Before I delve into the bittersweet details of my particular Brazos Bend 50 race (I ran the 50k, Phillip, the 25k) experience, I have to offer praise to Trail Running Over Texas. Oh my goodness! What a well organized, runner-friendly race this company hosted! The TROT people anticipated and provided for every runner’s possible needs. The food offerings at the tables were abundant and varied (even some gluten-free items, which sadly, because of my stomach, I could not enjoy – but more about this unfortunate state of affairs later). The volunteers were amazingly patient, kind, and helpful. I absolutely fell in love with TROT this day (BB 50 having been my first TROT race). TROT 4 – Ever : )
Brazos Bend State Park is located a little drive from the nearest cities (Rosenberg, Sugarland, Richmond). Phillip and I, following the recommendation of a Strava friend who lives in the area, reserved a room in Rosenberg. We arrived on Friday afternoon, and drove straight to the park for packet pick-up. We wanted to make this drive for two reasons: to know where we were going on race day, and to check out the type of trails we’d be running. I wanted to run the 50k barefoot all the way, but I had read that much of the trail was actually covered with large rocks or gravel. I run the gravel surface at Town Lake (now Lady Bird Lake, but always and forever Town Lake to us) in Austin barefoot, with no problem, so a gravel surface in general would not necessarily present an obstacle to my running the race without my usual rough trail-running go-to Luna Leadville huaraches. Continue reading Running With Alligators: Belated BB 50 (4/16/16) Race Report→
I see that, um, about eight months or so have passed since I last posted a blog on this site (re-blog about the smoothie notwithstanding). Since the last time I really wrote a post for this site, I finished the book I had just ordered at that time, Less Than A Minute to Go (Thierfelder, St Benedict Press), and successfully completed my first 50k: Cloudsplitter 100. When I last blogged, I mentioned that I ordered Thierfelder’s book for inspiration as I trained for Cloudsplitter. The book did inspire me, and reading the book gave me a change in perspective about pain and suffering that helped increase my self-confidence before I began the race. Before I discuss the helpful aspects of the Thierfelder’s work, the former freshman composition instructor in me has to report the negative aspects of the book: the writer’s inferior style and the work’s apparent lack of proper editing. I feel somewhat uncomfortable writing anything negative about Bill Thierfelder’s work; I greatly admire his character and his faith. Given that Thierfelder is the president of a college, however, his work must be held to a high standard.
Throughout the book, Thierfelder quotes extensively. His quoted material is often too long, sometimes about as long as an entire page. In such cases the proper method of quoting is for the writer to summarize the context of the quote for brevity’s sake, then quote only the most striking lines of the quote that the writer believes best express the point he’s trying to make by using the quotation. Even more distressing than Thierfelder’s too generous use of quoted material is his chaotic use of documentation following the quoted material and facts and figures he uses throughout the book. His citation of sources is inconsistent as far as any formal citation style (such as MLA, APA, or Chicago), and it’s even inconsistent within the work itself. Furthermore, until the last section of the book, the work seems to lack organization. The strength of Thierfelder’s writing comes through only at the end of the book, when he relates the secret of improving and succeeding in one’s sport-related performance to improving one’s relationship with God. Although he touches on the relationship between one’s spiritual growth and one’s improved sport performance throughout the book, the relationship seems too loosely connected until the last chapter of the book: at this point Thierfelder’s successfully illustrates the way one’s faith can infuse and positively impact every aspect of his life, even his sport performance. Continue reading Cloudsplitter Race Report: A 50k Finally Successfully Accomplished!→
While making my regular trek between San Antonio and Austin earlier this week, I was listening to Guadalupe Radio Network Alive and heard Dr. Bill Thierfelder discussing his book Less Than a Minute to Go: The Secret to World-Class Performance in Sports, Business, and Every Day Life. Dr. Thierfelder is an interesting man. He is a devout Catholic, and currently the president of Belmont Abbey College. Before taking this position he was a successful businessman. He also medaled at the 1981 U.S. Track & Field Indoor National Championship. After listening to his interview on GRN Alive, I knew I had to read this book. With graduate degrees in sports psychology and human movement, Dr. Thierfelder has helped many athletes – including Olympic and professional athletes – improve their performances. Of course I am interested in improving my running performance (and if I’m honest, I’d say my desire to run better is the foremost reason I decided to read the book); however, Dr. Thierfelder and those whose reviews of the book I’ve read state that the book aids in spiritual and personal development as well. People are multidimensional. A book that approaches improvement in performance by acknowledging the need to fully develop all the human aspects of an individual seems promising, indeed. I ordered the book two days ago and I am eagerly awaiting its arrival. Continue reading Mission Possible, (or Impossible?): Avoiding the Dreaded DNF→
Thunder booms and rain pours down. I glance out the window and see rivers of water rushing down either side of our street, leaving only a small center strip of asphalt visible to drivers caught in the storm. On my lap sits 12 lb Rex, and on the floor at my feet lay 96 lb Cleo, both of whom intensely fear thunder and seek comfort in my presence as the thunder grows louder. I have already completed two work outs this morning: a session with my personal trainer followed by some hill work at Eisenhower Park. The rain won’t interfere with any of my afternoon plans. Now I can take some time to add to my (much neglected) running blog. Continue reading Running, Place, and Being→
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair [. . .]” (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities)