Eric Rodda

Club Member Since 1/10/2010

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“Commit, Train, Pray.”

City: Colorado Springs State: CO

Favorite Shoe: Brooks Size: 12

Age: 56.4 years old

Marital Status: Married

Family members:
Amy, Erin, Evan.

What I do for work:
Desktop Support for Bank.

Places I’ve called home and why I like where I am now:
Grew up in Kansas, Michigan, and North Dakota. Moved here from Kansas City 3 weeks before the Ascent in 2005, and love the Front Range weather. The low humidity, and combination of 50 degree days in January and mild summers- for example in Aug of 2009 it never got over 77 degrees in our house with NO A/C.

When I started running and what got me started:
I'd been the fastest kid in school and loved to run since I can remember. In 3rd grade we moved to Michigan and across the street from 3 boys who's dad and his friends were doing Boston and other Marathons and Ultras in the early 70's. We couldn't get enough of sports. Sandlot baseball, one-on-one and pick-up basketball, football and holding makeshift Olympics filled my days into the night. By 4th grade I was running a couple miles a few nights a week for fun with Bob and Joey from across the street, and that summer went to an AAU Track meet and won my very first race. Jump ahead a few years and I'm the only 8th grader in the City Mile final and place 3rd, knowing that I'll clean up starting the next year. I had also taken up swimming and won 2 races for the U.S. against Cananda that summer, had scored the winning goal in the City semi's in Floor Hockey and had already won "Best Camper" twice at an all-sports camp the 2 previous years. I was also 2nd in my school in one-on-one even though I didn't play on the school team. Yeah, I loved to play.

Then we moved to North Dakota, 30 miles from a Movie Theater, or Restaurant open past 4pm. With no local facilities for Swimming, No Hockey team, no desire to play football, and a Basketball coach who'd apparently never seen an NBA game and only tried to tease me about wearing high tops, I ended participation in everything else and focused on Running.

What does running mean to me:
I've got a lot of "Biomechanical Issues" and struggle with running. But I really enjoy it, and when it's going well I am my happiest. I may not have a lot of running left in me, but am working on having another go at it and will take it as far as I can go.

Running accomplishments: View my Pikes Peak Ascent/Marathon results

What I like about trail/mountain running:
Natural Beauty, Variation, and Soft Surfaces.

Favorite running trail and why:
Red Rock Canyon. Nice loop that takes me about an hour.
Cheyenne Mtn State Park. Some of it is a little TOO steep, but it's great a training landscape. Just don't lose yourself too completely, you want to see the Mtn Bikers, and don't want to miss turns!

Favorite trail/mountain race and why:
The Pikes Peak Ascent is a difficult Race for a number of reasons, and I'm frankly hard pressed to say I "like" it.
But TRAINING for the Ascent and all its challenges, putting in the time on the Mtn, really engages me, year after year. The Mtn is one of the great wonders of the world to me, and training for the race on it seems as endlessly challenging as the air is thin. Plus, it's so very difficult to improve on Ascent times, rewarding only the most stringent of training regimens AND Ascent strategies.
After a PR at 50 in 2011, I went a little slower in 2012. Still had a great season, with a breakthrough training Ascent that was a 'Yearly PR' by 26mins for 2012 about 2 weeks before the Race so overall I was pretty satisfied. But in October I already find myself thinking about what it will take, both mentally and physically, to improve and get back closer to PR range.
If you read what else I've posted here at all closely, it's easy to see I've overcome a great deal to achieve success in some tremendous "Lifetime Achievement" endurance events. But living right here, having friends and family coming for the Ascent every year, and being able to train on the Mtn, all makes The Ascent remain a great draw to me.
I can rarely train on a Sunday, and if I can, especially in the Summer, 8am or even 7am is way too late. I hit the start line in Manitou at or just before Civil Twilight (5-6am) and haven't seen precip up there in years (except on Race Day) so I'll probably remain a "Virtual Member" for life. But I appreciate the resource this board and community of Runners is to me and the entire family of Pikes Peak enthusiasts. Heck, I need to buy a T-Shirt!

Best running experience:
There have been LOTS. A few come to mind...
1. A Trail training run in High School during a family vacation in Wisconsin... I had taken some extra days off while traveling in the car, and WOW, I never got tired on that run. I'm sure I could have PR'd in the Mile or 2 Mile that day. My Energy was so high it was eerie.
2. Returning to running during Short-Course Triathlons after badly botched knee Surgery in the early 80's, and subsequent surgeries to correct it. It was such a triumph after years of endless rehab to participate at all, and a real joy to find myself competitive and placing in my age group.
3. My first Pikes Peak Ascent... the year after putting the head of my femur directly through the socket of my hip. I had never done the Ascent, but my brother had, and I began visualizing it the moment they put me on a stationary bicycle at the very beginning of my rehab in Kansas City during the Fall of 2004. We moved to Colo Springs 3 weeks before the race in 2005 and completing it was a real high.
4. Ironman Arizona, Fall of 2008. After the hip accident, during which I also broke my collarbone and scapula, it took 5 weeks to find a surgeon who wouldn't just shake their head and say "You've got to be kidding me..." So I had a lot of time to think about what I'd do if I could walk again, and 3 days after the Director of Orthopeadic Trauma at Baylor Medical in Dallas Bone-Grafted the entire hip in a six-hour-lost-bloodflow-to-my-foot-twice operation, I "decided I'd like to do an Ironman" which really means it crossed my mind and I groaned and thought NO, NOT IRONMAN, but it had already stuck. I mean at that point it was a dream that I'd even walk again, but you gotta have goals, and doing the math I figured even walking the run I could probably finish. It would be another 4 months until I could weight-bear again, but that whole time I was working out in whatever way I could, first doing the upper-body rehab while still in the wheelchair and using the walker. Eventually going for hour-long crutch walks, putting no weight it, but moving that hip through its entire range of motion, re-growing that socket perfectly. So that once I was able to weight-bear I rehabbed to a 10k in 47 days.
In '05 we moved here and I did the Ascent and the Enchanted Circle 100-mile Bike Ride in New Mexico that I was training for when the accident happened. In '06 I did the Ascent and the Durango Century and the Harvest Moon Half Ironman. In '07 I did 'just' the Ascent as my wife had our first child in February, and in '08 I got the chance and made that Ironman dream come true. It was truly sweet.

Running related bathroom stop story:
I went to High School up in North Dakota, and was absolutely dedicated to running, achieving most of my running success by simply building more aerobic capacity than any of the other kids. Even in Blizzard conditions or with Snow drifts I'd be out in it putting in the miles. I once had my family drive me North out of town 8miles so I could run WITH the Wind in a Blizzard. But bad stomach issues began about halfway home. There is no way to describe the sensation of crouching in a snow-drifted ditch along a flat desolate 2-lane highway with snow being driven at you by a minus-47 wind-chill to suffer the runs, as I did over and over all the way home.

Running pet peeves:
Joint Pain.
It's all good, and sky's the limit, until you have joint pain. Then all plans are out the window, and it's pushing the envelope of your disability, instead of ability. I've gotten pretty good at it.

Other hobbies and interests:
Triathlon, and Nutrition- the extra workout.
Music- sure everybody SAYS they like it, and I REALLY do!

Other stuff:
Time- 2 kids under 5 and under.
Biomechanics- sure my limiters may keep me from Ultras, but Short Course Triathlon seems doable, and of course the Ascent.
I'd like to see myself staying with the Ascent for the foreseeable future, to continue to stay fit and build bone mass.

Page last modified: 10/11/2012


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