By the title of my post you’re probably expecting me to tell you about an awesome weekend in Vegas where I go on and on about my big winnings at the tables. Not quite. The Gambler that I’m thinking of is the one that Kenny Rogers sang about. This song was going over and over in my mind yesterday as I ran…um…walked a half marathon yesterday. And no, he’s not on my playlist but the phrase “You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, Know when to walk away and know when to run” was going over and over in my mind. I just couldn’t get the song out of my head.
Haulin Aspen in Bend, OR is a good race and I would recommend it to others to run. It’s beautiful, it’s challenging, and it’s warm and most of all there is free beer from Deschutes Brewery at the end. Beer at the end of a hot race always tastes so good. All things I enjoy but yesterday just wasn’t my day. I ran the first few miles but as soon as we hit the hill I couldn’t go on. Granted it was one of the warmer days that Bend has had this summer and the race didn’t start till 8:30 am but still…even with the heat and the elevation I wasn’t feeling it. So I decided to walk and I finished the race.
Most runners go through something similar at some point in their running career – you have good runs and not so good runs. Yesterday, just happened to be a not so good run for me. Actually to tell you the truth, I haven’t had a good run in a long time. 2010 was about accomplishing a goal and running through some tough moments in my life. 2011 was about recovering from 2010 and building myself back up. 2012 has been more about quantity rather than quality. So which is better, running a lot of races with mediocre times or running a few races at my best. I’ve done the lot of races so now I’d like to try running a few races and see if I can develop my running skills to the next level. Lesson learned.
My remedy to the situation is to take the rest of the year off from running, well at least from racing. I’m not giving up, let’s just say I’m folding… until 2013. I have a lot on my plate and I would like to reduce the amount of stress that I contribute to myself. I need to spend time to training properly…not just going out and running 13.1 miles or even 26.2 miles but building up to the mileage. I’m not saying I’m going to park myself on the couch for the next few months – I plan to get back on my bike, work on weight training, and concentrate on my yoga practice. I need to get my nutrition back on schedule and get my drinking under control. Not that I’m an alcoholic but let’s just say the fact that we have a kegerator in our dining room just makes it too easy. Let’s face it beer is high in calories and I need to cut back.
As Kenny says…
“Now Ev’ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin’ Is knowin’ what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
‘Cause ev’ry hand’s a winner and ev’ry hand’s a loser, And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.”
I don’t know why I’m stuck on this song but it seems so fitting right now. I may not know every secret to survivin but I’m learning some good lessons along the way…and I have some amazing friends who seem to stand by me no matter what…which makes me a winner every time.