I have to be honest that sometimes it can be tough out there training or racing but then if it was not a challenge, then it would be easy to achieve a goal. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy running but sometimes it can hurt and you suffer. But you come out the other side and all the hardship is worth it.
So why all this talk about hardship, pain and suffering. Well that's because this past weekend was not easy but it was fun and it gave me some great lessons to move on with.
This Saturday just passed I took part in a Spartan Race at Mount Seymour in North Vancouver. I will be open and honest here; I did no obstacle training whatsoever and that was a big mistake! Sometimes I just go with the flow and fly by the seat of my pants.
Some people have training plans and are very meticulous with training, kit and nutrition. I have always gone by how I feel and what I feel, I need to do for training. It is an approach that has worked in the past, when I ran marathons, half marathons, 10k's and my 50k this year and so I stuck with it.
With the Spartan Race there was a lot of upper body work like going over walls, cargo nets, monkey bars, moving sand bags, going under barb wire. In all there were 23 obstacles and so it was a hard work out for sure, and somewhere along the course I strained my shoulder.
My shoulder didn't give me too much grief immediately and I think that was the adrenaline of the race. Later that day it was giving me grief, and Randi suggested maybe I shouldn't do my long run in Squamish the next day. I'm a runner though and I thought I would be fine and could run through it.
Sunday morning rolled around and my shoulder was super sore, but I was damned if I was going to miss out on my run. The run started and it hurt a lot, but I gritted my teeth and kept going. The only thing is, I was concentrating on the pain and missed a marker, and I took the wrong turn and did 5k extra than everyone else.
It was a hot day and it was 32, maybe 33 out on the trails, and so heat, pain and extra distance all added up to the suffering. In fact it was so hot, I ended up one point bonking. Bonking is what runners call it when you just run out of power. I stopped and ate and drank and managed to get myself going again.
I did manage a 3rd in my age group for the Spartan race and even through my run on Sunday was tough, I still managed a reasonable time, and I know I can push myself really hard and I know that's what I need for my 50miler.