Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Step Closer

Working - When I was younger, I strived to have the perfect position while making good money. Now that I have it, work is a means to support what I really love to do - Traveling with my family and running.   Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my job and leading my crew, but I have also come to realize the importance of everything else life has to offer outside of working.  I’ve seen some of my colleges get so engrossed in their work, and become it, that they lose sight of everything else to only wake-up and find themselves alone with no family.  Like everything else in our lives, you must maintain balance.  On so many levels, it’s like a three legged stool.  Spending too much time to strengthen one leg may weakling the other which could bring you crashing down.  I guard against this by establishing priorities based on what’s important to the one’s we love while being true to myself.  It may mean I will give up a few positions in my next race because I could have got a few more long runs in or a little more time in the gym, but it doesn’t mean I won’t give it everything I have.  I would gladly give up a top 20 finish to keep all the other very important things in my life in balance.  I don’t recall what position I finished Rocky 100 last year in TX (middle of the pack), but I do remember the journey to finish, and talking to my wife and kids afterwards and absorbing the excitement from their voice for my accomplishment.  This means more than finishing first and not hearing their excitement or support. 
 Being an ultra-runner, I often get that look like you must spend your entire free time running and no time for anything or anyone else.  This could not be further from the truth for I find myself more involved with a higher energy level in my family activities then when I was taken a break from running and feeling lazy.  When my coworkers wonder, I ask them how much time each day do they spend watching TV, listening to their MP3 player, and surfing on the net or Facebook?  When compared to my daily running times, I actually have more free time available for my family, have a higher energy level, along with the healthy benefits of being active! 
 People at work often ask if I’m on a specific diet, how in the world do I run such distances, and how are my joints holding up?   No diet, eat what I want, take after my Mom, must have good alignment because I have no joint issues, and exercise with no limits.  I am thankful for what I have, and hope to be a point of inspiration for those around me.  Just because we age does not mean we need to put the brakes to the floorboard and slowdown to a stretching halt.  We may not be as fast, as strong, and out face may have a few more wrinkles, but it does not mean we have to come to a complete stop.  No, I’m not that old, but I’m not 20 something either.
 Speaking of family time, we just got back from the beach last weekend and absolutely loved it.  The feel of sand between the toes, sun beating down, steady breeze, and nothing on the agenda!  Pizza, fresh seafood, banana splits, evening walks along the beach,…I need some more of this.

Training has been on target and going well with 77 miles in the bank last week:

Mon – 12 miles with hill repeats
Tues – 12 miles and 30min sauna
Wed – 4 miles tempo (7:20 pace)
Thurs – 13 miles and 30 min sauna
Fri – 6 miles in soft sand
Sat – off
Sun - 30 miles long run (9:15 pace)


Genesis said...

i can relate although on a smaller scale :) my coworkers cant even fathom running a few miles a week much less a few miles a day so when I think about it, in the time it takes for them to sit around and watch TV or talk on the phone for an hour I could have logged about 6 miles at the most and not even feel like I missed anything or gave anything up. I go home and feel amazing and dont feel like a sloth.

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said...

What a wonderful post about balance. You certainly have your priorities straight. When I'm running regularly I really do feel like I have more to give as well.

Black Knight said...

1. About our job. We must work to live and not to live to work;
2. As a runner I see that I have more time for my family (I make my workouts in early morning before going to work);
3. Beautiful pictures. I like the photo where you have both the feet off the ground.
4. As a former sailor I love the sea.

Katie said...

Great Pics!! I can't wait for beach time :D

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Another great post!!!

Char said...

I can't see how running can do anything but enhance your life. But yes it has to be done within a balanced life.

Rooster said...

I love this post! I am not sure why some folks think Ultra running is all consuming. I find it the complete opposite. Sure it takes time but the paybacks are enormous for the entire family. I wouldn't trade my family and friends for anything consuming! I am sure this is a mis-conception because of the sheer length of a race. I get up sometimes at 4 am to get my long run in before the family is ready to roll for the day. And...there is nothing more awesome than having a family that does things together, stays active and healthy. Nice job keeping the balance and living huge.

Hone said...

You have the secret to happiness all figured out.

Nice job on the miles as well.

tammy said...

Gosh I cannot tell you how much I love this post! I couldn't have said it better myself: "I have also come to realize the importance of everything else life has to offer outside of working." So true!

This year I plan to find a 100 mile ultra to set my sights on... Run on!

Chris Price said...

Looks like a solid week of running. I love using the sauna too, and hopes it will help me run faster, we'll see tomorrow.

I totally agree with you about people "not having enough time for (fill in the blank" yet they watch hours of TV everyday.

Great pics!

Alex said...

You seem to have a great well-organized time !
keep on running !!