Saturday, January 30, 2010

People of Earth

Well maybe that is a little too broad of a title. How about I focus on the 17 people who read this blog! Ok, it has been awhile since my epic failure at Javelina. My lack of posting hasn't been due to anything other than me not knowing what my future in running is and not wanting to jump the gun till I figured that out. Obviously Javelina didn't go too well (DNF at 48 miles). Here is the short version of that race.

I ran what I thought was a very comfortable, sustainable pace for the first 2 loops and mixed in walking as I had planned (approx 1-2 minutes of walking every 20 - 30 minutes). I ran a good bit with Jorge Pacheco and eventual winner David James. David's overall great attitude and excitement about all things running provided a stark contrast to my own sort of blah attitude and in the end I was very happy to see him hold on for a nice win and CR. My left hamstring began hurting right at 3HR which has become customary. Looking back at my last 100 (2007 Heartland) it didn't hurt anymore than that day but I have just become unwilling to put up with it. Also, I was reluctant to take the amounts of Ibuprofen I've had to take in previous long races to keep it under control and just decided I was not having fun and ready for something new.

Now 3 months later, that feeling persists so I can say with confidence that I'm retired from ultraracing, if that is a word. I will still do the LT100 each year till I get my 11 year shiny Bowling jacket, but beyond that it is time to move on. I just signed up for the LT100 Bike ride and will find out in a week if I get in. Being able to "retire" yet still run a few ultras a year illustrates one of the great things about our sport, compared to say Football. I'm very lucky to have picked a sport that I can do forever even if I'm not up front battling it out for the win.

As for this blog, if nothing else I've proven I have no business writing a blog! My postings have become less and less frequent as most of my online energy is directed towards my furniture and coaching websites. So, I will transfer over to the coaching site any info from here that might be considered useful and any new articles I write about running-related topics will be posted there.

Similarly, any furniture-related info (the Wood in this blog's title) will be posted on my furniture site.

Thanks and feel free to friend me on Facebook which is where I try to post photos from our weekly CRUD runs.

See you out on the trails,
Paul

40 comments:

David said...

With all your experience and the vibe you put off that seems to motivate others, maybe race directing could be in your future as well...? Colorado Springs/Manitou Springs needs an ultra. How about a Fall Ring-The-Peak 100K beginning and ending in the big field in front of Rock Ledge Ranch/Garden of the Gods along 30th Street? This would be a unique course (running around America's mountain), a somewhat unique distance, and one of the most beautiful out there (Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods...

Laurel said...

Count me amoung those that will be following your coaching and working sites. Thanks for helping me out through my ultrarunning burnout year. Believe it or not, you really gave me a lot of help during that time!

Brett said...

Well most importantly, always do whatever it is that makes you happy and healthy...whether that is running or not.

crowther said...

It's been fun following you for a while. Good luck with the coaching and so forth.

jhalekas said...

Paul,

You've had quite an ultra career, and have plenty of laurels to rest on. I hope you feel that you're ending it on your own terms. Dealing with injuries can be frustrating and draining, basically sucking all the fun out of the sport. I sympathize since I've dealt with similarly persistent issues off and on for the last few years, and have definitely also been considering "officially" retiring as the current 7+ month layoff continues.

-Jasper

Paul DeWitt said...

Thanks for all the nice comments.

David - yes you may be onto something, though if so it will be a CRUD organized race rather than a Paul organized race! I know how much work it takes and we have a lot of good experience in the group. The 100K you mentioned has certainly been talked about some and hopefully will come to pass one day!

Laurel - thanks so much and I really enjoyed working with you. You are a tough New Englander!

Jasper - I'm sorry to hear that you too are dealing with the injuries still. I actually struggled with the whole idea of "announcing" my retirement as it seems a little egotistical. People start and stop racing all the time and why should my stopping warrant mention? But a personal blog by nature involves a certain amount of navel-gazing!

Anyway, I do feel my retirement is on my own terms. Meaning I am stopping racing while I can still do what I love the most which is running a few times a week with my friends and doing the occasional event (note they are now events and not races!).

I had several MRIs done awhile back and I have quite a bit of damage in my hips/groin area and was told I basically have x amount of miles of pounding left. I'd like to spread those remaining miles out over as long as possible!

I went to lunch today with a few old running buddies and was asked what my biggest regret was and I said I don't have many, but what came to mind was never running a flat/fast 50 like Greg's JFK. But I hope we all have some such regrets as they mean we set our goals high and simply didn't achieve all of them. Nothing wrong with that. Two of my fondest running memories don't even involve wins but rather our Vasque trip to Japan, and a 1500 in college in which I was dead-last but set my PR and got to be in the same race with several Olympians!

- paul

brownie said...

You're the only coach whose runners are so bad they cross the line first and still lose!

There's been talk at the PPRR board meetings about a Ring the Peak ultra. Right now I think everybody is waiting on CS Utilities to open some area on the south slope. Could be a while...

Marco Peinado said...

Paul,
I am sure you have been an inspiration to many runner out there, me included. As a teenager I was lucky enough to see your two victories at LT100. Even today I am inspired by those performances, specially 2004. Have fun running and racing even now that you are 'retired'. Good luck with your furniture as well. Next time I see you in Leadville I will make sure to stop and talk to you.

crunningman said...

I am friends with someone you coach in Michigan. She has made great strides. I for one have followed you for years. We've never met, but crossed paths a few times going over Hope Pass during the Leadville Trail 100M (2006/2007). I can only imagine what it takes to stay at the top mentally/physically. You are still one of the best in my opinion. Who knows, maybe you heal your mind/body and come back stronger when you are a Masters Runner. Aside from that, may you enjoy the trail. -cr

Dave Putney said...

You've been an inspiration to me, and I've enjoyed the hell out of the blog posts, etc...
I'll be checking out the facebook posts of your CRUD runs, the photos are great. Keep in touch and as another post said, staying healthy and happy is the key!

Dave

Brett said...

I ran 'with' your Dad and brother-in-law at the Gator Trail 50k last weekend. I use the term 'with' lightly as after the first lap I never saw them again! Your dad looks better at 60 than I did at 30!

Paul DeWitt said...

Hi Brett - thanks for the comment and congrats on doing that 50K. I need to get back into shape since I will be running Leadville this summer with Matt (brother-in-law)! I've told him it shouldn't be much harder than Gator Trail - we'll see!
Take care,
Paul

Brett said...

Hey Paul, saw Matt Willis and your Dad will be at SJS50 in a few weeks. I am travelling out to do that race too. The current starters list has someone from South Carolina (me), a few from North Carolina, and several from Georgia...lots of people from the southeast/flatlands/sea level ready to be tossed into the buzzsaw.

I look forward to seeing them there and running with them for the first 100 yards or so before they are gone. :)

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