Personal Records

Yesterday I achieved a PR or Personal Record in a half marathon running the race in 1:37:57.  This is not actually a record of any real type.  In fact, 34 of the 656 entrants in this small Chicago race finished before me. 

Rewind: Last weekend there was an actual record set in distance running when Brigid Kosgei completed the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04.  This is a world record as it was an sanctioned course (by whom, I don’t know) and checked all of the official boxes needed.  This is unlike the event that happened 48 hours earlier in Vienna when Eliud Kipchoge covered the 26.2 mile marathon distance in 1:59:40.  While this did represent the fastest time to run the distance, the help of a rotating pacer team, hydration mules (not actual mules as they likely couldn’t keep up) and a pace car shooting lasers to mark the pacer spots disqualifies this from a world record. With that said, I bet Eliud is pretty proud of his accomplishment.

As am I despite the fact that nobody will talk about my accomplishment in years to come.  I own the effort and set a record that may stand for some time.

Leadville Starts at 4:00 AM

Leadville starts at 4:00 AM

On December 31, 2018 I stated my New Year’s resolution aloud.  This is a rarity for me as I don’t normally believe in such arbitrary timelines to commit to things we should probably be doing anyway.  Resolutions such as “eat healthily” or “spend wisely” should be constant themes in life, not fleeting commitments once a year.  

My 2019 resolution was to prepare right for Leadville.  I had signed up to run the Leadville 100 Trail race in August 2019.  While finishing the race in under 30 hours seemed to be the goal on the surface, my resolution was to prepare flawlessly every single day.  Such preparation would allow me to perform to the best of my ability and never second guess my effort.  Vowing simply to finish the race misses the point and the hard work, difficult tradeoffs and commitment to excellence along the way. 

I changed my daily alarm to be titled “Leadville starts at 4:00 AM” as a daily reminder that I could do something that day to achieve my goal.

On August 17th, Leadville started at 4:00 AM and after running 100 miles, successfully finished for me at 8:33 AM August 18th.

It Gets Darkest At Night

Before you think that today’s column was brought to you by Captain Obvious, let me explain. Of course it gets darkest at night with the exception of some parts of Alaska and a few other places on the planet.  It is not only a matter of physical darkness but there is a mental aspect that kicks in when one pushes their limits in the dark.

Recently I paced a friend of mine in a 100 mile race. The race held at a farm in Vermont and repeated a .87 mile loop that he would need to circle 115 times to complete his challenge.  While the pastoral scenery was beautiful for the first five hours, the mind-numbing experience was accentuated around hour twelve.  My friend ran much of the race without a headlamp as he normally enjoys running in the dark. This turned out to be a detriment making his world closing in around him and making the task much harder to conquer.  Sometimes we create our own obstacles.

After a few hours of running in circles in the dark, he opted to use a headlamp and his pace and spirit improved finishing 100 miles in just under 26 hours.  Badass!

You can’t change the wind, but you can beat it!

From the archive:

Anything worth doing comes riddled with challenges. Whether leading a team in business or running a marathon, you will encounter obstacles, some bigger than others. How you evaluate these challenges and react to the obstacles will determine your short term project success and long term career happiness.

When running a marathon and the wind gets really bad, it’s hard not to expend unnecessary energy, take bigger strides or fold forward at the waist to challenge the wind. An uncontrollable force slowing progress is incredibly frustrating and can put you in a negative headspace perpetuating bad decisions. It is important not to overcorrect to the wind, instead keeping your form no matter how annoying the element becomes. With this said, wind and other weather conditions offer varying degrees of danger. 10–25 MPH wind may slow you down but rarely causes bodily harm. 50 MPH+ wind, hurricanes or tornadoes have the capacity to destroy everything in their path. When determining how you approach the conditions, consider the strength of the opposing force and power to influence your path independent of your actions…

Read full article on Linked In Here.