Good afternoon everyone!
Today will mark my 89th run in a row, and it almost didn’t happen. About two weeks ago I started to doubt my ability to finish this challenge. I was not in a good mental space and was struggling with just getting by with the day to day grind of life. It took considerable effort just to get out the door and run during runs 76 through the early 80’s as some of those runs were actually run/walks. I literally didn’t have the stamina to finish a 3km easy pace loop around my neighbourhood. My legs felt dead, the hamstring in the left leg had been sore the entire challenge and has flared up in recent days, and I was considering quitting.
I actually had my computer open and had started writing a blog post about my stopping this challenge when my daughter Megan came down and asked what I was doing. When I mentioned I was writing a post about not running anymore, she immediately responded with a loud NO, you can’t quit now your so close to finishing. She suggested I go for a very short run to keep my streak going, and that I would be very disappointed if I didn’t finish.
I knew she was right, and immediately closed the lid on my computer and went for that easy slow 1km run around the block. In fact I did that very run for the next six days in a row and I was amazed that over the course of a week th hamstring started to feel much better, and the dead feeling in my legs started to go away. Once I figured out how to properly maintain my legs by alternating a short 1km run between longer runs has made all the difference.
So now as I sit here I have my daughter Megan to sincerely thank for helping keep this streak and dream alive. Shows that you can always learn something when your open to receiving a lesson, and from an unlikely source. So I’m about to head out on long run Friday, run # 89 in a row and we shall take it nice and easy and enjoy this Good Friday!
Every once in awhile, all of us need a vacation from well, everything! Even silly things like a blog site, which I have had a tremendous amount of enjoyment in writing random things here… It is an outlet of all the crazy things going on inside my head, and they all need to go somewhere. And despite how negative some folks have gotten about what I’ve written here, and the impact it has had on the “real” world has been very interesting indeed.
All I’m saying is that we all have our point of view on absolutely everything out there, and just because yours is different than mine… well it doesn’t mean everything. I am reminding of this all the time, we see strang (to us) behaviour, but we certainly don’t know the backstory at all… we sure are quick to judge, myself included…
Okay, I’ve been thinking, been reflecting, needed to do some emotional processing, work through some things which I will share in upcoming posts, as well as making (mental) plans for my future in terms of career, social, fitness, personal growth, etc… The above thought was definitely one of them…
Decisions about life choices, children, direct of the future… all the fun wonderful stuff we get to deal with 😉 , when I was out running today (day 77 and counting) I was looking up into the beautiful sky with sun starting to set in the background and not a cloud in the sky, I immediately thought of my future. It’s as wide open as that sky…
It was a fun thought to have, brought a smile to my face and made me run just a little bit faster. Thank you very much for reading along today, have a great rest of Sunday.
Life is an ever evolving journey that will keep me on my toes right up until the day that I die, which I hope to be many years from now but in all reality who really knows?
I have been doing a lot of soul searching, reflection and subconscious thinking about my future over the past several weeks. At times in my life I have been caught in the cycle of the nothing, but this period of time was completely different… when I am in the grip of the nothing, nothing happens, I don’t do much (usually zero exercise) and I feel sorry for myself, a little depressed, just generally not a good mental place.
Again this was different, I know BIG changes are coming and my mind has been planning things out getting ready for today. Today is the first day of the next evolution of my life as things seem to be falling into place, perhaps not the way I originally planned or intended but that is life isn’t it?
It’s kind of funny to me when I sit here and think about things, rolling with things, being a bit of a free spirit has never been my strong suit and something I have really struggled with in the past. I would fight against what I had planned, and what life was presenting to me, it was a struggle and it would usually end up sucking the joy and excitement of whatever it was I may be doing. A very small change in my own mental perception of things has helped tremendously when approaching life.
Using my oldest daughter as a perfect example, as I have struggled with her or more correctly my own mental perception of what I thought her teenage years should be, and as time went by and I struggled with my vision of my daughter’s life, the way I thought it should be, and what ultimately it turned out to be were two completely different things. The more I would fight against what was reality, and what my vision of that reality the further apart we seemed to grow. Having accepted the situation for what it is, for accepting the way my life has turned out now I can build from here.
The next four months are going to see a lot of HUGE changes coming in this guys life, and I am very excited to see where I can end up come the end of this summer. It’s going to be awesome!!
I didn’t quite understand just how much my actions would influence my children’s behaviour until very recently when I had a numerous of life hard truths that I had to first face, and then overcome. The last few months I have had the absolute pleasure of seeing the results of a positive, action lifestyle. A few weeks ago during one of my MasterMind group calls, the topic of doing things in front of your children. One in our group is learning to play the guitar, and it was suggested to practice while the kids were around so they could see Dad practice… Interesting concept.
This has now translated into working out with Austin each day as opposed to lifting weights at the gym, I have the ability to do this at home. Each day he gets very excited to join Daddy in building muscle downstairs in my home gym. Today will be no different as Austin and I will soon be crushing chest day.
The opposite effect of something like even writing this blog post is that Austin is lying here beside me watching his Ipad, or his cartoons on the TV. If I am not actively engaging him he can get lost in the electronic world, and I’d much rather have him based in the real world. With most of the snow now melted up here, Austin has also started asking to go the park, as this is when my “training” will get to be really a lot of fun. As beneficial as lifting weights has been to my overall strength it does get rather repetitive and boring for me. Perhaps lacking a true workout partner to push me harder and further… who knows… but what I really enjoy is jumping on my bike with the boy in tow, and then stopping at parks for him to play and me to get some working out in on the playground equipment.
It’s a lot of fun, it’s a lot of weight based movements with lot’s of pushing and pulling involved, I challenge you to try to the kids monkey bars the next time you find yourself passing a playground. It’s tough.
While Star Wars A New Hope, which was released when I was five years old has been my favorite movie of all time, it is only recently that I discovered many of the truly important lessons in life can be drawn directly from the films over the last 40 years. And while I am sure there are many more lessons you can draw from these wonderful films, here are some of my favorite…
“Do or do not… there is no try.” ~ Master Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
Perhaps my favorite life lesson, and a long time source of inspiration for me as there is a framed plaque of this quote right on my recreation room wall. In life you can either do something or not doing, there is no middle ground. It is a mentality I try to take into everything that I do, I am not going half ass anything. I am going to run 100 days in a row, I am certainly not going to just try to do…
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” ~ Darth Vader, A New Hope
You need to surround yourself with people that believe in you, and will blow wind into your sails. Life is far too short to listen to the haters, the doubters, the people that just want to drag you down to their level. Surround yourself with amazing people that inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
C-3PO “Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is 3,720 to 1.”
“Never tell me the odds.” ~ Han Solo, The Empire Strikes Back
If you had told me ten years ago that I would have completed an Ironman triathlon, I would never have believed you. At the time I was 234 pounds and completely out of shape, but with the proper training plan, and the motivation from deep within myself I crossed the finish line on Aug. 29th, 2009 and will forever be an Ironman finisher. I have the medal to prove it!! From this experience I learned that there is nothing that you cannot do in life when you put our mind to it. It’s a belief in yourself, a belief that you can accomplish anything. Believe and your will find a way.
“Strike me down and I will be become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” ~ Obi Wan Kenobi, A New Hope
Success in life can often be attributed to failure, or several failures in life. It’s about getting back up after you have been knocked down, it’s about getting back on that horse after you’ve been bucked off. Life is hard and at times cruel, it will test you, it will push you to your limits, it will knock you down. From each failure you can learn from you will evolve into a much more powerful version of yourself.
“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” ~ Yoda, The Phantom Menace
Even the worst movie of the Star Wars franchise can teach us something, Don’t let fear guide your life, don’t let fear control your decisions. Fear of the unknown, fear of the future can cripply you into inaction and nothing. You know what happens when your afraid and do nothing? Nothing happens. I sometimes call this the Negative cycle and it has had it’s powerful grip on me for too long at some points in my life. I now longer fear the unknown, I embrace it. I wake up and look forward to each and everyday and what it may bring. With this changed mindset, I’ve seen my own anger slowly fade away…
“One thing for sure, we’re all going to be a lot thinner!” ~ Han Solo, A New Hope
Humor in life can go a long way, and can make a stressful situation for tolerable. This would be one lesson that I would want to incorporate more of into my own life, and not get stressed out at things beyond my control. Laugh about, make jokes and make the best of whatever situation you may find yourself in.
“All his life he looked away. To the future. To the horizon. Never his mind on where he was, what he was doing.” ~ Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
Being mindful, being present in the moment can go such a long way. Imagine you are spending quality time with that special person and you continually picked up your phone to check your social media feed, only giving that other person some of your attention. Now imagine that same interaction with your phone turned off, and the other getting 100% of your attention, your body language, and where your mind is at. Being mindful, being present can go such a long way in a relationship and can make that special person truly feel special.
“Let go of your hate.” ~ Luke Skywalker, Return of the Jedi
There is a time and place to put the past in the past and let go of ill feelings that you may have been holding onto and taking away from other areas of your life. By embracing the hate, it prevents you from growing in the other direction. It forces you to focus on the negative as opposed to embracing the positive aspects of life. Letting go of the hate and anger doesn’t mean forgetting, it means focusing on the bright future ahead that (if you let it) can be filled with love and happiness.
I personally believe in the power of the force, and while I may not be able to levitate boulders with my mind, despite how hard I tried when I was a child I certainly believe that there is an energy that as described by Obi Wan Kenobi in A New Hope, “…an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.” This energy you can tap into, you can use to power yourself to great and amazing things, there is also a dark side energy that can, when you start down it’s path will forever dominate your destiny.
The light side, the positive energy in life is such a powerful thing. It is powering me to run 100 days in a row, it is powering me to change my life in such a positive way. I have such a strong personal connection to Darth Vader, as my life was filled with anger and hate until one day I was able to come back to the light side of the force and embrace all that is good in life.
At some point last November I woke up with a sore left hamstring, and to be truthful it still hasn’t healed fully. It is not what I will call painful but I am always aware that it is sore, somedays much more than others. Today being one of those days…
Yesterday was day 51 of the 100 day running challenge, and well because I am slightly stupid I decided to go all out on my run around the block instead of the nice and easy 4km that I had planned for the start of recovery week. I had a done a nice 12km run the day before for run 50 but it was on ice covered trails and I could only manage half stride as I was worried about the icy trails, slipping, falling, rolling an ankle, injury! So the run itself was not very taxing on my legs, it was a great ankle and support muscle run however.
So yesterday I guess I wanted to spread my wings and fly, or in runners speak expand my stride length and see what I was capable of. For run 49 a few days before, I went as fast as I could over a 5km run setting some personal best times along the way. Yesterday, I just destroyed those times by 22 per kilometer over my best km, the difference between the two runs would have been the temperature outside (it was much warmer yesterday), and the run itself just felt more natural. For run 49 I was fighting myself the whole time, and it was a struggle, for run 51 I was fighting my breathing and trying not to have my heart explode in my chest (figure of speech) as it was a maximum effort.
What I didn’t do and certainly should have was warm up properly, as I have a tendency to step out the front door and RUN! I also now have the ability to have a close understanding of my pace when I run, I don’t need my audio cues in my ear to tell me how fast I am going. I pass the same mailbox each run at exactly the 1 km mark, and I can usually predict my time to within 5 seconds… Yesterday I didn’t look at my watch or the pace until I was finished the 3 km sprint, and was truly marvelled at how fast I had gone. I had mentioned to Megan that 14 and half minutes would be an excellent time, but 13:41s was just outstanding! With km’s of 4:32, 4:24, and 4:28 and the real awesome thing is that I can even go faster still.
I started with a pace average of around 5:45 per km when I started and I’ve seen that drop over the last 50 days, and am very excited where it will be in 50 days from now… for the rest of this week it is very small, easy pace recovery runs as I attempt to rest up the forever sore left hamstring. Nothing longer than 5km, nothing faster than 6 minutes per km with some stretching, massage rollers and easy bike rides thrown into the mix. This coming Sunday I will attempt another maximum effort 4km run this time with a proper warmup and we shall compare the results.
Many people have expressed to me, including the Nike coach that sometimes whispers in my ear as I run to start off easy and build into the run. It was a hard lesson for me to learn, and even after all these years I am not sure that I still even get it. Let me explain, back in 2007 when I was a 234 pound coach potato and had yet to do my first triathlon I started to run. I can visualize the run corse still in my head, I would start on my driveway head about 150m down the street with a left turn and a kilometer down the street to an Esso gas station, turn around and return home. Two kilometers in total.
When I started I could not get to the end of my street without my heart pounding, a stitch developing in my side, and me being completely gassed. What I was doing was leaving my driveway and not running, sprinting at full speed! My inexperience with anything athletic at that point in my life, had me dazed and confused. I didn’t know how to run, my goal was to run as fast as I could, I still shake my head sitting here over 10 years later that I couldn’t understand the concept of how to run…
So here we are 11 years later, and I am smack dab in the middle of a personal 100 day run challenge. I had heard of this challenge a few years ago, and have tried it in the past. My mindset was that if you could run 100 days in a row, it would put you into fantastic physical condition for the upcoming triathlon season. I believe I tried this challenge two or three years already and never ever made it into double digits. I gave up, I quit, I missed a day, I left life get in the way…
So what is different this year? How have I made it all the way to day 50?
That is a very good question, something I will reflect upon today during run 50. What immediately comes to mind is the support circle and system of accountability that I have surrounded myself with. The changes that I have made in my life both on a personal and professional level. The fact that I know own my shit, not all the time but it is definitely a work in progress. The MasterMind group I have joined, is an amazing place for support and accountability led by Jeff and Jason have encouraged me along the way. New friends like John Bauer inspire me to keep going on this crazy adventure feeding off each others positive energy and good vibes.
Most importantly is the man I see staring at me in the glass each morning. He inspires me to be better, he inspires me to try harder, he inspires me to run further, he inspires me to grab my shoes and go for a run each and every day for the last 50 days. He will continue to inspire me to run for 50 more!