Monday, July 1, 2013

M-Cubed for 7.1.2013


Monday Morning Musings....a collection of thoughts that have very little do with each other but land here on Monday morning.

- One half of 2013 is history so it's not a bad time to do a self-check and see where I'm at. I'm injury-free, I don't feel like running is ruling my life, and I've logged 919 miles. 2000 miles per year seems to be not really a goal but something I'm normally dancing around each year. Given how I'm doing and what events I'll be training towards for the rest of 2013, I "might" hit 2000. It's certainly not a goal, but I'll be curious to see how it all plays out. For June, I racked up 164 miles and included one 40 mile race. Lots of rest days in June, for sure.

- I finally retired my 2nd pair of Brooks Pure Flow 2's on Saturday. The Pure Flow 2 is only 8.8oz and is a lightweight, neutral shoe from Brooks' Pure Project line. I got 350 miles out of the first pair but at 350, this pair wasn't yet done. At 399 miles after my 17 miler on Saturday, my knees told me it was over. Time to hang them up. I'm a nearly 6'3", 200lb big-frame guy. These shoes hardly show wear on them! That's phenomenal, in my opinion. One thing is very evident: I must be running super-efficiently or I'd be destroying these shoes. I must be landing just right or the wear would show otherwise. So on to the next pair. First black with neon green then all bright orange and now a pair black and white ones. A 4th version was just released in Florida Gators colors so they'll be my 4th ride in the Flows...yet to be purchased. :-)

- Decision made. I'm in for the West Virginia Trilogy. Starting on a Friday in mid-October, this 3-day stage race will start with a 50K, then a 50-miler, and wrap up with a half marathon on Sunday. 94.3 miles in all. We'll camp (for the first time) and be out of cell reception and 45min away from the nearest gas station the whole time. Normal for some but not for us. Training wise, the only thing I'll be doing differently is throwing in back to back long runs to mimic the event. For example, perhaps a 20 miler on a Friday followed by a 30 or 35 miler on Saturday then a 10 miler on Sunday. That's where I want to get, at least. Other than that, the planning will be more logistical as I plan nutrition and sleeping in our tent for the first time. Now time to 'officially' mail that registration form and check. Commitment...

- My wife made the most rockin' blueberry/cherry cobbler last night. We had picked up some very sour cherries at the Kent farmers' market on Saturday (photo inset here) and they were too sour to eat, actually. So, she made cobbler with her mom's recipe. That was last night. I just washed the pot out this morning. It was emptied last night. Oh.my.word!! Incredible!!! The sweetness from those berries was off the chart amazing!

- I'm not much of a reader but occasionally, I do pickup a book and can't put it down. After reading Chapter 1 of "Freedom Run," I think I found a book I'll actually finish. Jamie Summerlin is a fellow ultra-runner who ran from coast to coast last year for wounded veterans. As a former Marine, he logged 3,452 miles in 100 days then wrote a book about it. I finally met Jamie at the Highlands Sky 40-miler a few weeks ago. We talked, he signed my edition of the book, and we both ran the race. (he dusted me, by the way) Already through the 1st chapter, we have a lot in common like the feeling of "never being good enough" and wondering what's next out there for me/us. As a guy in the Navy and a real heart for fellow veterans, I know I'll enjoy reading about his journey. You can read about his book here or pick yourself up a copy, too. (see page 25, in particular...I just read it and turns out, he mentioned ME! ... 2 years before we even met!)

- One trip we plan to make in 2013 is a trip to Disney World. Well, that trip has more turned in to a trip to Orlando, Florida and less about Disney. After a short bit of research, we quickly learned that even after a measly $5 military discount, we'd be out over $400 just to get through the gate...for one day. Please tell me what is rational about that?! What lies behind those gates worthy of that kind of cash? Given it's worldwide appeal, it must be something but I'm betting it's a dose of most-excellent marketing, word of mouth, and the simple desire to have "been there, done that" for many. Sorry, folks...but not this time for us. Last night, we planned a whole new kind of trip. One that will include a free day at Sea World (thanks to their military program), a day in a canoe, a day on a white sand beach along the Gulf of Mexico, and a day enjoying the sights and sounds (the free type) of areas surrounding Disney...maybe even watching the fireworks over the castle from a distant parking lot. We'll even incorporate our travels into seeing friends we haven't seen in nearly 20 years.

- You have certainly heard someone say to a runner (or said yourself): "What are you running from?" I don't think many runners would admit to running away from anything, except for their house or car with an eventual return. The implied statement here is that we as runners are running away from something inside...or a conflict with others or within ourselves. An escape, per se. It's true, running is freeing, it's a time to breathe in fresh air, think, ponder, plan, and get things right in my head. I will admit though, that as of late, I think I've literally been trying to outrun issues within my life that never seem to go away. With all the miles I log, the adventurous races I show up for, that doesn't work. It never will, either. Facing them, resolving them (or realizing they won't be), and moving past them without letting them rule is necessary. The past week was a tough one. I'm confident this week will be better and one where I can leave the "junk" behind and never look back there again. I can change...but I can't change others. I can love...but that doesn't guarantee the love will be reciprocated. I can refuse to judge others...but that doesn't mean I won't be judged (and convicted.) I will walk the narrow road...and I won't be swayed, that's for sure.

- July 1st. July 4th holiday on deck. 1812 Overture, lots of fireworks, cookouts, and hopefully lots of laughing with friends to come. It's also about halfway through summer break, too. Time is flying for sure. I wish you all a happy and safe week/holiday. Fly Old Glory high, OK?! Here are just a few snapshots from my weekend runs. My country runs have really been beautiful lately.
Beautiful field of grain...and my shadow...along my daily route.

Way more than "knee high by the Fourth of July." I'd say it's waist-high, easily.
Run Happy, friends!

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