Run for Water is a fabulous run. Not so much for the scenic views of Abbotsford or the incredible volunteers but rather the cause. The cause is bringing fresh water to small villages in Ethiopia. Each year for the past 3 years, we’ve run this run as a family. We started strong with all seven (Nana included). It was a tough year I pushed Owen my then 5 year old in the BOB running stroller for the 10K. My oldest went with Nana and Ethan ran with my beautiful running wife. If you could describe running as a bug, an infection perhaps, she got her first taste of it then. She cured her self for awhile but by the following year the infection came back.
The next year she was serious. We started buying running clothes, outfits! New shoes were a necessity. That year she picked up a running jacket, new shoes, a Nike+ sensor My wallet started to hurt a little. I picked out a beautiful pink Fuel Belt for her one special occasion. From a long time runner it was fun to watch her develop, too watch her infection turn into a full blown disease.
Unfortunately life gets in the way. As we runners have all discovered the cure for a serious case of the running disease is a busy life. You see my wife is not only married to a serious runner (LOL), mother of 4 children, full-time career but is also working on her degree in Social Work. And you thought I burned the candle at both ends. Needless to say sometimes life just crashes down around you and you can’t run. No time! No energy! You know the tune! But I’ll tell you the biggest turn on in the entire world is commiserating with your beautiful wife when she says, “I missed my run today, damn it!”
I know things are starting to go my way and she is starting to understand the runner’s mind. Now the runner’s mind is a complex thing far too complex to discuss in just one blog post. But when she was signing up for this run she asked me what event I was going to run. This event has a 5K, a 10K, a half marathon and for the first time this year a marathon. I joked with her that I would run the marathon.
She said, “You couldn’t run the marathon?” And I responded, “I bet I could!”
The only catch was this is Jenny’s event, it’s her time. I run with our daughter no matter what. I slept on it that night and thought of every logistical consideration and came to the conclusion that I could probably complete the marathon with a running stroller. No Boston qualifier but still finish. However keeping my daughter trapped in a running stroller for 4 hours seemed almost cruel. Although Kallie loves running with me in the stroller, 4 hours is a bit much.
In the end I signed up for the half marathon. A daunting task with a 35 lb child and a running stroller but I relish the challenge. I’ve always wanted to be one of those guys who can pop off a marathon in a weekend whenever and wherever they wanted. I am almost positive I could have but not with the circumstance. Maybe one day but not today.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to run a half marathon and my running future is only getting brighter.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Still talking about the early days, I had a friend who was going to fashion design school. Who knew higher academia had such an institution fervent on teaching others about something so trivial as clothes. To me clothes had always been something to cover the body and not much else. Much to my wife’s chagrin my shirt often don’t match my pants and I constantly go out on our date night with some worn out Asics 2130’s. So the story goes, I remember vividly having a philosophical discussion about logo’s and branding. “Make it big, make it simple and people will buy it!” (In the background I’m hearing W.P Kinsella “If you build it, they will come!”) She listened to my soapbox rant with slight distain. All the while I was thinking she doesn’t give a F what I think. She went on to having a career with a local very popular clothing company that got swallowed by the leading names in that particular industry, namely: Quicksilver, Dakine, and Roxy just to name a few. Do you see where I’m going with this? Close your eyes for a second and picture the logo of each of the last three names I just mentioned. Simple, big and memorable.
I weep for my lack of creative entrepreneurial moxie all those years ago. Clearly I had the foresight but not the creative gift nor the intestinal fortitude to carry off such a venture. Since my early days I have watched as many a fledgling clothing company falls by the wayside not for lack of quality goods but yet for the marketable eye catching logo or memorable slogan to go with it “Just Do It” (Nike) or “It’s in You” (Gatorade).
And for a time I mocked the successes as they sold their birthright to grab a piece of the pie. I chuckled when I saw a less than an athletic looking man sporting The North Face apparel. I thought to myself, this guy doesn’t look like he could climb a flight of stairs let alone scale a mountain. What does he need the hardcore gear for? As I matured and thought more about it, my thinking changed. Maybe these people will never scale the north face of the Eiger but only dream of it. Or maybe they bought the outdoor gear with the intent of wearing it for its designed features or maybe they bought because they just looked ‘hot’ in it. They wanted to be identified as athletic or outdoorsy. If The North Face could design a garment that appeals to the mainstream, that appeals to those who think ultra runners are nuts but yet gets them out the door and on to the trail. Then we all win! Today from its humble beginnings The North Face manufactures all sorts of clothing, shoes and sponsors a number of cool ultrarunning events as well as a bunch of high profile athletes.
America is getting fatter by the minute. If branding can be identified with athleticism or athletic pursuits and dreams. If it gets people off the couch and around the block if even to show off their new Vibram Five Fingers or Lululemon yoga pants then who am I to scoff at these corporate giants intent on fueling their motivation. Branding becomes the kindling to our spark. If newbie runner feels more like a runner sporting the ‘big ass’ logo on his gear then and it keeps him running then I’m all for ‘big ass’ logos.
Posted by Ultradad at 12:05 PM
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Blogging to me is a step above Facebook and Twitter quite possibly on par with Podcasting or the new Urban Dictionary term, “Blogcasting”. Blogging takes style and a fair bit more thinking than the 140 characters Twitter involves. That being said Twitter is the social media equivalent of a haiku, condense what you have to say in 140 characters or less. Make it meaningful, contrite, and you very well may become a social media darling. Certainly there is power in numbers. Try and try again and become someone’s favorite or certainly build the number of followers. It feeds the fire and you become part of it. In doing so, your every thought is tweeted and you blog less because . . . well you’ve said it before!
I love reading and responding to Tweets when I can. Once again quoting Twitter I remember Adam Tinkoff, The Zen Runner, comparing a conversation on Twitter to having a conversation on an elevator with a megaphone. Classic Tinkoff indeed.
I love reading blogs when I can. Blogs on the other hand give insight to the psyche, the emotion, the aura of the writer. Much like podcasting because of there one sidedness, blogs become and expression of the person. In essence the writer (podcaster) and the blog become one.
I like blogging. The problem is as I said before blogging takes a fair amount of thought. Thought requires time. Thoughts I have in abundance. Time is something I don’t have a lot of. So there is the challenge and I lay it down as a challenge because in doing so I put it down on the line for only myself to beat, a personal challenge. You can call me out on it if you so please. But this is more for me than anything.
I sit hear in the Edmonton Airport waiting for a flight home. Time is something I have, for now. My next challenge is the next 7 days. Life at home is hectic. Life on the road slightly less. For all the runner’s out there I had an absolutely fabulous run one week ago and have been on the go ever since ergo no running since. Hopefully tomorrows post will be a celebration of tomorrow’s run.
Wish me luck. See ya tomorrow!
Posted by Ultradad at 7:37 PM