Skip to main content

It's never enough

My running partner Joanna gave me a going away gift last evening. It's a DVD documentary of three individuals who ran across the entire length of the Sahara desert.

This saga generated chaos on many fronts. The journey was to take 80 days, and eventually took over 100; tempers flared and key crew members had to opt out as the weeks dragged on. But in the end these three adventurers slogged through about 50 miles a day - every day - and finished the trek.

But not all is well with the world. I felt the narcissistic pull of egocentrism that can plague the hearts of ambitious endurance athletes. It can become all about you and the goal, with little recognition or acknowledgment for loved ones around you. In an opening scene in the documentary, one of the runners is enjoying life at home with his girlfriend and two sons. His girlfriend makes several journeys to visit him on the run. But what of the boys and a four month separation from their father?

Many years ago, I was pulling my bike off the rack for a long weekend ride. My (now former) wife came out to the garage and stated "you have a very selfish hobby."

That rang true then and still rings true today. Ultra endurance sport can consume vast amounts of time and energy and sometimes leaves little in its wake for other aspects in our lives.

Be careful, my ultra endurance comrades. Let's find balance and invest in those who mean the most to us.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Nothing to see here, folks

It's been a long time since I've been active on my blog. To be honest, I got tired of putting in the work, creating content, with so little feedback or response. Time to divert to other things...such as my new fiction book, coming out soon. Part horror story, part steamy romance. You'll definitely want a copy.

There's another reason I haven't been posting. My endurance spirit is broken.

Some medical issues, some sadness is loss of speed. I don't have much range left in my pulse rate and I have put on a blob of weight.

I "ran" my 10 mile loop this morning...in 2:18. Is that ugly, or what? An overall fatigue follows the run. I remember a few years ago, I'd bang it out in straight 9's for a 1:30 - and at that time had a long section of medium effort trail included, too.

It's the new normal. It's age appropriate. I'll be 59 in two weeks. Let's get real.

Rode my mountain bike Sunday after church. Don't know what I hit but I went…

Break(down)

You have to look closely (click and enlarge photo if needed), but when you do, check out the 5th metacarpal (bone furthest from thumb).

The diagonal break is symbolic of what happens when your mountain bike handlebars snap around 360 degrees, and those bars catch your hand against the bike frame during the rotation.

Well there you have it. I got up after my ride over the bars and knew something was wrong, but didn't want to admit it. Rode about three miles back to the car, then went a week with some ice and heat. Thought it was good, until I smacked the same bone on the bars during a road ride the following weekend.

Time to stop the charades and get to urgent care.

For the past three weeks, I have been in a formed splint that kept the pinkie and ring fingers immobilized in a hooked formation. Don't want those tendons to move across the bone. As the doc stated, it's a "forgiving" break, but nonetheless you don't want to give the bone any excuse to shift; that…