Saturday, August 1, 2009

A new PR, hardware and a little road trip

I'm a bit behind on the blogging, so let's get right to it! Brittany and I ran the Guy Poncy Memorial 5K today, at Angel Stadium. My mileage is up, in preparation for the Long Beach Marathon in October, so I was feelin' good vibes about todays race. I woke up at 6 am to find my Garmin Forerunner 305 dead as a doornail. Bummer! I am a stats FREAK but, alas, I would have to do todays race au natural.... or as one of my tweeps put it "Zen".

What a race! I felt great, and running sans gadgets (even without my iPhone) proved to be a good move. I PR'd by 13 seconds with a 23:13 and even better, placed 2nd in my Age Group. Was there another race today?? I mean, I am VERY happy with my PR, but my time wouldn't usually snag 2nd, in the m-40-44 age group. Oh well, I got hardware and and I'm not gonna question it!



Brittany ran a great race as well. This is her second race running barefoot and finished in 29:41! She was asked several times about running barefoot and was quite the ambassador for the cause. Spurred even more, no doubt, by a recent article in the OC Register about barefoot running.

We also met up with a couple cool runnin' tweeps Danica and Carmen and talked running and snapped a photo to document our "tweetup".




Now, about this "Road trip". It's interesting, with social media being as it is, this won't be the first that I have talked about my plans, but this will serve as more of a formal announcement than tweeting about it or through status updates on facebook.

I am going to run across the United States, from the Huntington Beach Pier to the Statue of Liberty. I will run between 20 and 30 miles a day and the run will take approximately 4 months. The tentative plan is to start in late January or early February. I will do it with a support vehicle and will most likely be shooting it for a documentary.


Why do I want to do this? The simple answer is, that I LOVE TO RUN. It has become my passion and my therapy. Every night when I go to bed, no matter how challenging the day has been, I look forward to running the next morning. It's almost like a new beginning, and every day I get to challenge myself with a specific purpose, which is usually a training session designed to make me faster at my next race. It reminds me every day that, although we have no real control in our lives, that in the things we can control, we have a responsibility to do them, whole heartedly and with passion. There are some circumstances in my life right now that have been really challenging for me and have beaten me down pretty bad. There have been times when I have felt like I have come to a real fork in the road. Where, depending on my response and attitude, it could go two very different ways. I have decided to take a road which, I believe will get me much better results.

I can't really explain where I got my idea for my "Run for Liberty". But I do know that it has been nagging at me for quite some time now and won't let go. As I started mentioning it to people, a surprising thing happened. Instead of "that's impossible" or "your crazy", people have been very supportive. I've heard things like "what route will you take?" and "anything you need, just let me know". It has been a very pleasant surprise.

But, I have no delusions about this run. It will be extremely hard. I am not an elite athlete. But I am is extremely focused (read.. obsessed) and... well... stubborn! I have run 4 full marathons, 2 ultra marathons (50k's) and an Ironman. I have a pretty good idea, the level of fatigue, boredom and sheer determination it will take to get to NY.

There have been approx. 220 Trans Continental runs recorded. Of these, 6 were unsupported and the rest were supported with some sort of support vehicle. Originally my plan was to go unsupported. I wanted to go almost immediately. I wanted to go buy a baby jogger, load it with my essentials and take off. See where fate took me (cause of that fork in the road I was talking about). I planned a route to San Francisco, so I could avoid the heat, and then I would make a right and head East. As I planned my original route and saw the real possibility that I would be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no water or food, I started thinking I need a better plan. I decided a Jan/Feb start will be much better weather wise and will allow me to take the southern route. I will do it supported, which in all honesty, takes care of my biggest anxiety... a place to sleep.

I am very fortunate to work in the Film/TV production and post production industry. I know a lot of people which I hope to use to my advantage in documenting this entire journey. Anyone who reads my blog or knows me, knows how I feel about reality shows. The last thing I want, is to shoot a reality show and be scripting fights between me and the Driver. It ain't gonna happen. But the reality is, running across the country is going to take money and the way to get money is sponsors. The way to get sponsors is exposure. I think there is an honorable way to document this, that other runners (and anyone with a crazy dream) will find interesting. I will be pursuing, as sponsors, companies that make the products that I use.

We are going to start shooting very soon, starting with an appointment with a Sports Physiologist/Trainer to discuss my fitness level and a training program to get me ready for the run. The plan is to post those clips as webisodes as we go along. I am hoping that people will want to follow this journey. It is a cliche but "A journey of a (3) thousand miles, starts with a single step". I've taken about 2 steps so far.. the rest is faith. Oh, and LOTS of hard work!

I will be tweeting, facebooking, blogging and updating my website as things progress.

Oh... And here's my hardware.

I'm sure glad the super fast guys didn't show up :)

Paul

3 comments:

Runnrgrrl said...

RUN for LIBERTY! great idea. what an adventure. can't wait for you to get out there and to hear about it all along the way.
and ya, awesome race as well! congrats. :)

Concepción said...

I am VERY excited about your road trip. Can't wait to see how it develops and run part of it with you!

Clynton said...

Congratulations on the race. And what an amazing trip. Plenty of planning, organizing, and, oh yeah, RUNNING in your future! Very excited for you.

Nice descriptions, as well, on why you run. I can completely relate, though I'm awaiting surgery before I can once again run.