****My blog is getting a facelift by the one and only Sarah Weeger at Great 8 Creative, so please ignore any thing that is not awesome…. YET! My site is coming back better than ever. Thanks Sarah!!
in the past months my love for music has been reignited. it’s one of the silver linings in all of this. music, until the last couple of years, has always been a huge part of my life. from being in bands in my late teens/early twenties and playing a bunch of shows in skateparks and dive bars on the east coast to spending countless hours scouring the record stores and the internet for new music. this post isn’t really about music.. it’s about why I am running but music has been a huge inspiration and as comforting as the running. the two kind of go hand in hand. there’s nothing like loading up my ipod with a new record or a well constructed playlist and then heading out to rip a run.
the title of this post are lyrics from the song Pawner from the band Polar Bear Club. On a run a couple of weeks ago this some came on the words stuck in my head.
“I’ve gotta take my grab at something great”
I started racing in 2006 running 1:23 at the Carlsbad Half Marathon. I had no idea what I was doing. I just ran. Shortly after I jumped into triathlon and never looked back. The early going was rough. My strength was running, and more specifically my ability to suffer on the run. So running fast of the bike came pretty easy to me. It took years, a lot of hard work, and of ton of miles, but my bike finally got to a point where it was also a strength. The swim is the swim. It will never be a strength of mine and I’ve always been fine with that.
As much fun as I had racing triathlon I have definitely enjoyed the periods where I have just focused on a single sport and raced my bike. It felt like I was starting over and again had to get better on the bike to be competitive. So more hard work and thousands of miles later I was competitive. So the past 6+ years it seems like I have been competing in sports trying to overcome my weaknesses and along the way been moderately successful. I have never taken the time to focus on what my strength is, what comes easiest to me, and what I truly love doing the most…. running. I really feel like it could be my “something great”.
I always thought there would come a day where I would focus solely on running, but I thought it would be a bit further down the road in life. The past couple of years, thanks to some awesome job situations, a wife that shared the passion for sport, I have had ample time to train without it compromising life. It actually made life pretty awesome. Last year I put in mega hours training for 2 ironmans and 3 70.3s. Earlier this year I just rode my bike, and rode it a lot, and had some fun racing. In the “life plan” I had in my head I would become a runner when life got busier. I thought when my job got a bit more taxing (kind of like it is now, still not too much though) and when I became a father I would cut out all the BS and just run. It’s simple, quick, and would keep me fit while putting priority on what’s really important. Well my “life plan” is currently being rewritten and now just feels like the time to run as I move into a new phase in my life.
I am not chasing races or results, but more so fun and adventure. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s the truth. I don’t have a desire to train to get “fast” but more so to see how long I can go. Don’t get me wrong I will be racing but it’s more about the path getting there and then a chance to test myself in an attempt the find my breaking point than it is about the results. I have a strong desire to find what will break me physically, emotionally, and mentally. I want to know that deep, dark place where I really feel like I can’t go on and need to quit…. but then somehow power on… or can’t. I want to take my suffering to another level. I have never stood on the start line of a race or started a run or ride thinking I couldn’t complete the effort or filled with fear. My questions have always been about how fast I could cover the distance and who I would be racing. I definitely have had some low spots in races and couldn’t go quite as fast as I wanted, got my ass kicked by guys stronger than me, but the thought of pulling the plug or having to quit has never crossed my mind.
I saw glimpses of this “breaking point” in Slater when he ran the 100 miler. He definitely had some pretty low points but the crew and pacers were there to keep him moving forward, pressing on, and positive while he raced to a 2nd place finish in his firt 100 miler. It was truly EPIC! I was stoked to be on the crew/pacer side of things but I want to know what it’s like to be on the other side. I am not sure if it will take me running a 100 miles but if it does I’m going for it.
I think the best part of going after some the big trail races/adventures is that the training is what’s it’s all about and doesn’t really feel like training. It doesn’t get much better than spending countless hours in the middle of nowhere, on the trails, with my friends. Running more and riding less has all given my a lot more time to get in the water. I have been surfing more than I have in years and have also now got itch to do some paddle boarding. So my fall calendar is filling up with fun and looking forward to see what I can do on two feet.