Looking Forward to 2016

The Dirt Monster 5 miles this week-end marked was the last race of the year. No more race until April 2016. For now. The next race will be Forget the PR 50K in April, followed by Hyner 50K (race list there).

 

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Fall is coming in Pittsburgh, offering wonderful views during my daily commute

 

I am also signed up for all races of the inaugural PA Triple Crown challenge. Probably the most beautiful races in Pennsylvania. But also the most challenging.

 

I am excited. And scared. To death.

These races will put me outside of my comfort zone, force me to discover/explore myself, find out the further I can go physically and mentally. Sure, life already brought some challenges (e.g. moving abroad without speaking the language, hiking 200 Km for two weeks alone in the Corsica mountains with a single backpack) but some of these races are very though, with a finisher rate around 30% (for ES100). This new adventure is very appealing and exciting. I can’t wait.

After a year of running 7 days a week and averaging about 60 miles a week, I will adapt my training, include more rest days and take some time to enjoy social activities. I am now convinced that finding the right balance between running and social life is essential. Over training and neglecting resting days or social interactions are counter-productive on the long term.

 

We run to live and not live to run.

This is the start of the hibernation and when training will start again, I will try to explain how I adapt my training strategy for these races. For now, the priority is to rest, enjoy some time away from the city. I also contracted people to redo my house. The house is a mess for now and I can’t wait to see everything finished soon.

Getting the house done and painted
Getting the house done and painted

 

 

 

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Looking Forward to 2016

Race week-end ramblings

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The “Arc de Triomphe” at 5am – when you get up early to run some miles and late night-goers are drunk on the Champs-Élysées, waiting for the first metro to come

After one month of travels between Seattle, Ottawa, Paris and Cedar Rapids, it’s time to come back in Pittsburgh and running Tussey Mountainback 50 milers on Sunday. Between meetings, conferences, family reunions and hanging out with friends, I gained 10 pounds, did not run any hills since a long time and the training has been way less intense than usually. This race will be an interesting experience.

Cheese shop in Paris - at least I know how I gained some pounds
Cheese shop in Paris – at least I know how I gained some pounds

Whatever, it will be a good time. And after this race, it will be time to stay home for a while, lose the fat, train slightly and enjoy some time with friends.

It is exciting to be back, and start this week-end. It will be fun.

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Interview at the SCADE User Group Conference in Paris, thanks to Graziella and Chloe for covering the event!
Race week-end ramblings

It’s not about the goal, it’s about the journey

Scott Jurek completed the Appalachian Trail record, running walking hiking it in less than 47 days (sorry for you if you thought he was running). This achievement is also supposed to be  his “masterpiece”. Great. This was the suspense for more than 46 days in the small ultrarunning community and so many people talked about it. Suddenly, it was the big thing: everybody was excited.

But wait.

The dude just did 3 hours or so better than the previous record, owned by a not-so-famous hiker. During his attempt he had a crew, support from sponsors (look at the picture and try to find one without the name of a brand) and many runners that came and carried stuff for him. There was a live GPS tracking (so that you can track him when you sit your ass in front of your computer), a truck following him and even a ceremony (where he got citations for breaking the park rules – kind of sarcastic). All of that for 3 hours of difference. Over a 2200 miles course, this is not so significant, especially between a runner and a hiker. But also, having support makes a lot of difference. Some will argue than the previous record holder knew the trail before her attempt (she hikes it in 2008 and set the record in 2011) to beat the record but Jurek had the opportunity to do it as well. He just decided not to.

This attempt  showed that there is a lot of room to break this record again: with some  issues during the hike (knee/quad/stomach), it will not a surprise if somebody try to do better soon. The so-called masterpiece will then not be as prestigious as other achievements (e.g. won the Western States Endurance Run seven consecutive times).

For now, the new record belongs to Jurek and he did a great job that almost nobody can do today. But beyond the result, what matters most is the journey.

In that sense, the story and journey of the previous record holder, which did it alone, without much support is more inspiring. She just went out and did it. No bullshit, no big daily picture posted on the internet with a sponsor name, no GPS tracking. She just do her thing without making a big deal of it.

I am not so sure if Jurek’s journey is so inspiring but I definitively have a profound admiration for Jennifer Pharr. This recent story reminded me that the most inspiring people are just not the most famous.

It’s not about the goal, it’s about the journey