Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I Run for My Life!

I had the good fortune of seeing many wonderful people this past weekend. It was amazing to hear all of the good will people offered me as it was the first time many of these folks had seen me since I ran the marathon. I was also blessed with a few emails from friends who have decided to pick up running and have told me they are inspired by me and my persistence.

Here is what I have to say regarding all of the amazing thoughts that people have shared with me over the last weekend. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

In all honesty I do not feel like an inspiration I do what I do because I want to improve my quality of life; I want to live. What do I mean you may ask? Well, I want to have a long life of many hikes, camping trips, music festivals, road trips, visits with my friends/family, and the list goes on... I realize that I have very little control over when I am going to die but as long as I am alive I am going to live my life to the very fullest, which includes logging an hour or more of running a day to keep me somewhat healthy (actually I should say sane). Who knows, maybe running will prolong my life and allow me to jump out of the airplane when I am 80 (ask me about this if you are interested), hike the AT when I am 85, ski St. Mary's glacier when I am 90...

The real point is I am going to take advantage of every moment, embrace every opportunity and enjoy life.

I was listening to my good friend Michael Franti as I was driving back from Chicago on Sunday and some of his lyrics really struck cord with me:

So if you love somebody better tell them so
'Cause you never ever, ever know when they gonna go

I love music because we all get to interpret the lyrics as we see fit. I believe this song, "Life in the City", is about taking advantage of every opportunity, in a somewhat backwards kind of way. Regardless running provides me the tools of taking advantage of every opportunity.

For your listening pleasure:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Addicted? Perhaps.

I was supposed to run tonight after babysitting the cutest little man in Columbus, but due to timing I have been forced to relax instead. Getting back into running after a marathon varies from person to person. Some folks jump in immediately and are able to heal quickly, while others may take a few weeks or even a few months to fully recover from a marathon.

Over the last week I have been trying to build my mileage back up to pre-marathon weekly mileage. I have not been fully successful but I am getting there! I have started writing a training plan but have become more inspired by running for the sake of running rather than having a true plan. Don't get me wrong, I am trying to achieve 250 miles for November and December (I am likely to fail as I will probably only hit 110 miles in November) and that is a plan, however I like to just go out and see where my feet take me.

Tonight as I sit in my 'grampa' chair, listening to music, reading and writing I have discovered that the simple act of running has turned into a need, some might even say an addiction, based on the constant shaking of my foot and the plotting of my run between work, dinner plans with one friend and movie or euchre plans with other friends tomorrow night. I feel as though my day is incomplete without running.

Here is a short little poem about running (yes this means my subject matter for the week was weak):

Some days I wake up and look at the sun
Immediately I wonder, when I can run
Other days I wake up and look at the rain
Instead of being discouraged I get ready to train

When I wake up and feel uninspired
I turn on loud music until I feel fired (up)
Dukie has a tendency to wake me up early
I put on my shoes instead of getting burly

No matter the day no matter the weather
Running will always make me feel better

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Humbled by Running

I realized today that there are a number of words I use on a semi-daily basis that I don't even know the true meaning of (wow ending sentences in prepositions, today is not a good writing day). Because I am a word of the dayer I feel like I have a somewhat adequate and intelligent vocabulary but when I realize I don't know the literal definition of, say, the word humble I need to educate myself so I don't sound ridiculous!

Dictionary.com solved this problem and provided me with a definition of humble (I should mention that I might still sound ridiculous even though I looked up the definition, but I'm OK with that.). Here is what I learned:

Humbled means:
not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble althoughsuccessful.
having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience,etc.: In the presence of so many world-famous writers I feltvery humble.
low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly: ofhumble origin; a humble home.
courteously respectful: In my humble opinion you are wrong.
low in height, level, etc.; small in size: a humble member ofthe galaxy.

to lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase.
to destroy the independence, power, or will of.
to make meek: to humble one's heart.

So I realized this weekend sometimes the things we love the most (running) are also the things that humble us the most. Take my Buckeye Classic 10k for example. As you all know I LOVE running. It brings me peace and serenity during even the most difficult days, but that 10k kicked my butt and sort of made me wonder if I can even call myself a runner. Now before you continue reading you must know that I ran a FREAKING marathon just one month ago. Humbled? Yep, I'd say so...

As I sit here recovering from a 10k I can't help but think I need to remember the activity that made me feel less significant, lowered my condition and made me feel meek is also the thing that holds me up. I am the type of person who used to be beat down when something proves more challenging than I initially anticipated but I have also realized that sticking to those same activities can provide me the stability needed to conquer my fears, insecurities, etc. So as I sit here wondering if I am actually a runner, I recognize I need to strap on my running shoes and continue to lean on and trust what kicked my butt on Sunday rather than abandon it because eventually it will make me an even greater person. I am going to embrace and welcome running back into my life, even after Sunday, because my potential with running is that much greater than my potential without it!

Take that Buckeye Classic 10k!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lessons From the Sidelines

Experiencing a marathon from the sidelines is very different than running one yourself. I had the pleasure of spectating my second marathon ever yesterday in Elyria, Ohio. Because I am a very reflective person I stood on the sidelines of my favorite person's marathon reflecting on his success and how I can learn from his success.

For starters, nothing in life is easy; neither is crossing the finish line of a marathon. The result we get when we cross the finish line is very reflective of the work we put in to getting there. Sound dramatic? Perhaps, but the reality is  that statement is so very true. Think about it, if your goal is learning to play puff the magic dragon on your guitar by Christmas but you only pick up your guitar to tune it from time to time, you should not expect to play puff the magic dragon any time soon!

So as I was watching this incredible individual achieve his goal all I could think is we all need to try harder, play harder, practice harder and believe in ourselves and the people around us. This week, and yes it has only begun, I have learned a lot about trust and commitment... If you want to achieve a goal you need to commit to it, do the work and trust the process!

Damn it, I am going to learn how to play Puff the Magic Dragon by Christmas!!!