Archive for the 'running' Category


What does running mean to YOU???


This was the sunset at my 24 hour race

This was the sunset at my 24 hour race

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.

Peace out!























Time For The Big Race?

Running down a small decline in a pretty sun exposed section of the course nearing the end of my journey.

Running down a small decline in a pretty sun exposed section of the course nearing the end of my journey.

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!!!


One aspect of mental toughness for runners

reality-check-ahead-signMental toughness is REALLY important for runners of all types.  Being mentally tough makes us better athletes.  Some people have found a way to become more mentally tough even when they aren’t running.

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.

Here’s how:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!


Losing your identity? Injuries!

running identity prisonSo after my super long training weekend a week and a few days ago, I found my knee hurting in a way that was not normal.  This is how it goes with doing these long runs and that is why listening to your body and being observant is so important while training and racing.  This week I have tried to run a few times only to find that my knee still hurt within the first 100 yards or so and this COULD be very discouraging.  In fact, this close to a race it could be down right devastating to some.  For me though, not so much.  Why you ask???????? Here is why:

RUNNING IS NOT MY IDENTITY!  I love running, I love what running does for my body and mind, I love what I learn about life from running…………………but running is not the only thing.  I have been where running and what it does for me was my identity but not anymore.  There is a lot to life and it is pretty normal to feel that without that “one thing” that you love that you would not be who you are.  For some it is that significant other, or a job, or drugs, or whatever……and the thought of losing any of those “one things” brings up fear in most to the point that they will cling to the thing to their own detriment.

Running is a vehicle for many things.  It adds enjoyment and vigor to my life.  If I couldn’t run anymore I don’t want to be in a spot where I can’t enjoy life or live with vigor.  I mean do you wan to lose your vigor or enjoyment of life because only one aspect is not working out in it?????  I doubt it, but this may have not ever crossed your mind.  It’s great to have focus but you also have to have the ability to adjust to life to keep it invigorating and lively.

So despite this set back, I know that I am ok and that my body will be ok and that I can accomplish all that I want in life even if I can’t run.  I am not at the place where I can’t run anymore and hope I never get there, but for now I need to back off a bit to heal up and I am happy as ever!

Try not to see your life as a prison just because you can’t do a particular thing!


Last big one done, on the road to the race……

GetAttachment.aspx50 miles!  I did it!  I got my last long run in this weekend before my big 24 hour push on December 28th.  I was so excited to have gotten fit enough to do this long of a run and I feel once again that I am an Ultra-Runner.  That feels good and it took a lot of patience, training, wisdom, and passion.  I didn’t get through it unscathed though.  I hurt my knee a bit in the areas you see in that picture.  I don’t believe it’s an injury but it is talking to me and I always listen to my body to ensure the long term goal of fitness and health.  I mean who cares how far I can run if when I am done I can’t run anymore for 5 months or ever again potentially.

The run was pretty dramatic also.  It rained/snow/hailed three different times during the run and it was very cold, I lost my head band that kept my ears warm somehow (you’d be amazed at how hazy your brain works after so many hours), and my ipod died early so I couldn’t listen to my recordings for MKMMA.  Nonetheless, I finished this puppy and it took me about 10 months to get to this point again after a long vacation from running and being health conscious.  I feel back more than ever and am on my way to keeping on keeping on one step at a time.

Things for the readers to remember:

  • Stuff takes time.  I have been doing this stuff for years even though I took a big break in the middle of it all.  When I started this journey at my all time high weight years ago, I couldn’t even barely walk 2 miles.  I kept at it and it is worth it all the way.  Be patient with yourself, love yourself, and listen to yourself.
  • It’s painful at times.  It hurts to run 50 miles.  There is no getting around it.  And if you have never run or exercised, it is gonna hurt to walk 2 miles just like it did for me.  It hurts a bit to get on the scale to see you are bigger than ever, or see that after a year on the weight loss journey you gained 3 pounds one week. Take all of this pain and be objective about it.  Don’t judge yourself, just take it as info that can help you succeed down the road.
  • You can do it too.  I truly and honestly believe that just about anybody can run 50 miles, but most people would never want to and I get that.  Here’s the thing though, you can do FAR more than what you currently believe that you can do.  Begin to believe THAT and things will start to change.
  • Starting is the biggest challenge.  Getting to the starting line is the biggest thing you can do.  No reason to wait until xmas is over, or the holiday temptations are done.  “Do it now”.

Faster, Rainy’r, longish run!


This weekend I had a half-marathon to run on my own out on the curvy hilly roads of my hood.  The task was to keep a faster pace.  Often when training for really long races and runs, I do shorter runs at harder paces to keep myself in shape for shorter distances and this ultimately creates faster longer distances. It rained like crazy.  For about 3/4 of the run.  I took this pic because this little river developed in a matter of only about 20 minutes.  The cool thing is that instead of dread the rain or hate it, I turned my mind to loving it by realizing it was a cleansing run that was refreshing!  Awesome huh??? Did you realize that you can DECIDE how to think about something…….even rain during your run.  And that if you do this in a positive way it will help you in the rest of your life.  I think that that’s pretty darn cool. So next week I have a long run weekend again.  I will post about it then but I have to go about 50 miles in a 24 hour period and that will be my last long run before I hit the road for the Across the years race in Arizona. Wish me luck!


Better than the runners HIGH!

Today was a fantastic run.  I am currently in this totally awesome course called MKMMA and this is part of why this run was so awesome today.  If you have never put your voice to music so you can listen to your vision in life while you run I highly recommend it.  So I was out there on the normal beaten path of the sidewalk I hit most days of the week, IMG_20141117_084159401when all of a sudden my ipod just came to life.  I even shed a tear about this.

It was a super cold brisk sunny day and I was intently listening to myself with some awesome background music tell myself how awesome my life was and how much I am and am going to accomplish.  The exertion of running, the cold air going into my lungs, the sound of my voice and the sun all came together and everything seemed so certain, so ok, so RIGHT! Now that is an awesome feeling that beats any runners high hands down.  My body felt great, my mind felt great, my heart felt great, and my emotions felt great.  Wish all of my runs felt this way but I have a hunch that more of them will be like this in the future.

The basics of todays run was 4 miles slower and easy with the last two miles headed home at a hard pushing pace.  Nothing was stopping me today.  So while I am on top of the mountain for now, I wanted to share with you that so much is possible for you, so much is in you, SO MUCH.  Even if you can’t see it or feel it, it is there.  Ask yourself the simple question: What do I really want my life to be? Then just sit there and think about it……when it comes to you……WRITE IT DOWN.  Then put it to some music if you can. Ask me how in the comments if your curious.  Peace out!