Race Report: Seamus O’Possum 30K

Do you take the shot?

The pressure is on, the clock is running down, the ball is in your hands. Would you rather be the one to take the shot or pass to someone else?

I’d always rather take the shot.

That doesn’t mean I always make the shot. In September I attempted to run the Hocking Hills 40K and was humbled by my first DNF. But I would rather try and fail than not try at all.

Over the last several months I have been training for the 1 Day for the KIA, 12 hour run on April 8. I ran 150-ish miles in December and January. In February I developed “Popping Hip Syndrome,” I went three weeks without running at all, and since then have run slow and labored. On Thursday I limped three miles around the neighborhood and could mot move faster than over 13 minutes per mile.

I contemplated not running in the Seamus O’Possum 30K today. If I struggled on the flat streets in our neighborhood, how would I do on the mud trails and hills of Delaware State Park? Friday I felt a bit better and did as much stretching as I could.

I figured I would give it a shot. I could always opt out for the 10 mile option, and the 30K course had a 16 minute per mile cutoff and I could walk that.

So I showed up not knowing what to expect.

In fact, I started at the very back of the pack, with low expectations. Immediately, I started image2moving through the crowd. Within about four miles, I knew this was going to be a good day. I moved in ways I hadn’t moved in almost six weeks. Perhaps it was the stretching, the soft ground, or the Irish music I was listening to. Maybe it was the gift of being back on trails and among the nature, which I love. Maybe it was all of it.

No matter what it was, everything came together. Through the woods and the mud and the cold and the mist, I had one of the best races I’ve ever had.

I did not go home with a trophy, like I did last year. But I averaged 12 and a half minute miles on a challenging course. I ran stronger than I could’ve imagined and gained confidence for the April run.

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March showers bring muddy rac

Maybe the luck of the Irish shined upon me. Whatever it was, I am grateful and it felt great to move freely again.

I am so glad I took the shot. Taking the chance made all the difference.

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Be One of 50

I have run so others could go to the Holy Land.

I have run to fund mission trips.

I have run to end malaria.

But whenever I have used running as a fundraiser, I have never run alone. I carry the names of those who have donated with me. Each one travels with me for a mile. I pray for them and with them. I am inspired by their stories, struggles, and triumphs. In their presence, I am not alone.

On April 8 I will run to raise scholarship money for the children of those killed, wounded, and missing in action from wars. 

I hope to run 50 miles on the year I turn 50. 

I am looking for 50 people to join me.

Be one of the 50. Make a pledge by clicking here.

Change One

My initial goal for 2017 was to run a 50 mile race on the year of my 50th birthday. In the journey of looking for such an event, I came across the 1 Day for the KIA and decided to go after the 24 hour run.

Today I learned that the 24 hour run has been changed to a 12 hour event. So, I am back to the 50 mile goal! This works particularly well since last week a sports medicine doc diagnosed me with “popping hip syndrome” and my training has been limited.

If you would like to make a pledge to sponsor me in this race, which will benefit the Living Legacy Scholarship fund, click here.

50 here I come (in more ways than one).

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1 Day for the KIA

How far can you push yourself?

This is the question of running; the test of perseverance.

When I began running almost a decade ago, I was lucky to get around the block. Within a few months that built to a 5k, which led to a 10k, then a half marathon, a marathon, and an ultra marathon. Each run brings with it the test of pushing yourself to new limits, exploring new boundaries. 

But, in the end, it is only running. Running is a source of joy for me and an emotional and spiritual release, but it isn’t life.

I have met people who have pushed themselves in more difficult ways. Many of those are veterans and those who live in the shadow of wars.

As an Air Force historian I met those who have served in prisoner of war camps, landed on the beaches of Normandy, felt the Chosin Frozen, were poisoned by agent orange in Vietnam, flew in to Iraq not expecting to return, shot down and rescued in Serbia, and many who have never come home the same. 

My great grandfather returned from the First World War a broken man and my grandfather’s name is etched on the wall of the missing in action in The Philippines from World War II. Despite my grandfathers sacrifice, my dad was unable to get scholarship money to assist him in improving himself.

On April 8 I will be participating in a 24 hour run so others can have a better opportunity than my dad. The 1 Day for the K.I.A. 24 Hour Endurance Run is a fundraiser to create scholarships for the children of military service members who have been killed in action, missing in action, prisoner of war, or disabled due to duty. 

At 9:00am on April 8th runners will begin doing laps around the .7 mile OSU oval. Through nightfall, weather, and sore muscles, we will see how many miles we can accumulate by 9am Sunday morning. 

The result of this will raise funds for the Living Legacy Scholarship fund. Through the support of sponsors, 100 percent of all donations provide scholarships  for those seeking to push themselves forward, despite their loss.

If you would like to join me in this journey, you can make a pledge to sponsor me by clicking on this link

Thank you for the ways you help to push me forward.

Rise Above!

Lessons from Running: Diligent Acceptance

Running is an incredibly humbling activity. 

Following the Columbus marathon, my running confidence soared. I set my eyes on the next challenge, the 24 hour, 1 Day for the KIA on April 8. I started training for this around Thanksgiving and grew stronger with each week of December and January training. I thought nothing could stop me. That is, until I felt a tension in my hamstring that devolved in to a micro tear in my quad.

Three weeks later, the endorphins of running have completely faded from my body and the reminder of my injury is present with every step.

Yesterday I ventured out once again. My gait was the best in weeks, I could run without any limp or compensation. However, the pain in my quad reminded me not to push too hard. I decided to divert to the gym, get my cardio on the recumbent bike, and return home and stretch and rest. 

From this experience I realized that I can only control what I can control and that I need to be content with whatever my body gives me. I will set myself up for success and live within my limitations. Between now and April 8 I will eat the best I can, train as wisely as I can, and stretch and strengthen as much as I can. After that, the results will take care of themselves.

 

Top 10 Albums of the Year

Today I ran six miles in the ice and snow and at a temp that “feels like zero”. It was glorious.

One of the best things about running is that it gives me time to listen to music. 2016 has been an amazing year of music with a lot of songs I’ll be listening to for the next decade.

In case you are looking for some great new music, here are my top 10 albums of the year:

1. David Bowie-Blackstar. Maybe one of the most important albums ever written as Bowie deals with the meaning of life and death in the final months of his life.

 
2. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds-Skeleton Tree. Where Bowie deals with his own mortality, Nick Cave mourns the tragic death of his 15 year old son.

3. Beyoncé-Lemonade. Queen B struggles through the stages of grief as she works through betrayal.

4. LUH-Spititual Songs for Lovers to Sing. Favorite new artist of the year, by far. Not your hallmark love songs.

5. Chance the Rapper-Coloring Book. Groundbreaking work that includes my favorite lyric of the year, “Jesus black life ain’t matter.”

6. Sioux Falls-Rot Forever. What new and unknown artist has the guts to launch their careers with a double album? The Minutemen and Sioux Falls.

7. Kendrick Lamar-Untitled Unmastered. These may be the left over pieces of To Pimp a Butterfly, but that speaks even more to Kendrick’s brilliance.

8. Bob Mould-Patch the Sky. At 55, Bob continues to put out album after album that rock as hard as anything he has ever done.

9. Iggy Pop-Post Pop Depression. Same as above, another timeless masterpiece.

10. Lorelle Meets the Obsolete-Balance. The tension of the male/female duo, Mexican and English language, and upbeat music with an undercurrent of darker lyrics provide the namesake balance.