On days I don’t run, I think fantasize about running. In my fantasy, it’s a beautiful summer afternoon, my clothes are soaked with sweat and I’m not sure that I can make it another 50 feet. I push through when the heat tells me no, I push through when my mouth is dry and my body is screaming for water; I push through when the hills get too steep, when the humidity gets to be too much, and when there is no shade to be found at high noon.
All the odds are stacked against me, I will at worst crawl across the finish line, and at best some passer by will feel compelled to call for an ambulance when they see a body laying in a heap somewhere. I finish my run a hot mess, drenched in sweat, physically defeated – spiritually renewed. On this day, I walked through the fire and am strong.
Each day I make it through I am a little stronger. This is my fantasy reality becauseI am a runner.
Today I’m not where I’m going to be when I die – I am becoming something better everyday.
Does running make you mentally stronger? What are you willing to do to achieve it? What are you willing to sacrifice to attain your goal? I invite you to comment, tweet, or email me.
Now for some motivation when sleep seems like a better option.
Today was a fun day that let me do lots of fun things with my body, highlighted by a 13 mile bike ride in 80 degree sunshine! Today felt awesome, I regret that I had to spend anytime inside, and am hopeful that it will stay warm/sunny this week.
WIN OR LOSE, WE STILL BOOZE
Today is Sunday, which means I had about 2 hours of practice with my coworkers/teammates. Our last game this season is Tuesday. Games have been cancelled the last two weeks due to weather/holidays, so we all needed to go out there and swing the bat and play catch some.
Most Tuesdays after our games, win or lose (and we mostly lose), we run down to Hopjacks Filling Station and have a few beers. My favorite beer currently is Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, which they often have on tap. I’ve been getting into the cider beers lately also.
Beer = Good
After practice and a snack, I ran to the gym to do some body-weight exercises. I could have done them at my place, or outside for that matter, but I needed the focus that the gym offers.
I’ve come up with a simple routine, based on research, trial and error, that I’m currently enjoying. Below are the videos to the 12 exercises I do. Once I go through this cycle once, I repeat it for a total of 3 cycles. I try to keep my rest periods to a minimum between exercises, saving a water break until each set is complete. This routine takes me just under an hour. Sometimes if I’m feeling froggy, I’ll run a bit before and/or after on the treadmill.
This routine is an evolving one. I add and remove exercises (or add reps) when my body tells me to.
20 4-count flutter kicks
14 4-count mountain climbers
15 lunges (per leg)
10 8-count body builders
20 4-count jumping jacks
10 4-count fire hydrants (note – my version includes a second move that is full extension of the leg)
10 4-count scissor sit-ups (I really like how this video shows several different types of sit-ups!)
Finally, because it was 80 and sunshiny out today, I rode my bike for 13 miles. Here’s a map of my easy ride. Follow me on RunKeeper if that’s your sort of thing! I was still a bit fatigued from yesterdays long run and then the gym workout though.
Wow, I’m tired, let’s watch Ze Frank’s Sad Cat Diary. Enjoy!
D. H. Lawrence said “I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.” I think of this quote often, and always just like this:
This year has been a challenging year that has included the end of my 13 year marriage to the person I thought I would grow old with. I am a dad to three boys, ages 9, 6, and 3, and I am deeply saddened that I am unable to give them a stable family life with a mom and dad that love one another.
This year I have stayed sad too much, I have cried too much, I have been hurt too much. I don’t believe I’ll ever get over this pain I still feel deeply everyday, but I am responding to the pain in the best way I know how: use it to motivate me to be a better man.
When I’m running, and my legs are hurting and my lungs are burning and I want to quit, I recall this pain, and it makes me immensely sad. You can’t cry when you’re running – I’ve tried (if you can, run harder). Instead, I use it to propel myself forward, faster, harder, angrier, with powerful rage.
With this thought I went on my long run today, and accomplished a 13.46 miles in 2 hours and 25 minutes. The first half of this run included an extremely strong wind in my face. Shortly after the halfway point I had to stop and fix a shoe lace, and my legs were burning already. My mantra this run was “Is that all you have?!” It wasn’t. I have lots more.
I got home tired, legs hurting like they haven’t in a very long time. I showered, started lunch, then walked into my boys’ bedroom…
Being a parent is easily the most difficult and demanding job I’ve ever had. Many days for the last 8 years I was thankful when I could sneak away and get some me time away from my children. Now my boys stay with me every Wednesday, Friday, and every other weekend. This weekend they are with their mom. Today, after my run, I went into their room and sat down on their bunk beds, and held their pillows close and breathed in the remnants of their stinky boy heads. There is never a moment when I’m happy they’re not with me now.
I STAY LONELY…
I am a broken man. I don’t want to give a potential partner the burden of dealing with a broken life. I don’t think a positive relationship would result if it’s built on a foundation of my brokenness. But I am healing, very slowly. I’m still pretty cognizant of my ‘baggage’, and wonder what I could possibly offer that special person when I have three small children who I still want to give my all to. With that responsibility comes a financial commitment, lots of time, and the devotion of my heart and soul. What would I have left to give?
…BUT I WANT TO TRY AGAIN
I’ve met some awesome people (with ovaries) lately, which demonstrates there are some great fish in the sea. They are humans like me; they have been hurt, they’re trying to figure out life, and they’re lonely too. I want to be gentle with other’s hearts, but fear I most often am like this guy…
Please don’t give up on on me yet!
Finally, I’ve got some new shoes! I upgraded from Saucony Kinvarra 3’s to the Kinvarra 4. So far, I’m extremely happy with them!