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I choose to run because of the test that it gives me physically and mentally. I do not ch...
I choose to run because of the test that it gives me physically and mentally. I do not choose to run and race competitively against others but I do choose to challenge myself and help support very good causes.
I begin to running back in 1993 to help rehab an ACL repair to my knee that I suffered playing in church league basketball. This knee injury was the worse injury that I had ever suffered over the years and was difficult to bring myself back. Being from a smaller town in Arkansas I did not have the access to gym facilities that you find in the larger urban areas. It took a good 4 years for me to gain the full range of motion back in my knee and to be able to kneel on the knee without pain. During the 4 years I would run sporadically to help build the muscles in my leg back. While running to help rehabilitate this injury I did not realize the calming and peace that running brings to you mentally.
I completed my first 5k event in 1999 in a very small local event in my hometown in Arkansas. This was my first taste to competitive running and I found that I enjoyed the comrade and competiveness found at the events. I did not do any training for this event but I found that I could compete in 5k events without any training.
Over the next five to six years I signed up for and competed in only a handful of 5k events and one 5 mile event. Again, I did the events without doing in real training for them. Also, during this time I got into cycling and into the gym as way to help improve my fitness and rehab some lower back issues. I found that cardio was a major element to keeping in a fit condition.
I spent time working with a personal trainer and worked on my strength and cardio capabilities. However, at this time my goals were more to playing golf than running or cycling. I did find that I enjoyed the time spent in the gym. However, I hated doing the necessary cardio.
In June of 1996 I changed jobs and the new job took me away from home and onto the road. This required travel time took away the time I was able to spend at the gym and on other activities (i.e. cycling and golf). I also, during this time was suffering through some minor injuries that cause me to stop playing golf at the time. Being in hotels and working long hours the diet suffered and so did my waist line.
One evening after a long day of working, frustrated and stressed, I decided to take out for a run. At the time I was in San Francisco and staying in hotel close to the wharf area. I ran towards Embarcadero Drive then turned towards the Bay Bridge. The ocean air and the salty smell captured my mind and took my thoughts away from the long work day. While running to the Bay Bridge and back I found that my mind cleared and was relaxed so that I could rest to prepare for the next day.
The run felt so good that it became a nightly routine for me to go out and run before I turned in for the night. I would run in the early evening and even took some runs late into the evening. I spent time exploring the city on foot instead of by car and enjoyed each of my runs by the bay. These runs played a large part as to my running the San Francisco Marathon later on.
Upon coming home off the road trips I continued to take my runs almost daily. Finding that any time that my mind became cluttered with the thoughts of my work it was time to take a few minutes and get away and into my place, which running would take me to.
In 2007, I had started to enjoy my running and started competing in few more race events. At one event I picked up a brochure for a 10k the next weekend and decided that I would do this event. Having never competed in event over 5 miles I did not know what to expect. I found that after completing the event in September 2007 that I was starting to get hooked on this running stuff.
I completed a couple more 5k events and another 10k event. As the running season wound down for the year I started thinking could I run a marathon. I would toss this around in my head, having never followed any training plans to this point I was not sure if I had the discipline that it would require to train for the marathon. I decided to take a small step and signed up for a half marathon and then started to research different training plans for this distance. I settled upon Jeff Galloway’s plan and then started to tweak the plan so that it would fit into my work schedule and into the time frame that I had until the event.
In March 2008, I trained and completed my first half marathon the Shamrock'n Half Marathon. I was hooked! I finished out 2008 competing in several 5k and 10k runs. It was as if I had graduated to a new level by completing the half marathon. The events became more fun and just enjoyed the atmosphere and camaraderie at each event.
Once I completed the half marathon I started to take in as much information as I could about the marathon. I read and researched several books, articles and web sites. I picked out my target race which was to be the 2008 San Francisco Marathon. I trained but was unsuccessful in being able to complete all of the training. I kept coming up with nagging injuries that would set the training back a few days at a time. As the time grew closer to commit and register for the race reality sank in that I would not be able to do the target race.
While not being able to run my first marathon in 2008 I did not give up and continued to read and research and learn as much as I could about training methods and techniques. I continued to tweak my plan and introduced more cycling and strength training into my plan.
In 2009, I signed up to participate in the Buzz Oates RunSac Race Series. This race series was the accumulation of several long and short races in the Sacramento area. Points were scored based on your age specific finish in your best eight races, fours short races and four long races (i.e. 10k and greater). Along with my participation in the race series I continued my drive to complete my first marathon. I first targeted the 2009 San Francisco Marathon again to be my first but again encountered problems with slight injuries, nothing major but enough to interrupt the specific training.
I added the book “Run Less Run Faster” to my library of books. This book covers the introduction of cross-training methods to the training plan. Utilizing this method of training and implementing the cross-training into my plan, I was able to become stronger in imbalanced areas and successfully ran my first marathon (Sacramento Cowtown Marathon) in October 2009 which also was a race in the RunSac Race Series.
I ran my second marathon (California International Marathon) in December of 2009. I was not as well prepared for this feat as I was for my first marathon. I tried to turn around this event to quickly and did not give myself the proper recovery time or training and my race results reflected this.
In 2010, I ran four half marathons. Competed in the Buzz Oates Run Sac Race Series for the second year and finished ranked 33rd. I was also finally successful in participating in and completing the San Francisco Marathon which was my third marathon to complete. I was to compete in the California International Marathon in 2010 but was unable to participate due to a more sever hamstring, quadriceps and abductor injury suffered in late August of 2010.
Along with my marathon training, I was attending schooling to get my certificate of diploma as personal trainer from the National Personal Training Institute, which I completed in September 2010.
My 2011 year has been a struggle of injury again. This time with a fairly sever injury to my foot which required me to greatly reduce the number of miles I was running. While decreasing my run training I ramped up my cycling training to try and offset the loss of fitness. The foot injury did cost me my attempt to complete my fourth marathon (The Seattle Rock’n Roll Marathon). I have to say cooler heads prevailed and I did not start the race and I know deep down I would have never been able to complete the run and possibly had a longer recovery time for the foot injury.
At the present time, the foot has responded to treatment plans and recovery appears to be in site. I am still cautious and optimistic that this injury is behind me. It was a scary thing to hear that if you do not stop running and allow the injury to heal properly that you might have trouble walking correctly in the future.
My Goals for 2011:
1. Break 4 hours in my marathon time. -- I have since had to alter my goal due to an injury to my foot. Someday maybe but as of the present I will not be training for a marathon. :(
As my foot recovers, I would definitely like to take on the California International Marathon again. As well as, my home states Little Rock Marathon. So some day in the future, maybe.
2. Participate in the Buzz Oates RunSac Race Series for the third year and improve on my 33rd finish from a year ago.
At the present time, I am ranked 39th in the standings, with one race not posted yet and one race to go.
3. Improve on my 5k and 10k times.
My foot injury had an adverse effect on this goal. But I do not give up and will continue to work on my times as I move forward and the injury heals.
2011 Completed Races:
January 2, 2011 - My First 5k -- Finished 32:03 cold and rainy
January 8, 2011 - Lou Gehrig Roseville 5k -- 33:05 cold, cloudy, no rain
January 23, 2011 - Whole Foods 10k -- 1:04:53 sunny, chilly early
February 6, 2011 - Davis Stampede Half Marathon -- 2:30:33 Sunny
February 12, 2011 - Valentine Run 4 miler (RSS) -- 37:48 Sunny & warm
March 5th, 2011 - Lucky 7 7k/7M -- 1:09:47 Sunny & nice
March 13, 2011 - Shamrock'n Half Marathon (RSS) -- 2:17:54 cloudy, cool, windy
March 27,2011 - Nutrition Fuels Fitness 10k (RSS) -- 1:00:02 overcast
April 3. 2011 - Sac Town 10 -- did not run/not feeling well
April 10, 2011 - Sacramento Zoo Zoom 10k (RSS) -- 59:51
April 17, 2011 - Capital City Classic 10k -- 1:04:11
May 1, 2011 - Fair Oaks Sun Run 5 miler(RSS) -- 49:56
May 5, 2011 - Fleet Feet Cinco de Mayo 5k -- 34:33
May 7, 2011 - Race for the Cure 5k -- 29:05
May 15, 2011 - Bay to Breakers 12k -- 1:23:10
May 30, 2011 - Buzz Oates No Excuses 5k (RSS) -- 29:44
June 18, 2011 - 5k Foot Pursuit Run with the Cops (RSS) -- 29:10
June 25, 2011 - Seattle Marathon -- unable to do the marathon
Limited running and racing due to foot injury
June 26, 2011 - Summerfest 5k -- 30:05
July 16, 2011 - Davis Moo -nlight 10k -- 1:28:43 (changed from half marathon to 10k - sever cramping of the quads)
August 27, 2011 - Race for the Arts 5k (RSS) -- did not race
September 11, 2011 - 9/11 Memorial 5k Run/Walk -- 41:32
September 17, 2011 - Run to Break the Silence 5k (RSS) -- 29:34
October 30, 2011 - Lake Natoma 4 Bridges Half Marathon -- 2:35:38
November 5, 2011 - Run for Safe Haven 5k – 29:18
November 6, 2011 - Apple Hill Run (RSS) – 1:37:30
November 19, 2011 - Davis Turkey Trot 5k
November 24, 2011 - Run to Feed the Hungry (RSS)
I have shared my running adventure and will leave you with these words and maybe you will find it a little bit easier to understand me.
Why Do I Run?
Why do I run?
Those who don't, can't understand.
The pain is real every day.
Is it easier now? Not really
The same pain I felt the day I began.
Only easier to cover greater distances in shorter periods of time.
The pain is the same, and I understand that it always will be.
I dread it, and in a sense, I crave it.
Why do I run?
To stay in shape, to keep my health.
To feel better-all partial reasons, I suppose.
The real reason is confirmation- confirmation that I am in control.
Every day, I must make the choice-
a choice to experience pain and discomfort in order to achieve a higher goal or to give in to the body's urging to do something else more comforting and pleasurable.
Who is in control? My body or me?
Every time I run, I verify to me that I am in control and that I can be the master of my own destiny.
That is ultimately why I run.
I feel guilty when I don't run- when the body wins.
Running is a test of my strength- not just my physical, but my mental.
Running is a challenge of my will- of mind over matter, of me against myself.
Running is mental conditioning as well as physical.
It's therapy of the will for me.
Each run is success-the richest and most deeply satisfying.
Strangely but unmistakably tied to self-discipline, self-denial, and self-control.
In a world where I often feel helpless, victimized, and controlled,
running helps revive feelings of hope, strength and conviction that I can make a difference and that I can be responsible for me.
An addiction or choice, you say.
And you're right- there's a danger.
So long as I "choose", the value remains true and real;
So long as I control running and not running - me.
Positive addiction or not, the value is in choosing.
When the choice is gone,
I become controlled and victimized again... one more thing in my life that tells me that I am not in control, that I am simply a pawn of fate and circumstance.
I must run as a choice, not out of necessity or its real value again is gone for me.
Why do I run?
Run for success, success is the ultimate contest.
The contest of me against myself.
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