March 30, 2012

The Wolf

Photo by Devon C

I think its time I take my own advice. More specifically numbers 1, 3 and 9. Maybe even take a closer look at number 5. Things got a little stale for me this week. Kind of like eh…run? Today? Not. 

Sometimes it just happens and, just like that, I let it. Like the little pig once said, work and play don’t mix. Who’s that at my door? I know you are there. Will you please go away? Ok, I know, you are just a metaphor of mine. Do you have to growl so much? I can hear you already! Ok, it’s alright. I’m not afraid. 

It’s me again.

Time to turn the page. 


At 38,594' somewhere over Kansas. 

March 22, 2012

A Running Streak. 812 Days and Counting...

By Bino M. 

I’m not Will, as a matter of fact, we are miles apart.  Not to mention, he’s much better looking.  You see, he’s a thinker and I’m a stinker. What we do have in common is the love of running.  I love, not only running, but watching, talking and reading about running.  However, my running has no plan.  Will's (or Willie is what I call ‘em) does.  My runs aren’t scheduled.  Distance unplanned, pace who knows, time who cares.  This would not work with the cerebral or the thinking man.

What I do know is I will run today and tomorrow for sure.  I’m a numbers guy.  You probably know someone like me. A  mileage junkie! The road is my friend. I count everything.  Today is #812 of consecutive days running (6,780 miles). The occasional five  miles is the minimum, however the average is 8.3 for the streak, and the most was a 115 miler that was good enough for first place in the 2010 Nanny Goat 24 hour endurance challenge

My O.C.D. was ruining my marriage so I fixed it.  I got my wife on a running streak (she is 65 days behind me), all is good in Camelot.  Whether it’s 5 or 25, I run everyday.  It started with another attempt at a Jan.1st fresh start, trying only for 365 days.  Now I not only want to run until “The End," but that day too.  It’s become larger than life, bigger than me.  My family and friends question my motive and my sanity. Is there any logic to this? I don’t know.  What I do know, is that  I will run today and tomorrow for sure.  I can’t stop....That would kill me!  Gee, for the first time I think I see a problem, “I love it”.  My previous streak was 9 days, years ago.  I spend way too much time working the streak, monitoring and worrying  about this streak.  This isn’t that free and easy running that the masses subscribe to.  This is the self induced high pressure, no fun, day in and day out battle of the mind & body that will no doubt lead to a DNF from this “Main Street Marathon." Again, I  love it!!!

As for tomorrow’s pace, who knows, the distance who cares, tapers, splits or LSD?  Could care less. What I do know is I will run at least 5 miles (probably 10 – 12) and enjoy every step of the way, and then....? Think about the next run. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it! I love running.....every day!

March 20, 2012

Pod Cast on 9 1/2 Ways

A few weeks back I posted the article 9 1/2 Ways to Keep Running Real. It was published in the March issue of Ultra Running Magazine. This week I received an email from Don Freeman of Trail Runner Nation telling me they had published a podcast discussing the article. Click here to listen...

March 4, 2012

Running Through the Ups and Downs

The last couple weeks I stumbled upon a certain realization about running, maybe even about life. Whether you are a runner or not, take heart, because you might see some parallels in your own world.

There are days when I feel invincible. The miles, the hours, the hills I put in week after week, make me feel strong. They build me up, encourage me to push the envelope a little further. They give me the confidence to reach a little higher.

And there are days when I feel beaten down. The miles, the hours and hills, they cut right through my strength, they make me feel weak. They break me down, entice me to give up. They take away my passion to persevere through the challenges I face.

It’s not like this is a big epiphany. Maybe the opposite, kind of an unwritten rule that we store in the backs of our minds and don’t pay attention to. A rule that says don’t get too comfortable when you feel you’re on top of the world, because it won’t be long until you will feel the world on your shoulders.

I suppose it’s as simple as the yin and yang. Opposing states, like any contrary forces in the natural world, are not only interdependent, they need each other to exist. Hot and cold, fire and water, female and male. Strong and weak. Can I feel strong if I have not felt weak? Can I be strong if I am never weak?

Training is a big part of being a runner. At its core training breaks you down, then it builds you back up, stronger than before. Week after week, month after month. The cycle continues. Some people naturally wonder, why submit yourself to such a rigor? Isn’t there more to life? Sometimes I ask myself that question, usually when I feel broken down.

In writing this I’m reminded of a lecture Master Kan gave his young disciple in the television series Kung Fu. Addressing the young student, the master explains the purpose of the hardship the student must endure to be a Shaolin priest.

Master Kan:

"You must prepare yourself for what lies ahead
in your chosen role as priest.
The nature of wind, and fire, and ice.
The frailty of the human condition in hunger, and thirst and fatigue.
The predatory instincts of living things.
The greed and vanity buried in the hearts of men.
You must be prepared to survive through all of this.
These graceful movements you now perform,
along with all the rigors and disciplines your masters impose upon you,
will help you develop the inner strength, that which we call Chi.
And when you come to meet your greatest test, your highest challenges,
when you call upon your chi, it will not desert you."

The more I learn, the more I’ve come to realize that running through the ups and downs is, in itself, the ultimate test of endurance, the real challenge that stands between me and inner strength.