~ Jim Carrey
So, I'm sitting here in my 'office' (also known as Elemental Coffee), not working and about to crack open my brand new, uncreased much-anticipated book. I'm hesitant, though. My head isn't in it, and I really need it to be. Well, that's not entirely true. My left brain is totally amenable, but man that right side.... That right side just isn't quite engaged yet, and that is the bit that matters. Oh, the book? It's called Relentless Forward Progress by Bryon Powell. This guy's name is all over the trail and ultra running world, and I'd been sporadically reading his articles for quite some time before losing myself in, well, I don't know what. Life. Lots of good - no great - life, but still. A big chunk of me was swirling out there and it took a long time for me to even notice. Anyway, back to the book. I've recently become obsessed (perhaps more accurately, addicted) to this podcast called No Meat Athlete by Matt Frazier.
Insert plug here: Seriously. If you haven't listened to it, you should. You can be a total carnivore and never want to run a step in your life and it's still good.
Plug over. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.
So, as I said, I've been listening to this podcast and got to the episode called Ultrarunning Basics (episode 9, if you're interested), which, as it turned out, featured an interview with Bryon Powell. It was then that I first learned about his book. Fast forward a few days and our friendly post guy delivers it to my doorstep. Skip ahead one more day, and here it sits unopened, next to my laptop, just waiting for its spine to be cracked.
I think I need to get out of my head first, though... just a quick break.
You know that feeling of fighting yourself and you're not sure of the reason or of what piece of you is fighting what? If not, don't worry about it. You're lucky. Smile and be thankful. I know that feeling all too well, and all too often, but fortunately, I can usually find something to settle the dust. Today that something was a yoga class I had to talk myself into attending. No, I mean it. I was literally sitting in the parking lot and telling myself that even if I don't feel better after, I won't feel any worse. Thank all holy things I'm stubborn because I went in, unrolled my mat, and 60 minutes later, walked out of there drenched in sweat, quads still shaking, but feeling totally resolved. I came home to four dogs (two of which we are dogsitting) and was happily licked clean before sitting down to knock out two blog posts and a social media project for a couple of clients. And now... now I sit here with a glass of wine and an OPEN book that just a few hours ago, I could barely look at.
Oh! I never even mentioned that this book purchase has a purpose! You know that day that I "re-heard" Bryon Powell's name on the podcast? That was also the day that I decided to celebrate my 40th birthday in the best way I know how: a 100 mile trail run. Actually, in the interest of honesty, I wasn't looking for one on my birthday. I just happened to see an ad for it on one of the running emails I get, noticed the date, and thought it sounded like a fabulous idea. We'll see, right? Anyway, I decided that I actually want to train for this and not half-ass it like I've done for all but one (truly, just one) race in my life, and this book feels like the one to use for three reasons:
1) Fate. The universe had to be telling me something by sending me that ad, that podcast, and the inexplicable perspicacity to declare that my goal (which was instantly met with full support from my other half) all on the same day.
2) I trust and appreciate his style. He's experienced and solid in his methods while understanding that nothing is one-size-fits-all.
3) He's plant based. I'm back to plant based after a five year omnivorous stint, and it's comforting to hear ideas and perspective from someone who shares a similar dietary lifestyle.
So, today is exactly six months from my birthday/race day, which means today starts training. Actually, I think it's a 24 week plan, so the set running schedule doesn't start for a week or two, but the head and heart start today.