 'coaches', everyone I run with has high expectations. I couldn't have done this without my ARM friends.

So I find myself at 12 miles, feet are getting achy, body is running low on fuel, but emotionally I'm up. There are always times when you have doubts, at least I do. I find that having some music in my ears to distract me from the physical pains, I can reflect mentally on what I need to do to make it. I was tempted more than once to walk during the race, but having walked before in races, it tends to hurt more than continuing to run. So you keep running.

As soon as I saw the stadium, with the masts from the sailboats on the left, I couldn't help but smile inside and push through. One advantage to running a race from year to year is that you can instantly recall how close you are with certain landmarks. I knew I was there.

While I did have to navigate through some pedestrians, there were far less than last year. I can tell you that although my GPS time does not reflect a faster pace, the last two miles I felt like I was flying.

I rounded the corner into the stadium, through the metal gate in right field and charged up the warning track around to left field. I could see the time over the finish line: it hadn't crossed the 1:30 threshold yet. I wasn't taking any chances, and sprinted across the finish line. 1:29:48. Yes, it was barely under 1:30, but.......I did it.

I have yet to encounter a feeling like finishing a race, you just feel great. Finishing by completing a goal or meeting a set time that, just a short time ago, seemed outlandish is a tremendous feeling.

I took some time to catch my breath, went through the finish area to get some food and something to drink. This is where it would be awesome to have friends waiting. I can enjoy this moment on my own, but with friends, it's amazing.  I don't carry my phone with me, or a camera or anything, so I was pretty much isolated until I got to my bag at the bag check.

I took my time, and absorbed both the achievement, and being privileged enough to be allowed on the field of the Giants, who were both one season removed, and a short time away, from winning World Series trophies. I actually went around to the outfield walls and gave them a gentle pat, around the markers for the distance from home to the wall.

As the infield started filling up (yep, we were allowed on the field this year, pretty amazing!) I eventually made my way up the steps (yeah, had to climb steps after a 1/2 marathon..woot) to the concourse area. A short line for a free sports massage? YES PLEASE. My first ever sports massage was amazing. I told the woman who was doing it: You don't have to worry about anything but my lower back/hips, my hammies, and the calves. The rest will live ;)

Now, I may have been able to run faster, I don't know. I do feel like I felt a little too good after the race to have not run all out. I credit most of that to the euphoria of running a race that I never thought I would, let alone ever thought I would run at the speed I did.

My next steps of the day were: food and beer. I met up with my buddy Karl and had some good food, good beer, and bragged about how awesome I was.

After some time, I needed to make my way to the city, so I parted ways with Karl and headed to my pals place in Mission. We were getting ready for a 5k. Hahahahahaha. Yes. I ran a 5k at 4pm, just a few hours removed from my best 1/2 marathon.

I committed to the 5k before I realized it was on the same day as the Giant Race, and wasn't going to back out of it. I might have if I felt terrible, but since I had several hours to recover, I knew it would be fine. I wasn't going to race the 5k anyway, so I just ran a nice relaxed warm down from the 1/2.

All in all, it was one of the most amazing race day's I've had. I can tell you that the previous races were all great too, this one was just special because I had been working on it for so long.

Races to me, are like places I visit: whether on purpose or not, I tend to be happy wherever I am. I've raced in the bay area, Sacramento, Eugene, Portland, and Seattle. I have yet to have a bad experience. The people, the race conditions, the course, the finish, the friends...they all combine to make this running thing amazing.

I've been running steady now since August of 2011 and I'd be hard press to find a group of more supportive, encouraging, positive and talented people. My Giant Race experience is just some more icing on the cake: the course conditions were great, the timing of each race distance worked well for my pace, the course had a lot of fans and volunteers supporting the runners, the finish line was wide open and had a reasonable amount of food and refreshments, and hey....I got a Matt Cain runner bobblehead for finishing. Why else would you want to finish the race?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Kicked in the jimmy

In the big picture, I have bigger fish to fry from a blogging standpoint. I still haven't blogged about my amazing experience at the Giant Race in September (it's in the editing phase right now) and I haven't published a blog about my 450 consecutive days running (a pretty big deal in my world). I also earned my first medal in a race that wasn't a participation medal, that deserves a little chat too.

Today though, I think I'm just really frustrated with running.

I work really hard at it. I schedule much of my life around it. I've sacrificed aspects of my social life because of it. I've put my body through the ringer because of it. I've spent a good chunk of money on it.

This isn't a 'poor Gabriel' post, I don't feel sorry for myself. Everyone makes choices, I choose to be a runner. Before I ran, I wasn't as happy. I don't like working out in a gym, forget that. I am much better off because of my decision to start running.

Running has been hard for the last couple of months. I've experienced some mystery fatigue, some injuries, the flu, and have really hurt my marathon training. For the last two or three weeks, I've had a low grade headache off and on, as well as felt dehydrated. This despite removing caffeine and alcohol as a test for the last week (until this weekend). My paces are way off. Running my normal times take so much effort, let alone trying to drive my times down. In a previous life, I would have just said forget it.

I'm not in good shape right now, and it's really frustrating. I need to be in the best shape of my life. This is something I knew was coming, but only thought of it in the back of my mind. I was much more concerned with the plateau of proficiency or skill than I was with fighting through a tough training period.

I don't blame the run streak, though some I know would disagree. I stopped running when I was tired of managing multiple injuries and ailments, and realized I couldn't focus on my marathon training. Yep. I haven't posted about it yet, but I've told a number of people. I stopped running every day on February 22nd, at 450 days total. I started on Thanksgiving 2011.

I think I've reached the point of a blog post because I don't know how else to vent. I blab to some people in my run group, and they're gracious enough to listen. Truthfully, that's not enough credit.

They listen, the empathize, they suggest solutions. Mostly, they listen.

Forget being in shape. Forget losing the weight. Forget the great feeling that running gives you. The single best aspect of running is the community. The people I run with, near or far, local or virtual, are incredibly positive, encouraging, and supportive.

About yesterday.....I hate not running, particularly when I have a plan. Yesterday I planned on running 8 miles, 8 hard trail miles. 2 miles in, I wasn't having fun, but I was getting my work in. I came across a father, mother and their small child on a smaller portion of the trail, coming the opposite way, and as a courtesy, they shifted to their right and I shifted to my right.

In the process, I neglected to pick up my left foot all the way, and caught it on a rock. Maybe it was a tree root, or just a bump in the dirt. At any rate, I dove face first on the edge of the trail. Chewed up a bit of my left hand, and definitely did some superficial damage to my knee. It was a reasonably impressive scrape, causing some 'drippage' by the time I was done. It did hurt a bit, but not terribly (now it's a bit of a gooey mess).

I'm not unusual in the fact that I got up, dusted myself off, assured the family that I was ok, and continued walking in the direction of the trail I was on, gauging how I was going to continue. The thing about a scrape, is that it's not really an injury unless you're losing a lot of blood. I didn't sprain anything, nothing broke, so I gauged if the bruising was too much to go on, and it seemed ok. I really didn't have much choice anyway. I was on mile 2 of a 4 mile trail. I had to get back somehow.

Now, I planned on running 8 miles, looping this trail twice.

As I started running again, I was analyzing how I felt. I knew I would have an adrenaline rush from the fall, and I used it to get up what I consider the toughest part of the trail, the first mile of the last 1.5 miles. I started feeling really good, and was pretty positive I could make my second loop as planned.

This 4 mile run finishes downhill, which is great, but I am not a great downhill runner, and I was wearing a pair of socks that aren't really good when you have a bit of extra room in your shoes (a poor choice that I thought might affect the run, but I did it anyway). Suddenly I felt like I had a rock or some dirt in my shoe. I'll tell you, when you have this feeling, it's either a rock, or you're starting to get a blister.

Blisters have been very few and far between for me in my running, so I've been lucky.

I reached the split where I make the choice to either continue and loop the second time, or head back to the car, ending the run. I sat down, pulled my sock off, and unfortunately didn't find any dirt or a rock, so I figured it was the beginning of a blister. I cleaned out the sock the best I could, put it back on, and tried to run back up the hill as I had planned, reversing course on the trail for the second 4 miles. I realized quickly that I had to stop running.

I headed back to the car, pretty dejected. I absolutely hate not finishing a planned run. In the end, one of the lessons my friends in the run group have taught me, is that it's better to not finish one run, than hurt yourself and prevent running for multiple days until your injury has healed. So the decision was made.

Why did I digress to this story for so long? Well, it's really a microcosm of my experiences running for the last few months. I have good intentions, I go out and get the work going, then something little happens and it's done. No can do. Many times, it's my own poor choices that cause the problem.

I'm frustrated with running.

I know I love running though. You know why? There are VERY few things I will keep doing even when they piss me off, frustrate me, hurt me, and dispirit me.

When I was younger, getting out my practice pad and drumming away was this release for me. No matter how much I sucked at it, I enjoyed it. I just kept doing it. I was never very proficient, but I loved it so it didn't matter. Ok, it mattered some. The thing was, I knew there would always be someone who was better, so I just tried to make myself better. I enjoyed it.

Basketball was the same way for me, for a long time. Luckily, I was blessed with a 6'1" frame and some hops, so I enjoyed some advantages in that department. I could play till the cows came home, and often times I did. No real cows though, just darkness and the eventuality that my legs would stop working after so many hours playing.

Running is that for me now.

I derive a great amount of satisfaction from running. Without being the best. Without winning races. Without it being awesome all the time.

I've hit a pretty big bump in the road. It's hard. I'm about 56 days from attempting the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. Run 26.2 miles. All at once.

In the end, there are very few things in life that are all rosy and sweet all the time. In my life, more appropriately: not all things are amazing IPA's and other great craft beers, sometimes you have to drink the industrial lagers. You have to just find your way back to what you love, and enjoy it.

I'm looking for that right now. I feel like I've been kicked in the nuts repeatedly by running in recent months, but as my friend Derrick reminded me yesterday "it's how you pick yourself off the mat that really matters". Thanks buddy, I'm looking forward to bouncing back real soon.