2016 Ya’ll

It has been a little while since I have written anything. I guess that is obvious. Our family made the move to the coastal area of South Texas. I love the weather here. It is a different culture in many ways. Our kids have made the transition nicely. I feel at home here.

The running in a subtropical climate is different! It is humid everyday even when it cools off in the winter time. I am making final preparations for the Rocky Raccoon 100 Endurance Run February 6th. It is about a month out, and I am making last touches to my training. There is not a lot of elevation change, but it is more difficult than the previous 100 mile race. It is in Huntsville, Texas which is north of Houston. I was able to go up and see the course and hiked a few miles on it to get a feel for it. I  don’t enjoy running in the dark especially on trails. Because it is winter, naturally there will be a large portion of darkness. It is the one thing that unnerves me. I do not do well with headlamps because they cast a shadow that makes me dizzy. I hold a small flashlight or wrap my headlamp around my knuckles.

I am continuing to do well with the Tailwind nutrition and my zero drop shoes. I love the Altra, but I will have to use the 4 millimeter Saucony Peregrine for part of it. I use smartwool socks whether it is hot or cold because they wick away moisture. I like the Injinji toe socks, as well. It depends on the weather.

This particular course is a 20 mile loop located in the Sam Houston National Forest. It is a well known, high profile race for those who want a fast time. It is also the 100 Trail championships. I think the record for fastest male is 14 hours and change. It’s almost unbelievable. I will not be going for any such speed records! My A race would be to come in under 24 hours. My B race will be 26 hours and going out from there.

As a 40-something mother of three daughters, moving, and all the changes that go along with it, my training has taken a hit. I rearranged how I trained and how many miles I ran weekly. I do not need as many as I did training for my first 100. As you may know, endurance running, or any sport for that matter, the big thing is mental training. Your mind is a very powerful tool. You can tell it what to do. It will in turn tell your body what to do.

As I often say, endurance sports mirror life very closely. It is a long, sometimes difficult experience, with many unimaginable joys and painful lows. No one else can get you to the finish line but you. Quitting isn’t an option until death (or injury in the sports arena!).

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Eric Liddell, 1924 Olympic Gold Medalist 

I am a believer in God. It defines me totally as a person. It is how I view life and value others. When I run, I feel close to God, and I pray and enjoy His company.  As the Olympic runner and fellow believer,  Eric Liddell said , “God made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure!” Well, I edit that to say, “God made me to run long and gritty, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.”

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Blinking Cursor

As I have been preparing and waiting for a change to occur, I feel like a blinking cursor.  What do you want to say next?  What are you waiting for?  When are you going to do something?

We received word that we are moving to TX.  Not just any part of TX, the beach part of TX.  The Gulf of Mexico part of TX.  Corpus Christi, TX.  There, I’ve tried to type the initials of my new state a few times.  I said the word BEACH, right?  It is hot and humid, two of my favorite words.

As I leave a place I’ve been for 35 years, I don’t feel sad.  I feel strange.  I was 8 years old when I first made some of the friends I have here.  With the advent of social media, it makes it a lot less stressful than it used to be. I see my friends all the time on social media.  I have a few prayer partners, women I can text at any moment in a crisis, who live in different states.  Those relationships won’t change.  I’m not super excited to have to leave my doctors, that’s for sure!!  Finding new doctors for your family is not fun.

My activities will change a little.  Where I am in Texas is FLAT.  I will have to drive to find any trails with a few hills.  Trails are also different.  I’m sad to leave my trails, but I know I will find a replacement. I visited my new city this weekend. I ran about 13 miles on the beach.  It was great.  It was soft on my feet.  I wore my Altras.  I didn’t run in the sand dunes or light and fluffy sand.  I stayed where it was wet or packed down.  Again, the beach is one of my favorite spots in the whole world.  There is the Beach to Bay marathon.  I think I will like that one.  I am also going to run the Rocky Raccoon 100 near Houston in February.  The elevation per loop is about 1’000 feet.  That’s flat.  Ultra runners tend to run into each other frequently.  I will know people at this race, which is always nice.

My children will attend public school for the first time.  It has taken a lot for me to get to this place.  I was never going to do this.  However, it is happening.  I have poured over districts for many miles away.  Trying to find a place to live in a good school district is crazy. I’ve never had to worry about where I lived. What will they be teaching my kids?  Do they enforce the rules?  I had to just give up and let God give me the peace I needed.  The unknown is always a little scary.

I am going to learn to safely, SAFELY, do water activities.  A kayak and paddle board will be the start for me to keep active when I’m not running.  I have seen cyclists, however, the wind is pretty rough there all the time.  I am wanting to see about tires for the bike for the beach.  I love swimming in the Gulf because of the lift the salt water gives you.  I did see a LOT of jellyfish though, on the beach.  I don’t like jellyfish, as beautiful as they are.  They hurt!

My relationship with the runners I used to hang with is changing. I know it’s inevitable.  They go on without me.  It’s how it is.  I was glad to be able to crew at the Mohican 100 in June.  I got to see a few friends and kind of say goodbye to the area trails!!  It’s a drastic change to move this far.  Sigh.

It is a great thing for our family.  We need this change.  I am very happy.  I am very, very thankful.  But, I’m VERY far away.  So, come and visit.  It’s warm and beachy, and I’m a lot of fun!  Usually.

Change.

Change is a part of life.  I actually enjoy change. However, I’m sure you can agree, there is a level of anxiety that goes along with it.  There have been so many changes in my life over the past few years, that I’ve lost count.  I’ve experienced anger, worry, fear, but also joy.  If you don’t believe in a God who controls these things, you may not understand how I deal with these emotions.  More change is coming. As usual.

Our family is getting transferred out of the state where I have been for 35 years.  It will be a good and much needed change. But, here is where all of my support is, where my family is, where my friends are, church, my roots.  An added degree of anxiety is not knowing exactly where or when we will be going.  As a female, I want security, protection for my daughters, a home, financial peace and many things that just can’t be guaranteed.  I’ve grown so much since my experience losing every possession we owned and being 1 day away from homelessness.  My life, my worldview, and my family all changed in a flash.  I am not angry, not anymore.  I started running about that time.  In many ways, it saved my life.

As I ready myself to, well, get ready I guess, with no knowledge, no guarantees, no promises of success, I am strong and sturdy.  These traits were born out of hardship, like most other traits we receive.  God has protected since the day I was born, so I can say, Bring It.  I’m not afraid.

Running for 26 hours was kind of hard!  It was fun, but it was also a hardship, like life.  I can’t quit life until the end, so I suck it up and press forward.  My license plate reads NDRNCE.  Suck it up-ness for a lack of better term is what it means.  Down but not out, weary, but not dead.  I hate complaining.  I used to be a complainer as a kid.  Now, it’s a daily fight as I say NO, I will not lie down and die.  I don’t let others who are negative and complainers be close in my life.  I will go right down the dumps with them.

Meet me at the finish line, because I’m not quitting before I get there.

SHOE bee doo bee doo

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Felt lost trying to figure out what type of shoes and/or socks to wear?  Do you have little complaints but put up with them because they “aren’t that bad”?  ME TOO!!!

I decided to do something about it because long distance running requires nitty gritty as-close-to-perfection as you can get with running gear.  I’m not going to run many hours with a tiny bump or flap somewhere on my shoes and socks because I would be bleeding.   Instead of being calm, I went about it in a freaked-out rage.  How could I do the next race with these shoe/socks???!!!

I have run in Saucony, Brooks, Hoka, Altra, Vibram and several models of each shoe.  My injuries with running started at my first marathon.  I had no idea about form or shoes.  I just ran, hard, fast, and almost every day.  As you can imagine, that would lead to injury for anybody, regardless of shoes.  It would seem that I was heel striking, which for me, lead to knee and hip pain.  Preaching a certain shoe can be dangerous.  So, I will tell you my story.

Injuries I had included knee, hip, low back, Achilles, bleeding feet, and shin splits.  These weren’t minor either.  They were sidelining me.  I couldn’t go up in distance because my body couldn’t take it.  I was wearing what a woman at a running store where I don’t go anymore, told me.  I had no running experience except what other people told me.  Higher distance just means more injury, right??  WRONG!  I tried running around barefoot in the grass at a friend’s suggestion.  WOW, did that feel good!  It became a regular part of my routine, as did foot/calf exercises.

Why were my toes always bleeding, rubbing, and throbbing?  Did I need bigger shoes?  One day I wandered into my current running store, told them my problems, and begged for some relief.  I must have tried on 7 pairs of shoes.  I’m a pain in the butt customer, I know.  My guy had me try on a pair of men’s shoes and we discovered that those were the start of some relief.  The width of my foot seems to have changed a little since running.  Giant Sasquatch.  I wasn’t pleased and didn’t want to run in big ugly men shoes!!!  If you don’t know already, I like pink and glitter and sparkles.

I went ahead and purchased a pair of men’s Saucony Peregrine trail shoes for my 50 mile race.  The Peregrine is a 4 mm drop shoe.  For those of you who care, “drop” is the distance from your heel to your toe in the shoe.  Comparing these to my 8 or 12 mm drop shoes, it was a difference.  But, with strengthened calves and feet, why not try a lighter, lower shoe!  I was giddy at the results.  Not with the color, but the results.  My feet felt pretty good after the race. I say pretty good, because I’ll talk about socks in a minute.

I thought that maybe thicker cushioning in a 4 mm shoe would be even better!!! So, again, I go try on a bunch of shoes, this time, Hokas.  If you don’t know what those are, think clown shoes.  I hear ferris wheel music in my head when I see them.  Everyone who wears them seems to swear by them, so I should try them.  Well…..my pinky toe was rubbed raw, so apparently they are for people with narrower feet.  Had to return them.  Boo.  I thought I was so awesome for running in Hokas.  NEXT, please.

I was scared to go to “zero drop”, thinking it was for elite athletes who were getting paid to run, won races, and were hyper-serious about their running.  I’m serious, don’t get me wrong, but I run for the love of it, not the competition of it.  Why this should determine my shoe choice, I’m not sure.  Back I go to my shoe store.  They are sick of me, trust me, I know these things.  Those guys at Tri State Running Co. have known me since the stores inception, and have been with me every stop of my running career.  So….they get dumped on a lot.  I cry, I laugh, I shout, I try on soooo much product and accidentally even stole a pair of socks.  Oopsy.  They are so knowledgeable, that I keep going back.  Back to the zero drop.  OK.  One of the guys brings out this PINK pair of clown shoes.  Again, clown.  Not sure, but they must think I am a carnie or circus employee.  But, this pair was pink.  And cushy.  So delicious….  They were Altra Intuitions, a zero drop, cushiony soft shoe.  A NICE toe box.  See above picture for the look.  My feet were open and comfortable and so I ran 100 miles in them.  No lie.  Not even a blister.  And I got to wear ladies’ shoes!  It was the best shoe recommendation ever, clown or not.

My issues weren’t entirely from shoes, either.  I had gone through many brands of socks before settling on Injinji, the toe socks.  Your toes are not rubbing against each other, so there is no issue.  You do have to get the correct size, however.  It does make a difference.  For water, I get the Nuwool kind.  The wool wicks the water away and keeps your toes warm/cool as the weather dictates.  I cannot say enough great things about them.  I do like the Swiftwick compression socks as well, but I put Injinji under them if necessary.  I also like to wear weird, fun socks.  I know, shocker.  If you put the toes socks under them, I can wear whatever I want!  Quick side note:  I recommend spraying your feet with Tri Glide lubricant.  You can use Glide if you desire, but I prefer the spray. it easily gets between toes–another genius trick by another distance runner.

If you want to go to clown school or work at a carnival, talk to me.  If you want help with shoes or socks, see a professional, or you can ask me, too.  But, these are my tried and tested opinions.  Not everything works for everybody, but I HAVE tried on a LOT of shoes and socks, and hair color, but, that’s another story.

Try some different shoes and socks if you need to, it’s worth it.  Drive your running professionals crazy, it’s why they are there!  I most assuredly could not have run 100 miles without their aid.  Fade to clown music in 1, 2…….

Starting the Year with a BANG!

How long I have waited to be able to write this! I was so looking forward to being done with training and running a 100 mile race! Wooooooo! DONE!

I started training officially back in July, 2014. It was a long training period designed to gradually get one up to the distance without breaking down the body. It starts with the assumption that you have run a 50 mile race and have recovered nicely. My peak weeks were 30/20 back to backs on the weekends. I missed a few but, doesn’t everyone?

A friend went to the race with me, and I talked a couple people into running it, as well. The Pistol Ultra is a 50k, 50k relay, 100k, 100 mile race on an asphalt greenway in Knoxville, TN, January 3-4. Quite a change from my preferred trail running. The race was a loop of 11 miles, run, for me, 9 times. I was worried about the weather, being winter, and it must have changed a dozen times in the forecast going into the weekend. The big positive, in my humble opinion, was that the greenway was lit at night.

We got to the race Friday night, heard Jeff Galloway speak, I won a prize, ate dinner, went to bed! I shared a bed with my friend and fellow athlete. My pacer was lucky to have a separate bed! My other friend had a separate room altogether. I flipped and flopped and dreamed all night long. But, woke up ready to rock. We decided not to get to the starting line too early and have to pace around. Unfortunately, that meant parking too far away. My pacer moved my car later in the race, so that was fine. Most people used their cars as a place to crew themselves.

Race started at 8 a.m. As usual, I was all in pink. I bought these pink puppy tights to run in. Everyone was commenting on them, which is usually why I wear what I do. It starts conversations and keeps me happy and motivated. The daytime weather was fabulous. It topped out at 60F. January can be very tricky in TN. I had lots of cold weather clothes, but brought all types of clothing because rain was in the forecast, big time. I’ve run in the rain, but I’m not crazy about it.

The looped course was a 9 mile out and back with a lollipop at the end, then a 2 mile loop at the other end before starting over. Yes, we had to pass the finish line many times before finishing!!! A friend told me that a loop course is great because you only need 1 drop bag/prep area and you can get familiar with the course. I loved this aspect. Didn’t think I would, but boy was I glad I had it. There was graffiti art about a half a mile from the finish of the loop. It was a large penguin which quickly became my mascot and comfort. I named him Pengy, and we (my pacer and fellow racer) yelled his name periodically.

Back to the weather. As the sunset, the rain started to fall. And fall it did until the sun started to rise again. My pacer got a poncho for me which takes some getting used to. It was a lifesaver. I was able to keep most of my clothes dry enough not to chafe. It was very challenging to run. Lots of people DNFd here, due to the rain. I was feeling great, so I went with it. There was ankle deep, calf deep, and at one point waist deep water to traverse. Thankfully, there was a way around the waist deep water over the bridge. I wasn’t going to risk getting injured under a flooded bridge. I had changed my shoes and clothes around mile 50, and my feet had such an odd sensation of popping bubbles. I say this because that cold water in which my feet were submerged periodically felt AWESOME! My Altras and Injinjis did well for me. They drained the water and never gave me a blister. Amazing. Yes, very amazing. The shoes and socks are well tested, and I would tell anyone to wear them if you want to try.

I’d like to take a second to talk about nutrition. It was what scared me the most, frankly. My 50-mile race, I ended up in the hospital on fluids. Not really interested in repeating that one. I tried a product recommended by many ultra runners called Tailwind. It boasts no “gut bombs” and claims that you don’t need to eat anything else all day. It is a drink mix with several flavors available. It gets a 10 out of 10 from me. Wow! What a product. I had the flavor named “nekkid”, so it tastes like water. My pack holds 2 liters, and I made sure I drank enough to have 200-300 calories an hour. Solid food is actually not required. I couldn’t believe it. I ate some because the aid stations were so good, I just had to! They had bacon! Bacon!! Hard boiled eggs, sausages, sandwiches, any number of candy and cookies and chips and they catered to your every want. Tailwind sponsored the race, so I was able to use their product at the aid stations. I was stoked. FYI, chicken broth tastes like a gourmet meal at 3 a.m. in the pouring rain.

I prayed a lot going into this race. It was meant as a fund raiser for my girlfriend who is a nurse practitioner in Togo, West Africa. I don’t have the totals yet, but we did raise money. I asked God for a healthy body and mind. I even prayed for the weather. I really wanted to finish this race. He was so gracious in keeping me upright. No nausea, no vomiting, no diarrhea, no significant pain, not even a blister! I know these things can and will happen. But, for this race, I was so glad they didn’t.

It stopped raining and the sun came up, and I knew I was on the upswing. Passing Pengy one last time, I touched his nose and told him goodbye. On to the finish line of my first 100-mile race. Finishing time was 26:24, 3.5 hours before the cut off. Pleased and excited are very small words to describe what I felt. I met some amazing ultra runners, now friends. Learned about myself, as usual. And believe it when they tell you that a 100 mile race is more mental than physical. Believe it.

Le voyage de 100 mile à l’Afrique

Well, I didn’t make it to Africa just yet. Ebola and other issues have kept me from getting on the plane. But, I stopped despairing and will continue to live in faith that God will get me there when I’m supposed to be there.
We raised $16,000 during the Run for Togo in June for the AIDS and HIV ministry in Togo, West Africa (where they speak Francais!). The building should be started in January with some men from our church. This is where my running has taken its meaning.

I had everything ready. I was heading out to Africa in August. I was to spend 2 weeks working in a hospital. I had my shots, my passport, my visa and was ready to get on that plane. Nothing was working out at all. I was supposed to go with my nurse practitioner friend who lives there. I could not get a plane ticket. I was even offered tickets via buddy pass by Delta employees. That also fell through. I was very angry. I, I, I…. my plans. I don’t know why I haven’t been able to go yet. God obviously has other plans. That was also the same time as the Ebola outbreak in western Africa, RIGHT where I was supposed to go.

So, I’m continuing to fundraise for this tiny African nation through my running. January 3rd is my first 100 mile race, in Knoxville, TN, the Pistol 100. I’m calling it Run 100 for Togo. People can donate through http://www.runfortogo.org or through Calvary Baptist Church in Northern Kentucky. 100% of the money goes directly to Africa. I’m not taking any for race fees or shirts or anything. Most non-runners think that 100 miles is a spectacle in and of itself, so I’m trying to capitalize on that and ask for donations on a per mile basis, or a lump sum, or come and run some of it with me! The race allows pacers for the entire 100 miles, which is pretty exciting to me!

I will eventually get to Africa. I feel quite confident. How and when are not answered yet, but I feel sure in the endeavor I’ve started. Learning French and learning to understand and love the Togolese people has been a wonderful challenge. They will be waiting for me when I get there!! Courir pour le Togo!! (I think that’s right, those verbs get you!)

Oh, it’s on now

It’s Badwater 135 week.  I’m totally obsessed with this race. I guess it’s because I love warm weather running, and I know I’ll never run Badwater.  Ever.  It’s not even a goal.  My buddy from the running store I frequent got into the race this year.  I am so excited.  He’s an accomplished ultra runner with races like Hard Rock, Western States, and Leadville under his belt.  Even as I type, the winner has been proclaimed, and he’s even from my town!  Three runners, to be exact, are from the Cincinnati area.  Awesome to see a hometown boy win. 

As I’ve been toying with my first 100 miler, I’ve been studying any race, person, or blog that will give me tips and advice.  I was able to train a couple of times with two of the Badwater runnners this summer.  I plied them with questions, kind of like a yapping dog.  Runners are so nice and willing to help. 

So, I am following a 100 training plan.  I think I’ve already shared how I hate training plans and having someone else tell me what I’m doing when.  But, I need to be serious if I want to be successful.  My peak weeks will be back to back runs of 30 and then 20 miles.  Before the race, I will run a 12 hour to see where I am.  As I’ve ramped up my training, my body is protesting.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m old, not recovered from my spring running which included a P.R. marathon in May, a 50K end of May, and another surprise marathon in June, or something else.  I decided on Tailwind for nutrition.  It is a very good choice. It has been an area of weakness for me, and I can’t let this be an issue for a 100 mile race.  I must have it right or I needn’t bother to show up.  I also purchased new shoes. I’ve made fun of Hokas for so long, it was a hard decision to make.  I cannot believe how beautifully they ride!   Nay sayers can jump off a cliff!!!!  I’m also building my pacer/crew team.  I will need them badly.  Someone will have to kick my butt and knock sense into me when I waver. 

As a follow of God and a Bible believer, there are certain things that go without saying.  The challenge I want to complete cannot be done on my own.  I will rely on Him for my hourly, minute by minute strength.  Running teaches you so much about life because it mimics life so well.  As you know, life can really really stink.  Still gotta finish, though.  No way around it.

So, trying reaching and stretching for something hard. Something rewarding will always be worth it.  And run, my Badwater buddy, run!!!  It will be worth it in the end!!!

I smell race season!

Here it comes!! We are a couple of days away from spring, and I’m giddy, as usual.   Anyone who knows me know how I love warm weather and everything that goes along with it.  I LOVE spring/summer racing.  Well, I don’t actually race anyone but myself, however, I love the whole process. 

In May I am privileged to participate in 3 back to back days of racing for the Cincinnati Alzheimers Association.  In June,  I am race director for a run/walk event for an HIV/AIDS clinic in Togo, West Africa.   I’m really excited about it and trusting in God to bring the needed funds through the race.  In July, I get to help a friend put together and crew a 3 day, 108 mile race in southern Ohio.   It was so fun last year that I can hardly wait!  October is my endurance practice race. I will run fatigued,  in the dark, and for a long time to simulate some of my 100 mile race which will be in January!  Woooo, that’s a lot of fun!!!  

The older I get the more appreciative I am for people like you.  People who were once strangers and have become supportive friends.   I used to be shy. I had a horrible habit of caring what everyone thought.   Now that I am finally free from that, I have so many people in my life who love and care about me.  My family has taken on a new meaning.  The running community, like cycling and swimming, too, has come along side me and helped me grow. I’m sure you can say the same.

It’s spring race season everybody!!!!!!  Let’s do it!!!!

http://www.friendindeedtogo.com; http://www.blueblazesultra.com;  www.facebook.com/pages/Jackies-Run

Run for Africa (ALMA) Association Le Meilluer Ami

It’s an exciting time!  I watch the Olympics like any other sportman.  I’ve always loved the Olympics.   My favorite highlights are–1.  Any run by Flo Jo 2.  Carl Lewis 3.  Mary Lou Retton (of course) 4.  Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan 5.  Bella Karolyi, again, Retton and Nadia Comanechi…….I could go on and on. 

I want my running to mean something more.   How can I use it for good?  How can I reach people with it even though I am not a world class athlete?  I am good friends with a nurse practitioner in Togo, West Africa.  Her brain child is a mission HIV/AIDS center targetting those families with AIDS or affected by it.  The ALMA (Association Le Meilleur Ami, Best Friend Association) is a group working to change this.   AIDS is the number two killer, second only to malaria in Africa.  Theses people have NO education or knowledge about the disease.  They treat them like lepers.  Her mission is give these people hope and education, and to show them there is a Creator who loves them. 

Here is where my running can become something beyond me.  The means of support for this AIDS clinic will be a restaurant/cantina which will sell local food and drink.  It will cost $40, 000 to get this built.  It is an amazingly low amount compared to American standards.   I was approached by her and my church to partner with some other runners to raise support for this.  I’m not sure how it will all work, but I’m so honored and excited to be involved.  

I’m planning a 100 mile run for January of 2015.   I look forward to how this lone race, and other team races can help raise the much needed funds.  What a privilege!   I hope you will follow the exciting progress and find ways to make more of your gifts and abilities.  Image

What’s new pussy-cat?!?!

It’s that time of year when everyone either posts their goals or is asking you to post yours.  I have goals, just not ones that require a yearly nod to “resolution land” where goals go to DIE!  No offense to those who do this.

It was a great year.  I did many things for which I am grateful.  I started homeschooling my kids, volunteering at The Ronald McDonald House here in my area, and of course, ran a few epic races.  You have read the race reports on my races this year, so I won’t bore you with a rehash.  Fun was had by all, and to all a good night, or whatever sentiment you like best.

Most of us have to reign ourselves in.  I hear myself saying, “I wanna……let’s do…..wonder if I could….” a lot.  Wanting to do everything and having no direction has proven immaturity on my part.  Just because it’s out there, doesn’t mean we have to do it all.  There is the financial burden, the time, the kids, other responsibilities which all go into planning your next “big thing”.  I have resigned myself to training for one official race a year.  There will be other things I will help plan or crew or even run a little, but only one for which I will train.

I watched a series on ABC or NBC about the people who attempted to summit Mt. Everest this past year.  It really scared me to see such reckless behavior on the part of people who really shouldn’t have been there.  Which, in reality, was most people.  Hey, it’s there, let’s summit it!  Then they die, and people call them heroes, when in reality, they were idiots.  You should watch it.  Look it up online. It is called “Into the Death Zone”.  It puts into perspective what is important, and what is just plain pride, ego, or ignorant stupidity.  I’m not saying not to do what you love, I’m saying to remember there are more important things in life than your next big adventure.  Plan your life in balance.

I hope you do have goals.  Reach for something big.  Meet some new people.  My goal is to run a 100 mile trail race.  I’m not sure when this will happen exactly, but it is my goal at this point.  I have a lot of planning, strategizing, and learning to do before I can even train properly.  But, as I’ve been reminded by friends and family, I am seeking to achieve balance and not be reckless.  Mt. Everest will be there when you are truly ready.  Whatever your goals are, don’t be selfish and reckless.  There are people around you who love you and want you to be around to see them achieve their goals as well.

Maybe I’ll even see you at my 100 miler.  I hope I do.  Thanks for helping me reign in my goals dear friends, and you know who you are.