Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Three Times a Runner

Celebrate rarely, grind daily.-- Colin Cowherd

I decided that I would try a run club sponsored by REI. The meetup was about 1.5 miles from where I live so I said to myself, self, what would the Raramuri do? They would run to the meetup, run the run, and then run back home. That is precisely what I did except for the fact that I ran .8 of a mile in e wrong direction. A 1.5 mile run turned into 2.6. My easy jog to the meetup had to change into a 5k pace run so I could make it on time. The best part was before I left home. I put on my running gear and my son said, "hey daddy, are you going to work now?" Yes son, daddy is going to work.

Aside from the small turnout and my mapquest on my phone sucking, it was a pretty cool run with Atlanta natives in areas I hadn't run yet. We ran on the outskirts of Grant Park. 

Probably the coolest part of the run was running through Oakland Cemetary and learning about the Battle of Atlanta as curated by the REI tour guide of sorts. Running in a new place is so refreshing. Sometimes, back in New Jersey, my routes felt stale. I ran them because I love to run and they were easy to get to, I could go right outside my door, and I knew the distances. There is, however, a certain je ne sais quoi about a new route. The exciting new turns and sights are worth the change in heart rate that one receives when attempting the unknown. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Short Run, Short Note

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle-- when the sun comes up, you'd better be running. - Roger Bannister

Today I went for a short run around my new neighborhood. I went for a short run because I couldn't wake up early enough to run longer. Still, I am very deliberate about my short runs. Some say that short runs have to be fast but I don't really believe that. Long runs can be fast. I've had weeks when my ten mile run's pace per mile is faster than my 10k or 5k. I ran today because I want to run everyday but my body won't allow it so I feel horrible when I miss a day.

I said that I am very deliberate about my short runs. Maybe I meant meticulous. Very rarely do I take random turns to get lost on these runs. I choose my shoe by what I feel my body needs. I wore shoes with more explosion and support because I've been really achy and I want to relieve my joints a bit. Typically I prefer a light shoe or a minimalist shoe. I picked six of my favorite songs to ensure that my playlist was all power songs. I picked my new favorite route along the Atlanta Beltline on a short trail
and I snaked over towards Krog street so I could run under that bridge and admire some really cool street art.
I finished on a familiar straightaway where I could open up if I felt like it. Short runs for me are purely for the love of running.  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Twelve Marathons in Twelve Months

Education is not the learning of facts, it is training the mind to think- Einstein

So after lots of thought and deliberation with my wife, we have decided to give this marathon a month thing a shot in 2016. 2016 will be my fortieth year. Instead of buying a Porsche or a Harley Davidson (which I can't afford), or perhaps bungee jumping into an active volcano to accomplish item number 757.4 of section 18 on my bucket list, I've decided to run 316.4 miles over a 12 month span. 

Certainly training will tabulate much more than that but the idea of running twelve marathons, for 12 medals in 12 different venues, in multiple states is very intriguing. For those that have started and finished a marathon, we understand that it takes effort, dedication, discipline, and focus, to name a few. Trust me, when I say to name a few, I mean the list can go on and on for the things one needs to do in order to cross that finish line. In addition to what a runner must accomplish emotionally and physically, said runner needs to get family and friends on board. Those late night bar crawls begin to disappear as training ramps up. Rolling out of bed hungover after a Friday night blackout is replaced with early Saturday morning long run since you get about 16 weeks out from D-Day. Granted at my age and status of a husband and father of two young children, I know very little about Friday night binge drinking. The commitment however, to training, is something that my wife needs to agree to and understand. 

Why do 12 in 12? I've done 2 in 1 year and one a year since 2003 but there is a next level and next step for me. I played team sports and boxed and the nature of games would be to train and prepare for game time. The game, in theory, would be you at your best. I miss that constant game time feel. I run year round without taking any significant time off but when July hits and I have a marathon in November my mentality changes. I no longer run recreationally, I train for a marathon. Before July and after Marathon day I sort of shut it down and simply run for the love (haha). There is nothing wrong with that but I want to live and train like a pro athlete. I'll have to watch my diet, my rest, how much I exert myself, for an entire year. Floyd Mayweather Jr., one of the greatest boxer ever is said to walk around at his fighting weight while other fighters need to cut weight in order to be prepared for fight night to make weight. I won't be able to taper for twelve months. I will be marathon ready from January 25, 2016 (or thereabouts) to some time in December. Foam rollers, Sticks, vitamins, and water will be important staples to get through with 12 medals in twelve months.

I am not the first to do it. I'm not the last to do it. I'm not the coolest. I don't have a cool story Bro. I don't have a sad story nor am I raising money. It will not be as difficult as Dean Karnazes doing 50 marathons, in 50 states, in 50 days. It is not an ultra and I have not overcome any particularly difficult ordeals. All of that said, this is my journey that means a lot to me, my wife and my kids. 

I quoted Einstein because I am getting an education on running in general and my running in particular. The challenge is, how do I look at what I've done and what I need to do in order to accomplish my goal, not how to do it. That answer is simple.