Monday, April 11, 2011

I am back!

One month after…an epilogue and prologue

One month ago, I painfully paused My Run Across America attempt number one, three miles outside of Uniontown, Alabama. 500 miles in, 2,000 miles to go. Though the mind was willing, the appendage formally known as my ankle decided that it needed to inform me that I am 46 years old, don’t have an “S” on my chest and that covering 50 miles a day is left for cars and other motorized forms of transport.

I have been getting a lot of questions about my ankle, future plans and of course “The Rematch”. I figured I would hit a few of them below.

So how is the ankle these days?

Normally sized. No pain. Though decidedly unapologetic and unrepentant for screwing up my party.

What is the plan for training resumption?

I am going to start running again on April 16th. I am going to start slow and spend a few months getting back to where I can run long distances. I am not going to go back to big, big, big mileage for at least six months. I want to slowly bring my leg back. I want to run for fun. And I want to give myself and my wife a period of time where we live more like normal people on the weekends. Christine gave up 17 months worth of weekends as I trained like a mad man. I don’t want to be looking for Wife #3, so a little pay back is order!

How was it mentally after the run?

Honest answer? It was brutal. After setting such a large goal in my head, devoting every non-working, waking hour to accomplishing it and then blowing up like I did 20% into my effort was devastating. Even though I could rationalize quitting just by looking at my swelled ankle and feeling the pain for nearly two weeks after the end of the run, mentally it did not feel good. I had a lot of support for blog readers, friends, FB contacts etc. but it was really, really hard to get over the fact that I put a huge goal up, worked my ass off to attain it and then face planted in front of people. It was humbling to say the least and depressing if I am being honest. The disappointment colored my entire outlook on my accomplishments, career, ability to do the rematch and anything else that required some positivity.

I am back! A little wiser and a little more humble.

What about writing or doing talks about the experience?

A lot of people have tagged me to say it would be great to read about the entire experience or talk about the whole thing as a source of motivation to others. I toyed with the idea. However, I think before anything comes of that, I need to FINISH the darn thing. I thought about different angles that could be taken ahead of a finish, but they all seemed incomplete and all self serving in advance of actually finishing the goal.

Okay, so when is “The Rematch”?

I have a date penciled in on a calendar. I owe it to a few people to talk about it in better detail before I put it out in the open. I can safely share that it will not be 2011. (Unless an amazing set of circumstances occur which would include bags of money “just showing up” in my living room. The President calling me to tell me that the country needs me to complete the run this year for national security purposes. Nike deciding that a middle aged, slow white dude with a funny spelled last name is exactly the profile of their next $30,000,000 per year sponsorship need. Aliens abducting me and telling me that unless I finish the run, they plan on turning earth into an organic, free range, human food farm to feed the lizards back home.)

In sum, it looks like I will be home for 2011…but I guess the above could happen.

In retrospect, what did I learn?

The list is pretty long. Certainly a lot was learned about running and human endurance. I learned a lot about my mental strength (good things and bad). I learned that there are some amazingly good people out there. On the flip side, I learned also that there are decent amount of people with good intentions that don’t necessarily follow up with the deeds to match the words.
All in all, even though I failed in my first attempt… it was the best 16 days of my life on many levels.

The partner of a co-worker really summed up my attempt and failure better than I could. You can read it here if you like.

And yes…

I am back!  Ready to move ahead and accomplish my goal.