Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why Do You Run?

Why do you run?
This is a question I hear all of the time, so I figured I would actually try to answer this one. Do I run for fitness, do I run to prove something, do I run to make new friends, do I run to forget about life, or do I run to learn about life? The list could go on forever, but I am going to try to answer these as honestly as I can. This may be a long blog, and lets just get one thing out of the way before anyone judges me. I am not a writer, I do not excel in grammar or English of any type. I am a math and science guy, so if the errors in the English language bother you, stop reading now and go get a good book to read. With that said, here we go!

Do I Run for Fitness?
The answer to that is yes! When I lost baseball (we will get to that later) I went through a major life change. I think back to a Robert Frost poem here: The Road Not Taken.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as long as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth...

I first heard this poem in 8th grade and hated that I had to memorize it, I hated every second of it, but it sticks with me to this day! Back to the topic; I run for fitness simply because I chose the wrong road once in my life. Who am I kidding I chose that "wrong" road more than once in my life. After I was told that I should not play baseball again due to an injury, I chose a road. I chose a road that looked like a lot of fun. This road involved sex, drugs and rock and roll. Not trying to be cliche here, but its the truth. I loved this road, and followed it for many years.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there,
Had worn them really about the same....

Pretty much from the late 90's until I met Jenny in 2002, little did I know at the time that she was to become my savior, my strength and my reason for living. She was the one that got me back into running, and at the beginning it was for fitness. I quit smoking, everything, and ran a 3 mile run with her. Worried about my back problem and the fact that I use to smoke a pack and a half or more a day, I figured I would just do this with her as a way to improve my lungs and get a little fitness.

Do I Run to Prove Something?
Another yes! After I met Jenny and started getting a few miles under my belt I decided that I had something to prove. For those of you that don't know much about my sports life, I'll give you a little background. I really do not want to write much about this, it's still hard for me to talk about, but I'll say a little. I grew up with one love in my life, baseball! If you knew me as a child, you knew that I had one goal in life and that was to become a professional baseball player. I did everything that I could for this to happen and was on the path of making this dram come true when I had a fluke injury that pretty much ended that dream. With that said, I will move on to why I run to prove something. When I got injured I was told that if I kept trying as hard as I did from day to day that I would hurt myself worse and probably never get to where I was before my injury. Basically a lot of people told me to hang it up and find a new goal in life. I listened....

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden back,
Oh I kept the first for another day!

Oh I kept the first for another day. I hung up my cleats and as I said before, took the road that looked fun. When I came back to some kind of reality, I started running to prove something! First to prove that I could do a 5k (3.1 miles) then to do a Half Marathon (13.1 miles) then to do a full marathon (26.2 miles). I accomplished all of these goals, and now have my sights set on the big goal of the half (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) and full (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) ironman triathlon! So yes I am out to prove something.... to myself and all of those who doubt me!

Do I Run to Make New Friends?
Yep. If you know me, you know that I am a pretty simple person. I have a lot of people that I know, but there are only a few people that I consider real friends. I mean yes, I have a lot of "friends", but you know what I am saying. There are only a few people out there that you know as real friends. The people that you can really talk to and you know they will listen. Well on the run you meet a lot of people and these people seriously become some of your best friends. You can't help that it happens like that. What else do you have to do when you are running an hour or so for 3 to 4 days a week. There is a lot of talking that goes on, and there are a lot of things that are said when you are out on that run that only you and them will ever know. It is these people that understand the battles that you go through day in and day out with, money, relationships, life, stress and pretty much anything else you can think of. These are the people I really consider my friends. You guys know who you are and I thank you for those moments.

Do I Run to Forget About Life or to Learn About Life?
YES! People always say, "What are you running from?" They have no idea how idea how true that statement is..... My friend James (powermultisport) said to me one day over a few tasty beers and some ironman discussion, "You don't get this far in life without a little baggage." I totally agree with him. I have things that I am not proud of, we all do, and I have a lot of stress from the daily grind but there is one place that I feel that I can let all of that go. There are days that I love to run with other people, but there are a lot of days that I like a good long run with nothing but nature and music playing in my ears. This is the place where I can let everything go and leave it behind as I run. I have read so many stories about the reasons why people run. There are stress factors, religious reasons, beating addictions, weight loss, forgetting about family issues, etc. The list goes on and on, but there is no better place to let it all go. Recently I have struggled with some issues in my life that seemed like there would be no cure....until I went out for a run. I know, sounds stupid, but I honestly went for a run and figured out a lot of things. I was sitting at work at about 11:30 one afternoon and it all hit me. I had to get up and get out. I really didn't feel like running, but I made myself go. It was probably about 90 degrees, at noon, in the south mississippi heat.... not a good time to run, but something happened to me that afternoon. I ran 4 miles (not a long run by any means) but during that 4 miles I did a lot of thinking and praying and learned more about myself that day than I may have ever learned. I left it all there that day, and I honestly felt like I was "running away" from everything. My life was changed that day. I believe that if I didn't go run at that very moment I would still be lost. So, do I run to forget about life? I think about that question again as I type this.... I don't think that I run to forget about life, but more to face my life and then leave it all in the past. I have learned more about who I am and what I believe in the past few years of running that what I learned in 30 something years of living. I owe it all to running......

I shall be telling this with a sigh,
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I need to go for a run....

Too much on my mind lately to write on here. Sometimes you just need to go for a run. Think I may go back to the basics tomorrow morning and go for a solo run with the ipod.

Don't feel like writing much right now so here are last weeks numbers:
run - a pathetic 5 miles
bike - a pathetic 44 miles (both on the spin bike)
swim - I actually did better on this one: 800m (that's good for me)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 2nd thru May 7th (My 1st unofficial triathlon)

Not much to write about here except that I did my first triathlon. No, it wasn't sanctioned or anything. It was a bunch of friends (well Tiffany came up with the idea) that decided a few months back that we would all have a little tri to see who could win. There was a 200yd swim, 10 mile bike and a 3 mile run all in Canebrake. The entry fee was a 6 pack of beer, winner takes all! This made me really want to win.

I jumped in the water at 8:30 am and swam the first 50 or so yards then had to turn over on my back and swim for a bit. I kept doing this until I got out on the water. There were 5 of us in the race, I was number 4 out of the water. Probably about a minute or so behind the leader. I took some time to change into dry clothing and catch my breath... I know, I have a LONG way to go to get to the ironman swim.
Next was the 10 mile bike. I felt pretty good about a mile into it and caught Eric. I could tell that he was not feeling too great so I decided to jump ahead of him as quickly as I could. Next in my sight was Ben, I could see him about a half mile ahead of me and I just grinded down until I got to him. I think we were about 5 miles into the race when I got to him. Ben and I pretty much rode the next 2 miles passing each other. We then spotted Tiffany and she was probably within 50 yards of us when we started up a half mile slow incline. I decided that it was time to make my move. I stood up and started pumping out some serious rpm's up the hill, I never looked back. I knew that I had 2 miles to get as much of a lead as I could.
I came into the transition for the run, changed into my running shoes and took off. I knew that if i kept an 8:00 pace that there was no way that any of these guys would ever catch me. My first 1.5 miles of the run went pretty much as planned. I ran about 8:00 to 8:10 pace and at the turn around I could see Ben and Eric about a half mile behind me. At this point I decided to show off a little. After we passed each other I kicked it into high gear. I wanted to really win this thing by a big number. I decided to push it to 7 min mile and get in as fast as I could. I came across the finish with my run being 21:34 that's about a 7:10 pace. I was really happy with my run.
What I learned today. 1-I am much better at the bike than I thought. 2-I am very happy with how strong I was during my run after the other two sports. 3-I need A LOT of training in the water. My swim is VERY bad.....

My weekly numbers are going to be a little low because I wanted to save myself for this "Muddy Water Triathlon," but here they are:
Swim: 500ish yards.
Bike: 50 miles
Run: 22 miles

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Update for today's post

Yep, after I posted this morning I drank about a pot of coffee and fell asleep with my two dogs (they are wonderful sleeping company). I woke up about 8:00 am and went into the studio to get some work done. I then felt bad for missing my spin class when my friend Tiffany messaged me about riding 10 miles out at Canebrake at lunch. I said hell yes, and had a great lunch ride on some hills!

I feel much better now.

I'm Tired

I have had a pretty good two days of training this week. Monday I went to spin class and Dawn (dawn will run) kicked our butts, it was a great spin class Monday morning! I ended up staying for awhile longer and finished up with a total of 25 miles on the bike.
Tuesday I woke up at a bright (well dark) and early 4:30 am to meet Tiffany at the pool for a swim. I got in the water and floundered around for awhile. Still pissed at myself because I suck at this swimming thing. I'm ready for it to "click" like everyone keeps telling me that it will do. I spent about an hour in the pool doing 25's and 50's and can honestly say that by the end of that hour, I was starting to feel a little better about my swim, not great, but better. We then got out of the pool and decided to run on the treadmill for awhile. Ended up doing 3 miles on that.
Last night I started to get this feeling in my left side of my ribcage, wondering if it may be from swimming? Who knows, but I know it is sore when I twist or breath in too deep.

This morning I thought I was going to get to "sleep in" until 5:00 am. My dog Piper decided against that idea. She decided that I was going to get up at 4:30 am with her to let her out and get her something to eat. I had plenty of time to drink some coffee, eat a good breakfast and go to spin class, but decided that I just wanted to sit here and drink my coffee and watch the news. I think it's exactly what the doctor ordered. I have a busy day of work ahead of me, so I'll take the day off of training today and get back to it tomorrow with a long run early in the morning with Dawn and Terri.

Seriously, how cute is she?!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


New Photo Jenny and I tried with today. I needed one for my new website.

I know, I know I have not posted in 2 weeks on here, so I must make up for lost time. I have been working extremely hard with photography for the past few weeks, so when I have not been training, I have been working. I have kept up with my training so here it is.
For the week of Monday April 18 thru Sunday April 24th:
Running: 23.1 miles
Swimming: about 500 yds
Bike: 100.1 miles

For the week of Monday, April 25 thru Sunday, May 1st:
Running: 20.16 miles
Swimming: zero, yes I said zero.....
Bike: 63.20 miles

OK so week one was a little better than week two, BUT in week two I did my first "long" ride on my bike of over 2 hours. I also got off the bike after the long ride and ran 2 miles. This is something that James (powermultisport) told me to do. It was a lot harder than I expected. Well, I would not call it hard, but it was different. My legs felt really crazy for about a mile and a half, but then started to feel better. As for the swimming. I have decided that I am joining a masters class that will take place on MWF from 12:00 to 1:00. I have not wanted to get into the water too much and take the chance of learning a bunch of bad habits, so I decided to wait until the class starts in the next few weeks and learn from people that know what they are doing.