Sometimes, I can’t decide what I want to write about. Between lack of something to say and a busy life, it just doesn’t happen. Common themes are joy of running, simple (likely unoriginal) observations of my own little experiences in the sport, race reports, my favorite things, essentially recording stuff for my friends to read or maybe even my kids to come across some day. But a constant thread is what it is that gets people out and on the roads, tracks, and trails.
So what keeps you motivated? Running is something that is so damn simple, yet so damn hard at times. The easy answer is that the reasons people run are as numerous as the runners themselves. On my end it is a time or race goal more often than not. I am lucky enough to have some talent where I can earn some award recognition, which never sucks. I really, really, just enjoy running. Socially. Solo Dawn Patrol. Whatever. I’ve met some of my closest friends via long runs. The people I surround myself with or those who find their way on paths that intersect my own, provide endless amounts of inspiration. Two of those are runners I’ve coached in my time at Lincoln North Star High School. It’s been fourteen years there as a cross country coach. We are the world at that school. Nine nationalities represented this past season. Really cool to get to be a part of that. Even better are some of the stories and perspectives I get from the kids. The story of Liem (above left) and Goanar (above right), two of our runners the last three years has been in mind through my recent training. Can’t make it up. Perspective. Gritty. Inspiring.
Like a lot of runners in training, I prefer to lay down the miles with other people. Though as I have gotten older and balancing my life schedule becomes more precarious I find that there the roads a bit more lonely. Despite this solitude I know I am part of something bigger.
Writer’s note: Generally speaking I like to let me ideas marinade a bit. Think about them for a few runs, and a few showers. Try to make sure this is something I want to try to write about. Something I want to attempt to express. While I don’t always succeed in what I set out to accomplish (kind of like running amiright?), I try to put my own little spin on universal ideas. Here is my shot at why we run. . .
A few weeks back I had the opportunity to attempt something that has been a personal streak of mine. Not the kind of streak that most people think about when it comes to running. No, I have a weekly day off that I cherish. This is something that I didn’t even intend to start. It began in the Spring of 1996, during the track season of my freshman year of high school. It continued to the starting line of a local road race. The streak was 20 years of running a sub five minute mile at least once during the year. The Lincoln Mile was to be my 21st year. The only problem was that it was the least confident I had been going into a mile race and just wanted to keep it close.
Have you ever surveyed a group of people why they run? Try it with your Saturday long run group. Approach an after work track session and see what they say. You ask the question fifty times, you are likely to get fifty different answers. It is a question I have become somewhat obsessed with the last few years. I work with high school kids in both cross country and track. While I try to avoid applying the mental state of teens to the population as a whole (spend some time around a group of sixteen year olds and you will get an idea of what I mean), there has to be some crossover. Getting kids to run is a challenging task. Most of it stems from the fact that there is a fear there. A fear of coming in last or failing at something. Pretty common perspectives, but as most of us know, mostly irrational. But I would be curious if these same fears apply to the “adult”demographic. Is it fear, or just the simple friction of life that keeps a person from starting to run (or at least exercise)? Continue reading →
Pretty simple. Show up. Sign up. Race. Use these as a tune-up for summer racing in July and August. Maybe a way to get some speedwork in without doing a formal workout on your own.
Proceeds go towards LNS XC and Lincoln Food Bank. Email me if you have questions. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come and run. Bring a friend, tell a friend.
Doughnut Race continues to be a Lincoln tradition.
Lincoln All Comers Track Meet
Thursday, June 29th (Lincoln North Star)
Adjusted schedule for all-comers meet Thursday:
Registration starts at 6:00pm at North Star Track
Cost is $2 per event (proceeds to Food Bank/LNS XC)
Runners of all ages and abilities (seriously, the more people there are the better) are welcome. Get ready for an upcoming race, get in a workout, meet some folks, whatever. Volunteers are always welcome to help time and cheer.
I try to keep this site apolitical. I try to keep it positive. I try (and generally fail) to keep it updated once a week.
I would love to be more poetic or illustrative of how I feel about this. But I don’t have the time in me. I will say this though. My time is given to my children and the runners I coach (anything leftover is for my wife and my own running, in that order). My kids distract me at times from the hobbies that I enjoy. But they are getting old enough for me to take them out on little adventures and experience the outdoors.
There are some places under threat to private development right now. The short-term gains of selling open spaces to business for who knows what use. But taking wild places and digging them up for profit is not the direction we need to go. Those of us who spend time outdoors, so all of you, get why being outside is important and wonderful. So you need to get your voice out there. At least try. While I may not have time because of my kids, I want them to have time to visit some of the greatest places our country has to offer when they get older.
I debated even writing this. Most debates involve time and multiple rebuttals and counterarguments. This one really didn’t have those elements. Keeping me from writing this were two simple fears. One is that there is no way I could capture the essence of what I wanted to convey. The other is my reluctance to share various parts of my life via social media. There are certain components of our individual worlds (experiences, feelings) that might be better kept to those that know you best, as opposed to being put out for public consumption.
However, being psyched up and proud of an experience added to the mere possibility that someone might read this and take on a challenge they didn’t think possible was enough for me to put it out there. So here you go. Those of you have who have been through this get it. Those that haven’t, maybe you can relate or want to give it a shot. Anyone else doesn’t care or doesn’t understand, but maybe they have their own thing.