Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Training is officially over

Yes that's right, it's now June and Western States is just four days away. I'm currently acclimating in Squaw Valley at 6,200 feet. Went for a short four mile run this afternoon and had an awesome massage this evening. Oh how I love tapering!

First and formost, my apologies for the long gap in posting, I guess blogging became just another thing on a never ending to do list and lost out to family, our store, training for the Grand Slam, and other interest, including some daily time with God. I will make every effort to keep up with this going forward.

Well to bring you up to speed on what's been going on the last four and a half months. I have run over 1,100 miles including five ultras (Psycho WyCo 50K, Three days of Syllamo 50K x 2, Rockin' K 50 Mile and Free State100K) in preparation for Western States. I lost over 20 pounds on the infamous "spider diet" (no you don't eat spiders) and have been blessed to stay injury free.

It feels as though the training plan I put in place has served me well and I feel about as good as I've ever felt heading into a race. In addition to the 14 day rotating schedule of training runs that included hill work, speed work and back to back long runs on the weekends.I also included once a week weight training, yoga and plyometrics.

I have also gone through a range of emotions relating to why I want to do this and what I hope to learn when it's all over, but in the end it comes down to two things.

1) I hope to rediscover joy in the daily routine of life. I have over complicated my running in recent years in much the same way I over complicate my life. I tend not to invite God into my daily "agenda" until things are falling apart and suddenly there I am, at the end of myself running to God looking for help. This is true when I screw up in life in much the same way I go looking for God around 70 miles into a 100 mile run when it's dark and I am hurting. Through living my life this way I developed this twisted view of life that the most I could hope for was that I would endure the inevitable pain and darkness life dishes out in the same way I endure a race. I have come to believe that God desires more for us then to simply endure.He wants us to enjoy the life he's given us and to worship him by putting Him at the center of all we do.

2) The second thing I hope to gain through this journey is greater humility. While doing something like this could easily become a very self focused endeavor, my goal is to make this about more then just me as there is no way I could ever do anything like this on my own power or abilities. This is about a God who provides strength, A family that is patient with me and supports me. It is about our store, Great Plains Running Co and our great crew that keeps me motivated and allows me to be away from the store for these four events without worry, it's about my Dad, it's about finding pride in being from Topeka, it's about encouraging people to make healthy lifestyle changes and finally it's about me letting go...letting go of years of trying to do it all on my own power, creativity, etc... letting go of selfish ambition and looking only for ways to please myself...and letting go of me being lord over my own life. I pray that through this process of letting go I will become less important to me and God along with all the wonderful people who he has placed in my life will become more.

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