Tuesday, July 26, 2016

40 on 40

I turned 40 yesterday.  I decided to go for a long run...40 miles gives you a little time to think.  So here are a few random thoughts from a guy who has been on the Earth for four decades and a day and has enjoyed his stay considerably.

1.  I don't know shit.
     I really don't.  None of us do.  I've read things like "the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know"...I like to think of it more along the lines of "we're all dumb, some of us are just less dumb than others."  If you think you know everything, smack yourself a couple of times.  

For example:  "I can't feel my face when I'm with you"...what does that even mean?  I got nothing.  

2. Don't take yourself too seriously.  No one else does.
    I've learned this one from looking at old race photos.  Every one tries to take such bad ass race photos...and then one day you realize that you're just wearing spandex and playing games with a thousand other people wearing spandex.

3. Life's not fair...but it's still good.

4. Don't be afraid to suck.
    Think of all the people you know that you think are "good at everything"...they aren't really.  They are just willing to try pretty much anything.  

5.  Find someone. 
     You don't have to get married...but find someone special.  Guy, girl, black, white, purple, Muslim, republican, socialist, doesn't matter.  The investment will return ten-fold.  Find someone; share the adventure.

6.  Eat well.  
     This is debatable, until you think about the wording.  Eat.  Well.  Enjoy.  

PS: And don't eat anything you can't pronounce.  Except quinoa.  Eat the hell out of that.

7. Whatever you decide to be...be a good one.
    I think Lincoln said that...but he also said "Never trust anything you read on the internet"...so sometimes I don't know what to believe.  Point is...if you're going to be make donuts for a living...be the best god damn donut maker you can be. (Unless you're going to be a Hitler.  Be a bad Hitler.)

8. Be a good friend...the world needs lots of those.

9.  We don't know everything.
     This is different than number 1.  This is perspective.  And the fact of the matter is, you rarely (if ever) have enough information to make a truly informed decision regarding other people.  So don't assume that you do.  Don't live life on the default setting that you are the center of the universe and that you know, with absolute certainty, everything.  Don't believe me...go watch This Is Water 

I'll stop there because 9 is a perfect square.  So I ran 40 miles...much of it through the first dark hours of being 40 and that's what I thought about.  It was pretty dark running through the woods and it made me think of the quote my dad sent me the day before my birthday.  "When we stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back."  He commented that it was indeed a deep thought and left me to consider it.  Running through the woods that night with only my head lamp it was really quiet dark and lonely.  At times, it really looked like I was staring into "nothingness"...as the sun came up the next morning, the trees, hills, and animals emerged, and I realized that all that "nothingness" was staring back at me as well.  

40 is just a number...and I decided to run over the hills instead of "be" over the hill.  #carpediem 

Thanks to my wife for letting me do yet another stupid thing.  Thanks to my girls for looking at me like I'm pretty cool.  Thanks to my dog for being my wingman.  Thanks to all my friends and family who are really the ones who taught me all the things I wrote above.  And thanks to Tailwind and Nuun for fueling the night.  And my Salomon friends for loving my feet like they do.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Trucker Hats and Beards

Public Service Announcement:  Salomon S-Labs Sense 5s feel like slippers.  Seriously.

I've decided that while training is great...it's often a bit overrated.  Indeed, the most overlooked aspect of properly preparing for an ultra is trucker hats and beards.

I've taken a slightly different approach to my training for the Ice Age 50 (May 14th)...and I'm listening a lot more to my body.  In fact, my training has boiled down to these principles:

1. Get in "a few" run in the week with ONE QUALITY run and ONE HILLY run.
2. Strength train like a boss.
3. Make your weekend runs epic.

Everything else is just details.  Except trucker hats and beards.  Those are non-negotiable.

Last weekend I knocked out 2 hours on Sat and 4 hours on Sunday...I called it the HAF (Hilly as F*%#) Back-to-Back.  LOTS of climbing and LOTS of persistence.  In fact, #RelentlessForwardProgress is now my new ultra motto.  Figure out the big stuff...let the details take care of themselves...and KEEP MOVING FORWARD.  Just like Rocky said, trail running "ain't about how hard your can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward."  And trucker hats and beards.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Beatings Have Begun

I've always thought I was one trucker hat away from dominating the ultra running scene.

We all have our excuses.  We all have our goals.  I've always thought that successful training is the happy marriage of a simple goal...and the elimination of excuses.  

Simple does not mean easy.  Never has.  Never will.

The beatings will continue.  The question is...for who? 


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

We're Going Streaking

New Year...time to go streaking.
We all know about the streaks.  They start around Jan 1st.  They usually involve running every day.  They are usually tied to other goals which include PRs in all the races that year.

Now let's talk about streaks to actually make sense.

If you're a streaker and you are streaking for the sole intent of running consistency and the perseverance and satisfaction of lacing up the shoes everyday and running for the sake of running...bravo.  That's what streaking is about.  If you think you're going to PR by running everyday...oh boy.

I did a run streak in 2013...and made it to March, 14th.  Pi Day.  Einstein's birthday.  I ran a minimum of three miles everyday.  By the ides of March I was sick of it.  I woke up one morning and literally said, "this is dumb"...and then it was over.

So I propose a different kind of streak...a streak to make yourself better.  Everyday.  Here are my rules for streaking in 2016:

1. Everyday is another step toward my goals.
2. My steps towards my goals can be runs, strength training, biking, skiing, nutrition, swimming, yoga, stretching, etc...and most importantly REST when I need it.

That's it.  Stick to my training plan and move myself closer to my goals EVERYDAY.

On a side note...I am proud to announce that I have been selected by Nuun to be a Nuun Ambassador for 2016.  And don't forget...Nuun rhymes with "noon"...actually, it doesn't rhyme with "noon" it sounds exactly like "noon".  That's it.  Time to streak.