Wednesday, July 25, 2012

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” –Proverbs 27:17

This is not going to be a Biblical lecture, but I do think that we can take value from his statement.

The endurance lifestyle not only reflects your strengths but also highlights your weakness. It is difficult for active individuals to imagine a time when they will be unable to push beyond the pain or over the next tribulation. Personally, I recognize that I am very impatient. In my training I tend to lose my cool and push too hard too fast with one of two results, epicness or failure. I want results yesterday and need new challenges everyday else my mind begins to wander and my training waivers. Luckily I have been fortunate to have stumbled across a community that understand the stress of balancing life, work and play while attempting not to lose one’s mind.

Random Fact: between 1915 and 1924 Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs called themselves the Four Vagabonds and would take long camping trips during the summer. Can you imagine the insight you would gain by sitting around a campfire with some of the era’s most elite men? Listening to the leaders of industry and cultural icons talk about life, business and the meaning of it all would be a wealth of knowledge that no book could ever teach you.

I mention the “Four Vagabonds” because in our modern era such meetings are held behind closed doors and any conversations would be privileged or simply unavailable to the public. But what can we do now? Find iron and get working. There are brilliant people around us we do not engage because we are “too busy”. All of us have communities in which we can make a difference and that can make a difference in us. Can you imagine what you would do if you knew 10 years ago what you know now? Besides investing in google and apple stock, I think most of us would make better use of our time and find those people who we can help and who can help us sharpen our strengths and polish out our weakness.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Birthday Reflections

Every year when my birthday comes around I reflect on where my mind is now in relation to the goals I set for myself years ago. Most years I would be depressed for a week because my life is not where I thought it should be. I think we all have a list of “things to do before age “1XX”…bungie jumping, a marathon, reading the Bible, whatever it may be.

This year I decided to take stock of my original plans. I quickly saw they did not account for personal and environmental growth. They assumed that everything would remain the same and I would want and need more of the same perpetually. As I have grown I understand more and more the age old saying “the only thing permanent is change” (I think its Aristotle, but not sure).

I think that we all give up control of a lot of things we should have a handle on. Example, “I don’t have time” (we know it’s a lie, come on), “I could never “blank” (yes you could, why stop yourself before the start?), “I’ll do it tomorrow” (tomorrow is always a day away, never today).

I decided to start a birthday tradition. I want to run/bike/hike/walk my age in miles as long as I can. It will become my tradition. I don’t want to worry or obsess over how my life is not where I thought it would be, because I understand that it never will be. There is always “something.” So instead of worrying I am going keep working hard to achieve my goals and thank God for the ability to move by celebrating life and hopefully inspiring others to do the same.

Monday, July 9, 2012

June Injury / Headlands 100 Update

     June 2012 was not what I expected. In May I came off of two huge PRs at the 26.2 and 50 mile distance, I was invincible. I was running faster and throwing up mile splits I could not even fathom a few months back. After the PRs I trained harder and faster without as much focus on my recovery and I paid for it. I over trained and under-recovered and naturally my body gave me the finger after a few weeks.
     The first two weeks of the month my left calf muscle hurt every step I took. I tried massage, visits to the chiropractor, even acupuncture...but what I needed was to rest. I stopped for a few days and felt stronger. Once my calf did not hurt to walk on I cranked out 8 miles at redline; that night the pain returned. I was not longer enjoying my runs and no longer being happy.
     It was the slice of humble pie I needed. After the PRs I was having a lot of fun shattering times on my regular routes. Feeling so lean and fast I did not want to stop, but the truth is my body was putting out more than it should have and since I did not recover the injuries forced me to do so. Last week I logged 30 running miles and it is an achievement considering the month of June was a fraction of what previous months were. But I learned a valuable lesson, don’t cheat recovery and run happy or else you’re not doing it right.
     My realization is very timely since the Pacific Coast Trail Runs (PCTR) announced on their website the Headlands races are still happening. I guess some other group stepped in and will be putting them on. The RD announced on Facebook the PCTR company was shut down, so I figured that the event happening was 50/50. The injuries have reset my goals for this race. I will be going for a finish rather than a sub-24 performance. Again, humble pie but if I want to be doing this for the long haul I need to let my heart and mind work to get it done instead of allowing my ego dictate pace.