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I may not be fast but I’m motivated
Monday, 21 January 2013 17:03
Last Updated on Sunday, 31 March 2013 06:21
I decided to take a couple weeks off from blogging so I could wrap up writing the first draft of my book and after some solid days the last couple weekends I was finally able to submit my first draft for edits. My goal for this autobiography was to make a book that anyone could read and while it does contain running material this book is not just for runners. I tried to use the inspiration of others that I have come across during my adventure along with my story of running 923 straight for my dad to try and inspire others to get out and go after a goal. We often start a journey and things get in the way of finishing and while I was heading that direction with my book I finally had the right motivation to finish. Running is such a great distraction in life but sitting down in front of the keyboard may have helped me achieve my goals even more. It is nice to put your goals out there for others to read and even if they don’t care you’re holding yourself accountable to achieve them.
I have been trying to set new goals for my current running streak and while I don’t have a stop date I have been so inspired by what I saw at the trail running camp in November that it makes me not ever want to quit running. I saw the veterans from Team Red, White, and Blue out battling through so many obstacles that most people could never even imagine and it has made me want to run and run and run. During my last running streak I found myself rolling out of bed some mornings wondering how I was going to make it through another day running and I there was nothing holding me back from going out and run at least four miles while so many of the veterans we worked with were struggling from stress of returning to everyday life, some were amputees, and others were just looking for a way to regain the mental and physical spirit they had when they signed up for the service. What was my excuse for not wanting to get out of bed? That is exactly where I am right now and I have no excuses for ending my current streak of 120 days and I have no plans on doing so anytime soon because I have no excuses. I have said I would love to get faster, run a sub 3 hour marathon, set a new PR in the 50 and 100 mile run but if none of these happen this year or ever I will be okay because just like when I ran for my dad I know there are better reasons out there to run than for personal satisfaction. It’s great to accomplish goals like being fast but I would much rather raise awareness for a cause such as the National Blood Clot Alliance and Team Red, White, and Blue. Both of which I have extremely strong feelings for and when I finish a run I have much a much greater satisfaction that I helped people than I would have if I ran a fast time or won a race.
By no means am I saying it is not great to go fast and accomplish your personal goals because that is up to the individual; but I think it is important for me to have other goals. We would all love to have great paying sponsors and win races but at the end of the day I‘m happiest right where I’m at in my life. My job is great and they take care of me unlike any place I have ever been in my life and my family supports me whether I’m fast, slow, or just run every day to clear my mind. While most sponsors are not going to pick up a 36 year old average ultra-runner I’m lucky enough to be part of another team I believe in and that is the Wasatch Speedgoat team. This team does have some elite runners but the majority of the team is a group of tough ultra-runners who never say die when their out running. This motto fits my personality better than any running team I have ever come across because it takes a helluva lot for me to quit something I started. If you read this and say you just quit Pine to Palm 100, well that is the only time I’ve ever thrown in the towel while running and unfortunately medically I couldn’t proceed past mile 67 after being very ill for 25+ miles. This is a team that takes pride in finishing races and just like Team Red, White, and Blue we are a group if people that love to battle.
Since the start of the year I have really started to notice an increase in my endurance and drive for running. For the first couple months after day 923 I started to lose interest and found myself struggling to run each day but as time has gone along I find myself haunted by my DNF at Pine to Palm 100. It now drives me crazy not to finish my entire workout. This past Saturday I could have had an easy out since we were doing the 8 mile Bell pass challenge but my schedule had me down for 30 miles for the day. I’m working my way towards being a stronger runner for Miwok and in order to do so I know just how important my long training runs are to me. In order to run 30 miles on Saturday before 10am with a race at 7am I had to be a little creative with my schedule. We decided to start from my house at 5:15 and run to the trail and get in 9.5 miles before the start of the run. At 6:50 we would return to the trailhead and get ready for the 8 mile Bell Pass challenge. This is a 1700 foot vertical run in the first 4 miles with the majority of the gain in the fourth mile. We set this up as a staggered start with handicapped times so each runner will finish at approximately the same time. This gives runners something to shoot for as they make their way back to the parking lot in pursuit of the others. I can usually run up the hill in 39 minutes and the best runner can make it up in 34 so there is quite a bit of ground for me to make up on the way down the hill. This is one of those brutal challenges that will put most people on their couch for a long nap after finishing but I needed to run an additional 12.5 miles. We ran home from the trailhead getting another 5 miles and after taking a 10 minute break I decided it was time to go back out and do some pickups on the greenbelt before my wife left to go running. I wasn’t trying to break any speed records but I did want to run no slower than 7:15 a mile which was a good clip after 22.5 miles. I only had time for 5 miles so I came home and set the treadmill at 10 mph to finish up the last 2.5 miles. My out was after the Bell Pass challenge when our coach said that was good for mileage for the day but there was no way I wasn’t going to finish the 30 miles. I know in my mind that if I start ending workouts early that I will also start quitting races early and I’m going to do my best to never let it happen again. While I didn’t win the challenge I was a close second and ran it faster than I ever have in the past.
For anyone in the Phoenix area don’t forget about Grandpa Jim’s upcoming event for Sunshine Acres on February 18th. For more information be sure to check out his website at
Grandpa Jim's 50K
National Blood Clot Alliance
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