Great blog from my buddy Erik
The Old Blueprint has given me a real shot in the last 10 days or so. As much as I would like to tell you different, I went ahead and jumped right on in, too. I would also love to be able to tell you that I handled it rearing its ugly head with equanimity. However, that would be a lie.
Of course, the whole drift started with some insignificant items, one being a small tiff with a former co-volunteer, who was inconvenienced by something I did differently than he might have, a couple of frustrating and completely illogical time consuming breakdowns; one being my internet service and the modem I use, another a seeming meltdown of business processing at an otherwise reliable source. Add some very minor family drama and an incipient lecture from a completely unqualified and ignorant self-appointed authority (whose ministry I avoided, at least I didn’t sign up…
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This was my 30th marathon or ultra since I started running. I have had one DNF during those 30 races. Each race is always unique in it’s interpersonal experience. Each time I learn something new and useful for my life even if I don’t hit my “number” goal. Which brings me to reason for this post………my most profound lessons of this Across The Years 24 Hour Race.
- I am finding as I get along in my running life, that the “number” (finish time, distance, etc) may not be the most important part of the race at all. Sure it gives me a goal to work and train toward but is the number the thing that brings me the most lasting benefit? For me, I don’t think so. I am working toward a most powerful and awesome paradigm shift where the goal of the race is more for me to get what I needed from the race rather than achieving a certain finish time or distance. I have decided I want running to be a tool FOR my life, not my ENTIRE life. This is cool to me because I can never lose and I can always make sure that I improve MY LIFE instead of just my running.
- After seeing so many people at the race hobbling around at the start of the race as though they had just finished the race (you know what I am talking about if you run these), I have decided I NEVER want that for my life. I like to run and run long but I don’t want to be older walking like I do when I am at 60 miles. I realized that I want a more well rounded fitness and vibrancy and seeking the numbers of the ultra game are not of the most importance for me. I want a vibrant peppy step, a good range of motion, and over all fluidity to my stride and self.
- I also learned that making these ultra’s or marathons a part of an overall family vacation and fun time makes them much more meaningful. It also brings gladness and joy to the family seeing all the awesome runners out there doing their best which inadvertently seeps into the family’s hearts to inspire them. It also brings me closer to them knowing how much they love me and prove it by sitting in the cold night of a 24 hour race not only encouraging me but the other runners as well. How cool is that, that I can do something that mostly brings out the best in all of us DURING a vacation!!!!!!!!
- I realized that this is totally a fringe group of society, which is kinda cool but at the same time it is WAAAAAY smaller than us who do the events think it is. Nobody cares about these races LOL. Not one of the many MANY people I mentioned the race to had ever heard of it and many lived only miles from the world class event. This put it all in perspective for me which really was a catalyst for much of my paradigm shift. These events have to be done for me/you, of course there is praise from family and friends but mostly they think it’s insane. Heck even my running coach thinks its crazy. That is why I want to start focusing on my inner world and personal growth while using these races as a tool as apposed to an end.
Testing myself with these runs is amazing every time, and I think with my new perspective they will only become a more truly useful friend in my life rather than my life itself.
If you want a more “heady” exposition of the personal growth aspects of the race go to my personal growth blog.
I prepped all my stuff tonight that I didn’t mail ahead of time for my big 24 hour race this weekend. I head out tomorrow for the race and I am ready as I can be for it. My goal is to go beyond 63 miles for this race because it is actually kind of a training run for my favorite and big goal race in May, but I am not tied to the outcome so much. Hell, I mean the journey to get here alone is life and body changing. If I hit my goal……AWESOME……….if I don’t……….AWESOME. I put the work in for this and should be able to get it but stuff happens in life and running but knowing that I did my best and kept my promise to train and get to the starting line means the most of all. Which brings me to the most wonderful discovery of all.
- I/We are capable of so much more than we think at a particular point.
I am doing this, I did the training, and I used to be just some dude that never exercised and ate fast food all the time. Don’t believe me, check this out. I started at some point not ever having run before and had no idea that I could do this but I worked hard for my future self so that he could be the best he could be. I know you may not want to run 25, 50, 63, or 100 miles but what DO you want to do. I bet that you can do far more than you think right now. Just chip away at your vision……..your goal, with an open heart that keeps the ultimate goal of personal growth as the foundation. YOU CAN DO THAT THING YOU DREAM OF!
You can check out a little more about how I stay mentally tough in life, training, and this race here.
This is it! I have put the time and miles in for the Across The Years race. I lost a bunch of weight, got in much better condition, and persisted through all sorts of ups and downs. The funny thing is that this is not even my goal race but it’s a stepping stone ya know! HAHAHA. Who the hell makes a 24 hour race a stepping stone to a goal race LOL.
I shipped my supplies to my friend who live near the race and I am ready to roll. I plan to run 3 minutes and walk 2 for as long as I can, once the “as long as I can” point comes I am going to walk first then run when possible. My goal is to go beyond 63 miles which is my previous distance PR. It’s gonna hurt but it’s gonna be a fantastic growing experience.
Wish me luck!!!
Everyone knows that not running, when you are a runner, is tough…..but have you ever thought about how you can mental train yourself to be more tough by demonstrating mental toughness during an injury? That’s right, you can continue to train even when you can’t train by enhancing your mental toughness during a time of despair. Taking a break from running is not so easy sometimes, it takes it’s own type of endurance, and you can use this to your benefit.
- Think positively- Oh yes, easier said than done for sure. During a hiatus, it’s important to practice substituting negative guilty feelings with positive grateful ones as fast as you can when the negative thoughts hit you. This practice will really help you when you are back on your feet in a race.
- Train your mind by challenging yourself with exercise you don’t like as much. This will help you when you reach that HUGE freaking hill that you don’t like in the race since you know you can do what you don’t like to do now.
- Relax and think long term. You know how at the beginning of a marathon or 50 miler you don’t just sprint your way to the end??????????????????????? You don’t do that because it’s not wise and won’t get you what you want. Think like this when it comes to taking a break because of injury. Long term health and vigor are the most important in the end, plus………relaxing is imperative to your success while running as well.
- Use the spare time to FINALLY spend a Sunday with people you love since you can’t be out on the road for 5 hours. This will help you be more joyful while you are running as well.
- Stay mentally tough by making sure that you eat properly since you are not burning all those calories like you were when you were training hard. This goes back to #4 and long term health. You will also be feeling better if you kept at your current weight when you get back to running.
Those are some simple tips that will help you increase your mental toughness when you can’t increase it by running!