Monday, October 28, 2013

The Light at the end of the Tunnel

I've been dealing with Plantar Fasciitis since mid June. I kept running with some discomfort for a month before shutting down the running and sought treatment. I ended up going to my chiropractor for three sessions with Soundwave Therapy (EPAT), one orthopedic massage, and a couple of acupuncture sessions. I had also been wearing heel seats in my shoes everywhere I go, which have helped. Although I can still feel some stiffness in the morning, there is very little discomfort left, especially during my runs or a friendly game of tennis. I finally see some light at the end of the tunnel!

So now, its time to start rebuilding my base and to start planning my racing for 2014! And there are so many options to choose from. Here are some races I am considering.  The Bandera 100K in January and Rocky Raccoon 50 in February sound like lots of fun! But I can probably choose only one, and on my limited training, the Rocky Raccoon race seems to be the safest race. The Bandera 100K sounds like a really tough race! Going into that race with minimal training is crazy! Crazy races also make things more interesting and adventurous though. Luckily both races will not sell out too quickly (if at all), so I have some time to train and decide later on which race to run. There is also the Miwok 100K in May (if I get in via lottery), the American River 50 in April, and the Western States 100 (which is unlikely but still possible)!

The Western States 100 Mile race is still my dream race. It also scares the heck out of me. It is the granddaddy of ultras, and it is a beast! If I do get in, I'll probably have to hire a coach to help me train and to hold me accountable to the training necessary for success at that monster of a race. Honestly though, I hope I don't get in for the 2014 race. My kids are still too young (2 and 6) for me to disappear for all those long training runs. I could probably do it, but I'd feel guilty for leaving my wife and kids to chase a dream that can probably wait a few years. Since I qualified for the race with my Rocky Raccoon finish, I feel like I owe it to myself to at least throw my name in the lottery hat. You never know...

On Saturday, I ran 7 trail miles with 2400 feet of elevation gain, and I followed that up with another 6.65 miles and 2200 feel of gain on Sunday (while my eldest daughter was taking a tennis lesson). Both runs took me to a scenic peak, where the views are always pretty amazing. Ultra running is like climbing peaks. Going up, it doesn't matter whether you are running or hiking (although its always impressive to see someone running up a steep incline). The object of the game is not to go fast. With so much variation in terrain and climates, the goal is simply to reach a peak (or finish line), and to overcome the obstacles along the way. And at that peak, when you worked hard to get there, the panoramic views just seem so much sweeter and more breathtaking.

 This is "Mission Peak" in Fremont, CA. Its one of the more popular local hikes in the San Franciso Bay Area. And it got really windy and cold up there!

 This is the view at a peak in Alum Rock Park in San Jose, CA. This is where I log most of my train miles.


  1. I didn't know you were still dealing with PF. So glad it is getting better for you.
    There is some serious elevation change on your trails there! Loved the photos. What a reward!

  2. Glad to hear things are getting better. Remember, you are going to need a 100 k qual (or longer) for Western 2015... I have a feeling 100 k's that weren't selling out before might be selling out now...