Embrace what you hate. This is the simple slogan I have adopted for the 2019 year. Thanks to David Goggins. If you
don’t know him, you should follow him on Instagram @davidgoggins.
I have started down a path that involves running…and a lot of it. Beginning with a little research in December 2018 about long distance running… I stumbled upon ultra endurance runs. I have always heard about these runs and athletes but never really paid much attention – you know because I hate to run.
So I dove into researching training programs, nutrition “must do’s” and weight training focusing on endurance and joint stabilization. After watching numerous documentaries about ultra marathons and the lifestyle… I became infatuated. It is one thing to watch a documentary, research and read up on this stuff.
It is entirely different to become an ultra marathon runner.
Is This Realistic?
Before I told my wife about this newly found infatuation, I wanted to make sure it was something that I could realistically tackle. Before looking at the training schedules I had to first decide if I was fit enough to do this? Are my knees OK? Joints OK? Back OK? Ankles OK? Mentality OK? – my answer to all of these was “yes they are OK”. That was enough for me. Because I know all of those “OK’s” can easily be changed to “great” with diet and exercise. With getting my mentality back on track…of course this is realistic. It is all in my head.
Time to get real about this plan.
I brought this up nonchalantly with my wife (Tara). Like everything I bring up to her, she was immediately on board. She is always the voice of reason with my “ideas” however. She brings up great points like “you are going to have to change your diet” “change your sleep schedule” – change, change, change – she was absolutely right.
Without change, and without great sacrifice a person will quit more often than not.
After having this talk with Tara I immediately started looking for races. I planned on doing my first 10k a month from when I decided to tackle this training and transformation. There really isn’t many races to choose from in January in Iowa. We found the Polar Dash in St. Paul Minnesota on January 5. I remember telling Tara “I will sign up for it next week” – she told me to sign up now. I did sign up that night, that way it held me accountable…it was real. I had no way out.
“it was real. I had no way out.”
Before I actually started on a training schedule I wanted to see if I could run the 6.2 miles in the shape I was in. Just to “see” where I was. To my surprise I ran the distance in under an hour. This was all done on a treadmill in the warm confines of my house, but nonetheless I impressed myself. That was the beginning of the internal war
I was elated that I had done this. I began searching some workout routines for half-marathon training. The first program I came across was from Hal Higdon. I advise anyone wanting to start down a training road for running to look up Hal Higdon. He has free training programs that are great for any level of runner. You can check out the site here
Simplicity is Bliss
Knowledge without action is simply knowledge and anybody can get that far. Doing something with that knowledge is the hard part – it is the part where you have to get a bit uncomfortable and commit to something.
I began to overthink everything, I have a problem with this. I tried to make it all complicated and plan it all out minute by minute. My training, my rest days, my nutrition, my sleeping patterns – it was silly to say the least. I reached out to a close friend of Tara and mine that is very familiar with this realm for some advice and training tips. I got the advice I was looking for. She said “don’t overthink the training, most people do. You need to get miles in”. This was exactly what I wanted to hear. A black and white answer. My ultimate goal is to run far… so start running.
The training is straight forward, the nutrition is straight forward…it is all straight forward – and simple. The simple things are what I cherish most. Although simple things are what I appreciate most in this world. They come with great sacrifice.
Iowa has been a frigid winter and has had me on a treadmill for the majority of my infancy stages. Sticking with a routine has been where I have started. A simple mileage throughout the week with a longer run on the weekend. Starting with simplifying this process and not overthinking it.
There are critics for everything in life and this community is no different. I have already run into my fair share of “haters” and people that think it is funny, that I am “trying” this. Honestly these are the people I need. Family and friends are always going to root for me – I expect that. I get that extra push from the other side. Then when I need that final bit of encouragement – enter in my family and their sacrifice for me.
This isn’t about “can I do it” it is about getting started and it will happen. That is my only option.
The sacrifice I give for this venture is minimal compared to that of my family. Without them this wouldn’t even be a thought that crossed my mind. My kids want their dad to be a super hero.
Running for lengths at end may not give me “super hero” status but it is changing my life one mile at a time.
One foot in front of the other. It’s pretty simple really.
Thanks for reading and have a pleasantly uncomfortable day