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Thoughts On Racing

I’m inspired by other runners and their love of running. I love how runners talk about running and what it means to them. Some share very personal reasons and those are the ones that have a lasting impression on me. Seeing others run or hearing someone talk about their runs energizes me. Their views and attitudes towards running help shape and, in some cases, reshape my own views of the sport.

One person who is eternally stoked on running is Billy Barnett. I would describe his BillyBarnettapproach to running as casual determination. I sense he’d be happy whether he finished first or not, as long as he was daring at some point during a run. He truly is a man that marches to the beat of his own drum. His genuine love of life and minimalist lifestyle is very apparent in the way he practices the craft of running…and living.

So, why bring up Billy and the inspirational stuff? The reason is this Saturday I’ll be running the Land Between The Lakes Ultra and have been feeling flat as of late. By “flat” I mean lacking motivation to run and lacking emotion when I do run. Honestly, I don’t care whether I do well, but I do care that I can have an effect on the race and the race affects me.

Enter The Frog Blog! I’m a fan of running blogs and some are influential to my running. I recently revisited Billy’s blog to find his entry about the 2010 Hilo Marathon. I remember parts of it and what he wrote stuck with me to this day. That entry and a conversation we had a couple of months after the race has helped with framing my approach to this weekend’s race. Run free and with joy. Read the entry and hopefully you’ll be affected by it.

I also remember a conversation I had with Steve and Jim after a really bad Hilo Marathon where I crashed and burned after running a fast half. Pacing strategy was the topic and I brought up the idea that pacing is only good for those who want to finish instead we should challenge ourselves during races to accomplish something more. I mentioned how we never really know when it’s going to be THE day; the day when we run the race of our life (considering we’ve put in good work leading up to race day).

All of the reflecting I’ve been doing has led me to one conclusion; run the race of my life! It’s a new distance and what better way to discover uncharted territory than to find the boundaries and know my limits. Cristina will also be there and I want to show her what running means to me and how much her support affects my running.

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This was one of those perfect runs that I can reflect on so vividly. Mana Rd.

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My (Running) Valentine

I’m a firm believer we’re only as good as the support we receive from others. They allow us to recklessly pursue our passions with unconditional love and support.

CIMG4334My girlfriend is not only my biggest fan, but also the person who challenges me to see the purpose of my runs and who encouraged me to pursue my professional aspirations in the running industry. I don’t often appreciate or celebrate my running because I’m totally engulfed in the culture of the sport. In those moments she’s there to put into perspective what everything I do means and how that translates into what others are capable of and we find reasons to celebrate those efforts. Beer for that 2 mile run? Sure!

I love how she listens to my rants about work (I work for a big box footwear chain), pretends to be amused for some new shoe release I’m excited about, the fervor in which she tastes the experimental healthy cooking recipe I found in some running blog, or how she allows me to endulge in some very unhealthy eating habits. Those times she asks, “How’s your run?” –after every single run (even one mile runs around the neighborhood with the pup)– I’m comforted because she shows love for the sport — and for me, as well:-)

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No matter how silly or daunting the running event (beer miles, nude runs, and ultras) she’s there to challenge, cheer, and love me. She’s my Valentine! Who else is going to encourage (make) you to run down the street naked? 

Make it a point to thank the person who allows you to take time away from them so you can run. They deserve it!


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Running Films

Some movies I want to watch based on a few recommendations. I’ve always been fascinated by other people’s running experiences and their reasons for running. Beyond “Spirit of the Marathon” and the Pre movies are some really well done documentaries that tell stories of strength, challenges, determination, failures, victory, and courage. The movies, in one way or another, inspire and reaffirm how some of us believe running to be a spiritual experience.

Lady Warriors:
A documentary of the Tuba City girls cross country team and their pursuit of a fourth straight state championship. A unique look at reservation life and the customs and culture practiced by the people. The movie brings to light the challenges young women face (and youth in general) on the reservation. Full synopsis by Run The Planet: http://www.runtheplanet.com/resources/movies/film0006.asp

Indulgence:
Documentary of Anton Krupicka as he trains for the 2007 Leadville Trail 100. Insights on his philosophy and motivations that keep him moving. Nice shots of Colorado trails.

Running To The Limits:
This documentary follows the film maker for three years as he transforms himself from an obese person to a world class marathoner.
With insights and interviews from running professionals. Inspiring for those of us that are plagued with self imposed barriers. Synopsis from film maker’s site: http://www.alexvero.co.uk/documentary.htm