Tag Archives: Ultra-marathon

Being A Runner – What makes you better?

Trying to keep up with the Jones…  We are all searching for that little something extra.  That something magical to shave a few seconds off our personal record.  A little extra edge to make that mountain climb a little less tasking on our legs.  That extra zing in our lungs to finally take home the age group award.  We strive to be a better runner.

(Light 2 Light 50-mile Endurance Run and taking pictures with friends makes me a better runner….)

But what is it that makes you a better runner?

Is it the shoes?  Sure, a lot on money has been spent on developing the latest high-tech innovation, but as flashy as a new pair of kicks may be.  Will new shoes really make you jump higher, run faster or laydown those long run miles with less bonk and more victory?

Is it the watch?  I love all the “run” data that is available today.  At our fingertips is more than a timepiece, we can map our routes, record our pace, and log our segments.  Does all that wealth of information help to improve the run experience?  We can find out a lot about our performance as a runner, but does it make the beauty of the solo run any more breathtaking?

Is it the hot new outfits?  All the cool colors, flashy prints, and corporate logos help to make me feel like part of the “in” crowd or the A-list.  I may feel the part.  I may look the part, but does wearing that latest shirts, shorts or leggings make the run any more performance building?

What makes you a better runner? Improved form?  New levels of fitness?

For me, it’s my attitude.

When I run for the pure pleasure of feeling my body moving, I run better.

When I run to get lost in nature, the miles have more purpose.

When I run to bring someone along on my adventure, the experience means more.

When I get outside to celebrate life, a life I’m blessed to be able to move under my own power, I move easier.

(Running the Cape Fear 24-hour Endurance Run with Wendy and #BradStrong)

When I run for someone who can’t.  I enjoy life just a little bit more.

What makes you a better runner…not faster, not more accomplished or able to run longer.  Share with us, what makes you a better runner?

Not Running and what I’m learning

Some honest facts about my time off from running.

Some background to my time off. Feb 2, 2019, I went to the Uwharrie Mountains to get in some training miles and to chase some vertical in preparation for my return to Leadville Aug 2019. Uwharrie is a great place to run but the trails do offer some rocky foot placements. About 1.5 miles into a beautiful Saturday morning with a 20-mile adventure planned I caught my foot on an unseen rock. The next thing I knew I was on the ground and my left leg making an impact with the jagged edge of a rock. My knee caught the rock where your patella tendon mounts to the shin bone. After seeing stars and figuring out that nothing was terminal, I noted how much that impact hurt. After a few painful moments, I was able to get back on my feet and continued on. 18.5 miles later my knee was bloody and sore knee but I figured I was no worse for wear.

Fast forward…through two marathons (Wrightsville Beach in March and Cleveland in May), and a 101.25-mile effort during a 24-hour race (VA 24-hour ultra run against cancer in April) I had been fighting off all sorts of injuries (knee pain, sciatica, and some tendonitis in my right foot). In June I finally had enough. Running had become so painful that I knew I had to take some time away. I shut it down on the 20th of June in hopes of resetting my body and starting a fall race calendar.

Worst of it all, I had to defer my Leadville entry. Mentally it was crushing, depressing and confidence breaking. It felt like I had failed at Leadville all over again.

I’ll be honest, although I continue to workout, riding the stationary bike five days a week, copying my run training, I’m learning a lot about life and myself but I feel I’m also losing ground.

Life, in fact, does continue. As much as I miss my daily miles…the sun still comes up, the birds still sing and the days are still filled with good times.

My butt may not have been made for biking….ha ha ha but is any butt really made for those seats?

Truthfully, I’ve enjoyed my newfound “weekend” hours to embrace my other passions.

Check out my custom medal/buckle display http://brihttp://briansrunningadventures.com/ultra-wood-designs/

I still feel connected to the running community, but I fear its slipping.

I embrace the victories of friends as they continue on the running path.

Thursday (1 Aug) will mark six weeks…the longest I have been off from running in 19 years.

I wonder if…..

Wish me luck to make it until the end of Aug, my self imposed hiatus.

Run if you can…it’s inspiring the rest of us (ME).