I started doing some remixing recently and decided to enter a remix contest I found at beatport.com. Click here to check out the contest.
This is my entry:
Well now that the half marathon is again behind me, I have signed up for a new challenge: The Tough Mudder!
It’s supposedly the hardest event of its type. It was created by british special forces to test strength, endurance and teamwork. My dentist and friend, Dr. Bill Gussow, is our team leader. He’s 70+ years old and one of the toughest people I know. We are going to kick ass. It is on April 13th, 2013. I will keep posting about how the training is going. I start with p90x today.
We started a tradition a few years ago. In August of 2010, my friend Cindy Knull, my brother Richard and I decided to run a half marathon. Don’t ask me why, because I’m really not sure. At first, it was because I thought I would look cool having run one. It seemed like an impossible goal for all of us. The first week I went out to train, I could barely run for 30 seconds without having to stop and sit down to catch my breath. I nearly gave up before I started. The next week, I told myself that if I couldn’t run for a minute without passing out, I was going to quit. To hell with this shit. A funny thing happened though: I got better. By week 3 I was jogging (slowly mind you) 2 miles and by week 7 I could jog my file 5 mile runs without stopping once. There were injuries galore and lots of iced knees and sprained achilles, etc. However, after the first week I somehow knew deep down that I could run the half. I also knew the only way it was going to happen was to train hard. I couldn’t miss any training runs and I certainly couldn’t miss any long runs. Running that first half marathon was one of the best accomplishments of my life. And to be doing it with my friend Cindy and my brother was just the best thing I could ask to make sure I pushed through. Cindy and I crossed the finish line together, and it turns out we had crossed the starting line together at exactly the same time too. We both ran the Rock and Roll half marathon on December 4th, 2010 in 2 hours 35 minutes and 55 seconds. It’s not a record breaking time but it is respectable enough. Rich finished just 5 minutes later even though he had a major groin injury! During the training I lost 33 pounds, resolved by diabetes and high blood pressure and felt extraordinarily healthy.
Little did we know, this would be the start of a tradition. 6 weeks later Richard and I ran the half marathon in Phoenix. I say ran but I only managed to run 2/3rds of it. I didn’t train hard or regularly for this one. My knee blew out at mile 8 and I had to limp the last 5 miles. To say it was painful is a huge understatement. But I wanted the medal that you get for running back to back halves and I finished and got it. My brother, as cool as he is, walked the last 5 miles with me even though he could have beaten his own personal record.
I guess we inspired a few people. My sister Jane, a smoker and carrying too much weight herself, got inspired to get healthy too and committed to running the half marathon the following December. We had a health scare with her during the winter of 2010 and she is a 19 year cancer survivor too. We didn’t think it likely that she would be able to handle the training much less run the half with us. People surprise me though. She quit smoking, started training and damn if she didn’t fly down and meet us for The Rock and Roll Half Marathon 2011. I have only been that proud of someone a few times in my life. I was committed to staying with her the whole race, no matter the pace. Rich had a hurt foot so it worked out for him to go slower too. We kid about this because her pace was a bit slow. In between running and walking. But she never stopped. We all crossed the finish line and ended up with times of 3:15 and change.
And the inspiration spread. Our childhood friends, Jen Foley and Susan Maggs started running. My good friend Kendell Callaway Mooney started running. The Maggs flew down to Phoenix to run Pat’s Run with us (a nice 4.2 Mile run) in April. Jen and Sue registered for the half marathon secretly the day after ;)
Then it’s November and it was time to separate the winners from the losers. At one point I thought everyone was going to drop out. I even had a moment myself where I considered not running it. Again, people surprise me. Kendell said she was definitely coming, even amidst a slew of injuries, falls, and health problems, she persevered. She’s one of the most stubborn women I know and I love and respect the hell out of her :) Jen and sue both had setbacks too. Sue had been over-training and Jen was struggling with the fact that she had lungs that were only free of smoke for a matter of months (yeah, that’s badass).
Now it’s December and everyone is excited and talking smack. We’re worried about last minute injuries, worried about weather. And like a kick in the nuts, Kendell comes down with strep, 6 days before the race :( I can’t think of much else that could be as disappointing. After many tear filled emails and messages it was final: Kendell was not able to make the race :( Anyone who runs and trains for a race knows the possibility of illness and/or injury. It’s part of the process. We try not to think about it, we try to deny it when it happens and ultimately feel crushed when it does. However, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Kendell was prepared to finish the half marathon. I watched her training logs and posts about victories and setbacks. Even after a nasty fall near the beginning of the training, she came back tougher than ever. Kendell: never doubt that you could have done it. We are sorry as hell that you don’t get to be here with us this time but know that we will be crossing that line with you by our side in spirit.
Which leads me up to today: Sunday, December 2nd, 2012. It’s overcast and there is a slight chance of rain. We will be running the strip at night again. The day after the race last year I swore I would never run it at night again. I had to change my mind strictly out of commitment to my friends Sue and Jen. If they were running it, I was running it. Actually I have a new commitment: As long as someone in my life decides to get healthy and realize they have a new possibility for health and living a more physically powerful life by training for running this race, I will run it. Yes, it’s now in writing and I vow to never go back on my word on this promise. I am now the constant. Not to brag, it’s just a fact. Some friends were unable to make it this time. Kendell, Rich, Cindy, and now even Jane, if you ever thought it didn’t matter that you were running with me, I apologize. While I didn’t ever want you to feel pressured or obligated, I also never told you that some of the best moments of my life are running with you. I can still recall moments in each race, at certain miles and times when I saw you running beside me and realized what an amazing achievement it was. Never doubt that I will always be better off with you running with me, than not. But I digress…
Now it’s time to run with old friends that have become new runners. Jen is more than likely going to beat me. She has worked extremely hard and deserves to. Not that I haven’t worked hard, I have, but not nearly with the intensity and enthusiasm as my first race. That just comes from the complacency of knowing I can do it now. My only new challenge is the fact that I trained to run this whole race barefoot style. I switched styles to help my knees and it did just that. However, it is even harder on the feet and calves. I hope to finish without injury.
Finally, I would like to thank my mother, Donna Mullin, for being MY constant in this tradition. She has supported me and sponsored me for each race without a second thought and with much sacrifice at times. I can honestly say I would never have been able to do this once without her love, encouragement and support. Thank you Mom :)
And now, it’s time to get ready because…
Here I go again :)
Robert G. Ingersoll
The main reason I ran my first half marathon was because I was feeling like I wasn’t doing much with my life. I thought if I did something really hard, it would make a difference. I was right. It was really hard. It took a lot of training and a lot of willpower. It helped that I had two running buddies at the time (Rich and Cindy), who were going through it with me.
The second half marathon was done strictly for the desert double down medal. I didn’t train enough and I hadn’t recovered from the first half. I blew my knee out at mile 8 and still walked the rest so I could get that medal.
The third one was to support you. I still remembered how hard it was and how great it felt to accomplish it and I wanted that for you :)
Martin Luther King, Jr.