Well it’s been almost a week since American River 50 and I’m finally walking normal again. I’ve realized that I’ve raced Way to Cool 50k , Canyon Meadow Trail Marathon, and now AR 50 without a blog post or race recap.
There is no perfect answer for how to live this life. What I think is awesome others may think is lame or selfish. Im fortunate to have met the love of my life that continues to allow me to chase my dreams and be my side. We subscribe to the theory of you get one shot at this life and it’s up to us to do the best we can with it .
I love running, I love my wife, I love my family, I love my friends , and I love experiencing life. I’ve had this quote on my Facebook page for a half a century and I feel like its all me and well said:
“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, WOW, what a ride!”
Lindsay and I continue to improve our lives by eliminating the unnecessary, focusing on things that matter to us and continuing to dream as big as possible. One great thing about going minimal and not focusing on “Stuff” is the time we have for ourselves. Stuff is replaced with memories , dreams, and goals. Freeing up money not spent on stuff means more travel and life possibilities. Our eyes are growing bigger as we try to break “routine” that this life can suck you into and we realize the possibiliites to live great lives is up to us and solely us. We have some great plans to end the year off and even better plans in 2015. I plan on ending my 30’s in true Rich de Borba fashion with stories, adventures, and tales to tell.
Its somewhat appropriate that we are training for Ultra running events. To compete in these types of races requires dedication, self motivation, drive, and a commitment most will never know. This same principle can be applied to our lives. Nothing worth having is easy and nothing handed to us is part of us. Its the hunger, yearning, desire, commitment, and passion that will take Lindsay and I through a life long journey that will have us proclaiming at the end ” wow, what a ride.”
On another note after a rocky start to my ultra training this year it seems to be back on track and in full effect. I’m looking at another 60 mile week and have our first 50K of the year coming next weekend. My legs feel great, my runs have been epic, and Im going to push myself through the lows, find the highs, and have one kick ass race season.
So it’s been a month since my last post sitting in the hospital waiting for my dad do get out of open heart surgery. If you know how much I love that man you can imagine how flipped upside down I felt at that time.. I was question many things in my life and sadly one of them was a love of mine ; Ultra Running.
Anyone who’s has ever trained for an Ironman, or a 50 mile or 100 mile race knows the time commitment and dedication that goes along with that. I run a minimum of 8 hours a week of running and that can jump to 12 hours easily some weeks. THIS IS MY LIFE, there isn’t time for much more then that between work, walking dog, making dinner, and finding what ever time I can with Lindsay.
So it makes you think about if its worth it training that much and having running be such a sizable part of your life. I essentially took the last 6 weeks off running to contemplate life, spend time with my dad and got the occasional run in.
There have been many life bumps, bruises, hiccups, in those few weeks. I had missed one race this year and had my first 50K looming in a few weeks (Way to Cool) , it was time to make some decisions. One of the things I learned in this period was regardless if I ever ran another Ultra in my life; running connected me with my spirit, my soul, my happiness, and internal peace. Its part of me now and I need it as much as I need the air I breathe. Running in the mountains is my church, my pastor, my best friend, my Holy Grail of sorts.
Since my dad is in recovery mode and laid up for a bit longer (no hunting trips or fly fishing for us for a few months) I decided to lace up my shoes and see what I had in the tank and what endurance I banked the last year and half. I had no idea what kind of week I could push out and haven’t pulled consecutive 40-50 mile weeks since early Jan. I was determined to go for broke and push myself hard to find out if Way to Cool was a possibility or another missed opportunity this year.
As I write this I’m 38 miles in this week, feeling confidant about my 20 mile run tomorrow and shorter 4-6 on Sunday. Its been many months since I pulled a 60+ mile week and if things go well , you can bet your ass my training is back on track and W2C will be a nice first practice 50K of the year.
Life will continue to boggle me and I have no idea how to live this life “properly”. I’m guessing at it everyday trying to follow my dreams, be a good husband, son, and sibling. Hopefully I’m doing more then just the running right…
I’m truly grateful for my amazing friends and family that choose or are stuck with me in this journey called life. I have a few friends who have been at my side pushing me without pushing me to get back on the trails and do this running that I love and I’m thankful for you..
Just last week I was ending a great 46 mile run week, training was going well, and my race plan was in place. My year was set and I was looking forward to lots of running with a side of running. Then I got a phone call…
Thursday night I received a call from my step-mom about my dad needing to get an Angiogram due to chest pain. I called out sick, went for a short run to calm my nerves, and honestly cry a little bit, then went to Sacramento to be with my family.
My dad is a healthy guy and lifetime athlete. We went in to the Angiogram thinking maybe a little blockage and they can use a stint to open any mild blocked arteries at worse case. An hour into the Angiogram the Dr. came in and let us know he had three severely blocked arteries and was in need of open heart surgery and triple bypass.
Since it wasn’t an “emergency” they would schedule it for Tuesday. We were all in a bit of shock of the news but not as much as my dad. As he listened to the doctor explain the surgery and what was ahead of him, regardless of the great success rate and the low risk, you can just see him sink into himself, and rightly so. We spent the next few days at home with him and just relaxed and had some fun before the surgery. Although we didn’t talk about it much over the couple of days, it was on all of our minds.
Working for a great company, it was nice to be able to take a few weeks off after I got the news, not worry about work, and just focus on my family . I think hanging in my dads house with him was making him a bit stir crazy and I think he wanted some alone time to think about what was before him. So I decided to head home on Saturday to spend some time with Lindsay and make some plans for spending time with my family in Sacramento over the next week or so. The few days off with Lindsay were nice and to distract ourselves a bit we dove in head first on our mission to go minimalist. I’ve been reading Everything That Remains and there is a quote that has stuck in my head, “Does this add value to our lives?” If the answer was no, it went to Goodwill and/or to our families, or we are cutting it out of our lives. We’ve been only working on it few weeks but we have emptied an entire storage unit down to some essentials, eliminated the TV in our living room and all the electrical crap that went with it. Direct TV has been canceled and we have created this great relaxing living room with our normal distractions.
The Minimalist movement has had some interesting aspects and some positive attributes I wasn’t expecting it to have. Ironically, it timed nicely with the internal reflection I have been doing since hearing about my dad’s upcoming surgery. In it’s most minimalist from (no pun intended) you have no idea how much time you spend with stuff until you start getting rid of it all. It’s one of the most freeing things I’ve ever done. It becomes this sort of mission for us to eliminate all the non essentials in your life. The less crap you have , the more time, money, and brain power to spend on the important things. This goes for Direct TV, clothes we don’t wear, and a shocking amount of stuff that we have just accumulated.
Now with less crap/stuff/ waste mostly removed from our lives we’ve been able to have more deep conversations about what is really important. If you asked me or read my blog last week you would definitely agree that running was one of the most important things in my life. I’ve blown off time with my family and friends, parties, and fly fishing trips with my dad in order to get my long runs in and honestly missed a few opportunities to just “be” with my wife. Now in a matter of 72 hours that has all changed.
As I sit in the waiting room while my dad is having his open hear surgery it’s abundantly clear on what is important—good use of time, my passions and focus. I know people say all the time that they are going to make changes in their lives when a family illness hits and then never end up making those changes. Lindsay and I don’t talk about things, we act on them. Our Paleo diet has remained for over a year now and we have no intentions of removing it from our lives. We wanted to go minimalist and that happened immediately and passionately, we exercise almost everyday for more years then not, and now my mission is for us to live our lives to the fullest.
For those who knows us well would probably say we already live life to the fullest and comparatively we probably do. I have no regrets and I have the love of my life next to me right now. But now I want to ensure I can look with back with continued zero regret and going after our “true” goals in life and what it will take to get there. While Lindsay and I are always on the same page and have the same goals, we’ve never been good about looking too much further then the next year. With everything going on and all the changes we are making we are for sure looking long term and coming up with some of our bigger life goals.
While running will continue to be a part of my life you bet your ass I won’t miss an opportunity to go fishing with my dad once he is recovered from this surgery (I say that anxiously and get ghost white each time as nurse comes into the waiting room). I do believe its important to have fitness goals and life goals but I think the fitness goals over the last four years of Ironmans and now Ultras has superseded some of our life goals. I am hoping to make all my fitness goals this year and make most of my races I’ve signed up for. I’ve started to ask my self more of why I am doing 50 milers and 100 milers? Using the same principle of “Does this make my life better?” the answer is regrettably no . Staying healthy is awesome, running is awesome, but running ad nauseam maybe not…Like I said I want to make some of these runs/races but not sure it’s going to have the same vigor for me as before. I’m good at running so what else could I be good at and get to experience if my life isn’t consumed by it.
All I hope is that in an hour or so, a nurse comes down, says my dad is fine, and I can start the next chapter in this life with my wife and family closely by my side.
- I will continue to travel all of the world, experiencing those amazing eye opening experiences travel has to offer with Lindsay happily by my side.
- I will make more family oriented decisions vs. my selfish goals of running and racing.
- We will continue to enjoy moving our lives to minimalism and making more decisions in that direction.
- We are a month or two away from paying off our wedding and being out of debt… We’ve been good about saving money and will continue to add even more to this.
- I will find a balance of working out/running and get back into climbing to mix it up.
- Work will not consume me and although I love my job and have no intentions of leaving it, I will pursue some of the avenues I’ve been discussing with Lindsay about certain other business ventures. Again, I am not a hypocrite and I don’t want to talk about it anymore, I want to follow up with action.
- I will continually strive to enjoy every moment possible with my wife and ensure she knows each and everyday she’s the most incredible gift god has ever given me.
- I WILL SPEND A TON OF TIME WITH MY DAD…
- We will make longer term goals to ensure our continual goal to live this live to the fullest.
*** Update Wednesday Morning*** He’s doing fine and on the road to recovery. Yesterday was pretty difficult for us all but not as much as my dad for having to go through the whole ordeal. He’s a fighter and an amazing man that is on his way to a full recovery and hopefully an improved life due to being able to breathe easier..
So I’m officially three weeks into training for 2014 and I’m already wondering about this balance in life of doing what you love, maintaining a good career, spending adequate and quality time with my wife (who is also training), cooking dinner every night, maintaining our Paleo lifestyle, keeping our dog happy, and finding time for our family and friends ect ect ect..
- I’m canceling our cable and almost all but stopped watching TV.
- Not working from home after I jet spent 10 hours at the office. Well I suck at that but IM definitely trying to be better.
- Plan our meals and dinners better so Im not coming home an trying to figure out what to make.
- Being more flexible with my running schedule although this still needs much more work.
- We have started in on The Minimalist movement and unloading years of crap we have complied and trying not to let our objects eat up time in our day.
- Continuing with what we have done well at; making the best of each and every moment alone and together to enjoy the moments in life. This is something I do well and I’m always grateful and appreciative of a beautiful sunrise run, stopping to grab Lindsay and kiss her hard and hold her close, and taking time in our days to appreciate those around us.
While I may feel a little overwhelmed now its ditching years of bad habits, doing things that aren’t productive use of my time, being consumed by your everyday consumption, and many other factors I need to change in order to draw in a better balance in this life.
So I have to start by saying I was rather disappointed that my name wasn’t drawn for the Western States Lottery. I had dreams and aspirations of running this race and was pumped about doing it this year. It took a few days for the pain and sting of not getting in to subside before I can figure out my alternatives and plan B’s .
Although I had plan B mostly figured out it also involved another lottery and one I wasn’t confident about getting into. It was TRT 100 lottery that had me both nervous and anxious. Not only was I worried about losing in another lottery there was a piece of me that was nervous for the race itself. I am a 100 virgin and wasn’t sure that it was a good idea to enter such a tough one for my first. As the Jan o1 lottery date was drawing nearer I was exited about ready if my name was drawn. So Dec 31st mid day my name was picked and my fate sealed…. So it was settled and it was time to figure out my plans, racing strategies, and training races.
So here is the long and short of it and I may add my favorites like Skyline 50k in Aug, Dick Collins Firetrails 50 in Oct, as well as Whiskytown 50k in Nov. But for now I am pretty content with the ones I have committed too and interested to see what my body says after TRT100.
First race of the year will be nice and mellow and I’m not going for an AG finish (so I say). This will be Lindsay’s first longer trail race and I am hoping she has a good time.
- Feb 01 , the ITR Fort Ord 35K : http://www.insidetrail.com/ai1ec_event/fort-ord-trail-run/?instance_id=
Second race is the first of a few 50K’s of the year. This will be Lindsay’s first 50k and I am excited to see how she’ll do.
- March 08 , Way to Cool 50K. Ive never done this one before but everyone boasts it being a really awesome race. : http://www.wtc50k.com
Third race will be Lindsay’s first 50 miler and I think she will go great.. Im looking forward to this race to work on some nutrition tweaks and get my game plan together for some other upcoming races.
- April 05, American River 50 or AR50. http://www.ar50mile.com Although its no longer a WS qualifier It should be a fun race and they usually have some sick finishers jackets…
Fourth race is one I am super excited about and a good test of my legs after the 50 miler. While this winds down Lindsay’s Ultra season its all about enjoying this race and just having a great vacation..
- April 26th , Tuscany Crossing 50k in yup TUSCANY.. http://www.lostworldsracing.com/tuscany-crossing-italy-april-2013/
Fifth is going to be an ASS kicker.. This one I am hoping for some heat so I can get some practice in it. In years past its been incredibly warm so I am sure I will get my wish. I plan on slowing my pace a bit and being comfortable ( if you can use those words in a vey hilly 100k). Im hoping to work out any kinks I discover during this race and spend the next two months following perfecting things.
- May 10th, Quicksilver 100K . The first year of my team putting on a 100K here and the course is going to be tough http://www.quicksilver-running.com/#!50k–50m-races/cp7p
Then I get a little break and some time to focus on some long training weeks, practice runs , volunteering with my team at Western States, supporting my friends racing there, and getting my head on right for TRT. Im hoping to make it up there quite a few times to run the course and see how my body does with the elevation.
- July 19th TRT 100 in Lake Tahoe. This will be at elevation with a lot of elevation to be had. I have had some friends get crushed here and I can only hope with proper training and a great mindset I will do well here.
Like I said there may be some more races added after this but I want to focus on these six, have all my strategies in place, then I’ll have some fun at the other races if I feel up to it..
For now we have our first solid training week under our belts for 2014 and it was a respectable 46 mile week with about 6k in climbing. I feeling great and trying to get back into the routine of running 5 days a week. Im also trying to lose the few extra lbs I had put on tapering from last season. Im pumped for the new year, Lindsay has been running great, and it will be great year training for all of these races with her on the trails with me.
I watched with baited breathe the Western States Lottery live action today. I would have loved to have made it up to Auburn to be there in person but this damn cold will not go away.. The first hour of the drawing my heart was racing and as many of my team mates names got called as the anxiety continued to grow. Even as they called the last few names I waited eagerly knowing one of those names coming up could be mine. I am incredibly happy for all of my team that will be going to Staes this year and as the final name got called it became painfully clear that Western States Endurance Run wasn’t in my 2014 future…
Since one of these WS glorious belt buckles aren’t in my 2014 future , what do I now? Well for the last few weeks the plan was sign up for Zion 100 and do that with some buddies. But I as awaited the results of the States drawing my mind kept pulling me towards Pine to Palm 100 and Tahoe Rim Trail 100, both of which are tough to get into. http://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=24111 and http://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=26496. I am not sure why I am leaning towards either one of these races? Maybe I am feeling lucky in the next lottery, maybe I don’t wan’t to do Zion knowing my amazing wife won’t be able to be there, ,or maybe I am glutton for punishment with these harder races.
I’ve called in some advice from some of my seasoned Ultra running friends and I honestly don’t know what direction I will lean. Since their is always the choice of the easy way or hard way and I’m constantly surprised at how many take the easy way. I’ve always been the hard way type of guy. I don’t want my first hundred to be easy, not that Zion is, but I want people to cringe when they here the races I’ve signed up for this year. I don’t know why that excites me but It does. I guess being an ultra runner we are already screwed up in the head so this goes in line with seeking joy out of running 60 mile weeks and laughing after races when your feet look like they have been in battle…
Either way Jan 01 I will have my 2014 race calendar on lock with hopefully one 100 miler. For now its all about getting healthy, getting back on the trails, and enjoying as many seconds as I can with my amazing wife. Never for one moment do I forget where my true priorities are and that I am grateful for each moment I got in this earth with Lindsay..
Due to this ridiculous viral flu I have I will be sadly backing out of CIM on Sunday. On a positive exciting note, Western States Endurance lottery is TOMORROW, fingers crossed..
Maybe I am lucky but after all the training and racing I did this year I never missed a race due to illness and/or injury. Leave it to my very last race of 2013 to ruin that streak.
There were many times in my life that I would probably race CIM this coming Sunday even though I am on antibiotics and told to stay in bed. I like the new intelligent me that allows me to push and constantly challenge myself but no to be stupid; well extra stupid. Ultra running has an element One of the million things I love about trail running and ultra’s is the reason i do it: I LOVE IT!!!
I’m not in position to win most of the races I enter (although the age groups wins I got were lots of fun) so I try and remember each and every time I am running ” I am doing this because I love it.” This mantra of sorts reminds me to stop on occasion snap a pictures, take a moment of solace, and to just be..
Tomorrow is a big day and Im hoping to be well enough to cruise up to Auburn, be a part of the Western States lottery draw, and at the end of the day my hopeful entry in to States for 2014. Many of my teammates will be there tomorrow so it will be an incredible feeling to be there if any of their names get drawn. Im excited to even be a part of the drawing and can’t wait to experience
Here’s to 2014 and I can’t wait to kick this cold, lace up my shoes, and hit the closest trail to find that connection with the earth I’m desperately missing.
All last year I wanted to create a blog to capture my events, race reports, adventures with my most amazing wife, ect. So as I lie here home sick , I figured it was a good day to start.
For most of us Ultra runners the next few weeks and a couple race lotteries will determine our race schedule for next year. As the popularity of the ultra running series increases so does the difficulties to get into them.
My goal by the end of the day is to have my ideal race schedule planned out and then the fall back in case I don’t get into a few races.
This weekend will determine a few things entry into Western States or not then the planning and sign up of Bryce 100. Luckily the Tahoe 200 lottery is pushed out til Jan so I can figure out my hundred race before contemplating throwing my hat into a four day 200 miler.
Dream Season 2014
Feb 01; Fort Ord 35 K with Lindsay (http://www.insidetrail.com/ai1ec_event/fort-ord-trail-run/) already signed up.
March 08 ; Way To Cool 50k. I am in the lottery and I believe we find out in a few weeks
March 15th; Marin Ultra Challenge 50K ( http://www.insidetrail.com/ai1ec_event/marin-ultra-challenge/) If I don’t get into Way to Cool
April 5th; American River 50 miler with Lindsay (Her first 50 and we are already signed up)
April 26th; Tuscany Crossing 5ok with Lindsay in yup Tuscany followed by a nice vacation. (http://www.lostworldsracing.com/tuscany-crossing-italy-april-2013/)
May 10th; Quicksilver 100K (http://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=26331) Need to Sign up..
June 14th; Bryce 100 (http://bryce100.wordpress.com) If I don’t get into Western States 100
June 24th; Western States 100 if my name gets drawn this Sat (http://www.wser.org)
July 19th; Tahoe Rim Trail 50m (http://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=24111) Lottery opens next week
August 11th; Skyline 50k (http://www.skyline50k.us)
Sept 5; Tahoe 200 (http://www.tahoe200.com) Lottery opens in Jan
Thats the long and the short of it. I am sure there will be more races and more adventures but that covers the chunk of the year. Looking forward to another year of Ultra Racing and being a part of Quicksilver Ultra Racing Team.