Posts Tagged ‘participation

02
Jun
10

A life lesson from a “tuff” race!

 

photo by strangesports.com

So I have been thinking about this blog post for about two months now and this last race pushed me over the edge to finally be able to articulate in some form what I have wanted to say.  Most of you  know that I think ultra-running parallels life in many interesting ways.  One of the ways is the unexpected blow up.  Just reading what I just wrote possibly brought up your own sacred times in life where you experienced a “blow up”.  Not of temper, not of fire, but of life itself and the dreams that are contained within it.  Times in your life that forced a renegotiation of your goals or path.  We have all experienced this in some form or another.  But what we do with these times is what counts the most.  Avoiding times like these at all costs will not permit you to totally avoid them.  We can plan, we can hope, we can pray, but these times occur regardless.  It is possible to minimize the damage they can cause or possibly their frequency but one thing is for sure; they will happen.  And this is ok.  So I am going to write out one of these the best way I know how because I think you’ll like it and I just need to do it so here it goes.  Picture your own life as I describe the situation in running form.

Ahhhhhhh……….my goal is ahead and I have worked so long and hard and dreamed for so long about it.  I can taste it.  I can almost experience my dream in my mind just pondering on the attainment of the goal.  THAT place is so happy.  I know it will be amazing to get there and the sense of peace I will have knowing that I got my dream.  The journey has been long to get to the starting line but I am here.  I start my race with such joy and comfort knowing what my future hours hold for me.  Running in the breeze thinking how blessed I am to be able to be taking part in life like this.  I meet people along the way that improve my experience greatly.  I find out more about them as we run together.    I know that they are most likely just for a time but at this time it is great to get to know them.  As I am running I see the hills before me without fear because I know I can walk if needed or I can slow it down enough to conserve my energies.  There is no rush really, I have a long race ahead of me but the excitement must be contained so that I don’t burn out on a good thing.  I keep on just getting more excited that my dreams are ahead of my and they will become a reality.  Of course there are rough patches during the run.  My legs burn and I want to rest.  My back is tight and I want to stretch.  Many thoughts come during those rough patches that widdle my dream down to barely possible.  Then the sun shines in through the trees and my life returns as I eat some more carbs.  My mind awakens and I am in “the good” again believing all is possible.  Time moves on and on as I run.  I’m running, I’m running, I’m running.  After a long time of pursuing this dream something happens seemingly out of nowhere.  It’s the blow up.  The blow up is a devastating crushing blow to my mind and emotions.  The dream is shut down and the door feels closed.  Survival is my only thought during a blow up.  That and giving up completely.  I know the end is near enough but the short distance from the present darkness to the light at the end of my great achievement appears to be many more miles than it really is.  My thoughts change from delight in life and running to self questioning and sanity.  “Was I stupid for trying to achieve and experience great things.  Did I bite off more than I can chew.  Will I hurt myself doing this.  Am I in danger in this dark time” .  All the negative thoughts that I was able to conquer regarding my dreams before are now so consuming that I cannot shut them up.  Panic sets into me just as powerfully as the joy set in earlier in my journey.  Will I be able to get what I want so badly out of this now that attaining my original goal is impossible?????  This is where the magic happens in ultra-running AND life.  I know I can’t make it to my original goal.  I am already running longer than my goal finishing time and I have so far to go still.  What am I to do with all of this.  If I give up and quit I still have to walk to the finish because there is now way out of the race (life).  If I keep going through this blow up it’s going to hurt really bad and I don’t want to hurt that bad anymore.  If I just go slower I might as well quit!  But then the renegotiating happens.  At first I hate it because it feels weak like a cop-out but the courage begins to build again but for a new purpose.  The original goal is now very far gone but the endurance and capacity to conquer the blow up now takes precedence.  I find myself realizing that the journey could very possibly be more important than the attainment of the original goal.  The the experience of this hurt, this “failure”, this “shame” could be worth millions more than crossing the finish line without scars.  Although down and out, I forge ahead with a new but painfully real struggle.  I must not let the “blow up” finish me.  Then it hits me, “OMG………..the goal is not me.  I’m me and I don’t have to let the circumstance finish me and in fact I can let it refine me.”  My heart melts at the prospect of making it through this blow up as a better man, as a better more knowledgable runner.  I find great peace in this painful experience knowing that just making it through to the other side of it means so much to me.  And when I cross the finish line where my goal once sat waiting for me to take it, I am thankful for making it at all.  I am thankful for that pain and hurt that even though at the time seemed so intense was really only temporary as compared to the impact it will have on my future runs and life. 

So I think it is with life too.  We all have goals and aspirations and dreams.  Sometimes it is as though we are running through life so smoothly but we don’t see that huge cliff that drops off just ahead.  That cliff that swallows up so much of what we think we have in us to give.  That blow up that takes so much out of us that life seems terribly painful to keep at.  So much is possible for us.  So much is right there for us to become if we can renegotiate the path and the goals.  In a sense I feel like even though we might not get what we originally wanted, we will get the best that is attainable by moving on through the blow up.  Things get painful, and slow, and don’t work on our time line but keeping on develops in us such a tremendous power to achieve the most important thing.  That is to achieve the depth and reality of the person that we can be.

16
Mar
09

Marathon #13 Race Report. Bad weather, Secret #71, and Personal Record.

Race Headquaters

Race Headquaters

What a marathon experience this was.  To me, it was like the beast that brought the runners together.  With the weather being so horrible, it seemed to bring the runners to a place where we understood, “We are a unique bunch of crazy people”  Twelve of us toed the starting line for the early start as we laughed about the 2-3 inches of snow on the ground and the pouring down snow/rain mix.  Despite the weather we were an energetic group ready to take part in the rare adversity of this marathon.  At 9:33 a.m. we took off together not knowing how things would end up.

The Leprechaun Marathon was filled with what seemed like a lifetime of weather.  For the first ten miles the snow/mix was coming down hard.  Since the course was not closed to traffic, every car that passed was spraying me with slush that was on the road.  Now that was cold and dirty stuff.  After awhile I tried to jump over the spraying slush so instead of hitting me from the waist down is was just soaking my feet.  Took three potty breaks in the first ten miles. HAHA 

From the half marathon point to mile 18 it just plain rained.  The snow had pretty much melted away so no more car splashing.  My clothes were so heavy from the wetness that they we rubbing me raw in many places.  Just part of the fun I guess.  Nothing I could do about it so I ended up just laughing at the adversity.  I could not change anything so I just had to do my best and try and keep my pace in line.  I was also alone for the entire race.  I never for even one minute ran with someone.  Since there was so few people, we were all spread out.  Then the most amazing thing happened……….. Continue reading ‘Marathon #13 Race Report. Bad weather, Secret #71, and Personal Record.’

08
Mar
09

You CAN run a marathon.

rock_n_roll_marathon_start

Image credit: San Diego Rock&Roll Marathon

You can run a marathon.  Maybe you can’t even walk for 30 minutes, but if you keep up with your activity, you will eventually have the ability to finish 26.2 miles.  Is finishing a marathon one of your lifetime goals, one of your impossible dreams?  I believe that you can do it.  It is not easy to get to the starting line nor the finish line.  However, it is possible.  As you probably already know, I started out at 307 lbs and only able to ride a stationary bike for 12 minutes.  If I could do you it, you CAN do it.  You must take it slow and build up your fitness.  I talked to my doctor about it before I started to train for one, you should too.  Below are some resources to get started towards  your goal of finishing a race that only about 1% of people finish each year.

16
Feb
09

Why I felt great here contest!! New submission just in. 24 total

 

eye-001Contest Time

 This contest is open to ALL people.  Even the ones that don’t live in the USA.  The contest has also been extended to go through 2/27/2009.  There are now 24 wonderful contestants who have submitted their pictures.

See the original post for instructions on participating here

The popular post that inspired it all here. 

Subscribe here to receive your own personal contest updates.

Here are the entries:

  1. Robfitness
  2. LTer4ever
  3. Sarah/Back in step
  4. Athleticme
  5. Holy and Living Sacrifice
  6. My submission (don’t worry, I won’t be the winner.)
  7. Cecile 
  8. Smiles by Sam
  9. Shannon
  10. Matt
  11. Andrew
  12. Carrie
  13. Amy
  14. Tigerlily
  15. Rebecca
  16. Linda
  17. Angela
  18. Hanlie
  19. Kim
  20. Krissie
  21. Tess
  22. Moran the running addict
  23. Brandon at Fithacks
  24. Melissa 
11
Feb
09

Win a run4change T-shirt. Why I felt amazing here, contest!!!

eye-001Contest Time

 

 

 

So many of you mentioned that you loved one of the most popular posts here at run4change.  Some of you thought that the post theme would make a great T-shirt.  Then, one of you mentioned that the cool T-shirt should be the prize for the winner of a contest held here at the blog.  So I did a contest to see who could come up with a great contest idea and you all voted on the one that you thought I should use for this contest.  Here is the idea that you voted for me to use for this T-shirt contest:

How about submitting a pic with a short description: “Why I felt amazing here.” It could be a way to focus on times when we FELT great regardless of size/appearance.

You loved the idea and so did I.  So now it is time for the contest.  Read on to find out how you can participate and win a run4change T-shirt (I will be getting the shirt made after the contest is over so I know what sizes to get).

Continue reading ‘Win a run4change T-shirt. Why I felt amazing here, contest!!!’

10
Feb
09

I got in! Whoohooo Yipppyyyy!

I got confirmation today that I have been registered for my favorite of all races: The Strolling Jim 40 Miler.  I wasn’t worried until I read the website this last Friday.  I noticed that they changed things around and that the race was capped at 50 runners on a first come first serve basis.  So I sent in my registration and money right away.  So happy to be in.  It’s gonna be great and I am going to set another Personal Record there.

09
Feb
09

My 12th marathon report!

 

Race Headquaters

Race Headquarters

 

Minutes before the start

Minutes before the start

The marathon went well.  It was a very hard marathon for me mentally.  I had two pretty big ruff patches.  One between miles 16-18 and another between miles 24-26.2.  It was a good experience though and once again I learned that I could push more than I thought.  I also got two blisters.  You would never guess where either I bet.  I got one on each collar bone. HAHAHAHA  I had my Ipod, a bag of my fueling stuff, two gels, a hat, and an ear cover thing in my jacket pockets.  The extra weight of the miles just rubbed my skin off.  It started to bother me around mile 15 but I have had this before so I knew it was not big deal. Continue reading ‘My 12th marathon report!’