Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Beginning and End of the Year Ruminations

(Happy Trails!)

Like most 100 mile runs, my 2011 season contained peaks and valleys, highs and lows, frustration and elation. Yet, all of these obstacles added to the richness and flavor of what was a good year!

2011 started with the Marathon Monk Challenge. I ran for 44 days straight before a nasty infection sidelined me. What did I learn from the challenge? The Monks of Mt. Hiei are very tough:)

I repeated as the PAUSATF Ultra Marathon Grand Prix 20-30 year age group winner, but with a bump up in age comes stiffer competition (30-40yr). I’ll definitely have my work cut out for me in 2012!

Compared to years past I kept a relatively light race schedule, focusing primarily on races in the Spring followed by a long period of rest in the Fall. The races that I chose to run were the familiar NorCal PAUSATF races. For a variety of reasons I struggled through a number of these races, but ultimately the early season struggles (and suffering), led to a breakout race at the Tahoe Rim Trail 100.

Yet more important than individual accomplishments were the accomplishments of the Quicksilver Ultra Racing Team (QSURT) which I have been fortunate to be a part of since its inception in 2009. QSURT swept all divisions in the PA/USATF Ultra series (Mens, Womens, and Mixed)! Furthermore, thanks to our team captain, Coach Greg Lanctot, we now have more runners and greater organization than ever before!

Regarding the path of Bushido, 2011 was a return to my roots in many ways. Heidi and I started a Judo program at Kaijin Martial Arts in Santa Cruz. I returned to Judo competition for the SJSU Alumni Judo Tournament, and had the opportunity to explore beginners mind as I started training and competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Along with our Judo class, Heidi and I started a dog walking/pet sitting business in Santa Cruz called GoDogz, LLC. Bringing together my love of dogs and running, it's the perfect combination:)

Throughout the year, and the myriad of activities, one activity I returned to again and again was Yoga. Yoga literally and figuratively kept me grounded, healthy, focused, and instilled a greater sense of awareness that provided depth and enjoyment to all of life's various activities.

So what’s in store for 2012? First of all, I entered a new age group (30-40), and I finally got into the Western States 100 mile Endurance Run (after 5 years of trying). I'll be sharing the 'Ultra Experience" with my brother, Jesse, who signed up for Way to Cool 50k and Miwok 100k. I’ll continue to race the PAUSATF Ultra Running Series with the goal of winning my 3rd Age Group title. Mix in some BJJ, Judo, GoDogz, and lots of Yoga, it will be another fun and busy year! Oh yeah, and hopefully I'll be graduating from SJSU with an M.S. in Exercise Physiology in the spring. :)

May 2012 bring you and your loved ones joy and happiness:)