Bucket List

The idea of the Naked Run is alive and well. I even have a few tentative dates picked out. If you get Trail Runner Magazine, you know that running naked is one of the things in an article about a Bucket List for trail runners that was published several months ago. I've had a few conversations with friends recently about Bucket Lists, some before I die, some before I turn 30. Either way, it inspired me to put together an athletic Bucket List and also put together a list a things that I have done, purposefully or not.

Some of the things will be easy to accomplish and some may be pipe dreams, but either way they make the list. I hope to keep this list and update it every year. If nothing else, it will keep me motivated to try new things and continue to get outside my comfort zone. So, here it is:
Sam's Bucket List 2010
  • Run naked!
  • Race in Vibrams
  • Sprint triathlon barefoot (shoes on the bike, of course)
  • Average 20+mph in a 70.3 race
  • Qualify for Clearwater (Yikes! It's in print!)
  • Ironman distance race
  • Pace/crew for a friend in a 100 mi race
  • Adventure race
  • Run a marathon (seems a little silly, but oh well)
  • Climb barefoot
  • Get certified in lead-climbing
  • On-site a V4 problem
  • Learn to snowboard
  • Learn to surf
  • Snowshoe
  • Scuba dive somewhere warm
  • Polar plunge somewhere cold

As I was compiling this list, I realized a lot of these are built off of other goals I already achieved. So here are some of the things I achieved on purpose:

  • Triathlons up to 70.3 distance
  • 3rd place AG in a sprint
  • Ultra marathons up to 50 mi (but no marathon)
  • Century ride
  • Belay certified for climbing
  • Finished a V4, on-sited a V3
  • Outdoor bouldering (climbing w/out a harness, less than 25 feet)
  • Wake boarding, water skiing, snow skiing
  • Open water kayaking (with alligators, no less)
  • Canoe racing (concrete canoe and regular, won most races)

And here are some things I did but not quite on purpose:

  • Dumped a canoe in the Missippi in February
  • Lost my bottoms wake boarding (tie-on suits are not a good choice)
  • Crashed a 4-wheeler (the 4-wheeler won)
  • Hit in the chest by a golf ball on the fly (no wonder there are no golf-related goals)

This year, I'm hoping to knock a few of those things off my list. Yes, I think the naked running will be the first one achieved. For each goal I accomplish, I plan to add one more to the list. I don't think the point of a bucket list is to ever finish it. I think the point is to always have a list. But I don't see naked bike riding in my future. :)


What an exciting life...

John is on his way home as I type, so I spent my Friday evening...(drum roll please)...spinning in the garage. Just me, Thelma, and Troy Jacobsen. Oh, the exciting life of a triathlete!


Is it spring yet?

Has anyone else thought this has been an unusually crappy winter? Normal, the Wisconsinite in me would be embarrassed to complain about winter in KC, but even my dad said it has been a crappy winter. And if a 60 year old dairy farmer is complaining about the winter, it is worth complaining about.

KM and I have started doing speed work in the mornings again. Today we had to change our workout from 400m intervals to 800 m intervals due to ice on the trail. It is impossible to successfully run 400s at 5:15 in the morning with patchy ice on the trail. With 800s, at least our pace was a little slower.

I've been riding in the garage all winter and even with the heater on, I need two pairs of sock and lightweight tights. I usually start with a hat on and toss it once I've warmed up. My bike has only been on the road once since November.

Luckily swimming isn't affected by the weather since they keep the pool at a toasty 84 degrees. Although, I haven't been to the pool in a while due to travelling and a birthday-related hangover. But the impromptu Grease duet by two of my friends at a dive bar was well worth it.

Tomorrow it's supposed to be sunny and hit 40 degrees. Assuming I can get home at a decent time, I'm going to try to ride outside. At this point, 40s and sunny practically feel like summer. Hmm, that reminds me. I vaguely remember an alcohol-fueled conversation on my birthday about a naked night run sometime in April or May. That is something that I have on my list of things I want to do someday. More on that to come...


Rocky and Reflection

Texas was not as warm as I hoped. But the sun was out and I was not one of the 700+ lunatics outs there running 50 or 100 miles. I mean lunatics with nothing but love and respect.

I was in Huntsville to crew John in the 50 and pace/crew JB in the 100. Besides me, there was Ban Ben, Sophia, Rob and Ian to help crew and pace the runners from KC. Danny and his family were also part of the fray.

Danny and JB ran the first 2 loops together. Unfortunately, blisters got the best of Jenn and she dropped at 60. I wish I could show you pictures. It took 2 medics over an hour to lance her blisters and tape her feet at mile 55, just so she could make it back to the start/finish. Danny had troubles of his own and dropped at 75.

John didn't escape unscathed. What he thought was water turned out to be banana-flavored HEED and caused some GI issues. HEED be damned, he finished in 8:45, a 26 minute PR.

I was glad to help where I could and I met a few very interesting characters. But overall, I think it was a rough race for all the runners. There is no such thing as an easy ultra.
With the race and the recent passing of my birthday, I've been reflecting on racing and life in general. While waiting for John to come in at lap 2, I overheard a conversation about a bad-ass ultra runner. Several years ago, she fell before mile 40, breaking her nose and cracking some bones in her wrist. She got up and finished well, still covered in blood. While I am awed by the people who can do this and I have great respect for those who can consistently run 100 mile races, I don't think that is me. Heartland put me in a world of hurt and the benefits of that race didn't outweigh the costs and sacrifices.
The morning after dropping, JB stated if you are going to do ultras, you have to love every minute of the training. Because there are so many unknowns on race day, and the races last so long, that there will always be a good chance you won't finish. If finishing is the only thing you enjoy, ultras may not be that rewarding. I agree with her. To be honest, I think crewing was more rewarding that racing. I hope to keep crewing and pacing for my crazy friends.
As I get older, I will probably go back to ultras. But I am well aware that going long can wait and going fast will expire. Triathlon training keeps me interested, keeps me focused, and keeps my body happy. The training that is required for ultras has proved to be more punishing for me. Besides that, I like to race. I like to go fast. And ultras just don't provide that competitive high that triathlons do. I'm sticking to my current plan of focusing on triathlons and shorter running races this year. I still may do a 50k this fall, but I'm going to leave the 50s and 100s to the "professionals".
There is a quote you hear ultra runners say all the time. "If you have to ask why, you won't understand." I get it. I know why. But I am not at a point in life where ultras are the answer. Yet.


Off to Rocky!

I'm leaving in less than an hour for the airport. Here's hoping the snow in Kansas City doesn't cause too much of a delay!

See you in Tejas!


January's a Wrap

As much as I hate January, it was a good month. I finally uploaded more info into the GarminConnect site and my January calendar looks impressive. I totaled 34 workouts, my biggest week being 9 hours. This weeks works out well as a recovery week/mini taper for pacing at Rocky Raccoon this weekend. I had a little random stomach issue on Monday, but hopefully that is clear and Saturday and Sunday will be smooth running.

John is ready for the 50 and JB is ready for the 100. I'm excited - I've never been a part of a 100 mile race and I know a few other runners that will be there. And I haven't had any foot problems (knock on wood) and with my last month of training, I feel confident running from mile 60-80 with JB won't be a problem for me. I'm more worried about having enough stories to keep her distracted.

It's an easy week and I'll be packing tomorrow. The extra sleep and energy from the last few days has been a welcome change. Once we're back, I'm looking forward to hitting it hard again and adding bricks into my usual weekend routine. I'm looking to kick some ass at NOLA!