I heard an interview with Travis Macy on Ultra Runner Podcast (one of my favorite long run podcasts) about two months ago. He was speaking about the crazy endurance races he has competed in all over the world. He has competed on everything from snowshoe racing up mountains to multi-day adventure racing trough the desert.
The story that struck me most was about Travis’ Dad, an accomplished endurance athlete himself, first attempt at the Leadman 100. His dad went into the race under trained, without proper gear or nutrition, and willed himself to the finish. He may have finished a hobbled version of himself, but he finished what he started. As a father this had a tremendous affect on me as I’m sure it did to young Travis. We can tell our kids how to live, but showing them by leading by example speaks much louder.
Overall, I enjoyed the book tremendously. If you are an endurance athlete you will take something away from this book. The principles set forth in the book can be applied to racing or everyday life. When you apply the principles contrast them against the stress and intensity of of Travis’ adventures it gives you a whole new perspective. The stories of the extreme races Travis has completed have given me a new perspective on what’s possible. This book will make you want to seek out new adventures and challenges
Last night I had the honor of running with the Iron Cowboy, James Lawrence on his #25 IM in as many days in Williamsburg, VA. If you haven’t heard for James’ crazy challenge, he is doing 50 Ironmans, in 50 states, and 50 days. Pull your jaw off the floor, that is some crazy shit. That’s 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run everyday, and then driving to the next state to start again. It’s like a painful version of Groundhog Day played out in a different place every day.
Here’s a quick video explaining James’ mission:
My threshold for crazy endurance feats is pretty high, but this is on the edge of what I think is possible. I first heard about James’ story on the Rich Roll podcast. My brain was swimming thinking about the difficulty of the challenge. I immediately started following him on social media, and fired off an email. If James makes it to Virginia I’m coming to run with him. This is a once in a life time opportunity to see someone doing something unheard of.
After following James’ journey for the past few weeks, the day had finally come to go and run with the Iron Cowboy. At each of his events, they have a 5k portion of the day where people can meet up with James to run. We met at Jamestowne High School at 7pm to shove off for the 5k. There were about 50 people there to run. I brought my family so they could check it out. I’m not sure if my girls understand the significance of what was going on, but I want them to be around this type of positive and healthy energy.
The Iron Cowboy showed up about 10 mins before 7pm having already completed the swim, bike, and 4 miles of the run. He gave a quick speech about his challenge, and partnership with a charity fighting childhood obesity. He introduced his family of five kids, for whom this whole journey is dedicated. Not only is he taking on this massive challenge, but this is a huge family vacation. While dad is out pounding the pavement, the kids are hanging out and going to see the local sites. This is the most awesome and difficult family vacation, I have ever heard of.
Everyone gathered for a group photo, and we were off for the 5k run. It was a very leisurely run, so people could chat with James and get some selfies. When we first started, I mentioned to the guy next to me this feels like the scene in Forest Gump. The scene where he just keeps running, and people start following. Thankfully he didn’t just stop like in the movie.
After the 5k, I went and ran some more miles with James and a small group. I got to chat with him for a while, and I kept my questions short. His answers were short, as I am sure he is exhausted from the effort and sleep deprivation. I was taken by his focus. We weren’t moving quickly, but he was steady, and concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. In all I ran about 10 miles, and my family was ready to go. I wish I could have stayed until the end. I was filled with so much positive energy, I could have run all night.
It was a great experience, and one I will remember for a long time. I met some wonderful people during the run. Everyone was super positive and supportive. The most interesting guy I met was a Russian Physicist from Richmond. He was a competitive swimmer, and now he is getting into running and triathlons. Many people drove 2-3 hours just to come and run with James. That is the power of a really big goal.
I have to say I am truly inspired by James’ challenge. I hope he stays healthy and finishes. I have some ideas for challenges of my own, and its time to get them rolling. The bar has been set very high now for what is possible. Just like James’, I’m trying to stay active and make my kids proud.
If the Iron Cowboy is coming to your state, go and run with him. He will appreciate the support, and you will have a chance to witness greatness.
Welcome to Fantastic Finish Photo Friday. We want to bask in the awesomeness of your finish photos. A finish photo captures a moment in time, where you overcame the challenges of the race and training, and reached your goal. The feeling of elation as you cross the line is what keeps us pushing our own limits. Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish.
This week’s photo is from Eric Quiroz:
On Sunday April 26, 2015 I competed in my first Triathlon ever, and not only that, I had the great honor of doing it with my Dad. We both completed the event which consisted of running 5K, biking 11 miles, and swimming 150m. Before this I have never even ran a 5K. I had been wanting to do something like this for a long time and up until the moment I signed up I always had a reason why I couldn’t do it. But when the opportunity arose for me to sign up for this is event I suddenly became sick of my own excuses. I couldn’t bear to hear one more reason why I couldn’t do it and in the moment that I committed I was free! I was free to be and do what ever it took to compete in this event and do my absolute best. This is an interesting way to look at it, that in my commitment I experienced freedom.
I am so grateful I had the opportunity to do this with my Dad, Earl. He is an absolute gift in my life and I feel very fortunate to have this experience with him. The preparation, tuning the bikes the night before the race, spending the night together, waking up race day and driving down to the event. I absolutely loved ever detail that we got to share together. This was a big first for the both of us and a special bonding moment for our relationship.
I am very proud of my 1:22:48 time.
Fantastic race and photo Eric. Also, congrats to your dad for finishing his first race. Conquering a new challenge is even sweeter when you have good company.
Do you have a friend or family member that will train and race with you? A partner will help with accountability and motivation. Triathlon is an individual sport, but doesn’t have to be done alone.
Please consider sharing your own photo to inspire others who are working toward their own finish. It doesn’t have to be from a triathlon, just any race that has special meaning to you. If you are interested in sharing, please send a message to email@example.com.
Merry Monday! Let’s do this! We all could use a bit of motivation to get rolling on Monday. On Mondays, I like to share a Mantra or short inspirational message. If the message resonates with you, use to motivate yourself in training or life. Do you have your own awesome Mantra? Please share it below in the comments.
One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure. – William Feather
I love this quote, because it talks about adventure as a mindset. It’n not the cliche “Life is an Adventure” ads you get from shoe companies. Instead, he says to get more out of life treat it like an adventure. If you are stuck in a rut, find a different rut to jump into. Be aware of your life around you, and look for opportunities to explore. Take your daily routine and look for ways to add variety and excitement.
Five suggestions to add adventure to your routine:
1. Change your commute. Drive home a different way. Take the bus. Walk or ride your bike. Change you view point on the same old way to work.
2. Try a new food. Go to an Indian/Ethiopian/Spanish restaurant. Taste food from another culture. You can learn a lot about another culture by tasting their food. If you enjoy cooking, try the recipes at home.
3. Workout in a different place. Change up that daily 5 mile run, with a new route. Do your yoga practice on the beach, or in a park. Instead of lifting weights at the gym, get outside and lift some rock and branches.
4. Lunch Al fresco. Are you normally eating your lunch in a crammed break room? Go outside and eat your lunch. If there is a park near by even better. The fresh air and change or scenery will get your brain recharged.
5. Plan a weekend adventure. One Saturday a month, break your routine and try something new. Take a short trip. Go for a hike. Check out a museum. Adventure shouldn’t be reduced to a family vacation one week a year.
Do you have any suggestions to add adventure to your daily routine?