Holidays in the Sand — A Perspective

Type: Good, stiff run
Distance: 3.0 miles
Time: 22:33
Average Pace: 7:31 min/mile
Average Heart Rate: 157 bpm

This was a solid run. We had snow so I was not able to get outside and run, so this run was done on the dreadmill. I set the dreadmill at a 7:30 pace and just ran. I did not increase the speed at all and just concentrated on my form. I was really happy with how good I felt throughout the run. I think that the time has come to increase my mileage, but it will wait until January.

I also followed this run with three sets of eight reps of shoulder shrugs with 55 lbs. dumbbells. It was painful, but I also did three sets of eight reps of stiff-legged deadlifts. This lift really pounds your hamstrings, which is at least for my the weakest part of my legs. Really, I do it to strengthen my core. I will need those hamstrings on my 5K in January if I am going to hit my goals.

The Something in Your Stocking Contest

All I am saying is there are about fifteen people who are taking advantage of every entry every day. People are doing some great work at getting the word out about this contest and I appreciate all of the support. It definitely is very exciting and you guys are responding to this contest in a very positive way. Remember that when you leave a comment that since I moderate all comments to keep out the spam, your comment will not appear until it has been approved. An editorial note — I approve almost every comment, even those that do not agree with me. If a comment is obviously an effort to sell something, it will not be approved. All of those types of comments are generally created by bots, which none of you are. :) A robot would never find me funny or clever.

A Little About Me

I love to compete in cycling, running, and triathlon races. As much as I love to race, the training is what really turns me on. I also realize that this sport can be a very, very selfish sport. Regardless if you want to admit it or not, it does take time away from your family.

I have a brother who is in Basic Training with the U.S. Army. As a family, we are very proud of him. If you have been following this blog for a while, you know my brother Jake interned with my company all spring and summer before his enlistment date. I was able to train with Jake before he left and we were able to get closer with as much time as we spent together. He will go through the training he needs until he enters Ranger School. He is 10 years younger than I am and will finally be able to kick my butt.

I have always had a soft spot in my soul for the men and women of the U.S. military. I try and live my life without regrets, so if I feel I need to do something I will usually find a way to get business done. But one of the greatest regrets I have is not serving my country in the military. I am not a war mongerer not do I love violence, but it is just a feeling that I have always had nagging at me at the deepest levels. So I am especially proud of Jake right now.

The holidays are especially tough for those members of the military who are stationed away from their families. So, while today I am not really talking about training or race strategies, I am talking about life. If you know someone who is stationed overseas or who will not have leave, please sit down and write them a letter at least. Tell them how much you appreciate them. If you have a little more time and you haven’t spent all of your budget on gels or Enduralytes, send them a care package. Here is a free guide of what you should send and what you should avoid. If you don’t know anyone in the military, think about donating to a REPUTABLE 501(c)3 who sends packages to military personnel, like Operation Gratitude. Agree with the war effort or not, know that we owe these people more than we could ever repay.

In that vein, I am going to post one of my favorite videos from YouTube on this topic. It reminds me in a real way that real people — neighbors, friends, and yes family — are paying the ultimate price. Hug your family a little tighter tonight and next time you are training, remember those who are putting themselves in harms way daily.

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...