Ohhhhh Mr. Bleary Eyes... Wakey Wakey

This is for those of you who truely appreciate waking up at four a.m. and getting those workouts in. For those of you who find your time at other parts of the day... hey I love you just the same! Finding (more like making) the time to improve your athleticism and endurance can be tough but always rewarding. These are my stories, this is how I live my life. I hope you will enjoy and appreciate them and get an occasional chuckle or two.
Run Strong, Run Often,

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pre Spring Frustrations

What a booger this time of the year can be. The weather is turning nicer and nicer each and every day but I am getting so burned out from all the snow. I admit I have been really quite lax lately with my running, however I have picked up on lifting weights and cycling (I recently turned my home into a gym... not winning brownie points with some family members on that one). Check out this pic form the 14th of April. I mean come on man how much more of this?
Usually by Mothers day most of the area trails are at least runnable. I don't mind the slushy or sloshy muddy conditions but I do want to at least call it a run and not a slog. Maybe I should just be happy and run more on the roadways, but geez that so lame. I already conceded earlier this year and bought a treadmill for managing my time better. I admit that has been a useful tool both in getting the distance in and it certainly is one helluva pacer :-) An emotionless and brutal pacer at that!!!

Well when it snows and you already have BBQ planned do you give up and head inside? Heck no! I may be frustrated with the weather but it will never completely take everything out of me. I know the sun will prevail and the trees will green up and soon I will be able to run all the way up and over to Bomber Glacier or trails of the similar. In the meantime you will find me setting up on the roadside grillin n chillin, smiling and waiting for the summer to roll in.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On Top Of The World

I have so many friends who seem to always ask me "why on earth do you train and play so hard?" Hmmmm let's see.... the simple answer is because it 'elevates' me but of course you probably want a little more definition, so hey, keep reading.

As many of you already know the high you get from being in shape and physically exerting oneself is a lasting and most desirable high. It truely is an elevating feeling. I can be in the absolute worst of moods, down right kickers. However if I can pull it together and get my rear end out the door and just run then soon it all just becomes a perspective, a switch of reality, a shift in thought and whatever I was potentially wanting to kick melts away. The really neat thing about this elevation is that I never need to have a reason to obtain it. I don't need to be upset, I don't need to go and seek some sort of spiritual clarity, and I don't need to go seeking it either, it will just always be there. Thats what is so great about it, all I have to do is run.

Waking up at 3:57 a.m. to the dim red glow from my alarm clock and I smile. I'm relieved that I don't have to smack some sense into the loud and obnoxious beast that screams at me nearly every morning. I slide the bar on the alarm over so it does'nt end up going off anyway. Nothing worse than being in the bathroom and relieving yourself when the darn thing starts screaming (yep, I've been there). Time to prep for my run. It can be difficult to conjure up the courage to do what I'm about to do so I get dressed with some hesitation. You see last night it snowed eight inches and after checking the temperature I learn that it's 37 below zero. Thats Farenhiet for you international buddies. Brrrrr! The last items on are of course my headlamp and tailights and then I'm out the door. Utter darkness. But again, why do I do this?

I see everyone at work, the gas station, and just about anywhere, in what most folks refer to as the early hours (What? Has'nt everyone been up for four hours already?) and all I witness is zombies. Well more accurately zombies that are eagerly waking themselves up through various concoctions and potions. A trend that for me is difficult to understand. Although I admit I love diet colas, I do not use them to wake me or stimulate me. Yeah, yeah, harp on me about that later, it's a thing I plan on dropping (someday). Anyhoo... I just got done running in temperatures that make your mothers frozen turkey shiver, so why am I so alert and ready for the day?

The mind and the body are connected. Like Duh, right? But I mean so much more than just physically or electrically, what I mean is that we cannot exist one without the other (at least not in the hear and now). So while most folks are out there trying to stimulate their minds to get their bodies going there are those of us who have learned the opposite to be so much more effective. Start off by stimulating the body and the mind goes into overdrive. A secret? NO!! However it requires more initial work and therefore the first option is, as a general consensus, the accepted option. If you want to feel on top of the world you have to be willing to get there first and it cannot be obtained through concoctions and potions. Once you get there you will experince life with a hightened or elevated sense of reality. Life, version 2.0? Everything is still the same but the greens are greener, foods are tastier, and experiences are certaily richer!! I could go on all day attempting to explain what it feels like to be on top of the world but the reality of it all is that words are too simple to use to explain this state of mind this state of being. You must try it for yourself (if you have not already). I hope this draws your curiosity.

I cannot imagine going through life without getting this feeling and often. It is the perfect pick me up that tapers off gradually, so gradual that it carries you to the next run. Have you ever been to a race or event (endurance, not beat em up team sports) and felt the whole atmosphere? Generally it's a great feeling. Everyone there is so uplifting and encouraging with big smiles. Why? Because they all are on top of the world or are soon to be!

Get out there and create your own world, own your own world and be on top of it! I live in my world with my realities and I love being on top of it. True, I may get kicked off of it once in a while but remember, all I have to do is go for a run and everything falls back into it's proper place.

As long as I draw a breath I will always attain this high. The surge of life that immediatly flows through my body when I get up and wear out the soles of my shoes is undeniable. I will continue to feel younger and look younger. I will hold at bay the many ailments that plague our societies. I will ever increase this desire and share with anyone who desires the same with the tools neccessary to get them there. I will always be on top of my world!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Numero Uno (or something like that)

Ok for all you ADRENALINE JUNKIES out there (or soon to be, wanna be, or hope to be's) this is for you!!! I'm not anything particularly special, at least not in the realm of big ticket races or Hollywood whatever, but who knows maybe someday. But I, probably much like you, have a lot of adventures of my own. I hit the trails and join in just about any sport that requires true athleticism and or endurance, however I have not entered a race in over a decade. I train a lot and I intend on training more and more, till the day I die actually.
For the last several years (well more years than I have fingers) I have always wanted to participate in the races where the legends gather. Not that I want to meet them or challenge them but because they are there. Those are the locations and times where the best of the best challenge themselves. That part I have always understood. They are not there to beat anyone in particular, they are there to stand up to their own calls, their own preparations, their own challenges. Who am I to not challenge myself? I have always been my best trail buddy and likewise I have always been my own fierce competitor. No one challenges me more than myself!! NO ONE!!
I want to go to these places where they gather, their very gathering establishes the event like unto Everest. No one climbs Everest to beat their buddy, they do it to beat themselves. And so it is that I have decided that I will continue to train until I too have earned attendance at various endurance feasts. If our paths have not already crossed, your in luck, the odds are going to increase. SMILE.
I have overcome some great physical hiccups in my time (more on that in later posts) and consent to the belief that anyone in general good health can do the most amazing feats! If a one legged man can run across a desert or a blind man Climb the highest mountains then I too can achieve the same. Not that I'm taking away from their accomplishments (they are GREAT!), but I am trying to point out that all one needs to do is submit themselves to the goal and then do the required work to get there. I will get there! I am so close....
Living in Alaska presents some challenges in training but with the right attitude those challenges provide for very rich memories. The weather alone (which I always refer to as spice) can cause the average to go insane or the crazy (me) to do cartwheels! Not to mention the mosquitos, icy rivers, mountains, and yes... even the wildlife, most of which you will not find in Central Park. This is Alaska. This is where I do my training or rather I live my life. This is where my stories will come from.
I hope that you will enjoy my thoughts and ramblings as I share with you my training habits and prepare for joining the ranks of the legends. Even if those legends are limited to Me, Myself, and I.....