Saturday, June 18, 2011

I hope I become a 73 year old butt kicker!

I am six weeks away from the San Francisco Marathon.  Today, I decided to put a little extra effort into the run and see what I could do if I pushed it a bit.  It was a solid outing.  I ran the same exact trail that I ran last week (a little over 25 miles) in 4:15 in a pretty decent 3:46!  I nearly shaved a half hour off of my lazy time from last week.  I am happy with a 3:46 on tough trails that forced me to a near walk 6-7 times.

The coolest part as I was huffing and puffing up a nearly 1,000 foot tall rock was bumping into an older guy in compression socks, dirty girls (wraps you put around your shoes to keep gravel and dirt out on trails) and an Ironman hat.  I was coming up behind him, but not too quickly.  And as is the habit of most repectable trail runners, The Old Guy pulled off the side of the trail to give me the right of way since it was a single track and I was a tad faster. 

I laughed, thanked him and told him he did not have to do that as he would have probably beat me up the hill anyways.  Well, we got to talking and in the process I got a small humility lesson.  He was like "Hey, I see your Ironman tatoo, which one did you do?"  Me - feeling oh so smug.."I have done 9 or so, Florida, Arizona, Louisville and the Duke Iron Devil."

He seemed duly impressed.  In retrospect that was my imagination.

"What are you training for now?", he asked.

I always hesitate when I answer that question.  I hate lieing about what I am training for.  Yet, I hesitate because I guess people would not believe me, or think I am some kind of crazed lunatic.  (I prefer people to get to know me better before they come to the conclusion, without doubt, that I am some kind of crazy person.)

"Believe it our not, I am training to run across the country.  It is my second try at it.  My first attempt ended with an injury 500 miles in. 

We talked a little about my first run and the second in planning.  Changing the subject I asked...

"What about you?  Are you training for anything?" 

I was not prepared to meet up with my future self (if all my goals are made)....

"Well, I am 73 (73!!!  Running up a real hard trail like a mountain goat!!!) and I have completed 34 Ironman races including 16 in Kona.  Not sure what I am going to do next."

Me in awe.  "WOW!  Congrats!  When was your last one? (expecting to hear 1968 or something)

"Last year (making him 73-1...72!) in St. George, I had a little trouble...but I will get back there"  

We chatted a little more about his endurance racing career, shook hands and I moved on....

As I ran down the other side of the hill, I felt like a smart assed little whipper snapper for dropping the "9 Ironmen" on him.   34 completions for him and 16 of the races at Kona!  Those are superstar numbers.  Now, 73 running up a hard trail barely slower than me....

I hope I can do what this guy is doing at 73!!!

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