Monday, August 3, 2009

Today....

Today certainly is something isn't it? It's not tomorrow and yesterday has all ready come and gone. Today could be something potentially so powerful that it changes your perspective, your train of thought. Today is everything. Tomorrow is nothing without today and today is just a caustic resemblance of what went down yesterday. And today, this day, my perspective changed.

I woke up early this morning. I didn't feel well. I stayed up for a few hours and then slowly crawled back into bed. I fell back to sleep and woke up sometime around lunch. I showered, ate and went about my day. Made it to the doctors, made it back home.. and went back to laying in bed. And then the argument ensued. As I laid in bed I gazed out my window at the hot setting sun. "I should be running." Monday's are typically my rest day... but I've had 2 weeks worth of rest days. Since the Vermont 100 I've gone on a 6 mile hike with a professor from school.. and a 10 mile run last week in the middle of the hottest day of the year. "I'll go out tomorrow when I'm supposed to." Tomorrow... yeah, that same tomorrow I keep hearing about from the "others." That same group of people that get up in the morning, go to work, come home and plop their butt down in front of the television with a TV dinner. The same people that have an abnormally long list of I can'ts and I won'ts and is usually topped off with that ever audible.. "Maybe Tomorrow." I got angry... my legs twitched, my back twitched... "screw tomorrow! It starts TODAY." I rolled out of bed, again, and got dressed, put the watch on and walked for the door. I stepped off the front step.. and it started all over again...

As I ran down the road I started thinking about the past year again. The first thought was, where was I this time last year. Memories of having a rough August (2008), walking and staggering through a local 5K to find out in September that I was anemic. And then I stopped again..."That was yesterday... screw yesterday... it's today." But what about tomorrow? What will tomorrow bring? I kept running and thinking. What I've really spent the last 6 or 7 months doing is struggling to train for the Vermont 100. I toed the line at that race, under-prepared, but prepared enough to get it done. Then I thought, "It's been a few months since I wrote a monthly recap of my running on my blog" So here it is, the months I missed, all at once.
May=148.7 Miles in 7 Runs
June=162.3 Miles in 8 Runs
July=170 Miles in 11 Runs
I knew when I was thinking about it that the numbers were low. The May Number includes one 100 Mile Race. So does the July Number... I knew the number was low, but in looking at it now, I feel nothing but disgust. Disgust in knowing that I haven't tried harder, that I didn't train harder, that I didn't run more. And then I ask myself why... and the answer is clear. Because I'm turning back into my former self. That former self where I spend more time thinking about yesterday, waiting for tomorrow, and ignoring today. But let me tell you something... today was THE day.

I kept running and started thinking about what Nate said after the Vermont 100. I don't remember it verbatim right now, but it was something along the lines of knowing that I shouldn't have finished in sub 24. I both agreed and disagreed with what Nate said. He was right... I really made it hard for myself to accomplish my goal. But the bottom line is that I proved once again that you can do anything you put your mind to regardless of your level of training. It was never my goal to run fast, it was simply my goal to get in under 24 hours. "Slow and steady..." And then I catch myself again... thinking about yesterday. So the turning point happened today on my sluggish 4 mile run. It felt sluggish but I still hammered out average 8:45 min/miles. But the transition is here... it's time... instead of thinking about yesterday... yesterday is how I think about what was or was not done, what was said or what hasn't been said... I thought about today and I thought about tomorrow differently.

You see, tomorrow.. isn't an excuse word today. Tomorrow, is what I'm thinking about. Tomorrow is when I get to run again. Tomorrow is when I take a few more steps towards my next goal. We all need goals. I need goals. I have goals. I'm behind in achieving some goals, I just might be ahead in achieving others. But either way, tomorrow is today. A few months ago my name was selected in a special two time loser lottery for entrants into the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. Some names were selected to participate in 2010, others for 2011. I've been trying to get into that race for 4 years now. I've all ready qualified by running my race, I've all ready done the volunteer hours... I just need to sign up and fork over the cash. Tomorrow, I continue training towards my next goal. For the last 4 years I've told those who dared to ask, "Do you think you'll buckle?" that I'm NOT going all the way to California to NOT get one of those buckles. And today I realized that to get there, to achieve the goal, I need to start working now. Working now because I know I'm in WS100, I'll run the VT100 a month later as I try to go 4 for 4 for sub 24 Hour finishes... damn, I'll need to be trained to run back to back sub 24 hour 100's... and then I kept thinking... why not sign up for Leadville next year and run the Grand Slam? There's no better time in my life then now.

I started running 100 milers in 2007. Since then I've run the distance 10 times. Certainly I know of individuals who have run many more in the same time span then I. I know many more who have run less, but they trained much harder then I have in running what I've run. A part of me really feels guilty. Guilty because I think I've taken advantage of the gift to be able to do what I do. Guilty because I've taken advantage of my sport and in turn, it's people. I don't know what my future holds, but I know it's up to me. Yesterday is gone.. and as I write this... so is today. Tomorrow is almost here. I've got many miles to go between now and June 2010 but I know that somehow, some way... I'll feel even better at Placer High School Track knowing I worked harder for one award then I'll have for all the rest.

Tomorrow... is... today...

Run on
Sherpa John