The Rogue Map of Austin

by Mandy Deen

We’ve all seen them, the hilarious google maps of a city, with quirky/snarky descriptive names written over neighborhood locations. Things like “Mall Zombies” and “Ex-Frat High-Rises” and other, much less PC things.

So, I had an idea.

SOUTHWEST AUSTIN:

   swaustinrogue(1)

NORTHWEST AUSTIN:

NW

RUN FROM HELL:

rfh

EASTSIDE:

eastside

Im sure I’ve left out a lot, despite being quite scientific about it. But it’s the best I could do.

Cheers!

-Mandy

Ancillary? What happened to #JFR?

by Jeff Knight

“There are no shortcuts. Be patient and look long-term…..Consistency is the secret to improvement and success….”
-Robert de Castella, 1983 World Marathon Champion (c/o: Wikipedia)

At its core, running is pretty easy. As Deek (Rob de Castella, (Rogue in spirit)(amazing mustache)) points out, the key to success is consistency. It ain’t sexy. In fact, its frustratingly simple. It’s truly #JFR.

However, as anyone that has trained seriously for running knows, consistency is easier said then done. You know why. The dreaded “i” word. It starts there and ends with a “y”. Hint: its NOT “inebriate…y”, although that to sometimes interferes with consistency too.

Injury.

Oh yes, that i-word. Injury not only sucks/makes us a crazy person, it breaks consistency.

Now, there are a lot of things accredited to injury prevention. Sleep, hard-days hard and easy-days easy, the super secret potions or tips that you find carefully placed within the shady side-bar ads on less snazzy websites (you know you’ve clicked it!!), diet and hydration… these are all great examples. But one thing that should be considered is strength training; aka ancillary training.

Anyone that’s visited a PT knows that strength training is important. In fact, ancillary training and physical therapy look a lot alike. Some people go as far as calling it prehab (preventative-….hab). In the end though, it’s usually a series of goofy exercises focused upon those pesky little muscles that have no effect on how we look naked. However, those pesky little muscles go a long way in keeping us healthy and running consistently.

What’s the hold up though? Other sports get it. Soccer, football and basketball players, among others. all spend time in a gym. They all do strength and conditioning training.   For some reason though, we runners are reluctant unless it makes us look better naked.

Sure, there is no advantage to being “big” when it comes to running (in fact, it’s a disadvantage) but there is advantage in making our running muscles more capable of handling the demands of running. In fact, recent studies go as far as suggesting that running injuries due to overuse can be cut in HALF with strength training. That’s better injury prevention than those super-cool, high-tech shoes in just the right color (it HAS to be the right color to work).

reebok

Even if we get into the gym, ancillary training can be hard to manage. As I alluded to, ancillary training looks more like PT and less like a crunch, a burpee or something you do in Crossfit (I’m self-aware enough to admit that there is a time and place for vanity training but that’s not what you are doing in ancillary. Seriously, I’m extremely vain.) Ancillary training, doing little to make us look better in our split shorts, is balance, coordination and asymmetrical exercises we’d rather do in the dark….alone…when no one can see us. But, and this is a big BUT, they make running better. Worth it? Yes!   Even considering all the hassle, counter-intuitive nature and sacrificed ab-time? Still YES!  

So here’s the logic. Running specific strength training strengthens muscles we use for running, these muscles are now more resistant to injury, meaning we can train more consistently. That in turn leads to improvement. I.e., ancillary training supports running. Period.

Ancillary -> Consistency (=JFR)-> PRs

Now, the value of running-specific strength training (ancillary training) goes beyond helping you run consistently, as many blogs in the pseudoscience realm of training will tell you. Ancillary training is also likely to improve running economy & late race mechanics, give you a sexy booty, help your gait, make you feel like a 1-year old learning to walk, increase your lactate threshold and help your hill running but, for this blog, lets leave it at consistency.

So really, ancillary training is an inherent part of JFR. It’s also a fantastic option for currently injured runners – get in your rehab, develop additional strength and keep yourself immersed in the community. A win-win!

#runnershigh

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Ready to defeat the “i” word? We’ve got options at both Rogue locations:

DOWNTOWN: Rogue Ancillary meets on Mondays & Wednesdays at 6am. This class is open to runners of ALL levels, and is also a great option for currently injured runners. Try it for FREE August 25 & 27 or September 15 & 17!

CEDAR PARK: Rogue X incorporates a combination of track based workouts mixed with calisthenics and plyometric routines, promoting better form, a faster kick and reduced risk of injury. The next round begins September 3!

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congress brJeff Knight is the head of all things training at Rogue Running, and loves to apply his scientific background to this role. He also coaches Team Rogue el Jefe, a year-round training program designed for experienced, driven runners.

Meet the Coach: Mallory Brooks

At Rogue, we believe that the success of our training programs rests not just upon expertly designed schedules and the huge network of resources and support on offer, but also upon our incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated coaches. These people put heart and soul (and a lot of time!) into helping you reach your full potential, and we thought you might like to learn more about them.

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When and why did you start running?

I was living in Boulder, as a part-time student, full-time rock climber. It was suggested to me that I should experience the Pikes Peak Half Marathon. Knowing nothing about what it would feel like to gain 8,000+ feet of elevation gain in 13 miles, I accepted the insane idea as a solid plan. I distinctly remember telling my mother that I was only slightly confident that I wouldn’t die out there. It was an unparalleled feeling of accomplishment once I hit the summit with a not so record-shattering time of 4 hours and 3 minutes, but I couldn’t help but think, “what would that race have been like if I had trained?” And so began my love of running and racing in the mountains.

Most memorable trail?

For our honeymoon, my significantly faster running companion, Jason, and I set out on a 16 day trek across 200+ miles of the John Muir Trail through the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. We experienced extreme highs, terrifying isolation, and near mental breakdowns from the swarming mosquitoes. All of our ups and downs, as well as a near marmot murder, are well documented in a journal that is still hilarious to go back and read.

Favorite post-run meal?

Beets! I read somewhere that Ryan Hall swears by beets as a recovery food. In Washington, we grow beets the size of a melon and have trails lined with wild raspberries. Also, pomegranate! Oh, and wine! Basically, anything that stains your fingers red.

What do you do when you aren’t running or coaching?

Learn from my 1 year old son, Paxton. His constant curiosity is infectious. There isn’t a trail out there that can tire you out like a full day with him.

What’s the last book you read?

Wild and Born to Run. It should be noted that I still run in shoes.

What is one to-do on your bucket list?

I’d love to make a well calculated attempt at the female unsupported speed record for the Wonderland Trail (93 miles around the base of Mt Rainier). 31 hours. My biggest challenge could very well be staying awake that long.

Favorite quote?

“Because it’s there” George Leigh Mallory, my namesake, on why he wanted to climb Everest

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Mallory will be coaching the Bandera 2015 training group alongside coach Devon Kiernan and would love to have you join! If you aren’t quite sure about trail running, check out her previous post, The Straight & Narrow. Training begins on September 23, 2014.

Lifecycle of an Injury

by Mandy Deen

Sometimes, when I’m out on a weekday run, I will notice a slight niggling issue crop up. I generally try and dismiss it from my mind, because lots of times after hard workouts, or higher mileage weeks, or tripping on the stairs at work in front of people, parts of your legs/body might feel twingy or different. It happens to everyone, and it’s just a part of the process. I generally try to refocus back on the Taylor Swift lyrics I’ve been re-writing/improving in my head for the past 2 miles and ignore it. Unless of course it’s one of the days where this issue keeps niggling and my level of sleep-deprivation anxiety is topped only by the humidity and temperature outside, and then I might have to conduct a series of calculations:

a) Where am I in my training program? Am I in the middle of a mileage ramp? Or is it a down week?

b) where am I in my neighborhood? How humiliating of a last x number of miles back is the walk? Do I still have water in my handheld? And if I short this run is it something I can make up or do I have to tell my coach/teammates about it?

c) what if something is REALLY wrong with me?!!?!? are there people around who will notice if I fall over? WHAT IF ITS A PULMINARY EMBOLISIM?????

By calmly taking stock of the situation I can usually be relied on to do the right thing and…just obsessively worry about it for the rest of my run.

Later I will consult one or two teammates about the issue, and they will either be very calming, and rational and suggest common courses of treatment, or they will confirm that it’s probably a goiter and then tell me to youtube goiters. And then tell me to NEVER YOUTUBE GOITERS. I still haven’t to this day, so you do what you want with this information. Send complaints care of Anna McGarity.

If the problem has not abated when I get up in the morning, I will then probably immediately jump to the worst possible conclusion and fire off a dramatic email to my coach containing everything little detail of this problem that I have thought about thus far and many phrases like: “I have broken myself!!!” and “this is all over, isn’t!?!” and the always applicable “BLERGPOCALYPSE!!!!!” Generally Coach Amy will respond very calmly, asking for further details and then giving a well-informed opinion that I just need to go easy/roll it out/take some ibuprofen.

However, occasionally the niggling issue is discovered to be something of consequence. This has only occurred once or twice in my running history, and each time it was like I had never been sick or injured before. The most significant time involved a diagnosis of a possible labrum tear in my hip and a month or two of physical therapy. There are certain things you realize, and then forget, and then re-realize every time you’re sidelined with injury.

There is NOTHING worse than having to argue with yourself about getting out the door and into a medium long run in 100 degree heat after an 8 hour work day, other than suddenly NOT being allowed to get out the door into a medium length long run in 100 degree heat after an 8 hour work day. Every single runner, cyclist, roller blader, or dog walker out on the sidewalks around 6pm is pretty much openly mocking you, especially because you’ll probably NEVER be able to run again.

Medicine is not an exact science.   I don’t mean this in a “Dr.” Leo Spaceman “we have no way of knowing where the heart is. See, every human is different” way. I mean that after several consultations and realizing how terrible I am at describing pain and symptoms, it is very likely that the medical professionals will simply begin running tests to rule out possible ailments. This also means that for a little while I won’t have a clear idea of exactly what is wrong with me, which as a big-picture type-A person, I will seek to establish a sense of control over the situation my researching the possibilities myself.

As a professional librarian, my access to academic and medical journals is far greater than the little voice in my head that says “you’re only going to scare yourself.” Think WebMD on steroids. Soon I will probably have located a general overview of one of the few conditions I have narrowed my symptoms down to, and I will be reviewing the diagrams of the surgery I probably need, and frantically searching for full-recovery percentages. This predictably will lead to another series of coach emails, and a general sinking feeling that I didn’t realize my last run was really the LAST run of my life while it was happening.

Physical therapy and injury recovery is very likely not a straight line and more like a nebulous cloud of confusing and ambiguous sensations that could seem to be progress but might still be signs of brokeness, depending on how much I’ve over-thought them. Also at a certain point I will have forgotten what normal feels like, which further complicates my understanding of my recovery.

Aquajogging always feels really dumb, and NEVER feels like the workout the internet says it actually is (I’m probably doing it wrong). Also, the little old ladies who run the pool in the early morning always want to share a lane with the aquajogger, and the fancy Ironman triathlete guys never do. And despite my best efforts, my calf muscles will deteriorate at an alarming and depressing rate.

When you’re not running 6 days a week, it is actually hard to remember to shower. This is proven, Mom, not just my inattention to details.

Physical therapy is complicated and my amateur attempts to both understand (I have a Masters of Science in Information Studies! That probably means I can understand REAL science things!) and therefore control my treatment leads to even more emails with my PT who through great personal willpower, restrains her likely exasperation with my clumsy meddling and simple analogies, and responds with enough information to make me quit obsessing, but not enough information that I get even more confused about what’s going on. At least until I start thinking about it again.

Eventually, I know I’ll end up harness jogging on a treadmill. My inherent level of embarrassment in PT (or in anything) always starts out pretty high, like right up there with being made to do step aerobics in middle school athletics during off-season. (THERE’S NOWHERE TO HIDE, EVERYONE CAN SEE.) When it comes time for the harness jogging it is indeed as uncomfortable, bulky and idiotic as it sounds, BUT this is generally the last step before I’m released back onto my own recognizance, which is enough to make it a sought-after experience.

Generally, despite my darkest fears and visions of a run-less future, my body does manages to heal itself, or at least reconstitute itself into a form that allows further training and running. After a few weeks, I will have completely forgotten about how I almost didn’t ever get to run again and resume taking running for granted.

But until then, I have some histrionic emails to send. Thank you.

 

The Straight & Narrow

LoopJB#-478

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Mallory Brooks

If the straight and narrow is your thing, you need not apply. If you don’t mind a little blood, some elevation, and the occasional feeling that you will need a search party to help you find your way home, then hit the trail…where nobody cares how neon your shoes “used” to be.

Thanks to the softer-than-concrete trail running surface, you’ll trade in your sports injury doctor’s appointment for a few bandaids…or if you’re running through the yucca of west Texas, make that 100 bandaids!

You can forget about your ostrich-like running stride. The roots and rocks that become your companion on long runs force you to take shorter, quicker steps with less injury-causing heel strikes.

Tired of dodging the triple wide jogging strollers and dog leashes on Town Lake? Trail run. Hate the water cooler social club? Trail run. And when, not if, you get tired and want to rest, find a rock with a million dollar view, breathe deep, and call it meditating. Nobody ever gave anyone a hard time for stopping to meditate.

At the end of the day, if the straight and narrow is, in fact, your thing, the trail doesn’t mind being your friend with benefits. Use it to get faster on the road. Use it to clear your mind. Use it to get away from the dozen electronics strapped to your body. Just be prepared to be the one being used and abused…and crawling back for more.

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Ready to mix things up? Rogue trail training begins September 23! Whether you want to take on Bandera or simply breathe new life into your training, this is the ticket. Info and registration here.

World-wind: The Surprises

by Allison Macsas

Travel is full of surprises, and has a particular knack for turning all of your expectations upside down. The first group that we took to Morocco this year – “Week One,” as we creatively reference them – did just that. Despite our experience with the itinerary, the place and the people, time after time I was hit with the unexpected.

THE FLIGHT DELAY:

Waiting...

Waiting…

I will fully admit, I was a bit uncertain about this group prior to the trip. We’d had a couple of get-togethers and everyone was great – but also quiet, and the excitement level seemed low. Although deep down I knew better, a small part of me worried that this wouldn’t change, that we’d spend ten days traveling and running in awkward silence.

Arrival day came, and Gabe and I woke up in Marrakech to a text – half of the group had been delayed in Dallas, and missed their connection in Madrid. Rerouted to Casablanca. The girl who had texted was “pretty sure” that there were 9 of them, but wasn’t sure that she knew everyone. Our stomachs sank – although a common travel reality, this was not how we wanted to start off the trip. They’d be so tired! So cranky! So jetlagged! But, there was nothing we could do except go to the airport at noon to pick up the 10 who did make it on time.

Those ten were very happy to be there, and we got them settled in as planned with the option of either eating dinner at the planned time, or waiting until the rest of group arrived, which was looking quite late. Gabe stayed back while I headed back to the airport with Hamid around 9:00 that night. The place was packed with drivers holding signs, and it was apparent that a lot of planes were landing at once which, in Marrakech, means never-ending immigration lines. 45 minutes passed. I bought a Snickers bar to tide myself over. Another 30 minutes passed, and the flight that they were supposedly on updated to “arrived” on the status board. 30 more minutes passed. Floods of travelers had come out – French retirees, German hikers, British teenagers on holiday – but none of our people. The crowds of drivers thinned. The floods slowed to a trickle. Hamid, who never looks nervous, looked nervous.

A long-awaited first meal!

A long-awaited first meal!

Just as I was starting to panic a little, I saw a Rogue Expeditions shirt. Then another! All nine of them came out together. They were exhausted, hungry and antsy, but they had also had six hours trapped in a tiny airport to get to know each other.  We got them to our riad, checked in and up to dinner as quickly as we could. The rest of the group had chosen to wait, and we soon had 19 talkative and extremely excited runners around a table, all clearly bonded over the experience. My worries disappeared, and I joined them in anticipating an incredible week.  

 

IT NEVER RAINS IN MOROCCO:

I made a packing list for this trip that I’m very proud of. Many people have followed it to a T, and fully enjoyed traveling light and having all that they needed. However, it doesn’t include any mention of a rain jacket. In the time that I’ve spent in southern Morocco and in the stories I’ve heard from our crew who lives there, I was convinced that rain just isn’t going to happen in that area. The rivers come from High Atlas snowmelt, the irrigation and drinking water comes from springs and wells and a huge reservoir in Ouarzazate … not from rain.

Fast forward to our very first run, the afternoon after the flight debacle. Clouds had been gathering during our drive, but no worry – they would simply keep the temperature at a pleasant 60-something degrees. We had a wonderful picnic lunch and began what is one of my favorite runs of the trip, heading down the backside of a quiet mountain road for miles, through a few small villages and eventually to the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou. About 30 minutes in, we felt some raindrops – it felt great. They became a bit more steady, but stayed nice and light. Not too long after that, thunder rumbled. Villagers appeared at the doors of their houses – it wasn’t clear whether they were more surprised by us, or the water falling from the sky. We kept running – the rain came down harder. Then, it started to hurt. Hail!

Why yes, those are rain clouds!

Why yes, those are rain clouds!

At this point, it was clear that we should probably take cover. The drivers made sure that they picked up everyone, and we huddled in the trucks as they insisted that it hadn’t rained in this area in years. The hail was short-lived, and most of us decided to get back out and continue running once it tapered off. I endured the “it never rains in Morocco” jokes, both that day and on our rest day in the Todra Gorge, where it poured for an entire day. Needless to say, the packing list has been updated.

 

Mitchell racks up the mileage

Mitchell racks up the mileage

THE KIDS:

The question of whether kids are welcome on our trips had never crossed our mind until a couple asked us prior to this trip. They had a 13 year old boy, Gabriel, who runs and has traveled and has no problem hanging with adults. We couldn’t think of any reason why not, especially since he’d be with both parents, so we said sure! Months later, just a few weeks before departure, one of the other couples that had signed up asked us a similar question. They were having second thoughts about leaving their 9 year old, Mitchell, with a caretaker for so long and his mom wanted to give him her spot. He too was a runner and had traveled – nine seemed young to us, but we again could think of no reason why not. Mitchell was in.

I was a bit apprehensive, wondering how much they would run, if they’d be bored around a bunch of adults and whether the adults would mind having kids along. But, again, my concerns proved unfounded. Gabriel definitely had a mature personality, and was happy to relax and hang out and soak up everything he was learning about Morocco. Mitchell was pure energy – talkative, but never once cranky – and provided an endless source of entertainment even as he ran circles around many of us.

Gabriel summits!

Gabriel summits!

And what a place for kids! There is much open space, so little traffic, such a sense of freedom in the areas we travel through. Kids (and adults, for that matter)) can run free, climb sand dunes, fall down, make friends – I was shocked when I went through photos and video and realized how often Mitchell had village kids running alongside him, how he’d end up in the middle of a pickup soccer game at rest stops. Language didn’t matter, and he was not the least bit shy or self-conscious, as adults tend to be – he just jumped right into everything. The drivers and other locals doted on him. We all kept commenting on what an amazing education he was getting – to see and experience so much at 9 years old – and he certainly was. But, it soon became clear to me that he was educating us at the same time – to let go, jump in, have fun and take full advantage of everything in front of you.

 

Village games

Village games

THE SOCCER BALL

We had a former soccer player, Jarrod, within the group, which never really came up until our third day of running. 4 or 5 miles into the run, we turned into a village where soccer match was happening on a dirt plot. He asked, more or less, if he could join and they said, more or less, sure. So he jumped in and played awhile, and played very well.

He was hooked on the thought of the sport after that  – after all, it’s played in every village, seemingly at all hours of the day! A day or two later we had all gone for an evening walk in N’kob when he spotted a ball displayed in a street vendor’s shop. He bought it, and we all kicked it back and forth as we strolled through the town. Before long we caught the attention of some small kids, who joined in and soon had an intense match stirred up with Jarrod in the middle of a maze of mudbrick homes. We all watched and laughed, local women came out and watched and laughed – it was a spectacular evening, full of smiles.

 

soccer iriki

The ball traveled with us for several days, making an appearance on Iriki Lake, among other spots. On our final full day in Morocco, we had a long journey from the desert back to Marrakech. At one of our many rest stops, there was a pickup game happening in the middle of the main street. Mitchell of course joined in, and Jarrod made his way over. After noticing that the ball they were playing with was completely flat, he tossed his in as a replacement – and left it. Faces lit up, the game sped up. Such a small item, such a small gesture, but at the same time it was so, so big.

I went into that week feeling uncertain about the dynamics, confident in my no-rain declarations and completely unaware that a cheap soccer ball would play such a big role throughout the week. As it happened, the group could not have been better, very real friendships were developed, that cheap soccer ball brought many smiles, and we got a little wet. Surprises are a given when you step out into the world, and they always provide lessons, provided you are simply open to noticing them.

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Missed the first part of the World Wind series? Catch it here, and check back soon for the Kenya installment!

How to Place or AG for the first time

by Mandy Deen

Some of you who have been running with Rogue for a long time might be sick and tired of hearing your teammates/pacefriends/longrunningacquaintances/people you vaguely recognize only in pre-dawn gloom, go on and on about their verified running achievements (Placing in races! Winning age-group awards! Winning races!!!). I mean, honestly. Some of you who are new to Rogue might be highly intimidated by hearing all the victory stories and reading all the blogs. I personally was not told that either placing or age-grouping at some point was a requirement when I signed up. Don’t worry! I myself, a life-long hobbyjogger, have figured out a fool-proof way to place at races; please follow and apply as needed:

FIRST: You should probably decide that it’s something you want to try and do. That’s a good first step for any endeavor, but I thought I’d mention it in case it was news to anyone (some of you may be Aggies).

SECOND: Know what you’re up against and be realistic. If you’re a 25 year old guy, maybe try and pick a race that’s geared exclusively towards women. OR, try to be born with superior endurance genes and have developed these over the course of your life until you’re an elite and finely tuned athletic specimen.

For the rest of us, you can probably manage by picking a small or dangerous or far away race where the least amount of competition will dare to show up. This is probably the single most important step in this process; I can’t highlight this fact enough. This is also the most advantageous time to actually employ all your serious hipster tendencies you’ve been willfully restraining all these years. Go for the off-beat, indie, previously unheard of races. The handcrafted, artisan races, if you will.

Personally, I picked the Rogue Trail Series for a number of reasons. A 10k trail race is enough of a butt-kicker with just a smattering of fear-of-faceplanting to be a fun challenge, but not enough of a serious race that you’d have to actually train for it. Or so I thought. Also, far fewer women run trail races, so just by showing up I’m already top 30. You see?

THIRD: Show up. I firmly believe that approximately 80% of life is just showing up. Really, it’s how I got myself through school. The Rogue Trail Series is a SERIES, requiring participants to show up to not only a single event, but a SERIES of races! This is when it is really advantageous to either a) be a professional runner and therefore have the time and inclination to devote your life specifically to races, b) an athletically-deluded 30ish unattached person without any pets who can’t even be trusted to keep a rosemary plant alive. You’re probably going to be free all of those weekends, is what I’m saying.

FOURTH: Talk about it a lot. Like, obnoxiously. Mention that you’re in race-prep every chance you get until your family and teammates want to strangle you. Plot elaborate methods for further limiting your competition by giving faster people the wrong directions or misinformation about race times. Attempt to manipulate Rogue organizers into joining your plot.

As you talk about your wish to actually place at a running thing for ONCE in your life, you will feel a tightness in your chest and throat begin to develop. Don’t panic, this is just fear and anxiety, brought on by your life-long fear of public failure and history of under-performing when you know people are watching you. This is how you know you’re probably ready. As the race date approaches this feeling will intensify, and you will find yourself dismissing thoughts of the race out of hand. Focus on the fun logistics of the race, what you’re going to wear, what you’re going to eat after, how many beers are ok the day before. You probably won’t have even thought about the actual race until it’s 5:30AM and you’re on a dark highway headed towards Reveille Ranch. That’s the appropriate time for your Come-To-Jesus.

FIFTH: Rope a teammate into driving you out there to the race. Spend the entire hour and ten minute car ride chattering about life, your job, NPR stories, and what is the socially appropriate number of beers and breakfast tacos post-race (probably around 2 each for a 10k. Sneak a third if you can). Fall silent only when you have the your crushing realization that everyone you know knows you’re trying to place at this race. Remind yourself the 10ks are supposed to hurt, then try and make peace with it.

SIXTH: Arrive just as the 30k is starting. Spend 24 out of the next 30 minutes standing in line at the port-a-potty because you got impatient and switched lines when you should have stayed in the one you were in.

Screen shot 2014-07-04 at 3.57.01 PMSEVENTH: Spend the last 6 minutes prior to the start standing awkwardly off to the side, hyperventilating, looking around for your competition, and pretending like you’re not trying to elbow your way to the front. When the start sounds, go out WAY too hard, uphill. All your hyperventilation and adrenaline shoots through your bloodstream and you’re pretty much exhausted by the top of the hill (seriously? An UPHILL start?). Remind yourself that based on the tiredness and instability in your hill-running butt muscles that you probably should have tried and warmed up prior to the start. You saw other people doing that. Remember? They’re probably doing a lot better on this hill than you are. Spend the next 2 miles charging up hills and aggressively pushing forward, trying to pass people. Be sure that most of the other women got out ahead of you at the start.

EIGHTH: At mile 2 your breathing becomes unsustainable. Inwardly accept defeat. Of the paltry 5 people you managed to pass, only one was a girl, and the other 4 guys have already passed you back. Also, you never passed that little 8 year old kid. Slow down, spend the next 2 miles tucked in behind a guy with a “serious trail beard,” recovering. Convince yourself that you just lost all chance at placing for the race AND the series. Console yourself with the thoughts of beer and breakfast tacos. They get you, they don’t care how fast you can run. They’re your only friends.

NINTH: Experience a rebirth during the final 2 miles (this is completely unrelated to the fact that a) the main climbs are over, it’s generally downhill, and b) your body has finally warmed up and kicked over.). Respectfully pass Serious Trail Beard, charge on towards the finish and your friend the beer.

10386379_1435286356725055_1808594032217830950_nTENTH: When you have sufficiently recovered, follow the smell of bacon to where the excellent Rogue organizers are cooking breakfast for an army. Find the beer, and your other 10k friends. Find out how their races went, drink some cold water, watch the 30ks come through. Note how the 30kers are all in much better shape than you. Be happy to be finished and holding a beer, as there are some serious painfaces happening and the clouds have burned off. Discuss the course in detail with the other 10kers. Eventually wander over to the live-results tent. Disinterestedly find your finishing time and placement. Feel very relieved to see that you ACTUALLY finished in the Top 5!!!!! Wait anxiously for the awards ceremony. Make your teammate take lots of pictures of you with your award, and post it to Facebook immediately. Enjoy the rest of the 30k race by hanging out with other people and talking incessantly about your award. When you get home, sleep the sleep of the victorious for the rest of the Sunday.

There you have it. Ten easy steps.