I see the world as a big neighborhood.
When you lose the feeling that traveling from one coast to the other is not unusual, but ordinary, your perception of our nation becomes…..that it is almost small. In any given week, I will spend time in 2-3 of the time zones, except when I go to Arizona, because they don’t believe in the whole daylight savings thing and it completely messes up my TV viewing…. when is the 6 o’clock news on…..7 o’clock!
I have often said that there are times I feel like you could use a passport as you travel the U.S.A. Leaving the Mid-West and traveling to either coast can be a culture shock if you are new to those areas and of course there is always Texas. Texas wants no part of the title Midwest, Southwest, or West, Texas has its own identity and really good food.
How does this all play in to an article about running? Because over the last 15 years I have traveled on average 150 nights a year and in the last 6 years – that travel has included my running. There was a time that my night ended at the hotel, with extensive snacking, sodas and laying around. Those days are gone, the hotel room is now, no more than a launching pad to whatever run is on the schedule for that night. I have run in all parts of this country, Central Park in New York, Miami Beach, Lubbock Texas, Hiram GA, Lacey WA, Sunnyvale CA, Peoria, AZ, Boulder, CO and there is a great story about Gillette, Wyoming, the list could just keep on going.
But it was a short run in 2011 that I allowed the title of Runner to be connected to my name. I wrote about it one time years ago and it happened in a town named Kearney, Nebraska. I was early into my running and still was trying to figure out what the heck I was doing. I awoke very early in the morning with a 3 mile run planned and it was pouring rain outside. I sat on the edge of my bed in the dark having that all too familiar fight with myself, that all runners have, trying to convince myself that I needed to get out there and run. (The argument was not internal, but out loud and I am sure the room next to me thought I was crazy). I did run that day, in the pouring rain and cold wind blowing, and I loved every moment of it. I got back to my room, which was still dark, and I was on cloud nine. I had no idea what was going on, but I felt like the king of running that morning and I couldn’t stop telling everybody that I came in contact with that day. The server at the restaurant, got a 10-minute breakdown of the run before I ordered my lunch, the young guy I was training had a full day of me giving him a second by second recap of the that epic 3 mile run. I would later learn that I was seriously hopped up on endorphins and the cashier at the gas station did not care about the negative splits that occurred during the run…she said she didn’t care…. twice.Time has passed and there have been epic runs and epic failure runs, but what is consistent is the joy of running all over this country. I have seen downtown L.A. like you can’t see in a car and felt the serenity of western Iowa’s peaceful countryside. I’ve run the trail that halfway circles Lake Murray outside of San Diego, not forgetting to punch the red dot on the sign at the turn around. Took off for a run in Flagstaff, Arizona and wondered why I was out of breath so quick, only to find out I was higher up in the air than even Denver. By the way, I may have looked ridiculous gasping for breath in the hotel parking lot. Circled the town of Key West, enjoying the beautiful scenery of the ocean, making sure to reward myself with a pancakes from the Blue Heaven Restaurant, and then Key Lime pie. (it’s ok, I earned it) I once went for a run in Ashville, NC. It was to be a simple 3 miler, but sometime into the run, my contact popped out of my eye, I could not see signs or my Google maps and well…..to make a long story short. I ran 10 miles that night and here is a fact, Asheville has got some hills.
This is an introductory article to what I plan on sharing with you all. It will be stories of this amazing country seen from my running shoes. I have met so many people in my travels and their stories are interesting, sad, and funny. I have had skunks chase me (Nashville) and Grandmas high5 me as I finished a run (Utah). I have gotten lost (more than once) and ended up in a race by accident (Central Park). Running has challenged me, helped me find my competitive edge again, and allowed me to experience our country (and maybe a Caribbean Island or two). I want to encourage you all to do the same. Stories are coming, but for now why don’t you go for a run and experience your own story?
Tags: #WhyIRun, 10K, 26.2, 5K, Breast Cancer Marathon, confidence, connection, encouragement, goals, reasons to run, reflections, runHARD, training
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There was a pounding in my head each time my shoe hit the asphalt.
I already knew that the wheels were coming off and as the 16th mile marker came into eyesight, my spirits slowly drained through the pores of my skin leaving me with the hollow feeling of defeat. My mile time hadn’t decreased yet, I was still on goal pace…….. but I KNEW.
19 weeks of training had been a great teacher. It had brought me closer to my body and understanding how it would react under just about any situation during the run. So although the times were still good, and a smile was still on my face for each photographer, under it ALL was the heart of a defeated man. The miles droned on and my mile 16 prediction of disaster began to show it’s true self as I passed mile 19.
It was a small crack in the armor but focus was disturbed. The effort to remain at pace went from “marathon uncomfortable hard” (which those that choose to run 138,336 feet have prepared for and already accepted), this was not the “beautiful pain” of the marathon, it was just wrong. I went deep inside for a little while, I played out every day of training, a cycle of training where I only had missed one run the entire 19 weeks. It wasn’t making sense, why was this so hard? This wasn’t my FIRST marathon, it was number 14 for goodness sakes. How could I still be this bad at running 26.2 miles? What did I do wrong this time?
My thoughts pounded in my head and became the harmony to the melodic sound my feet made as I continued on. But now the music had gone from a song with energy, to a slow jam that would have made Luther Vandross proud to sing over. I was rewinding back to mile 13 where it was simply a party in my head. Math was still coming easy at that time and I was laying out the game plan for how this run was going to end.
In my head……..
- Mile 21 was going to be the jump off point, I was going to find a gear that was going to propel me to the finish line and straight to the pancake buffet, where my medal was sure to be admired by all
- My 21 mile warm up was just a prelude to the real story of this race, the EPIC FINISH. None of this played out in that way, I passed the 21-mile marker and there was no gear to be found, in fact I down shifted to a gear that was both painful and sad
There is so much talk about THE WALL, but when you hit it and I mean really smack your face against it, you are instantly humbled. So here I was shuffling along, having those thoughts about how much I love 5K’s and how I loathe this race of 26.2 miles. I dug out my phone and turned it on to call my wife.
- By mile 22, I should have already crossed the finish line and I did not want her staring down the road, wondering if the next person to turn the corner was going to be me, because I was not turning that corner. I was still fighting one difficult step after the next. So many thoughts rush through your delirious brain at the end of a marathon, but it is so hard to keep them in order so that they make sense.
Think of a word jumble, you see all the letters but you have to concentrate and search in order for the letters to form a word. Experience has taught me to just focus on something simple in order to just get me to the finish line. I chose to focus on my yellow shoes and the design they made in my blurred vision as I took each step. Over and over I watched my shoes until I started to realize something was different, I was sure it was a snake on my shoe, nope…….it was just untied. I slowed to a stop and just stared at the untied shoe, stared like a man who knew what needed to be done, but had no idea how it was going to get done. My foot was so far away and I was scared if I knelt to tie the shoe, because there was no way I could bend over and do it, that I wouldn’t get back up. So right there on the course, I performed some kind of Yoga maneuver, one we will call “Tall Bald Guy Shoe Tie” and tied my shoe, I high 5’d myself.
By mile 23.5, I shuffled on and a ball of energy headed right towards me. My son ran up to me and looked me in the eyes and told me that he was going to finish this run with me. I was excited, happy and revitalized. I showed all of this emotion with a really exaggerated nod of my head, and a grunt, maybe a smile.
We ran that last 2.5 miles together, he never stopped talking, he used sayings and slogans that I have yelled at him as he runs his Cross Country races, he talked to me about the highlights of his homecoming dance, and I am pretty sure we talked about how bad I was looking. The music had changed again, to a comforting melody that didn’t pump me up, but left me relaxed and resigned that I was going to finish, let’s call it a “smooth jazz finish”.
He left me just before the finish line, and I crossed with hands raised as I am sure the winner had done. My wife met me as I crumbled to the ground, reflecting on what I considered a failure, but she just looked at me and asked “What did you learn?” and promised that I was still getting pancakes.
I will run again…I am a runner.
Tags: 26.2, Breast Cancer Marathon, confidence, encouragement, finish, frustration, goals, marathon, race, reflections, runHARD, runners, running, struggle
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It was an evening run with no headphones, I needed to concentrate. I looked at the path winding away from me and took a long slow breath before setting off. The air was muggy and heavy, but the sun was sinking slowly behind the trees, and cooling off of the evening had begun. I started down the path to do my warm up before tackling the scheduled 8x600meter speed-work. I did not have the luxury of a well-marked track to run on, so I marked the path with big rocks and branches, this marked where the interval ended and the joy of the recovery run began. I know that I could have glanced down at my Garmin to let me know when each part began and ended, but in the midst of speed-work, I cannot do math, I cannot figure out anything with decimals and a big rock that signifies STOP, works better than numbers….so BIG rocks and branches is what was used. I ran my warmup out and turned and ran back to my vehicle where I had a towel and water stashed ready to help me recover after each set of 2 intervals. (Out and back) I will post the splits below, but there was something I found funny, and although I was in pain, I could be seen laughing as I ran.
Like I stated before, I was doing and out and back, 600 meters is roughly .37 miles and my recovery was .25 miles which equals .62 miles. (I can do math now, I am sitting on an airplane writing this….and I have the calculator on my phone right next me) As I began my first interval out, I passed a young couple on bicycles, with little people strapped in seats behind them. They were barely moving, frankly I don’t know how they were staying upright and I blazed right passed them. I crushed that first interval, passed that big rock that said slow down and completed my recovery. I then turned around and started interval #2. There was a blind corner on this path and I was at a full gallop when I turned that corner. I used the skills of a ninja and Jell-O to miss the same family on the bikes. They had stopped to smell the flowers, or look at the sunset, or something, but what they almost received was me wrapped around the spokes. I gave a wave to the little kids, never missing a stride and continued to the pile of sticks that told me to slow down. I found my water, took a breath, and toed the line for intervals #3 & #4. Now dusk was setting in and sweat was in my eyes, but I was ready this time and when I saw the happy little family, I was ready. This time the kids must have wanted to change which parent they were riding with and this full scale procedure was happening right in front of me. I made a choice to go right and commit to it, just like Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder, I put the throttle down and trusted that everyone would clear by the time I got there, and they did. Yes, they cleared, but it involved me finding my inner hurdler. The interval was done, the rock said “slow down” and recovery was underway. By this time, I think they thought I was stalking them and they moved on to find other areas to explore, but my speed-work continued.
#5 and #6 were done without any major incidents, except for me getting lost in thought and almost missing the big rock, it was a BIG rock. I toweled the sweat from eyes and told myself that I had only one more set to do. I complain a lot about speed-work, I think about it during the day, I construct amazing excuses of why I should maybe just make it an easy run, or better yet, stay in the hotel room and watch TV. Then, just as clichéd as it sounds, I fight through the exhaustion and pain, I count down the miles till the light at the end of the tunnel changes from a train coming right at me, to the Finish Line that is welcoming me to cross it. This night was no different, and now I pounded down the path, intent on crushing these last two intervals. #7 was a total victory, I slowed at the rocks, hit my split time and felt strong. Taking a deep breath at the turn around, I cruised to the pace that was called for and rounded the blind turn and I WAS FLYING, when there next to the path, tail in the air, and from what I could gather in that millisecond, in a bad mood….SKUNK. Now, basically this is how this goes, if you look at the graph of my speed from this workout, there is no doubt you could find the exact moment that I passed Pepe’ Le Pew. I once was told that every runner has 6-8 seconds of acceleration in them, no matter their level of exhaustion. I used all 8 seconds, and Usain Bolt had nothing on me for that brief span of time.
Intervals were over, the cool down had been completed and I sat on the ground drinking my water and chocolate milk, all the while keeping an eye out for Pepe’. I sat there with a sense of satisfaction that only runners really understand. No one made me go out there and run. The Hanson Brothers were not sitting in Michigan, wondering if a guy named Reist was going to live up to his obligation he had written down on a piece of paper months ago. I was compelled to go a push myself, because I am runner. I find strength in my exhaustion, satisfaction in my accomplishments, and my level of determination rises with each run I finish. I am on a quest for an epic run, I will find that run when I bury the excuses and embrace the work. – Reist Mummau
Location – Murfreesboro, TN
Date – June 16, 2015
Warm Up – 1.51 miles 8:58 pace
Interval – 5.03 miles (400 meter recovery included)
1 – 2:26.4 0.37 6:38
2 – 2:29.1 0.37 6:40
3 – 2:26.8 0.37 6:37
4 – 2:27.0 0.37 6:36
5 – 2:23.7 0.36 6:37
6 – 2:25.4 0.37 6:37
7 – 2:22.0 0.37 6:28
8 – 2:18.9 0.37 6:13 (Skunk Interval)
Cool Down – 2.54 miles 9:20 pace
Total Miles – 9.08 miles
GoRun – BeEpic
Tags: #WhyIRun, 10K, 26.2, 5K, Breast Cancer Marathon, confidence, encouragement, finish, frustration, goals, marathon, motivation, mummau, overcome, race, runHARD, runners, running, strength, struggle, train, training
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Training 2.3 – The “Rest Day”
Date – 6/10/2015
Runners always get asked how and when they started running and there answer almost always starts with, “I never thought I would be a runner”. I am no different, but how I started was a bit stupid, I was a bit stupid.
In 2010 my sister in law up and decides she is going to run a marathon in honor of her mother, who has beat breast cancer twice, at the 26.2 with Donna Marathon in Jacksonville, FL. When she finished this race, she was very clear to challenge her unsupportive brother in law (me) to try and run a marathon. I accepted the challenge and then I didn’t train very well and when I stood at the start line in my cotton socks, no band-aids and never having run more than 8 miles, I figured I was ready.
Here are some things that happen to an unprepared marathoner:
-You don’t eat or drink because you are afraid to stop and use the porta-john (as if time was an issue!)
-You are confused why people keep offering you Vaseline; I figured it out in the shower later.
-I started with a banged up foot, I ended up with 2 displaced fractures and a broken toe, Nice.
-Medics followed me from mile 23 begging me to quit and when I finished, they put me in a wheelchair while calling me names. (Deservingly so)
But guess what, I was hooked. I finished in 5:43:44 and I made the loud proclamation that I would be back and I would break 4 hours. I subscribed to Runners World, I went to the running store and got the correct shoes, I trained my butt off, and I was doing it right this time. And when I returned one year later, I ran 3:59:10.
p 2012 Finish 3:59:I knew I had found something that drove me to set goals and then work to accomplish them.
I have run 10 marathons up to this point and my desire for the finish-line never wanes. What I didn’t know was, what an unbelievable community that we as runners are a part of and I wanted to try and make it better. I travel over 200 nights a year all over the U.S. and I get to run in so many different states and towns. I have been able to see all types of runners, fast, slow, big, or small and they all have one thing in common, they run. I am part of a community that survives on support from others. I started a page for my family as we all started running, to help encourage each other and at times talk a little smack. That page has grown into something I could have never imagined and it is so inspiring. Runners that I will never meet find and give encouragement through the page. Nobody cares who’s fast or how far they run, because all runners deserve a high-five! The page name came from my wife as I ran that first marathon. She stood on that course all day and found me at so many mile markers and screamed “Run Hard, I know you will Finish.” She believed in me and I figured I better believe in myself, so I finished.
What drives me to run? I want so badly to qualify for Boston. My marathon PR is 3:41:42 and my qualifying time is 3:25:00. It seems like a stretch, but I believe I can do it. So I keep pushing and I keep running. I run because I want to encourage others to keep fighting. I want everyone to experience the finish line at least one time. It can be that one time that sparks a fire. Running has shown me that I am tough and that I have a little bit of awesome inside me; I just need to believe it.
Quotes that help me:
Let effort, not speed define you as a runner.
You are STRONGER than you know.
The “Rest Day” is done
Tags: #WhyIRun, 10K, 26.2, 5K, Breast Cancer Marathon, confidence, encouragement, family, finish, frustration, goals, marathon, motivation, mummau, overcome, pain, reasons to run, reflections, reist, rest day, run, runHARD, runner log, runners, running, speed, strength, struggle, train, training
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Here is the quick version of my completing the 26.2 with Donna National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer and doing it in a PR Time. The following is my TimeLine starting with last years marathon.
2/13/11 – Finish 2011 26.2 with Donna National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer with a time of 5;43:48.
3/11 – Find out I have a broken foot and doctor places my foot in a boot
5 months of NOTHING
8/14/11 – Begin training with a 1.82mile run in which I declare that “I am dying!!’
10/11 – Proclaim that I am going to run the marathon in 3:59:59, which I believed I noticed a few rolled eyes
11/11 – PF and Shin Splints grrrr
12/11 – Went on a cruise ran on the beach in St. Maarten, Virgin Islands cool
1/12 – Started freaking out because the marathon was a month away.
1/12 – Introduced to the term TAPER
2/11/12 – Pick up my packet bib #995
2/12/12 – Race Day
- Mile 1 – can not get to 4 hr pace group due to my taking to long in portajohn and the masses of people
- Mile 3 – catch 4 hr pace group
- Mile 6 – running on the beach feeling strong
- Mile 13 – Halfway and no issues
- Mile 14 – Issue PF begins to ache – Vitiamin I to the rescue
- Mile 20 – Still on Pace
- Mile 22 – This was my mile – I bonked in a training run at this mile, last year even though I basically was walking, I went into the fetal position at this mile. Today I killed the 22nd mile!
- Mile 25 – Left my pace group in order to try and accomplish my goal
- Mile 25.8 – Leg cramps (forgot my last Chomps allotment) pushed through them
- Mile 26.1 – Family is going crazy, in the picture above that is my boy flying out of the stands on the left.
- Mile 26.2 – 3:59:10pr
500+ miles of training
PF and Shin Splints
Learning that running Long Runs slow is the correct thing to do
Encouragment from my family and friends
Excited that my wife, brother, and sister ran the Half – my son, sister in law, and niece ran the 5k – my 2 nieces and nephew ran the 1 mile fun run. All of this on the same weekend as I ran the full. All of them were at the finish line screaming for me.
I did it, sub 4hr for a Clydesdale.
Run Hard – Always Finish
Tags: 26.2, Breast Cancer Marathon, marathon, reasons to run
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