Monday, April 20, 2009

The Turning Point


For the past five years I have been lucky enough to gain entry into Western States. In 2004 I got in through the lottery and since then I've "earned" my way in through top-10 finishes. What all this has meant, aside from total obsession with the race, is that much of my life has been designed around training for the event. Even last year, when it was canceled, my spring was totally dominated by the Race.

In the past few years I have noticed a pattern in all this. Come around Patriot's Day my body, mind, and even, dare I say, my spirit, undergoes a Turning Point. It's a bit like that point when your body goes anaerobic on a speed session or that moment you switch over to fat burning in the glycogen depletion phase of the training cycle, you can't really explain why it's happening but you know it when it does. It's a full life experience and one which I love. There are also several tell-tale signs that the Turning Point has been reached. In no particular order here are the top-6:

1. No matter how hard I try I cannot stay awake past 10:00PM, ever...
2. Every time I walk up stairs I feel an eerily pleasant aching in my legs that makes me want to go back down the stairs to feel it again
3. I drive my family crazy because even though winter is over I still keep the heat on in my car while it's 80 degrees outside.
4. I dream about the descent into El Dorado Canyon and the climb up to Green Gate.
5. I check the long, long, long range forecast for Auburn, CA attempting to gain any insight into the weather patterns hoping that by race day it will be 110 at Placer High School
6. In planning my daily runs I try to see how much downhill I can get to trash my quads while still working hard

There may be more but if this post is any indication, I've reached my Turning Point for this year. Have you reached yours?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

i wake up from dreams where i am running on the course and i can smell manzanita and sun tan lotion. Then, i try like hell to go back to sleep so i can go back to that place...

i try on sunglasses and i assess whether they will be any good at keeping the little bugs out of my eyes on the trek up devils thumb.

MonkeyBoy

Anonymous said...

I've quit drinking beer...
-CB

AJW said...

CB,

Now that is taking it to the extreme!

AJW

GZ said...

I was going to post that I quit drinking beer too. It is true. But it helps. It represents a focus more than anything ... and seems to drive other behaviors in diet, training, etc.

I do other stuff too that is "stupid" ... park at the far end of a parking lot to get in a little more distance for example.

Craig Thornley said...

Air conditioners are a no-no from now until June 28.

@CB - No more beer? Geeze, is the race that important? Wine too?

azspeedgoat said...

100 degrees here in Phx today. That is my turning point. Ran at 5 am this morning and it was already heating up. Another turning point is my wife rolled her eyes last night when I said I wanted to watch my WS 2007 video...again. Obsess much????

saschasdad said...

I finally start making the trip every 2 weeks to get hammered by Rooster Rock. It sucks.

Paul Charteris said...

My inner thighs turn from convex (i.e. bulging fat) to concave.

My Western States dreams have not started yet - I think they began in May last year and got really crazy when I was at altitude.

Cheers, Paul

Grae Van Hooser said...

1.No A/C in the car and windows rolled up,which results in me showing up to work and home with sweat stains on my shirt. I tell everyone I'm having thyroid issues.
2.I increase the amount of clothing I wear running in the Spring while my friend's wear less.
3.As the temperature goes up in the Spring I give away or donate all my short sleeve tech shirts I got at races, while checking to see if I have enough long sleeved shirts for every run.

Anonymous said...

hello. i was looking at this hammer i have had for a few years. its small and wooden, with a metal head. inside the metal is carved "AJW". i googled it and i found you. is it yours? if it is then comment back and il give you my email adress.

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