When You Fail (Goal Series #4)
Is Your Goal Unrealistic? (Goal Series #3)
One of the toughest parts of pursing a big goal?
You’ll fail somewhere along the way.
At the start of Zumbro 100 this year, the race director told the assembled crowd I’d be going for my historic 10th finish. I’d finished every one. All eyes looked my way. I raised my arm and everyone clapped.
Is Your Goal Too Small? (Goal Series #2)
What if your goal is more than too big - it’s impossible?
We can all manage bravado for a gloriously big, “shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars” type goal, but an unrealistic one?
I mean, if I wanted to become a ballerina with the New York City Ballet, what would you say?
Isn't That a Little Ambitious of You? (Goal Series #1)
Last week in Goal Series #1, I wrote about what to do when your goal's too big.
This week it's the opposite - your goal's too small.
Opposite, but the end result is the same - you lose motivation. Maybe even quit.
Avoid the Drama, Finish the Race
The first time I signed up for the Leadville 100, I'd read about it but couldn't imagine it.
I'd only run a few local 100-milers in the Southeast. This was out west. In the Rockies. Where altitude was a serious thing.
And lots of people DNF'ed every year.
Things People Say
A couple of years ago I ran the Cloudsplitter 100-mile race in the forested, eastern mountains of Kentucky coal country.
I was miles into the race, past the first two or three aid stations, running with five guys in a loose group on a dirt logging road when we ran down a short hill and one by one, came to a halt together at the bottom.
Wish You Were An Elite Runner?
That morning, I lay on my yoga mat and cried.
I felt defeated by the constant pain, by it not improving no matter what I did, by the way it dulled every waking moment, and by it taking away the race I'd set my heart on.
I'd barely made it one lap around the circle before my hip pain made even shuffling impossible.
Perfectionism is a Dream-Killer
We fell into the same pace.
He was new to our Tuesday night trail running group and we were getting acquainted as runners do by sharing resumes, when he asked the oddest question.
“Are you elite?”
My Biggest Ultrarunning Regret
For the past ten years, I’ve run an average of eight 100-mile races per year.
People look at that and the fact that I have a life outside running, and ask:
“How do you do that?”
Don't Let Criticism Stop You
Back in 1988, three years after I first read about ultramarathons, I started training for one.
I was 25.
Then, a month and a half before the race, my appendix burst and required major, emergency surgery.
Do you go for it?
Something interesting happened when I started owning my badass-ness.
I got more suggestions that I should do less.
I got more criticism about my lifestyle.
I got more judgment about how big I was allowed to be in the world.
Let Them Roar!
It’s mile 78 of the War Hammer 100-mile race in Kentucky.
I’ve been running for over 24 hours with wet feet, through unbearable heat and humidity with no air movement, over miles of painful, unforgiving pavement, under full sun, through miles of briars, mud, muddy puddles, and creek beds, past loose dogs and flying traffic, covered head to toe (and more, thanks to falls) in poison ivy, mud, sand, and most likely a horde of ticks.
As I head down another gravel road, a convoy of vehicles approaches.
They reach me, and the woman driving the first vehicle gets out.
It’s early morning, in the dark, and you’re standing at the bustling, noisy starting line of a race.
What are you thinking about?