When is enough, enough? A question that I have been asked often. Usually I just get really defensive and come back with a snarky response like – maybe Never! And the response isn’t so much the issue. Its the snarky I want to remove. Because quite honestly, I am not sure there will ever really be “The End” to my journey. Be it Running. Growing. Coaching. Living. I think that is part of the beauty. To be constantly challenging ourselves. Mentally, physically, and spiritually. Will my goals change? Absolutely. Sometimes daily. As I continue to age in a sport that is truly timeless (just ask Wally – running Western States in 2016 at age 72). But it doesn’t feel like its an “enough” or “not enough” thing to me. It just feels right. Present. Now. It feels like “living my story”. And for far too many years it felt more like I was just getting bye.
So…How am I gonna run my first 100 when really my running style has been fast and short? Good question. I think the only way to compete in these Ultra Endurance Races is by constantly remembering these 3 words: Relentless Forward Progress (thanks Coach Blue). Sometimes I will run. Sometimes I will walk. Sometimes I will crawl (probably more often then I want). But as long as I continue with Relentless Forward Progress – I will FINISH. And that is really all I am after. Finishing. Ok, maybe I have set my goals a little higher then just finishing The HURT 100 (top 10 overall would be pretty amazing – as would being one of the few to finish as a rookie 100 miler). But in a race where only about 45% of the starters actually finish the race – finishing truly is the prize.
Sidebar: Many runners call this a 100 mile obstacle course more then a running race. Battling exposed roots. Rocks and boulders. Dangerous cliff side cut backs (not looking forward to these as I am not a huge fan of heights). Heat. Humidity. Mosquitos. 20 River Crossings. Slippery terrain. Pure darkness under the jungle canopy at night. Oh and the fact that its a loop course meaning you have to run the same route 5 times. But hey, they are kind enough to give you 36 hours to complete it. WTF am I thinking. LOL.
Now the Why? Why not. Ok, I know many of you saw that coming. But its kinda true. I kinda said it in my opening. Its about challenging ourselves to levels that test our will, our heart, and our mental capacity. Oh and the training aspect. I love training for “something”. I have never been a “gym rat”. In other words, I just don’t see the value in going to the gym day after day so that I can look good poolside. Not that my training hasn’t helped in that area – it has – but I just find myself more committed when something is on the line. In this case, my ass not falling off a cliff. LOL. So honesty, the simple answer is “because I think I can”. Good enough? Is for me!
At the end of the day, I still hate running (at least for the first few miles). Its hard. It hurts. It tests me everyday. Some workouts are much better then others. But the grind is good for a guy like me. The goal setting is even better. And as many of my now 23 followers already know, I have to knock off Hawaii from my 50by50 so I might as well make it a big one.
Sidebar: I thought of looking for a “backup” 5k race in the same week, just in case I didn’t complete the HURT. But then it gives me an out and as you might imagine, I do better when I am All-In.
Update: I was able to knock off AR and NJ from my 50by50MOVEment this summer. My AR race was with my 12 year old son – his first 50by50 and the NJ race was with my entire family (all 4 kids, wife, sister-in-laws, and future brother-in-law). It was so amazing to cross the finish line with my son in AR. It was the kick off to an amazing Road Trip (stay tuned for future episodes – Summer 2017 – coming soon). To see the look on his face when he crossed the finish line was amazing. Also pretty cool to run a race with the whole fam family in NJ. So grateful.
Finally – thank you to my followers. I honestly thought about quitting the blog as I really didn’t think anyone was reading. And then I started getting PM and Text messages sharing how much you liked following my journey. That means a ton to me and I truly appreciate all the kind words. Also, any sponsors out there – no pride here – I’ll take it. JK. Not really.
Ok, have an amazing week and remember to join the #50by50MOVEment and help us bring #depression2extinction. Please comment, share, re-post on FB, IG, etc. with the hashtags #curocoaching, #50by50Movement, and #depression2extinction.
Coach JJ Out!
PS – Me at the end of The HURT 100.