Friday, September 12, 2014

Motivation & Priorities

One of my struggles in the past few years has been a complete lack of desire and motivation to run (more specifically, train)

One of the sports I really enjoy outside of running is football.  I love this time of year with college & pro.  I spent 4 years at Northwestern University watching a team lose, and 3 years was spent in the marching band forced to watch them lose.

I gained a strange love for college ball during those years, and I still carry it today.

I also used to really enjoy motivational speaking and books.  I was one of those guys who would find a way to find something good in all of the bad which can happen around you.  This goes pretty deep into my psyche and childhood.  That is for another day.

This summer, I was commenting about some funny quotes Herm Edwards had said.  In my search to find his "don't press send" quote, I found this gem.

If you need to get your house in order, your mind in order, your life in order, watch this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ux3GFoNIW3o
Part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fckLq945OeI
Part 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igywOyNyC_U

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Testing..... 1, 2, 3

Just curious if anybody reads this anymore or is interested in it going active again.

I stepped away for a while because.....

A - I just could not put the pieces together & did not want this to be a pity party blog
B - I lost my desire to be a runner..... for a while, at least
C - Had some personal issues I just did not want to be public about

Reasons for contemplation on getting the blog active again

A - After spending this weekend at the Superior Trail Races (volunteering), I am reminded of what this sport is about.... And I am still not sure I can explain it.
B - I am disappointed in where I have let myself get with diet and exercise
C - I am not ready to hang it up yet

So that is what the year and a half (okay, almost 2) break was about.

Stay tuned?

    Sunday, December 9, 2012

    1st Week in the Books

    Man, what I week.

    The mileage challenge started this week, and I set the bar pretty high for myself.  The problem, though, was my first run on Monday did not go well.  I decided to treadmill it (sometimes harder for me than running outside).  I got on, and was not into.  I was hoping for 10, and quit at 4.  I fully intended on making it up..... but we all know how hard that can be.

    Managed 10 miles each day Tues-Friday.

    P90X came this week, and my 8 year old was super motivated to do it with me.  So we did the fitness test on Thursday night, and did the first workout on Friday.

    I have to say it is kind of fun.  It is even more fun to have an 8 year old saying "come on dad, BRING IT"  He loved it.  I hung in there.

    It is easier than Crossfit so far, but a lot different.  This is more manageable for the average human.

    Saturday brought the famous "Donut Run" organized by Jordan.  I was not going to do it, but Bill P and Adam have been making a sport of gaming me on my lackluster performance lately.

    The Donut Run is a fun run where you run through South Minneapolis, stopping at a multiple of Donut Shops.

    I was to join them on the 17 mile loop (the long distance).  I needed more than that, so I arrived early and did 3 loops around Lake Nokomis (about 7.5 miles total).

    It was a blast.  Got to see a bunch of friends, but around mile 20 started to suffer.  Add in a few overshoots on which street to turn, my total was 25.8 miles.  If I knew that, I would have gone for the 26.2 (or actually 26.3) just to say so.  But once I stopped, I was done.

    Woke up this morning and did the Plyometrics P90X workout with my 8 year old.  Wow, what a great workout, but not a good idea 24 hours after a long run.  I toasted me.  But, this disc alone, is worth it for any ultra runner.  All of the moves are great supplements for ultra training.  And it is actually kind of fun.  I can't believe my kid just plows through it.  He is a red belt in Karate, and wants to be a professional athlete already.  He can beat me on a lot of stuff, but I still think I have better form (deeper squats).

    So my total for the week
    70.25 miles
    Long run = 25.8

    Boooooooya!

    Friday, November 30, 2012

    Challenge updates

    So I open my big mouth, and I get sucked into a competition with some of the guys from Wisconsin.

    The contest is between about 15 people.  Here are the rules



    Rules

    1. We'll start Dec 3rd and go thru March 10th, runnng or walking miles only (as a dedicated workout) only.  No equivalent credit for biking, skiing etc.

     

    2. Email the entire group your weekly mileage total and your longest single run for the week by Sunday night, no later than midnight, I will compile the week's results and send it out to the group on Monday.  If you don't have access to email, you can txt me at xxx-xxx-xxxx.  If I hear nothing from you by midnight, no credit for the week.

     

    2. Mileage is honor system, you're only cheating yourself, give me your weekly total and longest run to the nearest decimal (yes that has decided the rank of runners previously)

     

    3. Payments per week. (cheaper than any gym or coaching fees) To be paid at the end of the challenge.

            A. Four people with the lowest mileage totals will owe $2 to the pot.

            B. Four people with the lowest single long run will owe $2 to the pot.

            C. More public embarrasment if you're at the bottom of both.

     

    4. Points system

            A. Points will be given to everyone for weekly mileage totals, 1 pt for lowest mileage, 11 pts for most mileage

                    (here's where the consistency comes in, miss a week and it is hard to make up)

            B. Points will also be given for Top 5 single longest runs of the week

                    (lower points since not as valuable to your training as weekly mileage but still key to endurance)

     

    5. End of challenge payout
          A - I left this part off so the feds don't come and bust us an illegal gambling operation.  All of my winnings, if any, will be donated to my church.
     
    Thanks to Joe F for getting me involved in this.  Hopefully I can rise to the challenge.  My goal is average of 50-60 per week.
     
    *****************************************
     
    In other news, I decided to also do P90X over the winter months.  I pulled the trigger, and ordered it.  I get a kick out of the commercial, and am curious how an endurance athlete..... correction, former endurance athlete trying to make it bak, can hold up on this program.
     
    Take a look at the fitness test here and that can be my fitness challenge to all of you.  If you want to do our own form of the mileage challenge, I am game for that too (since I am already doing it)
     
    I will be updating my progress on the fitness test benchmarks.  It is all about progress.  I will include 2-3 trial runs every month, ranging from 1 mile to 10 mile.  (time trials).
     
    If I take the before and after pictures of my rock solid..... rock....  six.... okay, flimsy abs, I won't be posting those pictures.
     
    This should be fun.  Looking forward to something different, but not as crushing as Crossfit.
     
     
     

           

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    Anybody up for a Winter challenge?

    I have been toying with the idea for a while now (okay, every Winter) to do some kind of winter challenge to keep me motivated through the dark months of the Minnesota winter.

    I was thinking of setting a bunch of benchmarks, ranging from short running distances, to more complete body workouts.

    The idea would be to have certain workouts to complete during the week, and I post progress and updates.

    In addition to the weekly workouts, I was thinking of having a bunch of other benchmark exercises to work on (pullups, pushups, squats, etc.).

    Not sure how I would score it, but the intent would be to reward improvement.

    If interested, you could sign up with me under your real name, or an alias.

    Not sure what the specifics would be yet, but just trying to gauge interest.

    Anybody interested?

    Friday, November 2, 2012

    Should the New York Marathon be cancelled?

    So hurricane Sany hits, and New York City and surrounding areas are crippled.

    Yes, we all know the devastation to the area so I am not going to rehash it.

    On Wednesday it was announced that the NYC Marathon would continue as scheduled.  I thought "hmmm... this should be interesting."

    I quickly figured out that it would be "controversial."  Not that I think it is controversial, but the mass public would think it is.

    I think the sticky part of this whole thing is the fact that it starts in Staten Islan, and that was a spot especially hit hard.

    I get that the local residents there will have a hard time seeing resources allocated to a "sporting event", while their lives are in turmoil.

    I saw one woman intervied who said (not ver batim, but pretty close) We have nothing, no cash in our bank, no credit cards, no water, no food, etc.

    Okay, this thing was coming for almost a week, and you did nothing to prepare?  Why should the marathon not be held because you refuse to do anything to prepare for a national distaster?  This person was shown by a news crew as a reason not to hold the marathon.  Although, I am not sure if the reporter asked "should the marathon be cancelled?".

    I know many of you will think I am heartless.  I am not.  I know a lot of people in that area.  It is a tough situation.  But if you live your life day to day, paycheck to paycheck, meal to meal, the smallest wrinkles in life will be difficult.

    .......and yes, I can speak from experience.  I was laid off from work 2 times in 18 months.  I never missed any of my obligations to my debters, or my family.  Yes, I was somewhat lucky, but I was prepared and focused on moving forward.

    So the question, in my opinion, should be "why should the marathon be cancelled?"

    The marathon brings in over 300 million in business.  I fuels the hospitatlity industry, sporting goods business, and many other periphery businesses.  There are countless business along the route who benefit from it.

    I understand if police resources are being used which are needed elsewhere, but the NYPD has said that is not an issue.

    I saw a report about some massive generators being used for the marathon media tent, and citizens being outraged that those generators weren't being put to use in communities without power.  Problem with that is...... I don't believe you can just wheel a massive generator up to a power grid and flip a swtich.  It is a bad perception, but those can be used to power all of the homes they potentially could.

    All the while, Times Sqaure is still lit up.  (I was told it never lost power, but can't confirm that).  So Times Square stays lit, and nobody has a problem, but the marathon uses a genrator to power a media tent and they are evil.  I don't get it.

    I think it comes down to this.  The mentality of "If some of us are suffering, nobody should be enjoying."

    This reminds me of when me kids were babies.  We had a few who never really slept.  There were times where I would get up with the kids to ensure my wife could sleep.  There were  times she would get up, but would be mad that I would stay asleep.  I would tell her "One of us needs to sleep.  Let's take turns so our house can function."  She actually said once that if she is up, I should be up too.  Yes....if she is suffering, I should be too.

    Those days are long gong, and my wife is awesome and we love each other dearly, but those were difficult times in our lives.

    This seems to be the bottom line with the marathon though.  "If we are suffering, all of you should be suffering.  Or, at least, not be enjoying".

    By cancelling the marathon, the suffering would be expanded.

    If the case is made that a significant amount of resources are being diverted to the marathon when they are GOING TO BE USED in other areas, then I might think of this differently.

    But for now, I say, "Racers, get on your marks."

    Maybe movie theaters, Broadway shows, entertainment venues, basketball games, football games, anything else fun should be cancelled too.

    ......and I guess this means I can never run for political office...... Darn.

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

    Extreme is the new normal

    Once again, sorry for my formatting problems.  I blog so infrequently now, I didn't realize my settings needed updating.

    So one day last week I was driving to the airport.  I saw a car with a bumper sticker saying "Extreme" something and there were a few other stickers showing what this person did.  Nothing appeared to be extreme, but it was hard to tell.

    When I arrived at the airport, I saw some kid on the C terminal tram wearing a "Tough Mudder" head band.  He was dressed casual.  Collared shirt, decent pants, but an ugly orange head band.  It was comical.

    Now, for the record, I am fine with the "Tough Mudder".  Proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Foundation.  Can't say anything bad about that.  I just find it amusing that this dude was so proud of competing in it, that he was wearing it when it clashed his outfit.... and he had no chance of sweating (unless he was worried about his flight).

    In pop culture, "Extreme" is used for tv shows such as Extreme Makeover, Extreme Couponing, Etc..

    In politics, people who don't fit the classic 2 party system are labeled "extreme".  I once saw Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan sit together in an interview with Tim Russert (I think it was him, but it was many years ago).  Ralph was giving the Green Party pitch and Pat, the Independence Party.  Both were labeled extreme.  It was the most informative, best political interview I had seen in years.  They are diametrically opposed, politically, but they were great to listen to.  They knew what they believed in, held to those principals, and didn't apologize for it.  The masses dismissed them as "kooks" and "extreme".

    There was a show in the last 2 years about people with weird addictions.  The only 2 I remember were a lady who ate dish washing detergent (or something like that... can't really remember) and a guy who ran ultras.

    The funny part about the guy running ultras, it wasn't like he was doing something really that unusual.  The documented him running Javelina Jundred, which is tough in its own way, but considered a fast course.  I wouldn't consider someone who runs mid pack at Javelina, in plus 25 hours as "extreme".

    Local Minnesotans, John Taylor and Daryl Saari, are setting the bar for Minnesota on what extreme might be.  I know John has run at least 8 100s THIS YEAR!, and has finished at least 40 100s in his career.  Daryl, first guy to finish the Gnarly Bandit series, has run so many so often, I can't even begin to tel you how many he has run.  They both have completed Arrowhead Winter Ultra.

    The great thing about these 2, you would never know it if you met them at a social gathering.  They do not toot their own horn..... at all.

    .......and I am not sure I would label them as extreme!  Maybe because I know them and understand where they are coming from.

    But it is not cool to be normal.  It is not cool to be average.  It is not even cool to be a marathoner anymore.  Now, one has to be extreme to be cool.

    Now we have these "extreme" races where you have to run obstacles, crawl through mud, etc., and run (like 10 or 12 miles).  It might be hard, it might be tough, but extreme?

    I even ran into a woman last year who, when she heard I was a runner, had this conversation with me.
    Woman - "My mom is a big time ultra marathoner"
    Me - "Oh yeah, what is her name, I may know or know of her"
    Woman - "her name is xxxxx"
    Me - "hmmm never heard of her.  What races has she run"
    Woman -
    Me - "What ultra marathons has she run"
    Woman - "She is an ultra marathoner.  She runs lots of marathons"
    Me - "oh"
    My buddy - "uh,.... yeah"

    I guess we all have to be extreme to be accepted.

    I am "A Guy Who Runs" for a reason.  I do what most people could do, if they just put their mind to it and had the discipline to follow through.

    I am extremely normal.