Action 445 – Picture Myself As An Ultra.

I can barely believe that I am about to type these words. I can barely believe that the thought has even settled into my mind. But so be it.

Action 445 – Picture Myself As An Ultra.

This time two years ago, I wasn’t able to run a mile. The idea of entering a 5K was way too much. And yet tonight, I’m THISCLOSE to signing up for a twelve hour trail race. It’s an open event, in that I would have twelve hours to complete as many miles as I possibly can.

Why would I do this? One, because it supports the Wounded Warrior Project. Two, because it is a challenge unlike any I have ever attempted. And three, because it’s designed so each runner can do their very best and compete only against themselves. Whether I run one mile or fifty miles, it’s all up to me.

Now, I am not sure that I will run this particular race. One, it’s $125. And with all my races already paid for and my Marine Reunion coming up, another $125 for race fees is a bit much. (It’s all to a great cause, absolutely, just beyond my budget right now.) Two, it’s right after my marathon and two days before a scheduled, very hilly half marathon.

But the action here is not necessarily to run it. It’s to picture myself as being able to do it or the next one like it. And yes, I can picture it. Holy crap, how mind-blowing is that?

I am not the man I was two years ago. I am a man who can step up to any challenge, give it everything I have, and walk away proud of myself. That is an amazing feeling and a great mental space to be in.

P.S. And here’s a link to the same race from 2010. The Goat Medal cracks me up!

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Action 444 – Be Proud Of The Right Thing.

At Sunday’s OC Half Marathon, I ran a PR. I crushed my previous time. And still, that PR is the thing I am second-most proud of from yesterday.

Action 444 – Be Proud Of The Right Thing.

Yes, I am proud of my time. I worked very hard over the last year… especially over the last couple of months… and my speed and stamina are definitely increasing. I continue to do well and I love it.

But yesterday, the run was not the best part of the day. For me, the best part came after the run. I have already talked about how I spent the morning and early afternoon as part of the Jester Crew. But today, seeing a photo of all of us, I really felt the power of what we had done.

One of the other Jesters out there, Shawna, described it best:

This is where the magic happens. Ed and crew bringing in the very last runner at OC. This is Ms. Elaine Karmen. She is 65 years old and rocked her marathon in 7:06:37.

Tonight, I am going to feel proud of myself. But I’m going to feel even more proud of the Running Granny, Ms. Elaine Karmen. Her determination to keep going is the absolute embodiment of the spirit of the marathon.

Action 443 – Sing A New Song.

The road to Pasadena has taken many turns, and I’m still making adjustments. After a lot of miles on the road over the last month, I’ve discovered a few things about my music.

Action 443 – Sing A New Song.

I’ve learned that some of the songs I thought would be perfect are actually… not. For example, I love Kelly Clarkson’s Never Again. I have a rockin’ remix of it that I thought would be perfect for running. Turns out, not so much. The last thing I want to hear as I am running yet another half marathon is “never again… never again!

So, it’s back to the playlist over the next two weeks. I’ve got more changes to make and not a lot of time to make sure they’re the right changes.

Action 442 – Honor Heroes (Mile 23).

I am dedicating each mile that I run in the Pasadena Marathon to another Marine Corps hero who has made the ultimate sacrifice, so that in my own small way, they may be honored, acknowledged, and remembered.

Action 442 – Honor Heroes (Mile 23). I will run mile twenty-three in honor of Cpl Michael Dutcher. At his memorial service, it was said of this diehard and dedicated Marine that he “represented the very best of our mountains.” The Reverend at the service mentioned a past slogan of Buncombe County, “Men to match our mountains.” “Michael indeed matched our mountains in courage, faithfulness and integrity,” Brown said. “He’s one of our sons, and he’s one of our heroes.”

I will run this mile in honor of this fallen Marine warrior, dedicated son and brother. Semper Fi, Corporal.

Marine Cpl. Michael J. Dutcher died September 15, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom. He was 22, of Asheville, N.C.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died Sept. 15 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations.

(Photo and summary courtesy of militarytimes.com.)

Action 441 – Be In Love.

Fifteen years ago today, I was recovering from a painful, toxic relationship. My only intention on May 7, 1997, was to enjoy a planning breakfast with friends and then search out a new apartment in which I was going to rebuild my life. That was my plan, anyway.

What I got, instead, was an unexpected breakfast companion, a wonderful day of fun, and an adventure that has lasted for fifteen years and just  keeps getting better.

Action 441 – Be In Love. And I am. Truly, madly and deeply in love.

How does this connect to this project? Simple. Being in love, and being loved, gives me the confidence to try new things, to step outside my comfort zone, and to reach for goals that may once have seemed beyond me.

“To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao-Tzu

I know that my husband will support me no matter what crazy idea I decide to pursue. Run a marathon? Go for it. Run another? Sure. Fly across the country to run a relay race? You should do it!

Thank you, Ric Sanchez, for changing everything about my life just by loving me. You believe in me, sometimes even more than I do, and I never want to know what life without you would be like.

Here’s to the last fifteen years.

And now, on to the next adventures!