Fitting it In...
Dean Dougherty at 7 months old!
I'd sacrifice a run any day to hang out and build some Lincoln Log mansions with Dean or chew on some wooden blocks (sometimes allowing Dean to play as well), knock some cars around the play room and rock out to some good tunes while he dry humps the obnoxious plastic toy he uses to stabilize his wobbly legs. So while being a father comes with its sacrifices, you sure do learn a lot. Here are a few things I wish someone had pointed out to me for a fair warning:
1) Baby clothes are designed to make it as difficult as possible to get the kid in the outfit. They come with 200 buttons instead of a single zipper. I'm not sure why, but everything has buttons. So without fail...the diaper is showing somehow despite it being a "onesie" and once again I didn't line up the stupid buttons. Dumb...I'll take full zippers until 5 years old please. In fact, lets just make all outfits come with zippers. Thanks.
2) Why are the head holes so dang small on so many outfits? Some have buttons on the back of the neck to let the head get through but even though the rest of the outfit fits Dean I feel like getting a shirt off his body is like pulling a golf ball through a garden hose. And I think he feels the same way sometimes....
3) I watched the movie "The Changeup" with my Man Crush Jason Bateman and scoffed at the ridiculousness of the poop and pee scenes. I'm not scoffing anymore. I haven't had this much urine on me since '99. A baby boy with a diaper off is like a loaded weapon without a safety. That thing can go off when you least expect it. I've used a variety of objects to block it. I've since learned my lesson but there were many a day where I was left totally baffled at what just happened. Like the time before he could move around I went around the kitchen counter to grab a diaper. I turned my head, bent down into the drawer, grabbed a diaper...
...and there it was...
...a beautiful Fountain of Urine shooting straight up in a perfect little arc onto the floor. Normally funny in of itself until I walked over in a haste and realized that the perfect little arc was creating a puddle of urine directly on my cell phone.
So now I talk on the phone and think of Dean.
4) Don't play rough. I'm not a coddler. So I tend to be a little rougher with Dean than my wife is and it's certainly backfired in the early days. I've always dreamed of being that dad with his son on his shoulders at the county fair or wherever, so I was excited to first try it when Dean was strong enough in the neck to not go limp and fall off my shoulders into a pile. So after I hit his head on a few light fixtures we worked out the kinks in what should be a pretty simple task of walking around the house. As time went on Dean got stronger and we'd run around the living room. I'd grab him and flip him around and then just like that I had four ounces of spit up filling up the cavity of my ear drum.
And Dean would just smile like he just hit a home run to win the game.
And I wouldn't even care.
The Law of the Land - Zane Grey 50M Countdown
Less than three months away from my 3rd running of the Zane Grey 50M race in Pine, Arizona. I've written on here before that I'm determined to hit sub 10 hours at this race, a time that is far about and beyond anything I've done before (it would be a 2:24 PR, as in 2 hours and 24 minutes) on this course but something I feel I'm fully capable of doing.
So I will.
To get there I'm certainly pushing the envelope on what I've done before in training.
As in...I'm training.
I have a scheduled workout plan each week and I've now gone to track workouts four straight weeks. Insignificant to many but given I've been to the track maybe four times in five years...it's significant to me. They've been tough workouts but the sustained high pace each week will definitely make me stronger, and faster, as a runner.
I'm putting in what would be "low" miles for many an ultrarunner but a steady investment in time and energy for me. I've hit 60 miles a week once before (without a race) and only done back to back weeks of 50 miles once before. I trained for my first hundred with one 50 mile week and a ton of really hard 50k-50m races or training runs. It's worked but I've never been one to be up front.
That will have to change at Zane Grey. In the 23 years the race has been around, only 82 times has the course been run in 9:59:59 or faster. It's been a sell out for several straight years and while it was a very small race the first several years, it's still been a lot of times out there so sub ten hours is aggressive. Only six runners out of 126 starters broke ten hours in 2012. Karl Meltzer ran 9:25 and that was 3rd place. This year is packed with even more fast men and women than previous years, a group of two dozen that have run that fast before at tough races.
But I don't care about any of them. At all.
In fact, I don't care at all about what place I end up in. Just finishing and then breaking 9:59:59. It has nothing to do with ego and everything to do with setting a goal, and reaching that goal.
Any goal worth reaching easily wasn't a goal worth setting in the first place. This is going to be hard and I'm going to have to work to get there.
"Run when you don't want to, walk when you can't."
I was thinking about this out on the trails on Saturday at South Mountain. I run almost all my long runs with someone else, mainly for the company and to pass the time on the trails. This past weeekend I wanted to go out and put in a four hour run with a ton of climbing. There were many times I didn't want to run but knew I needed to and would starting jogging back up the hill. After a while I looked down and realized I just ran the last 2 miles without stopping and climbing 1200 feet. And I started to believe I could do this.
I started running ultras four years ago and my brother in law said to me,
"Run when you can, walk when you can't." - Brett Addington
It was sage advice I took and used at every training run and race for the next three years. Yet, a couple weeks ago on our monthly Bell Pass Out N' Back 8 Mile friendly race I had a new theory as I trudged up at a steady jog the 1,800 feet in the couple miles to Bell Pass. I was running what I for years was walking, and I was running it hard. I didn't want to, I knew I didn't want to, I knew I wanted to walk, power hike this section and settle in to the top.
But I didn't and I kept running. So something changed for me and I started thinking;
"Run when you don't want to, walk when you can't."
So I'm going to keep running, even when I don't want to, until I get to that finish line at Trail head 260.
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