Panda Thoughts From Omaha:
1) Running at 1,100 feet above sea level is just a WEE bit different from running at 8,000 feet above sea level.
2) Today is an excellent day to go out like an asshole. Not a total asshole, just mostly an asshole.
7) Cross country courses also make for some boring running sometimes.
8) Don’t run with headphones in. No really, don’t do it.
9) Until the 2nd lap when the crowd thins out considerably. Then plug that nonsense the hell in and dial up your pump-up playlist. 10) Take risks. Do everything you normally never do. Ditch the hydration pack, run with only a handheld. Use your drop bag. What’s the worst that can happen? Who cares if it does happen?
11) Trust your nutrition. Quit stuffing your face at every aid station out of fear you’ll bonk. No really, this stuff works pretty damn well.
12) Trust your body. Your mind will give up on you before your body will. If you tell yourself you’re not walking a single damn hill today, then don’t walk a single damn hill. They’re not really that tall and guess what? You’ll be just fine, even on the 3rd lap.
13) Colorado may have totally destroyed my definition of what a “hill” is. I may be done walking “hills” in Kansas in general.
14) This also means you’ll be passing a lot of dead looking runners on the hills on the 3rd lap. Don’t be a jackass, shout some words of encouragement when you pass them, make sure you get to the other side of the trail so they don’t have to move.
15) Sometimes running with a watch and heart rate monitor is nice too. Especially when you feel like slowing down and getting comfortable. The road to self-pity is a short and slippery one. The watch doesn’t lie. Pick it the fuck up, buttercup.
16) If you ever, EVER litter on a trail, you’re a complete and utter jackass. Pick your trash up, carry it out with you. No excuses. If you don’t want to carry it, you shouldn’t have brought it with you. DON’T LITTER ON THE TRAIL.
17) Just because you set one goal doesn’t mean you can’t change it at the last minute and aim for a higher goal. Refuse to settle for the lower original goal. You just might end up surpassing the higher goal. 18) Run with people who are totally different than you. Travel with people who are totally different from you. You may find out you learn something from them. It may not be comfortable, but so what? Why is it important to be comfortable? Shut your brain up and pay attention already.
19) It never stops being highly enjoyable watching people pursue their goals, then achieve them. People can do incredible things when they figure out how to get out of their own way.
20) Trail runners and ultra runners are the same no matter where you go. Doesn’t matter where you go, you’re always part of a family of some pretty damn awesome people. 21) IT IS NOT OK TO STENCIL EVERY FLAT SURFACE IN YOUR HOUSE.