Announcement: I’m going to change my approach to running a little bit

I’ve made a decision. I will not attempt the Austin full marathon this coming February. I WILL still run the half though. That’ll be my third half, and will be better for me for a number of reasons.

I make that decision because I’m running out of roads and places to run in this little town, and it’s wearing me out honestly. I’m finding myself gradually less interested because I’ve having a hard time finding any adventure in it here, and it’s eating at my interest, which I need to keep for at least 85 more year :P. But the camaraderie of Austin, the joy of being back in a place like that and running with 3000 other runners with the chance to not only finish but to compete is encouraging and could very likely relight that competitive excitement within me that I’ve missed channeling. :).

So we’ll go, same date and time, and we’ll try and break 1:35 to set a PR. That’s what we did at Prairie Fire last year, and I feel this year I made so many steps forward in my progression as an athlete that I stand a good chance of doing something wonderful in Austin if I focus on the distance I can do.

I may or may not ever complete a full, but that doesn’t stress me too much. After all, only saying you ever ran half marathons doesn’t automatically denote you as “out of shape” by any means :P. Just saying ­čÖé

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Nerves and Daydreams

My heart rate just accelerated to possibly unhealthy levels. I just found the Twitter feed of the Austin Marathon and checked out the photos from last year’s race.

I have to try not to think about it and what this coming race in February means to me. As I was running Sunday, I started daydreaming about what that day will be like. The song I’ll have blaring from my iPhone earbuds as I roll in, the anxiousness I’ll feel as I walk up to the gear check, waiting in as normal of a line as any other I’ve ever been in, but with a twist that it’ll feel more profound, more significant, than ever. It won’t be just another race; it’ll be my first full marathon (Lord willing of course). I imagine I’ll feel a lot like the way I will when I sit down to write my first article for the New York Times.

Even now I get nervous as I lay on my couch this┬ámorning, covered in a comforter with a warm cup of coffee. It’s that “walking up to the starting line” kind of anxious you get as a runner. It’s a lot like the nerves you get as a writer when you sit at a blank screen with your notes strewn out in front of you. It isn’t a fear of failure that scares you or makes you anxious. No, you know you’re prepared for what you’re about to do because you’ve done it all countless times before. You know what kind of pain and struggles you’ll likely go through. Like that moment writer’s block hits with about 400 more words needed, when you’ve already got 400 typed out. Or that moment your calves start to feel tight or your back starts to give a little twinge of pain as if it just wants to reminds you that it’s there, usually at around mile 12. You also know, to some degree, how you’ll overcome each obstacle.

But experience doesn’t take away the nerves for those who compete with themselves like we runners and we writers do. For us, those nerves likely will never cease existing because for us it’s all about pushing ourselves more. If we can run 26 miles, we want to run it faster. If we can write articles and make dry political discussions read like vivid poetry, we want to make our wording more concise or our stories more focused. For us, like coaches in the world of athletics, misery is a part of our passion. We do not do because we can, we do because we can’t not. We don’t run because we like it, we run because we can’t imagine a life without it and all it signifies. For us, true victory can never happen because perfection can never happen. The same is true with writing.

So as I sit here on a chilly Tuesday morning wrapped in a comforter, I find myself turning away from the photos of those who ran last year, and I turn my thoughts inward to my own training. I’ve got 10 weeks left before I see these things all firsthand, through the Canon lenses of my own eyes. 10 weeks before I smell the aromas of Austin and hear the chatter of my herd.┬áJust as it does now, I know it’ll overwhelm me then too.

No need to scare myself to death just yet though. Much better to just focus on where we are, and let those moments of reflection hit us with full force when the time is right.

Announcing a new series: The Newbie Chronicles

I’ll always remember 2014 as the year I stumbled into two passions I never would have expected: Yoga, and Dancing. Yes I know those two things probably sound strange coming from a straight dude like myself, but that’s how it’s turned out. I’ve always been a runner, but this is the the year I learned that my love of activity transcended running. This is the year I realized I love movement! I love the human body! I love exploring what mine can do and cheering on other people as they explore what theirs can do. I’m coming to realize this year that I just love pushing my body to it’s absolute limits and training it to do more! It’s more than just a love of pushing myself to run longer distances and to run faster and to run longer distances faster. It’s more than just that; it’s a love of pushing myself to be stronger in the most unique of ways, which Yoga is great for. It’s a love of pushing my body, not just my legs, to be more precise and more graceful and more coordinated, things Yoga is good for but Dance is GREAT for. This is going to be the year I look back on and remember as the year my whole life changed from conventional old “I’m a runner” to the more exciting possibility of saying “I’m an athlete.”

I began dancing on January 24th of this year, and began practicing Yoga on January 27th. So, in case you can’t see, I’m new at both. Anyone who has ever started something as an adult can tell you that means there will be some interesting stories caused by such…amateurism (is that even a word? Haha oh well).

Therefore, today I am announcing the start of a new series. I’d like to promise it’ll run weekly, but I can’t: It’ll run when something eventful or crazy happens. Usually that’ll mean once a week but sometimes more and sometimes less. The series shall be called “The Newbie Chronicles.” I don’t know if I came up with that or if I heard it somewhere and just liked it, so my apologies if I stole it from anyone. But either way, I first had the thought of it this morning at Yoga. So I’m going to run with it…no PUN intended…hehehehe.

I’m going to get to work on “Part 1” of this series now. Look for it later under the category “My Health Journal.” Enjoy :).