Saturday, November 19, 2011


I can't seem to keep a plan for very long. I suppose part of this "learning about me" experience should include reading my old posts. If I'd do that more often I would realize that planning is not my best ability. As true as I know that is about me, I really do love to plan. I do. Really! I also, however, cherish my freedom to change that plan at a moments notice. That's one thing I have absolutely learned about myself over the last months.

Keeping the freedom to change my plans is one of those "third-rail" thing for me. I can put up with most other things and I try hard to understand and keep others in mind when I make decisions but I can't tolerate non-acceptance of my right to change. Sorry, that's who I am. Luckily I've been blessed with people in my life who, maybe don't like it, but accept it and take it with humor. I know it's frustrating for them but I hope that it's a sign of love to accept me for who I am.

So I'm running the full marathon in Tulsa tomorrow after weeks of planning for the half. I'm struggling with why. The surface level cause was peer pressure but it goes much deeper than that. I'm sure of this because as soon as I was put up to it something down deep let loose and it overwhelmed me with a nostalgic feeling. It wasn't that I was responding to the outside pressure as much as that pressure pricked a nerve that wouldn't shut up! I wanted to run the full, I just wasn't aware of it.

I'm not ready for the full but I've been there before. I want to run marathons again and I don't care! Earlier this year, before I came down with mono, I had lost the desire to run them even while I was running 1 per month. They had become a chore. I wanted to want to run them again but I couldn't find the desire. Now I have it back.

To deny that desire just because I had a plan seems silly to me. Maybe you'll disagree and see it as simply blowing with the breeze and that's your prerogative. I understand how silly I seem at times and, not only am I not ashamed of it, I have come to cherish it as a gift.

Thanks for listening

Sunday, August 14, 2011

An ice maker

I haven't lived in my current house very long. I bought it last October. It's a cute little house that was built in the 1940's so it has many old-style features that I love. It's all brick and has beautiful hardwood floors throughout. The kitchen is cozily (not sure that's a word) small as is the bathroom. There is nothing big about it at all, in fact, I'd say it's small in every way.

Before this house I lived in a duplex just up the street from here. In fact, I pushed my lawnmower from that duplex to this house so I wouldn't have to put it in the car. It was a charming duplex built around the same time as this house. It was a rental though so it didn't have the greatest amenities.

The thing that drove me crazy for the year I lived there was the lack of an ice maker. After moving in I quickly purchased a couple blue ice trays without a second thought. I figured they would serve the purpose just fine. I quickly learned to hate those blue monstrosities! They didn't produce enough ice to fill my large, post-run drinks and once you used up all the ice you had to wait for hours for more. That was if you could get the damn cubes out of the trays at all. I twisted, turned, curled, shook, pounded, and cussed those things.

I longed for an ice maker. I couldn't afford that kind of luxury at the time so it became a dream of mine. I looked forward to the day when I could get a house with more room, a garage, and not least of all, an ice maker.

My current house has an ice maker. It was here when I moved in. I use it daily. I take it for granted. Oh how quickly we get spoiled! It hasn't been a year yet and already I've become immune to the little things in life again. I HAVE AN ICE MAKER! I should be shouting that from the roof tops and abundantly happy with everything else in my life. If I had the money and time to solve that little inconvenience then I most certainly have taken care of the important stuff right?

Or could it be that I've gotten so caught up in the little inconveniences of life that I'm missing the big stuff? The ice maker was last year's little issue, this year it's the yard, next year who knows and the year after that who really knows? By that time my oldest son will be graduated from high school and off to college. My youngest son will be in middle school. I'll be 2 years closer to losing my parents. And I'll be upset/frustrated/caught-up-in whatever the "little inconvenience" of the time might be.

I will eventually run out of time for my kids and my parents and the other important people in my life but I'm sure I'll never run out of little inconveniences.

I have an ice maker. Life is good. Hope I can remember that tomorrow.

Thanks for listening

Friday, August 5, 2011

On the high seas

So what if I've lost my love for marathons?

Does that mean that my love for them was never real in the first place? Or could it be that my goals have just changed and that the original feeling was genuine but has evolved? Or could it be that I'm just a live-on-a-whim type of person who has no direction in life?

Whatever it is I find myself envying those people who can find a love and stick with it forever. I still love running and I still love the long run but I don't get the joy from marathons like I used to feel. I'm more and more drawn to shorter distances and am enjoying the faster pace.

I suppose a normal person wouldn't analyze this in-depth but I'm not normal. I search for patterns in my life and feel a need for consistency. That need seems to go unfulfilled and the patterns I see are not always good.

But what can a person do about this? Should I force a consistency on myself just for the sake of itself? Thoreau believed that was the "hobgoblin of little minds" and I must say I agree with him but what is the alternative? To live an inconsistent, ever-changing life? If that sounds impressive and interesting to you (it did to me once), I dare you to try it sometime and see for yourself what it will do to your soul. Lacking a consistent anchor in life is a tough way to sail. There are many winds to hitch a ride on but with those winds come waves that can beat you up pretty good. Venturing into the waves is good in moderation but living on the high seas and always changing and adjusting to the whims of a vast ocean will prematurely wear you down.

So I'm going to ride this wave of short-distance running for awhile and hope that it re-ignites in me the love of the marathon. I will, however, still feel a bit of shame in my inability to maintain my first love.

That was a butt load of sailing metaphors! Guess that means I should buy a boat and sail around the......

Better stop that thought before it takes me in a direction.

Thanks for listening

Saturday, July 23, 2011


I'm finally back to running regularly again now that the mono infestation has subsided. To say it feels good to be back would be an understatement and a bit of double talk. I feel good so I'm back and I'm back because I feel good again. I suppose that speaks to running being a natural part of my life. No special signal is needed for me to start running, just be me again and it happens naturally. Hard to believe there was a time in the not so distant past when I wouldn't have run.

One great benefit of running again is that I'm able to bond with the big dog, Otis. Otis has been more than a bit of a pain in my ass since he came home. He is a very smart dog, extremely smart actually, and he is also very cute. He listens to me when I discuss things with him. Much to my displeasure though he rarely takes my well argued point to heart. While he always looks me in the eye and gives me that feeling that he is listening, he usually goes ahead with whatever thing I was strongly encouraging him not to do. This has caused a noticeable rise in my blood pressure ( I know because I've been to the doctor a lot lately) and also a rise in my desire for Otis to get far away from me. Otis has very long legs which are perfect for running so I took him out one morning. At first he thought it was great fun to jump around and play. After a mile he seemed to realize that this fun was very tiring and he settled into a nice trot. Turns out Otis is a great running partner. He trotted along with me and just enjoyed the time together. Somewhere near the end of the run, near mile 3, he decided the fun was over and stopped running. I took great pride in knowing that I outran him. He had great time licking the salt from my leg as we walked the last few yards to the house. Otis and I bonded.

By the way, Willie never raised his head from the bed the whole time Otis and I were out running. That's why I love him.

Thanks for listening

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Family

I suppose it's time to introduce you guys to the new members of my family. Both of these guys were adopted during an adoption drive at a local Petsmart.

This is Otis. He is a really big, really clumsy puppy. His main purpose in life is to play and eat. Well mostly to play. His saving grace was that when we took him out of his cage and walked him around, while the other dogs there went crazy, Otis remained perfectly silent and didn't lose his mind. He is amazingly intelligent but still has a lot of puppy in him. He runs into walls a lot.

This is Willie. I didn't name him after me as much as I'm sharing my name with him. Just as I don't own him so much as we are sharing our lives together. I've always loved Dachshunds for their attitudes but this little guy is the sweetest one I've ever met. He's had a hard life. He was found by the shelter I adopted him from during our last ice storm. He was starving and dehydrated. I have pictures of him like that and they are really sickening. He wouldn't eat for a long time and the shelter was sure he'd die but eventually he pulled through. He had 2 surgeries to remove lumps from his intestines that were a result of his dehydration. He has a scar above his right eye and it feels like he's missing a small piece of his skull in that area too.

He is about 3 years old and has settled into an easy life here at Villa de Willies. He is Otis's favorite play toy and usually enjoys it but sometimes has to put the big guy in his place. He really likes laying in the sun.

As you can see, they kinda like each other.

Thanks for listening

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mano e mono

Remember that little goal of mine? Something about running 12 marathons in a year. Well I was on my way to getting that sucker done (not without struggle) until last Friday.

I had run the Waco marathon in January (extremely hilly and I was extremely not ready for it)

I had to skip the Austin marathon in February because I hurt my foot running on ice.

I ran the A2A marathon in March in 30 mile per hour headwinds.

I ran the Davy Crockett marathon in April. Nothing to say about this one, great course, great weather, I just blew it.

Then I finally ran a good marathon in May at the Oklahoma City Memorial marathon. I did it in a thunderstorm but I'll take a good marathon however I can get it.

Also in May I ran the Andy Payne marathon which put me back on track for my 1-per-month goal. Andy Payne sucked. It always has. It was brutally hot and windy.

I was scheduled to go to Estes Park Colorado this weekend to run their marathon. I had plane tickets, a rental car, and a place to stay. I also had the brewery tours all lined up for afterwards. It was going to be a great weekend in a beautiful part of the country. It was. It really was.

Last Friday I got sick. Really sick. Saturday morning I was not better and by Monday I was bed-ridden. The glands in my throat were (are) swollen and I was a wreck. I went to the doctor to get some antibiotics to knock this thing out before the weekend. I took all the pills and still I didn't feel better. I went to the doctor again and this time he gave me a mono test which I quickly failed. I was heartbroken. Doc said at least 3 weeks of no running because my spleen is enlarged. After the 3 weeks I have to go back and he will reevaluate me and see if I can start running again. Even if I can, it has to be slow and short for fear of a relapse. In reality it appears I'm looking at a few months of no real training.

So there goes my goal. The way I feel now I'm OK with the defeat because running is the last thing I want to do. I am afraid, however, that once I get to feeling better the full weight of what this will do to my running life will sink in and I might not be so OK with it. Maybe not, I'm hard to figure some times. Right now I'm taking full advantage of my rest and sleeping more than I have ever slept. Sometimes I feel a little better and I get up and move around. Sometimes I don't feel so good so I stay in bed all day. Really not a bad way to live I guess.

Thanks for listening

Saturday, June 4, 2011


When I was about 11 years old my family lived up on a hill that ran along a highway. In order to get anywhere off the hill you had to cross this divided highway and my mother was never fond of me venturing across that road. I was not the type to stay at home though so I frequently took my bike down the hill and into town. In today's world I would never dream of my little one going out on his own let alone cross a major highway without me, but this was 1980-something and times were different. Besides, if I remember correctly, I never exactly told my mother I was leaving most of the time anyway.

At the bottom of the hill, just across the highway, was a small gas station where I would stop and buy candy and soda and generally unhealthy things. I went there a lot and was quite familiar with the store and where everything was located. There were two doors, an exit directly beside the cashier and an entrance on the other side of the building. I suppose it was set up that way so that when you came in the store you were forced to walk past almost every aisle before reaching the exit. Smart store layout.

One day I took my bike down the hill and across the highway to get a Charleston Chew and a Coke. Two of my favorite things at the time. I had nothing to do that day and remember being extremely bored. I think I took the trip more to just get out of the house then to actually get the candy. As I walked into the store and was locating my treasures, I noticed a middle-aged black man looking for things too. He didn't strike me as particularly memorable, just an ordinary man picking up some things. He got to the cashier just ahead of me and when he did a white man in, what today would be called a "wife-beater", ran past me and grabbed the black man by the shirt. "I thought I told you to never come in here again!", he screamed. I immediately froze and became more scared than I can remember. The white man began beating this black man to a pulp. I distinctly remember the blood spilling on the floor and all over the white man's shirt. The boy black man never had a chance to defend himself. He was crumpled on the floor and receiving punches and kicks from this white man who seemed possessed. The beating continued and the cashier was just as stunned as I was and no one seemed to know what to do. It became obvious to me that the white man was drunk and for some reason I concluded that he didn't know this black man, he was just a racist who had gotten drunk and found a black man to beat. I can't remember what prompted me to think that but for some reason I made that conclusion fairly quickly.

The beating continued for many minutes and the white man never let up. I remember thinking that he was going to kill this man not 5 feet from me! At this point an intense anger built up inside me. It was the first time I'd felt that way. An intense anger that I could do nothing about. I was going to see this man die for no other reason than he happened into the wrong store and the wrong time and there was nothing my little body could do about it. That helpless frustration has stuck with me all my life. I honestly think that day changed the course of my life. I felt that feeling many times later in life and I never seemed to be able to deal with it appropriately. My reaction, as I did that day, was to get away. Run away as fast as I could. I have always thought that day was when I made my "fight or flight" decision for life. I was caught in an intense situation that demanded an action and I chose to run. I would do that a lot throughout my life.

I remember that feeling of anger stuck with me for days after that event. I hated that white man. I hated him in a way I couldn't handle. I didn't know how to handle it. I wanted to find him and his family and make them pay for this. I didn't want him to just be punished, I wanted him to suffer. Truth be told, as I sit here on my porch writing this I still feel that way. I wonder sometimes if I couldn't search the police records back in Ohio and find out his name, track his ass down and finally let that little boy in me have his revenge. Maybe one day I will.

At some point along the journey of this life I learned how to deal with those frustrating moments. I learned (am learning) how to not run away but to "fight" in a proper way. I know now that it's healthy to do that. I just wish I had learned it a little earlier in life.

I should forgive that racist bastard someday. I'm not sure I could though. He beat that man mercilessly in front of my younger self and was the first to show me real, unprovoked hatred. He taught me that evil existed in the world. Worse yet, he brought out hatred in me. I supposed I could have done without that for a few more years.

Thanks for listening

Sunday, May 15, 2011


It's been while since I've had the desire to write. I don't like forcing these things so I've been waiting until the feeling hit again before I put my fingers to the keys. A lot has happened since the last episode, I've run a few more marathons and have finally gotten back under 4 hours. The weather has gotten warmer too which always makes me happy since I can now get outside and sweat like a runner should.

I'm not sure what clicked to get me back under 4 hours. A few weeks ago my legs started feeling really good on my long runs and my pace just picked up. I had that old feeling of being able to run comfortably for a long time again. That wonderful feeling when you feel like you could pick up the pace all the time. It all came together in the Oklahoma City Memorial marathon in a thunderstorm.

We went to bed with the threat of severe weather the night before the race and woke up a forecast of rain beginning about the time of the start. For once the forecast was correct and it started to rain just before the start of the marathon. The race officials delayed the start 30 minutes to let some lightening clear but the rain just kept coming down. Time to man up and get out there! I didn't feel particularly good or bad at the start so I didn't know what to expect. I knew I would have to have a potty stop at some point because, well, I just knew. That stop came at mile 9 and I was in and out in 2 minutes! My best time ever for a potty stop. New PPR. You can guess what the extra P is for.

After my stop I came out of the porta-potty like superman! I felt GREAT! I immediately got my pace down to an 8:30 and it was fantastic. I clicked off mile after mile at 8:27, 8:30, 8:27, 8:25 etc... All the while it was pouring down rain and thunder was crashing all around. It reminded me of the priest on the golf course from Caddy Shack. I was expecting to be struck by lightening at the finish line.

Luckily I wasn't and I flew to a 3:46 finish. I was freezing and soaked but very, very happy. There was no post-race celebration due to the rain but we got a nice group together at a friend house later that day and told war-stories. All in all, another great OKC marathon.

I've got plans for a race (maybe 2) in Colorado in June and one in Kansas City in August. I'm hoping to keep healthy and happy until then.

Thanks for listening

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I had a really great run tonight despite the fact that I just ran a marathon a few days ago. I expected tired legs and stiffness but was delighted to find that wonderful, free feeling that comes from all the body parts working together brilliantly to drive the whole structure forward at a nice clip. Not one body part missed a step, they all did their jobs well. I should thank them somehow. Thanks Adductor Longus, thanks Gastrocnemius, thanks Calcaneo-plantar nerve. You did great tonight.

Thanks for listening.

(The picture on the left is not me, some parts are way to big and others are way to small to be me..... just wanted to clear that up)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Broken parts

I spent yesterday fixing things outside and inside the house. Some things had been in need of repair for awhile and some, well, Ok, I broke some while trying to fix others. I do that. As I was running to Lowes for the second time that day to get the part I should have bought the first time I was there, I started thinking about the runner's body. Specifically about how the body repairs itself. I was rushing to the store in order to buy a new part for my bathroom sink because there's no way it would repair itself. I could wait as long as I wanted and that valve would still be broken. Not so with the runner's body. As painstakingly slow as the process might be, the body will heal itself if it is ever broken. You can't run to the store and buy a new part for your leg nor do you need to. Give nature time and whatever is wrong will grow back and be just like it was before it broke. (I was going to say "as good as new" there but realized that even nature has limits once you reach my age.) I have no profound point here other than to marvel at the body. This wonderful gift we've all been given is the most amazing machine ever invented.

It's been awhile since I've given an update on my 12 marathons in 12 months goal. I did miss Austin in February because of my foot. My foot did heal (see above) and I was able to run the A2A marathon in March. It was a brutally windy day and, given that the wind was in our face for 20 miles, I did more survival than running. I managed to finish in 4:11 and I also made a new friend which is always better than a PR. Next week I've got the Davey Crockett Bear Chase marathon in Groveton Texas. If you remember, I ran the half there last year and placed 3rd overall. Please try and remember that, here, I'll say it again, 3RD OVERALL! Kinda proud of that one. This year I'm running the full so I don't expect any new bragging rights but it should be fun. After that it's the Oklahoma City Memorial marathon on May 1st!!!! Yea! I love that weekend.

The weather here in central Oklahoma is finally getting warmer (sorry Southbay girl) so I'll be outside more and building up some miles. Yep, things are good in Willie land. I hope they are in your world too.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tonight, I ran

After 3 weeks of being among the mere mortals of non-runners I rejoined the ranks of the elites again tonight. I ran. Without pain. It felt good. I like short sentences.

I actually re-entered the running community yesterday with the running club's training group. I ran 9 miles early Sunday morning with a few hundred of my closest friends. I don't like to count that run as my first though because I was so timid and babied my foot that I can't really say I ran the good old Willie way. I did that tonight though. It was a nice, full throttle, full force Willie run. I never felt any pain from the foot.

I want to take this moment to commend myself on a injury-well-done. That's right, I'm going to pat myself on the back now so if you are easily disgusted you may want to stop reading this and go ready RBR's blog. I injured myself 3 weeks ago and I actually stopped running for those 3 weeks. Didn't run a step. Nope, nada, nothing for 3 weeks. Did you hear me complain? That's right, I didn't! Well maybe a little but I finally got to the point in my running life where I understand that I'm in this for the long term. I can honestly say that I understood that 3 weeks of non-running is nothing compared to a lifetime of pain-free running. I also understood that letting this foot heal without additional stress would get it better faster. I know right?!?! Look at me go!

Ok, I'm done with my back-patting.

I've got a 25K this Saturday and then it's back to marathoning in 2 weeks with the A2A Race for Mercy in Ardmore Oklahoma. Should be fun!

Thanks for listening.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Off to a good stop

My plans to run a marathon a month got off to a great start only to be brought to a halt shortly after the first race.

What I knew about Waco Texas was limited to Dr. Pepper and the Branch Davidian compound.

When I arrived for the marathon I found out that it's really a nice city with quite a lot of charm. It's still Texas so, by default, I'm not fond of it but as is usual for most cities I visit, I discovered that it's the people that really make a city and Waco has some GREAT people. The Miracle Match marathon in Waco supports an organization that finds bone marrow donor matches for people who are suffering from cancer and need a bone marrow transplant to save their lives. The marathon had about 400 runners which gave it a wonderful friendly feel. As an example of this, with 15 minutes to go until the start no body was lined up. They were all gathered around in a park next to the starting line. With 5 minutes until the start the race director was walking around the start getting her picture taken with different groups of out-of-town runners. Eventual she made her way up on stage and had her daughters sing the national anthem and then we were off.

The marathon is billed as the toughest marathon in Texas and it lived up to this billing. The elevation profile showed that the first half of the course was an incline so I thought that would be the hardest part. It wasn't. I barely noticed the incline of the first 13 miles.

The second half of the course is an overall decline but it's a very bumpy decline. It's much like a roller-coaster, up and down, up and down, straight up and straight down! I tried to run up the hills and walk down because the downhills were so steep I was afraid of injury. At one point, however, I was struggling so hard to get up a hill that I determined that I could walk and keep the same pace as I did when I was trying to run. I actually passed a guy who was trying to run while I was walking up this monster. He quickly learned the lesson I began walking with me.

Eventually I made it back down to the river and wound around it until I reached the bridge which held the finish on the other side. I had bonked hard with about 1 mile to go so I was really struggling until I saw the clock. It was still under 4 hours. 3:58 but still under 4. I sprinted as hard as I could with my hill-tortured quads, and made it across the line in 3:59:40. I was elated with that time. It was a brutal course.

It was a good weekend for all of us. My buddy finished just behind me in the marathon and my son broke 2 hours in the half. The post race party was fantastic with plenty of food, beer and wonderful people.

January marathon done. Confidence high.

I took it easy the week after the marathon mostly because I was beat up but also because Oklahoma City received the gift of massive amounts of snow.

The following weekend I decided to go run with my running club marathon training group. The roads were still ice and snow covered and I had searched for Yak-Traks but couldn't find a store in the city that had any in stock. My bullet-proof attitude told me not to worry, that I could run on ice and snow. No problem.

I made 4 miles before my right knee began giving me pain. This was not surprising because I've battled that knee since before Christmas. I knew it wasn't anything serious but I decided to stop running and walk back just to be safe. So I let my buddy go on to the turn around and I cut the course short and started walking back to the start. Somewhere with about 1 mile to go my buddy caught up to me and I decided that I would run with him for that last mile. I made it maybe 1/4 mile before I hit a sheet of ice with no snow on it and took my annual fall. My right leg slipped and crumpled under the rest of my flailing body as I slid across the intersection we were running through. I think I even screamed. When I fall, I do it all-out!

I got myself up and discovered that nothing was any worse than before and continued walking back. No more running for me, I got it, if only 1 fall too late.

Once back at the start and after the expected teasing about my ability to fall every year we have this ice run, we all headed over to Starbucks for some post-run coffee. This is when my right foot let me know that it was PISSED! My arch cramped and felt like it was going to snap. I tried to walk it out but it didn't go away. Once safely seated with coffee in hand the arch relaxed and I didn't feel it again while seated. Once I got up to leave, however, it let me know that it was still there and I had to limp back to my car.

I've never had problem with my Plantar Fascia so I really thought this was just a cramp brought on by the shuffling stride I was forced to take while running on the ice. I also wondered if it wasn't a bruise caused by my orthotics and the rough footing. Whatever it was, I'm still not able to run 3 weeks later.

Last weekend was the Austin marathon and I was forced to defer my entry until next year. I missed my planned February marathon. I'm one behind already for 2011. Needless to say I was not the happiest of people last weekend. I did go to Austin to support my friend who were running and we all had a good time but it was very hard to be at surrounded by 20,000 runners knowing that I was not one of them that weekend.

So here I sit feeling lazy and fat. I'm losing fitness every second and I have a whole year of plans that need to be rearranged. The one bright spot is that my foot hasn't hurt now for 3 days and I'm feeling confident I will be back to running in a week. I'll have to start slow and build some easy miles but at least I'll be running again.

Thanks for listening

Saturday, January 8, 2011

First step

So last week, while I was off work, I decided that I couldn't take the inside of my house anymore and went for an all-day run. What a great idea! I started out from my house around 9 with only a general idea of where I would go. I took my ID and a credit card so I could stop and grab lunch somewhere that allowed sweaty, stinky runners in the door.

I stopped at Starbucks along the way and had my morning coffee which I had iced because I wasn't sure I could stomach anything hot.

It was a beautiful sunny day and I trotted through traffic up to Lake Hefner. I had NPR playing in my ears so I could get caught up on the news I had been ignoring for many weeks. Somewhere around the dam I realized I'd heard the same news story 3 times and took the headphones off.

Lunch turned out to be a stop at the 7-Eleven for some Cheese-Its and a bottle of water. I always find my mid-run cravings funny. I NEVER eat Cheese-Its, ever. I don't like them. But for some reason on mile 13 of that run Cheese-Its were all I ever wanted in life. They tasted great then even if the thought of it makes me hurl now. Oh well, just another reason to refer to myself in the third person. Even I don't understand me.

Somewhere along the way I got myself back in order and overcame the horrible stir-craziness that I had gotten myself into after being off work for 2 weeks. Running is good for that. Oh yea, I also hurt my knee somewhere. Yes, that's right, I'm injured now. Hear that screaming? Me neither because I didn't (and still don't) really care. That long run did me good and if I have to be injured because of it I'll take it. Besides, it's just a pain behind my kneecap, I've had that before and I'm confident I know how to get rid of it. This may make me a seasoned, i.e. old, runner. Either way I think I like it.

Thanks for listening

Saturday, January 1, 2011

What I (still) love about running

I'm not the same person that you met a few years ago when you started writing this blog. Am I better or worse? I don't know and I don't think I get to make that determination anyway. Life happens. It just does. Sometimes I can proactively drive what happens in my life and sometimes I'm the passenger strapped into the roller coaster holding on for dear life. So how can I say that I'm better or worse? I'm just older and different.

I still love to run. When I stumble upon a few spare hours during the week my first option is still to go for a run. It's the starting and ending point of most things I do during a week, month, even year. My running goals have changed, sometimes even disappeared, but the desire to push myself beyond what I think I can do on a given day is still there. Running make me, well, me!

I have been a bit of a lethargic runner lately, however. Getting other parts of my life settled had taken priority over PRs and distance goals. I think I'm ready to end that now and take a swipe at some of those mountains out there.

So I searched around that old area of my brain that contains the things I've always wanted to do and stumbled upon something that I think is achievable in 2011. Lest you think Willie actually had his first original thought, let me tell you that I was inspired to think about this goal by a very close friend who let me know it's a FANTASTIC idea.

I'd like to run 12 marathons in 2011. Yep, that's it, 12 marathons, 1 per month in 2011. I chose this goal mainly because I remember 2008 when I ran 8 marathons and how wonderful it felt to just get out and run that many races with that many different people. That year of traveling and running led to so many wonderfully unplanned things that I can't even count them. So who knows what running 12 will bring me.

I'm still working on the schedule but I've got the first few month pretty well settled.

On January 30th I'll run the Miracle Match Marathon in Waco Texas. I've never run this one and it's close.

On February 20th I'll run the Austin Marathon again because, well, it's Austin and I LOVE 6th street for post-race celebration.

On March 20th I'll run the A2A Arbuckles to Ardmore Race for Mercy again.

On April 9th I'll run the Davy Crockett Bear Chase marathon in Groveton Texas.

On May 1st I'll run the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon for the 5th time. This is my hometown marathon and I now own a house that's on the course so I might as well run it since I wouldn't get out of my driveway on race morning anyway.

It's not scheduled yet but I will run the Andy Payne marathon here in Oklahoma City sometime in May also if they have it.

My big travel marathon for the year will be Estes Park, Colorado in June. I've always wanted to run this race because it's arguably the most beautiful area in the country that doesn't have a beach attached to it. The elevation will also be a challenge and I like those challenge things a lot.

I've got a few ideas for the latter half of the year but I'll hold those for another post. As I write this I'm already excited about the possibilities this plan could hold. New friends, new places, and a wonderful sense of accomplishment. I'll be sure to write about it.

Thanks for listening