Monday, April 9, 2012

Week Ending 4/8

This was not a good week at all. On Wednesday night we had to make the horribly tough decision to put our beloved dog, Sophie, down. A "60-pound brown dog," as we often described her, Sophie was with us for 13 years and brought so much love and happiness to our lives. We (read: Anne) got her from the local shelter in January of 1999, when we were living in Raleigh, North Carolina. At the time, Anne was in her third year of veterinary school at NC State University, and I was about seven months into my first job out of graduate school--making a meager living and taking up residence in a grubby duplex near the trendy Five Points area in Raleigh. Sophie was with us through relocations to Indiana, Ohio and Colorado and was there when we welcomed our son, Noah, into the world in 2008. In her younger years, she loved chasing rabbits, running through grassy fields and going on vacations. Even in the end she loved going on walks and spending time with the family. In the final days, her mind took a turn for the worse, but even then she was still a loving dog, often wagging her tail and greeting us at the door when we came home. To say that Anne and I were and still are devastated over the loss of our "Little Girl," as we called her, would be an understatement.
I miss you, Sophie.
And so the quality and volume of my training last week was not good. I had very little motivation and didn't enjoy running at all, as I was hurting badly deep down. My heart was broken and I'm only now beginning to come to grips with the fact that our beloved Sophie is gone and it's time to move on. Anyone who's had a dog understands what I'm saying here.

As far as training week specifics, I ran 66.2 miles and cycled about 10. That includes about 15 minutes of barefoot running. Zero quality. That brings my year-to-date running mileage to 870.5. My goal this week is to get back to quality, with some track work, a good tempo run and a decent climb, too. My first track workout of the year will be on Tuesday morning and will likely involve 2x1600 and 2x800. If I'm feeling good after that second 1600, I may add a third. We'll see. Planned schedule:

Monday - Super easy
Tuesday - Track - 2x1600 and 2x800
Wednesday - Easy
Thursday - Tempo run
Friday - Easy - two runs
Saturday - Long road
Sunday - Long trail


My first race of 2012, the Cheyenne Mountain 50K, is in three weeks (April 28). I'd like a good effort there, so I'll probably do a one-week taper. I did Cheyenne last year as a training run and had a nice time despite chilly temps. Then three weeks after that is the Colfax Marathon (May 20), for which I'm still questionable. If I do Colfax, which is in Denver, I would have one goal: to break 3 hours. This will not be an easy goal as the Colfax Marathon is run at 5,280 feet. Maybe it's a coincidence, but in 2008 and 2009 I ran spring road marathons, breaking three hours each time, and then went on to have really solid 100-mile performances soon after (4th overall at the 2008 Mohican 100 and 1st overall at the 2009 Mohican 100). Whatever the case, I'm going to stick with track and tempo running all summer long and see where it takes me at the Leadville 100.

I was thinking the other day about the best best races I've ever had. These come to mind (in no particular order):
  • 5th overall with a 3:46 - 2009 JC Stone 50K (road race) (tentatively planning to do the JC Stone again in 2013)
  • 5th overall with a 4:14 - 2010 Greenland Trail 50K (moved to Colorado 3 weeks earlier)
  • 1st overall with a 19:52 - 2009 Mohican 100 (very hot and muggy that day)
  • 9th overall with 130.67 miles - 2009 24-Hour National Championship (stout competition)
  • 33rd overall with a 2:58 - 2008 Cleveland Marathon
  • 1st overall with a 4:36 - 2008 Winter Buckeye Trail 50K (led from the first footstep)
  • 7th overall with a 4:41 - 2007 Buckeye Trail 50K
  • 4th overall with a 17:39 - 2009 Aurora Labor Day Classic 5K
  • 2nd overall with a 17:45 - 2008 Aurora Labor Day Classic 5K
  • 8th overall with a 1:22 - 2008 Spring Classic 1/2 Marathon
  • 5th overall with a 4:49 - 2009 Forget the PR Mohican 50K (104-mile week)


  1. Really sorry to hear about the dog - you've got my sympathies.

  2. Big time dog dude over here man and I get it. I am sorry for your loss.

  3. Dogs are definitely one of the family. They become part of you, really. Anyone who has a heart can understand that one. It is a huge loss for you. Understandable to be feeling the way you right now. The memories are lasting.

  4. I am the final aid station captain at your race. Party on!

  5. Wyatt, I'm so sorry to hear about Sophie, and I do completely understand the pain you are going through. Around our house, the task usually falls to me to help our loved ones "cross the bridge", so I've been there holding a few of them as they is heart breaking to be sure.

    I pray for healing for you and your family at this time.

  6. I'm sorry for the loss of Sophie and can't really offer any advice. It gets easier to deal with and, in time, you'll be happy rather than sad when you think about her.

    I'm not sure how I'll be able to deal when Pippit has to leave me.

  7. I feel your pain. I have a dog, too and I'll surely feel devastated when he leaves.

    Don't worry about the bad runs, it's normal. At least, you were able to run despite the "zero quality" that you mentioned in your post. But, Sophie would have been proud to see that you're trying your best to move on.

    Hope you'll have a better run for the rest of the week. Thanks for the post!

  8. I am terribly sorry to hear about sophie. My dog goes on all my runs with me and I miss him when he is not around. When his time comes I don't know if I will replace him, but probably will with another running dog. And kudos for racing everything from 5k to 100 miles and doing well in the entire space. Good luck on your spring races.