Getting my thoughts gathered to blog about an experience like this is always hard. Where do I begin and what do I begin with? Where my thoughts are going right now is on Laura and the boys because they went to South Bend for another family Christmas and are driving back now. She is so tired she is having trouble with driving and I am worried she is too stubborn to pull over and buy an energy drink.
A few of my clients know I do these type of races and always ask why? What is your brain says this is okay? I always reply to the why with “Because I can.” That usually does not satisfy them and they always reply with “We know you can, but what drives you to do this?”
What drives me? What drives you? I bet if you answer that question, our answers will have the same type of answer….maybe its to satisfy a goal, show a family member or friend you did it, or prove to yourself that no matter what you can finish. I am all three of those plus one additional, and in my opinion, the biggest of them all. I do these because I want something to challenge me beyond
anything I can imagine, I want my body and mind to be so far gone that the staff have to hold me down just so I can’t keep going….because I would keep going. I want an honest to goodness DNF……
Why you ask? Because if I am so far gone that my body and mind shut down, I will know two things…..I will know what my limit is and I will know at what threshold I need to work on. Yes, our Corn Fed Spartans team did DNF for the Ultra Beast in Vermont….it counts but we could have kept going…we could have finished it. Them yanking us was the right thing in their eyes because the of curfew, rain, cold, blah blah blah…in our eyes it was our mission to finish at all costs…like the battle in the movie 300 when they were fighting nonstop…someone didn’t look at a watch and say, “Hey guys, its 10PM, let’s call it a night and finish this tomorrow at 8AM.” Getting off track…sorry.
The weather promised to me cold today, and there was no let down there. I took my shoes Laura got me for Christmas, the New Balances because I remembered the few times on the road last year was killer for me because of the trail shoes I had worn. Normally, with trial shoes, I can race the same day as I buy them….done it several times before with no problems. Note to self, roadish shoes can NOT be done that way. Don’t get me wrong, I think I would have been okay except for the fact that the ground was hard as a rock,
slippery just like an ice rink, and the snow was packed in a way that made it very rough on the joints. Sounds like just another Spartan Race, but the 50K version of it. Erik Krantz and I stayed together the whole time and for the first lap (15.6 miles), had a pretty good pace going. Stopping at each aid station, taking the S-Caps, and moving on. The miles were flying by and we were feeling great. We crossed the timing mat at 2:47. The second lap separates the men from the boys, and we both knew our pace would be slower, but what we didn’t know is that Erik’s knee did not want to cooperate. The twing of pain would cause him to stop and walk for a little bit…problem was, his walking was a freaking jog for most. I pride myself on hill running and walking fast and Erik may just take that to another level. With the terrain rough, the conditions cold and snowy, we pushed on, through the pain of his knee and my new shoes pain. It was inevitable that we would finish, but at what time we did not know. I made a lofty goal of around 5 hours. Last year with how the 2nd lap kicked my ass, I completed the race at the 7:34 mark and was trying to take it to another level with my goal time. Obviously, 5 hours went out the window but we were still going to make it in under last year’s time. We skipped the last aid station and Erik asked if I was ready to sprint to the finish…I said I wasn’t but when he started going, so did I. We both had something left in the tank and killed it to the finish at the 6:35 mark. Here is the Garmin Mapping of it. Stats for the finish.
Lana Bowman was there to do the 10 miler as well. Having come off of being sick for the past few months and not training, she cam in with an impressive time of around the 2:30 and really killed it! Great job Lana!!
The lesson? Your body is more capable than you think…give it a chance and it will show you. Shove your mind out of the way and let it wonder as you go for it…fear is a great feeling in ration, but can also make you doubt yourself when too much is added. And always remember, you are powerful, treat it as such.
Today, running consisted of going to the gym to do hill repeats on the treadmill. Not ideal, but with the lack of hills with any length to them in our area of Indiana, that is the best way to get a great uphill sprint. Today’s workout really had me thinking about the Huff 50K this weekend and whether or not there were hills. I don’t remember any which makes this run a little easier in my mind. Funny…how we say that more and more. Never mind the projected high of 24 degrees, or that the race is 95% trails with the only road we run on is from one trail to another. This is the first ultra I did with doing this last year. I didn’t know what to expect and it scared me and that fear is what got me through it. This year, after doing multiple races, attempting the Spartan Race Ultra Beast, and completing the Legend of The Death Race Training Camp, I come into this weekend more focused on what I need to do to make my 5 hour goal time. What drives me? Several things….my beautiful fiance, our boys, me, and the Corn Fed Spartans. These people in my life are positive and without them, my life would be worth a lot less. This past year, I feel very lucky because I was able to get hired by an awesome employer before I graduated from college, I witnessed Laura go above and beyond what she ever thought she could with finishing the Vermont Beast along with several other races, and I made more friends of like mind then I ever thought possible. Thank you, everyone, for your friendship…it does not go unnoticed or forgotten. I feel bad I can’t get to everyone quickly but you are on my mind always. Thank you, Laura, for being my rock and for loving me through it all. With every finished race I witness, I see the your pride and confidence grow. You inspire me to be a better person and man!
POLAR BEAR OBSTACLE CHALLENGE NEW YEARS DAY – 01-01-2013vSTART TIME- 9:00AM – 12:00PM TICKET COST: $20.00 Looking for a fun New Years Day challenge?
This 4 mile course was the same course with the same obstacles that were used for the Spartan Race’s Midwest Super. Only this time it will be much colder, much less crowded, and much more fun! Tickets for sale through the Dirt Runner website: http://www.dirtrunnerchallenge.com
I was contemplating all day, while I was at work, whether or not to go outside for my measly little 3 mile run. As 5:00 rolled around, my decision was made, what does the outside have that I have not been through already? Nothing, as far as I was concerned. As I he
aded out, the cold didn’t seem as bad as it had earlier and my mind was ready to get lost. This time, it really didn’t but what it did focus on was the people out shoveling driveways. It always made me smile to see that, most of them were father’s with their sons just having a good time picking the snow up with their shovel and flinging it wherever it went. Funny the stuff you notice when you go out for a run! I also noticed the people with snow blowers and, I am not judging, but they were also the ones who noticed me and would always shake their head like there was a screw loose. They just don’t see what its like to have their eyes opened…over the past year and a half, that is one of the most important things I have learned. Obviously, it is a figure of speech, but to really be able to see things differently in the sense of just being one with the things around you. Hearing your steps on a run…while being in perfect harmony with the music…and each foot placement is precise….and every touch to the pavement is just forward of the arch for perfect weight distribution. That is something I have been priding myself on is getting the logistics of running down…..enter slippery as shit roads equals great training. Shorter footsteps and don’t step down as hard. Those were my exact thoughts as I ran today. All I can say is that I hope the race this weekend will have lots of snow and ice to make it that much harder..