Bring back that Racing Feeling.
When is the last time you did a race? Last week? Last year? 2 years ago?
Two weeks ago I ran my first race in 5 years. That’s right - 5 years. It was awesome.
In 2011, I competed in and finished the Best Ranger Competition - one of the most brutal physical and mental tests for an athlete on the planet. After the competition, I did not really have much desire to do any races - not even a local 5k.
In the fall of 2012, I raced the Miami 70.3 and it was a neat experience. I trained for the race, but was not super motivated about grinding through a 4-5 hour affair down in Miami. I finished the race and felt okay the next day, but competing in Miami 70.3 confirmed for me that I had lost that Racing Feeling. Big time. I did not have a real desire to train hard for even a short race. I really wasn’t sure what it was - but I wasn’t interested.
For 5 years I did not do a single race. The closest thing to a race that I came to each year was completing my annual requirement for the Army Physical Fitness Test. That was good enough for me. I had training goals and met several of them over the years, but none of them involved entering a race and competing. I’m not really sure of the reason either. It could have been demanding academic requirements, deployments, a grinding work schedule, or just a desire to relax on Saturday mornings. I don’t think there is one specific reason I can point to for not racing - I just didn’t really feel like it.
This summer that began to change. I started to get back that Racing Feeling. As I started to put more miles on this summer, the Racing Feeling started to creep back into my bones. I thought - hey, let’s see what races are available in Virginia Beach this summer/fall. After some searching, I found a couple of races that fit the bill. I signed up, and two weeks ago - I raced. It felt great to get back out there and compete - even if it was a small race.
I trained hard for the race and the result was better than I expected. I ran a 9.1 mile race (a 9/11 memorial race) in under 70 minutes. 69:45 to be exact. Not too shabby for a 225 pound dude. My goal was 72 minutes, which I easily beat.
The next race? A half-marathon in a couple of weeks. I’m excited. The miles continue to pile up and I continue to improve each week.
If it’s been a while since you’ve raced - don’t sweat it. If the desire isn’t there, and it’s tough to force it, then just keep training without racing. There’s nothing wrong with that. Your personal life, work life or other commitments may outweigh any desire to do a race right now - and that’s perfectly fine. The feeling will return. It might not return in the form of storming through marathons like you used to as a young man or woman - but it will return. Keep your ear to the ground though because that feeling will return and when it does, you’ll be ready to pounce on it and attack your next race with the same joy and enthusiasm that you did when you were younger.
I’ll report back next month with my half-marathon results.
Train hard. Train smart.
The importance of having a well-functioning and healthy immune system has become increasingly obvious in recent times.
Sadly, everyone seems to have a different answer as to how you should go about strengthening your immune system. When you go to your local health and wellness shop, you might see twenty or thirty products that tout their “immune boosting” powers. An Amazon search reveals thousands of results.
Well, we’re here to tell you about an effective and ancient remedy that has been in use for over two thousand years: the red reishi mushroom.
We’ve all heard about all the negative effects of stress and the modern lifestyle.
We’re all rushing around, overworked, in a constant state of fight-or-flight and it has disastrous effects on our health.
But what if “stress” wasn’t the real problem?
What if our bodies knew exactly how to cope with the intensity of modern life… if we just gave the body what it needed to thrive?
And the key may be one little mineral.
I hope this finds you healthy and able to still get outside (or inside) for a daily run during this trying time of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of us are grieving several losses including race cancellations. Though it's a bummer, I want you to know that your hard-earned training is far from wasted.
Those miles are in your legs and all kinds of wonderful benefits have occurred including the addition of mitochondria, adding new capillary beds for increased blood flow, and strengthening the heart muscle for future training.
As athletes, it's important for us to be proactive in maintaining a strong immune system. We're not only doing this for our own prevention but also our loved ones that we spend time with.
Read on for 5 tips to consider as you seek to stay healthy.