As we were driving a couple of days ago my son asked me a question:
“Dad, do you think that (racing for 12 hours) is a good idea?”
I collected my thoughts and said:
“I have no idea.”
For the first time in decades I am embarking on a voyage that I have no idea how it is going to end. It is equal parts, exciting and scary. 12 hours is a ridiculously long time and I have no idea how my body is going to react and respond. I have never raced much more than 6 hours and that will only be bringing me to “half-time” of Toughest Mudder East. But as much as the physical part of the event is daunting, it is not what frightens me the most.
What I think is going to be even harder to predict is the mental aspect of the race. I am pretty sure that there will be a least one point in this race where I will be in a “dark place”. That place where I begin to question everything in front of me. Asking:
- Why am I out here?
- Why am I doing this?
- Why does finishing this matter?
- If I quit, who cares?
It is that final question that scares me the most and is one of the reasons wht I need to be mentally prepared for the race. Right now, I have all of my answers ready and I hope they stand up to the darkness of 3am knowing that the sun won’t rise for another 2 ½ hours and that I still have 2 ½ more hours to race. Standing up to aching legs,, sore feet and myriad other physical problems that might pop up along the way.
It is at that point or those points along the way where I will need to dig deep and remember all of those who don’t get the option of stopping their suffering any time they want. I will need to use that as a part of my motivation to get this done and to press on to the finish.
I you want to help me in this endeavor click on the photo at the bottom.
Until next time when I begin to dig deeper into my motivation and my questions.
Visit To Write Love on Her Arms at TWLOHA.COM
I know it has been a while since I have posted here, but most of my “free time” is spent over on Instagram chronicling my journey. So far, even though my training has been very high volume, I have been able to manage the load quite well.
My biggest setback was in February when I caught a serious cold and lost a week of training.
My main takeaway from that illness was:
“If this was just a cold, I NEVER want to get the flu!”
I have also managed to keep up with mostly aerobic Zone 2 and Zone 3 training. 65% of my miles have a HR at or below 150 bpm, which is 80% of my maximum heart rate.
This I believe is one of the main reasons I have been able to maintain a high volume. I am not pushing my body into the “Red Zone” on a day-to-day basis. This is especially important since Toughest Mudder East will not be about top end speed, but will be 12 hours of grinding out the miles. I hope to get 45 of them. Time will tell how realistic my goals are.
My training plan for the next two months are to continue to put in the miles and ramp up my strength work at the same time. I would like to get 200 miles in for March and 210 to 220 for April. I am still debating if I want to run the Delaware Marathon on April 28th as my last big workout before Toughest Mudder. If I do it will give me three weeks to recover and taper between the two races, which should be plenty of time. Especially, if I only do it as a medium intensity training run and not as a race.
On a fundraising note, I have managed to raise $300 so far for To Write Love on Her Arms. That could be going better, but in the end, every dollar counts so I will be thankful for any amount that I raise. To learn more click on the photo
or click the link below.
Thanks for visiting!
As I experience pain and suffering in my racing and training, I can make it stop anytime I want. As a result of mental illnesses some people as they experience life don’t have that option, their pain and suffering goes on 24 hour a day, 7 days a week. Let’s help to bring a message of hope to these people. Click of the photo or here for the donation link.
I have seen first hand the devastating effects that mental illness can have on people and the loved ones that surround them. The time has come for us to stop ignoring theses issues and to take real steps to get people the help that they need.
Once again, I want to use my racing and training as an opportunity to raise money for To Write Love on Her Arms a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.
I will be participating in the Toughest Mudder East on May 18th-19th. A 12-hour race that begins at 8pm and ends at 8am. The vast majority of the event will be taking place in the darkness of the night. I believe that this is an interesting metaphor for the darkness associated with depression and other mental illnesses. While this might be a demanding race, it is not nearly as difficult as living with the effects of mental illness. I have the option to stop and withdrawn from the pain any time I want, others don’t have that luxury.
You can follow me and my training as it progresses at on Instagram at @Lifeisanobstaclerace
Not something that I have written, but something that I wanted to share. It’s from the TWLOHA Blog.
I’ve stared at blank pages and screens for days. I’ve felt immobile and muted. I knew that if I wanted to write honestly I would have to get back to training. I had hopes that, by running, my lungs would gain the strength to carry my voice still muffled by that depression.
In subtle ebbs and flows, some thoughts came. And with familiar passes over retreaded paths I discovered that running was a fitting analogy for my relationship with my mental health.
Read more here
As I thought about racing this season, I kept asking myself “How I can I make this year about more than me?” and wondering how to use my racing to make a difference for others.
At first I wasn’t sure what to do, but a couple of weeks ago after a workout I was sitting on the ground in a puddle of sweat saying to myself: “That was hard, I am so glad it’s over” and then I began to think about people with real struggles, struggles that never end. Continue reading “Something Bigger Than Me”