Posts Tagged With: battleship 1/2 marathon

102 Half Marathons…. And Counting

“Every once in a while, every runner needs to slow down to absorb the sport they love so much,

to remember why they started running in the first place.”  ~ Running Boston and Beyond

102 half marathons.  What, ME???!!!  Hell, no.  I haven’t run 102 half marathons.  Not yet anyway.  I ran my tenth half yesterday at the Battleship 1/2 Marathon in Wilmington that begins and ends at the USS North Carolina Battleship. I wasn’t planning to run this race, but a friend of mine, Anthony, Mr. 102-Half-Marathons himself, asked me to run with him.   Yes, he’s run 102 half marathons, and if that wasn’t enough, he’s also run 31 full marathons.   That’s 2,148.4 in race miles alone.  And a mere drop in the bucket compared to what he’s planning to do.

Great race, awesome medal!

Great race, awesome medal!

I met Anthony at one of the first early morning track practices I attended with our training group, Without Limits.  I overheard him talking about the Dave Matthews Band, so immediately I had to chime in.  Anthony knows no strangers.  I mean really, this dude knows friggin everybody.  Well, except for the one person who said “Hi Anthony!” at the race yesterday and he looked at me and said, “I have NO idea who that was.”  He was the first person who asked me to warm up with him at the track, and I felt like I had one friend amongst all the strangers. Thankfully I know more people now, but he has a way of bringing you in and making you feel comfortable.

I haven’t seen Anthony in a while, so when I did see him on race morning, I expected him to look like his Facebook profile picture, including the white suit.

Rick Ross

Anthony Rick Ross.

Of course I hadn’t forgotten what he looked like, and we met up before the race.  I had the chance to ask Anthony some questions about all this running he’d done, and I thought it would be a fun thing to share with y’all.

Now THIS is Anthony.

Now THIS is Anthony in his new Without Limits shirt. I still think he should’ve worn the white suit…..

How it all started….  Looking for a way to lose weight and get his blood pressure and cholesterol under control, Anthony started running in 2006.  To say that he took to it would be an understatement.  He travels a lot for work and loves to travel beyond that, so running races was perfect to combine the love for running and travel.  One unique thing I found when running with Anthony is that he’s not concerned with his finish times.  It’s pretty hard to find that within a high-achieving training group where you always hear about the PR’s and the Ironman PR’s and the age category winners, and all the competitive this and that’s.  Sometimes you feel like you HAVE to do better each time, always looking to be better and faster.  Anthony simply doesn’t buy into it.  What’s really refreshing is that he runs because he loves to run.  I specifically asked him if he’ll ever go for times and is concerned with any of that, to which he replied, “I just run for the love of it and exercising to keep my blood pressure and stuff in check.”  He also quoted Bill Bowerman after being asked why he runs so much, “The real purpose of running isn’t to win a race, it’s to test the limits of the human heart.”  Boom.

After the race

After the race

The funny thing, or shall I say “new thing”, was that when we were done, I didn’t even look at the time on my Garmin.  We started off at a 10:28 mm pace and ended somewhere in the “I really don’t know or care” pace.  We walked, we talked, we were quiet.  About a million people waved “hello” to Anthony.  It was nice for me to enjoy the same race course that I ran my PR on last week, not noticing how beautiful it was while I was whizzing by.  I wonder how many times I’ve done that, how many times I’ve run past the beautiful things in order to see a certain number on my watch.  When we were done running, I didn’t even look past the “stop” button on my watch to see the finish time.  I didn’t care.

I found that Anthony has run races in many countries, Rome being his all-time favorite.  He’s run in Paris, Dublin, Costa Rica, Iceland, and all over the states, including Hawaii, with Chicago marathon being his favorite stateside race.  He said he’s had a few that he wanted to quit, such as the 20 degree Myrtle Beach Half in 2007, and the hot and humid Quintiles full marathon here in Wilmington in 2012, but he’s never given up.  He’s never been injured either.

We can all learn a little something from my friend, Anthony.  It never hurts to enjoy racing as much as you do just running.  While I’ve been off training because of that pesky injury that seems to never ever, ever want to go away, I’ve been able to concentrate on just running (although that PR last week was off the hook), cross-training, and being.  There’s no pressure, it’s all good, just the way it is.  Heck, I might even skip the marathon that I was going to do a month later than the Houston Marathon I was planning on running in January.  Sure, I want to PR when I run Boston in 2014.  I want to do the best I can, but I also realize that every once in a while, it’s good to run a race because you love running races.  Slow it down once.  Turn your Garmin off, run a race with your phone and take a picture here and there.  Run with someone and talk.  Enjoy it, absorb it. Don’t immediately go to the RESULTS area of the race finish and check your “official” time. Just run, because that’s what you love to do.  I’m guessing that, no matter how competitive you may be, you’ll love it.

Greenfield Lake - I actually STOPPED to take this picture.

Greenfield Lake – I actually STOPPED to take this picture.

So what’s on the horizon for Anthony?  First, there’s the Las Vegas half, then the Kiawah Island half, Ocean Isle Beach, a full over in Asia, Myrtle Beach…. well, you get the idea.  Let’s say the schedule is full.  I’ve heard more than one person ask him, “So what is your next goal?”.  You know, we running types always seem to have to have a goal.  And he’s definitely got one.  He now wants to run 100 full marathons and 200 half marathons.  Knowing Anthony the little bit that I do, there’s one thing for sure:  He will meet his goal, this crazy 200/100 goal; he’ll set his mind to it and get it done.  And he’ll have fun the entire way.

A nice "incline" at the beginning of the run.

A nice “incline” at the beginning of the run.

Categories: marathon, running, swimming, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Post-Race Euphoria

“When you’ve had the perfect run, you’ve cleared your soul.”

– Pat Monahan

This was posted on Fit for 365’s Blog and I just had to share it, especially after Saturday’s run.  It was the best description of the run that day that I could ever come up with myself.  I had the perfect run.

This was right when I started running Saturday.  I never lost that good feeling.

This was right when I started running Saturday. I never lost that good feeling. Not even two days later.

So today, I’m “suffering” from a bout of runner’s euphoria.  I loved that run.  I wanted that run.  I needed that run more than anything.  After being out of serious marathon training for a month, after having so much pain when running, after deciding to defer the Houston Marathon, I just needed that perfect run.  And now I have…the affliction…. post-race runner’s euphoria.

Post-Race Euphoria –  The feeling a runner gets after racing, whether the race is considered “successful” or not, that said runner can run all the races he/she wants whenever he/she wants without burnout, injury, excessive fatigue or realizing it was probably not a good idea. This condition is especially serious when said runner has an exceptionally good, fun, or fast race, OR has been a spectator at an iron distance race.  Runners credit cards should be quietly removed from wallet/purse and computer/social media should be removed and a five-seven day moratorium for race entry should be immediately instilled.

Have you ever had post- race euphoria before?  The first time I had it, I had just run a sub-4:00 marathon after being sick at the Lincoln Marathon in May of 2011, my second attempt at a BQ.  The next day, I went looking for other races and immediately signed up for a 1/2 marathon two weeks away.  I thank God  the marathon I really wanted to sign up for was too far away.  I can only chalk it up to post-race euphoria.  I ended up running that 1/2 marathon two weeks later and I HATED it.  I resented every boring stupid step, the dumb volunteers handing me WATER (I know, right? How dare they?!), CHEERING, and the stupid boring course filled with nothing but dead grass and a dumb levy.  So, from then on, I imposed a one-week moratorium – NO SIGNING UP FOR RACES FOR ONE WEEK AFTER RUNNING A RACE. If it’s really a good idea the day after a race, it will still be a good idea one week later.  After that incident, I’ve never made it past a week and still wanted to sign up for a race.  Well done, moratorium, well done.

My thoughts at the time were, "*^&$% race, why the HELL am I doing this?!"  And isn't the scenery just gorgeous??? Not.

My thoughts at the time were, “*^&$% race, why the HELL am I doing this?!” And isn’t the scenery just gorgeous??? Not.

So what’s the purpose of telling you all of this?

1)  Start a one week moratorium after a race.  Do not, I repeat, do NOT sign up for a race in the first week after a race.  Post-race euphoria is very dangerous!!! Especially for your wallet 🙂

2)  Don’t look directly at your medal…. it’s tricky prowess will get to you to ignore #1 above and sign up for ALL THE RACES.

3) Enjoy your races.  Enjoy the good moments.  Learn from the bad moments.  But when you have the perfect run, etch it into your permanent memory and relive it.  Revel in it.  Love it.  Replay that moment when you are having a bad run.  I know that’s what I’ll be doing for years to come.  B2B, I’ll always love you…..

And I have to admit…. I’m running the Battleship 1/2 Marathon in Wilmington on Sunday!!!! .  This was completely unexpected BUT!!!  I am not a hypocrite!!!  No, I am not.  Technically, this is the EIGHTH day after the race, I haven’t signed up yet (I will at the expo on Saturday which is the SEVENTH DAY), and well, I’m not going for a PR on this one.  This is pure enjoyment, all fun.  I was asked to run the 1/2 with a fellow Without Limits runner, a friend Anthony, who has run ONE HUNDRED ONE 1/2 MARATHONS.  Yes, 101!!!  This will be his 102nd.  I’m going to be talking to him while we run and I’m really excited to hear all his stories about the races he has done across the world.  Stay tuned as that story will be coming next week.

Categories: Boston Marathon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, running, training for marathon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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