Life is a funny thing. Through life we encounter seasons of triumph as well as hardship. In these seasons of hardship we need to find a way to smile and laugh despite the inception or outcome of this period of time..
Someone once told me to think of life as a long straight line. From time to time dots will appear on this line. These dots represent hardship. You know the usual suspects – illness, loss, change, etc. These dots can be big or tiny and the time it takes us to travel through these dots can vary. How we react, prioritize and learn in these dots is where a magical thing happens..
We often fear these dots when they blip into our lives – I mean, nobody in their right mind goes hunting for these dots. But, what if we opened ourselves up to these nasty circular life disrupters and continually reminded ourselves that there is a possibility that our lives just might improve once we bust through it?
I guess you can argue the same sort of thing happens during an ultra. How we handle ourselves through a difficult run can teach us the lessons necessary to make proper adjustments, we can smile through it and shake it off or we can plant ourselves on the side of the trail – surrender and give-up. We hope that we come out of the run stronger and wiser.
We’ve all experienced the highs and lows of an ultra, right? I think its fair to say that the majority of the time we experience those lows we come down with a massive case of vulnerability. We get super uncomfortable and we push through it.
Nor Cal, ultra running badass, Bev Anderson-Abbs, once told me that in-order to have a successful ultra you need to, “get comfortable being uncomfortable.”
What if we applied this principle to our life experiences? You can’t avoid the dot, so why not accept being uncomfortable? Harness your energy and apply it towards something good….better than good….something worthy! Apply the energy to yourself!
Do a systems-check, just as you would if you fell down hard at mile 47. Pick-yourself-up, check for emergencies, and focus on what you can do to make yourself and your surroundings wonderful. Be honest, set realistic expectations and focus on things that bring joy into your life. Be mindful for self-improvement opportunities and perhaps we just might be able to make our lives somewhat dot-proof or at least reduce the next dot to the size of a bean.
If you heard my podcast interview with Eric, you know that I’ve had some major life transformations and you also know I’ve promised to keep it real on this blog.
Here we go – another dot.
I’m keeping the details of this dot minimum necessary out of respect of privacy. My girlfriend and I broke-up, very recently. I’m in a raw and vulnerable spot. That’s all I have to say about that.
So, now I’ve stepped into another dot and have accepted it, opening myself up to life’s possibilities, growth, self-discovery, permission to heal, and staying optimistic with the hope to be stronger and wiser. Sounds like a lot of time on the trail is in order. Thank you, running.
If you are going through a dot, know that life will get better. It may be different, but you will experience calm, acceptance, joy and love again. You are worthy of all these things. Don’t sit on the side of the trail and let your precious life pass by for too long. Its time to stand-up, do a systems check, and move forward. You don’t know what’s around the next bend. Maybe the end of the dot is closer than you realize.
Today, I reached day 70 of my training program with Coach David Roche. I am happy to report that my training is going well and that nagging hip bursitis has seemingly taken a vacation from my body. I hope its a permanent one.
So you might be wondering what my average training week looks like. Here’s what I have lined up for this week:
Saturday – 90 min easy on trail (done)
Sunday – 75 min easy with 4×30 seconds fast near the end (done)
Monday – rest
Tuesday – 1 hour easy with 8 x 20 second fast near the end
Wednesday – 20 min easy, 12 x 2 min fast/1 min easy, 10 min easy
Thursday – 70 min easy
Friday – rest
I am also stretching, foam rolling and cycling through exercises everyday.
I am seeing results in both my speed, endurance and my body. My speed has been gravitating towards the sub 8 minute mile pace and I keep having to check my ego and reduce my pace to 8:30 to prevent an injury from happening. My endurance is improving and have plenty of reserves in the tank at the end of long runs. And my fitness is really improving – I actually noticed that my legs look like runner’s legs!
My diet has been in check too. I am trying to keep what I eat in moderation. I stopped counting every calorie and have gone to an caloric estimation. But I need to get better about how I am breaking-up my diet with fats, protein and carbs. I need to my nutrition guidelines from Meredith Terranova again and consider it my eating bible.
With the warm weather on the way, a new outlook and appetite to see new places, I am looking forward to getting out to different races around Northern California and plugging into the trail community.
Please feel free to leave any questions in the comment section. I am happy to share with you.
Follow me on Strava, here. (Thanks everyone for all the Kudos! You keep me going!!)
Check out my running coach, David Roche, here.
Listen to my Returning to the Trail Head playlist on Spotify, here.