my search to understand the bigger picture

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fun Run

Two of my running partners today. Saw way more than I could count. What a team effort, although these guys look like their loafing it a bit!

Just a little river I got to run along for awhile.

A little obstruction in the trail never hurt nobody. Had to crouch down to make it under this.

Beautiful sunrise. Nuff said.

Picture taken of huge spiderweb I thankfully did not run into. One of the few I missed.

About 2/3 way up a pretty steep climb. One year during the Siberian Express, people were sliding down this on my right and left. Had to grab roots and anything else could get your hands on to make it up this snow covered hill.

Looking down same hill.

Only about 1/3 way up hill.

River crossing. Thankfully very little water so I didn't have to get wet.

This fog is like clockwork. Get to see it every morning over this prairie! Love it!

I decided to write up a little post while keeping my eyes glued to the computer for UTMB (The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc) updates. A couple of key runner have dropped, some early on, and some within the past 2 hours, all surprises. No matter what kind of success someone achieves at 100 mile races in the mountains, finishing is still never a given, let alone winning. There's one runner in particular, Kilian Jornet who continues to amaze. He's only 21 or 22 and keeps winning everything in sight. The kid is amazing. Honestly, it excites me to read up on all the exploits of some of the top ultrarunners in the game (Krupicka, Roes, Jurek, Clark, Jornet, Jones, Grant).

This has been one of those sports that I've grown to love the more I throw myself into the world of ultrarunning. Tipping the scales at 200+ means I'll never be competitive in the ultra world, but I do love the thrill of covering distances that provide that shock factor. I suppose it's provided me with some sense of pride, that I can push myself to the limit, take a lot of abuse and pain, and still move forward. This has really translated to all areas of my life.

Training can sometimes prove to be difficult. With a wife and 2 children, plus at one point 2 jobs (thankfully now down to one), it's extremely difficult to find the time necessary to train, and the energy to eat the right types of food. Food must be viewed as fuel when training for an ultra. And quick foods rarely provide the right type of fuel. Usually, I end up training while everyone else in the world is asleep, meaning my body lacks the sleep necessary to fully recover from punishing training runs. So, sometimes I can begin to get stressed out by it all.

I've got a 50k trail race coming up in three weeks, and my long runs haven't gone quite like I've wanted them to. This morning, I decided that more than anything, I need to go out and just have fun on my run. So I scaled back the distance a bit (only did 12.52 miles on the trails) and took my time to enjoy the scenery. I didn't push my pace all that hard; just wanted to have fun. And I did. I saw more deer than I could count, a beautiful sunrise, a fog covered prairie, and some wild turkeys within 10 feet. I even stopped for a few pictures, as you can see from above. The point is, sometimes we need to recognize that we need to give ourselves a break. There's a rhythm to live. God created it that way (He worked 6 days and rested on the 7th).

I see that Kilian Jornet has just won the 2011 UTMB!

But seriously, we need regular rest in our lives. We were not created to work 24/7, never enjoying anything that life and God have to offer. Jesus did not die for us so that we could waste it all away by working and being stressed. So, today, I decided not to stress about my race. I decided not to stress about life. I decided, it was high time for some relaxation. And I got that by trail running.

So, while I do hope you enjoyed the pictures, and my little spiel about running, how do you relax and rest? When was the last time you did this? What better time to start than today!

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