Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Louis - Why am I still doing Angeles Crest 100

Why am I still doing the Angeles Crest 100 Endruance Run?  People often ask me that after I told people I am healing from a stress fracture.  And honestly, I have every reasons to not do it this year because everything seem to be against me.  I am healing from a fracture and I haven't been training the way that I want it.  I hardly DNF but I DNF on my second 50 milers that is supposed to be easier than Ray Miller.  I felt worst at mi 14 on Leona Divide than after I finish running 50 miles at Ray Miller (I actually felt great, I was just cold).  Not only am I hurt physically, I am not all there mentally.  It seems like I am setting up myself for failure.  Everything seem to fell apart.  I was a mess in May.

And I guess me not being good at things helped.  I am not fast, but I am persistent.  It's fine if I don't finish Angeles Crest 100 because of this injury, but it is not fine if I don't try.  As Coach Jimmy remind me during my trainings.  Work on your low points, it's important to learn how to get out of it.  And that's what I did.  I decided to dig myself out of this hole.... this very big hole.  From my Ironman days, I learned something important from Coach Paul and Rad.  They told me things will go wrong, and your success is based on how you deal with your problems.  Some argue that I got myself in this position to begin with, but who hasn't.  We often don't learn from text book, we learn from experience.  Instead of curling up into a ball and hide in the corner, I want to do something about it.

I started to work on Coach Jimmy and my doctor to come up with a plan.  Doctor said no running for a month, so I stopped running for a month.  I gave up running the Mt Wilson Trail Race so I can focus on healing.  I started biking a lot during that one month to keep up with my fitness.  And yes, I swam a few times as well.  Because I may not be able to run for a long time, I bought a lot of map to study the course (good thing I know how to read map!).  And I spend a lot of time working with my crew to make sure they know how to crew me.  When I come in to the aid station, they will have my nurtition ready based on my note, fix any problems I tell them and they will tell me about the next sections.  My pacers know where they are going and they know what's in my drop bag, and exactly what to do when I ask them to do something.  They are going to be one of the most capable crew out there.  I cannot race hard, so I race smart.  Instead of focusing what I cannot do (running), I focus on what I can do (planning).

I also spent a lot time gluing myself back together in May so I can start training.  I know that if I am not mentally there, I will not finish Angeles Crest 100.  I learned to be very focused.

Even since I got the clear to hike three weeks ago, I started hiking the course like a mad man.  I covered almost 85 miles of the course and I will finish the rest in the next few weeks.  I also got some speed walking tips from Coach Pete (He is a walking coach in SGV TNT) so I started speed walking as well.

I am going to start running soon and I am eager to do so... I did a few short runs (like really short) and everything seems good.

Sometime life does not go the way we want, but we have the power to change it.  I learned many things with my injuries and I will not have it any other way. Treasure the good, learn from the bad.  I don't want to let my injuries define who I am, I want to learn from it.

Some people told me they are broken for whatever reasons.  I want to tell people that you can glue yourself back together if you want to.  Don't let your past define who you are.

Funny people think I like to suffer. I do not.  However, I grow and learn more about myself when I do this kind of endurance events. It's like a monk getting enlighted sitting under a water fall kind of deal.  I just run.  I wouldn't be who I am without doing all these races.

If anything, I became a tougher person since May and that's a good thing already.  I found the goal-driven me that I didn't know I have.

I am going to be at the Angeles Crest 100 starting line.  What I lack in training I will make up with my heart and my soul... and being smart.  But I can tell you, I am going to keep moving until someone cut me off.  I know I have a chance.

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