On Streaking and Never Again
You’ve probably been asking yourself, “My right index finger seems a little melancholy, what can I do?” THANK GOD YOU FOUND THIS POST. You see, the very best feel-good click of the day is right here. You are a good person and we all agree kids are generally good and that HIV/cancer/etc. always sucks. I am running the Boston Marathon to provide a different kind of help and hope for kids battling serious illness. CLICK HERE to join me and The Hole In The Wall Gang on this journey . . . and fix that embarrassing melancholy finger issue.
On with the blog:
The 500-mile mark of my 2015 journey to Boston and Leadville arrived in rather inglorious fashion. It was on the treadmill in the basement following a nasty ice storm in the Lou. At an average tally of 9+ miles/day, I’m on track to hit 1000 miles turning left on Boylston heading toward the finish of Boston Marathon #8. The plan also calls for 2000 miles by the time I return to Leadville after a couple llama-filled romps up and down (and up and down) 12,600′ Hope Pass in August.
Averaging 7 miles per day for the past 15 years I sometimes feel indestructible. The truth is I don’t run fast enough to hurt myself. So when friend and running guru Angie Spencer from Marathon Training Academy mentioned she was going to try running everyday for a month, or maybe longer, I was slightly fascinated. Not in an epiphany sort of “this is what I was made to do” sort of way. More like, “maybe I could stick my tongue to that frozen pump handle and not end up with a noticeable lisp.”
I was wrong. After 65 days of streaking, numerous body parts were starting to lisp. What I really needed was a mental break . . . if only for a day. Streaking, at least for me, was just turning into a chore to be completed with mundane mileage devoid of emotion and endorphins. Like a blindfolded Sisyphus pushing the boulder to the summit unable to enjoy the view for even a moment.
OK, I did push the blindfold away to watch a couple seasons of Vikings on the History Channel. Afterall, these are my people. My lefse/lutefisk-eating people. Running along the fjord with sword, shield and axe, I AM RAGNAR LOTHBROK. Only to be awakened from my treadmill bloodfest stupor by an innate Nordic longing for Aquavit Gatorade, Salted Cod GU and a bathroom break. The streak ended without fanfare at 65 days, just a little shy of the world record which currently stands at over FORTY-FIVE YEARS.
My wife, Tami, joined me at Mile 90 of the 2014 Howard Aslinger 24 Hour Endurance Run for the final 10 miles. I was about 18 hours into the race but had made up my mind that 100 miles would be plenty . . . hit 100, drop the mic and walk off stage. We had churned that 0.98-mile loop to butter and I was done. DONE. I told Tami, “I’m glad I did it for the experience but I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO DESIRE TO EVER DO THIS AGAIN.”
So, here we go again. Bryan and Kim Kelpe are once again hosting this race to honor Kim’s father, Howard Aslinger, and raise money to help people with disabilities continue their education. Howard contracted polio when he was 11 years old but that didn’t stop him from raising a family, having a successful career and making an positive impact on his community.
“It’s not a disability, it’s an inconvenience.”
Well played, Howard, well played.
So, it’s back to HAMSTERFEST 2015 starting at 7 PM on Friday evening. Grandma’s Marathon x 15. Chicago Marathon x 9. Boston Marathon x 7. Leadville 100 x 3. And now the Howard Aslinger 24-Hour x 2. I’ve never been very good at one-and-done.
Bryan tells me registration is brisk. I’m doing my Pied Piper best by enticing a few friends to join me on this moth-to-flame endeavor:
- Pacer Dan Turpin who is not satisfied with his numerous forays on the Leadville 100 trail. Welcome to the even darker side.
- Javier Cendejas, 9-time Leadville racer, 2:44:44 marathon PR, Julliard-trained pianist . . . and just getting warmed up at 73 yrs.
- James “Frenchy” Lambert and I did 38 miles on the Katy last weekend. James is rock solid and may give Javier some competition for “1st Place Masters with Dual Citizenship” at the awards banquet.
They may never do this again, but we will make some memories.
Sometimes “never again” is a very good decision.
But when we vow “never again” after an experience that is just difficult and/or different?
That is not a good reason.
The first time is always the most difficult. Did it hurt? Yes, it did. Will it hurt again? Yes, but we now know from experience what is coming and can embrace the suck. Be not that timid soul. Stay in the arena. That’s where the good stuff happens.
Take care, my friends, and we’ll see you out there.
p.s. We’re up to $8067 of awesome for The Hole In The Wall Gang! THANK YOU to Steve G, Kim G, Javier C, Dennis & Robin R and Jill W for your super generous gifts to provide hope and some FUN for kids facing tough challenges. I can’t thank you enough for your help! Want to get in on the action, click that melancholy right index finger here.
p.s.s. 694 miles ytd, headed out with Pacer Dan for 15 easy miles this morning and then taper for the 24-hr GERBILRAMA.
p.s.s.s. Hang tough, Kit Palmer, sending positive healing vibes your way.
March 14, 2015 Uncategorized