Monday, July 23, 2012

The Next Journey "Begins": 100 mile attempt


Hello Everyone (all 3 of you that read my blog :-) !

I cannot say that I begin this blog without a bit of trepidation.  Excitement, fear, anticipation, etc.,  are all emotions swirling around my head this day.  This week I “officially” (I say “officially” because really I have been training for this since I was 15 years old) begin my training program for my first attempt at a 100 mile, off road, “run” – the run is in quotes because the cut off time for this race is 30 hours, which equates to a 18 minute per-mile average (with stops) so it is really a very fast hike (for me, anyway, some super-humans run the whole way).  It is much easier to wrap my head around it this way, if I was attempting a flat road run for 100 miles I would be much, much less excited and much more fearful of dropping out.

Anyway, as I mentioned in previous blogs, I have been flirting with the idea of attempting a 100 mile run for about 2 years now.  I actually signed up for one in 2011 but God’s plan was different than mine so I postponed it till 2012. 

Well, as of today, that race (The Pinhoti 100) is exactly 15 weeks away, only 105 days or 2520 hours or 151,200 minutes or 9,072,000 seconds away, but who is counting? 

I had planned (again, my plan, obviously not God’s) to begin “serious” training about 20 weeks out, but actually this past week is the first time I have felt like I am training for this race.  Last week I ran 8 times (yes, you read that right, I ran 6 out of 7 days and did double runs on 2 days: AM and PM) for a total of 480 minutes of running, probably about 40 miles.  My longest run was about 2.5 hours, about 11-12 miles (only 88 more to go!).  I don’t wear a GPS or Pod or anything that measures my distance when I run but I know that on most trails, I average about 12 minute miles with fast walking the steep hills, food breaks, bathroom breaks, etc.  so I just divide my time by 12 to get an approximate mileage for the run.

This past week was really a breakthrough for me, both physically and spiritually.  Last weekend I went down to South Florida to visit my family and, besides helping me really appreciate the trails we enjoy in Georgia after running on the flat, hot road with no sidewalk, I attended a very nice Mass on Sunday.  The message from the Priest was to leave your worries at the door when you come home (he used a parable of a man who left his daily worries on his “worry tree” outside his home and picked them up (there were invariably many less the next day) the next morning to take them back to work.  I had been struggling with some stressful issues and this helped me immensely to make my decision on what to do about these challenges – if my stress affects my family adversely, I will do whatever I can to reduce that stress and if I cannot reduce it, I will work on leaving it at the door, on my own “worry tree” so it does not affect my family.

When I returned from Florida, I began my training in earnest and this includes a few days a week where I will run in the morning and at night.  Two things happened this week when I started doing this;  one, for some reason I handled the heat of the late afternoon much better (I was really dreading after work runs) AND, more importantly, I come home much calmer than in past weeks.  Calm enough that I have made a commitment that on the days (during the week) that I only run 1x, I will try to do it in the afternoon before I return to my family!  

Until next time, 

Praise God!

Rami