Train for Shortcut with Coach Fudd

Bernie Boettcher

It’s time to be very, very afraid.

No, I’m not talking about the increased threat of terrorism since we “won” the war. I’m not talking about Scott McInnis’ forest policies. I’m not talking about SARS, Red Feather Ridge, the compulsory golf course or mad cow disease.

I’m talking about the Strawberry Shortcut 5K and 10K.

There are only 24 days left to train for Glenwood’s favorite running event. It’s not too late yet, but if you’re not infected with mad runner’s disease by this weekend, you might be running scared on raceday. It’s time to ease up on the fat-fried, cream-filled pork rinds with the chocolate egg chasers and start squeezing that artery paste out of your system.

Take it from a race-aholic who knows, the difference between you and the guy ahead of you might be one little pint of Chunky Monkey ice cream, or a few donut holes constricting your veins and limiting the oxygen to your brain. Choose your desserts wisely, grasshopper, and get out there and run!

I’ve compiled a list of two dozen daily affirmations to help get you through. Let the countdown begin.

Day Two Dozen: Today I will believe in myself. I will resolve to maintain a workout program at least until race day. I will accept the challenge to improve. I will set my goals and raise my expectations and achieve them. I will compete in the Strawberry Shortcut!

Day 23: OK, no more waiting, I didn’t have time to work out yesterday, but today I’m really gonna do it. I’m going to overcome everyone’s low expectations of me and just do it. Tonight, right after work, I’m going to work out.

Day 22: No ifs, ands, or buts, today’s the day. If I wasn’t so tired last night after working all week, I would’ve run. Today I’ll take complete responsibility for myself, today is the day I start for the top.

Day 21: I would’ve started running yesterday, but I looked in the closet and discovered I needed a new running outfit and shoes. After driving all the way to Junction to hit the sales and Red Lobster, it was too late to run. Tomorrow I will go after what I want and I know I can do it. I will make the pressure of starting late work for me.

Day 20: It’s Memorial Day. Today I will expect the most from myself.Those who expect the most achieve the most. Today I will run hard in honor of our fallen soldiers.

Day 19: I can barely walk. I ran too much for my first day and my new shoes gave me blisters. Any new endeavor involves a little pain. Today I’ll dig even deeper and let my feet take me as far as I can go.

Day 18: Can’t move. Every good runner knows when to take a recovery day. Only time and perseverance will transform the impossible to the possible. I will persevere … starting tomorrow.

Day 17: Positive expectations give us the strength to achieve our goals. Today, I fully expect to be able to walk again tomorrow.

Day 16: After wrapping the blisters in duct tape and Vaseline, I almost ran all of my planned route. Sometimes we reach our goals, sometimes we fall short, it’s all part of the learning process. I will accept both while striving to improve. A small loss does not make a big loser.

Day 15: Today is Saturday and I’ll pick my favorite trail to run. No matter how sore I feel, I’ll remind myself to have fun and enjoy the challenge and satisfaction it offers me.

Day “Two-Weeks to Go”: Cross-training is a good part of a balanced training program. It’s more important to keep on a balanced schedule than to overdo it. I will ride my bike today. Flexibility will keep me fresh.

Day 13, 12, 11 and 10. Recover from bike crash. I will concentrate on putting all of the pieces back together again.

Day 9: I have the will to succeed and the courage to fail. I will put myself out the door and run.

Day 8: When it seems too hard to work out, you’ll know it’s time to work harder. Don’t second-guess yourself today, go all out. I will find myself content if I give it my all.

Day “One Week to Go”: Can’t move, must rest. I won’t look back.

Day 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2: Taper. Make a solid partnership with your mind and body to stop limping. A lot of people have ability, but don’t put forth any effort. Remember, practice is everything. I will practice, practice, practice running with a limp.

One Day to Go: I will relax and focus.

Race Day: I will do my best and never give up. I will remember winners only get to be winners because they keep running after they’ve lost, again, and again, and again and again.

Only 389 days left to get ready for the 2004 race, grasshopper.


– Bernie

Silt resident Bernie Boettcher’s column runs every other Thursday in the Post Independent. E-mail:

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.