Friday, September 19, 2008

Ultra Marathon Man

I can remember it like it was yesterday. It was the summer of 2006, Anthony and I were living in New York and he was working 13 hour days Monday through Saturday. It was six months into our marriage and to keep myself from missing him so much, I got a fun little waitress job. I was making good money yet still only working barely over part-time. That left a lot of extra time to miss my husband, so I took up reading. I remember going to the second hand thrift store and loading up on books at a dollar each. When that got old (after like a week) I started going to Barnes and Nobel and reading books in the store. I came across this book called Ultra Marathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner. By Dean Karnazes. It looked interesting so I decided this one was worth buying (thank goodness for paperback!)

After reading the first chapter I was hooked. This guys was amazing! One night he decided he needed to turn his life around, so he ran all night and never looked back. I would definately recomend this book to anyone. Even those who have vowed never to take a running step in their life, I promise this book will inspire you in most aspects of your life.

I'm sure you are all familiar with the "I can do it too" Phenomenon, with it's peak season being the Olympic Games. Let me give you an example. You are watching Dara Torres or Michale Phelps do thier thing and these little thoughts keep creeping into your mind: "If they can do it I should be able to do it," "She is 41 years old, he is just a normal guy." And then you start devising a plan of how you will be competing in the next Olympics, starting with #1. learn how to swim. I know we have all been there. For me, the I can do it too phenomenon is more than just that, it's a disease. One that I have to battle daily! So about 10 pages into this book I laced up my running shoes and decided to start training for a marathon. Yet another thing to keep me from missing my perfect husband during the day.

The first run of my traing went well I ran for about 20 minutes. Being only a casual runner up until this point, I thought that was pretty good. Then I started getting to part in the book where it talks about Dean's experince, including numerous Ultra Marathons.

Ultra Marathon: Any running event lasting longer the then a marathon which is 26.2 miles. The most typical distances being 50 miles and 100 miles.

Oh but Dean didn't stop there. He also competed in many multi-day events, some lasting two or three days. (In other words he would run non-stop for 72 hours). Suddenly my 20 minutes didn't seem like something to feel "pretty good" about. So I tried to go longer. I made it to about 35 minutes and started feeling the burn. I continued to push myself for the next couple weeks. I was running for 45 minutes pretty easlily, but was scared to get close to an hour. I mean an hour of running!!! who does that?? Before you know it I had finished the book, started to forget about it and our lives moved New Jersey. And I missed Long Island!Mainly because we had this nice little trail that looped around our apartment complex that was about three quarters of a mile. This made running easy. In New Jersey, we had nothing of the sort. So I moved my runnng inside to a treadmill. (I would like to see you try to run on the streets of Hackensack...YIKES!) This ultimately got too boring and somehow made me forget about my goal of running a marathon. life continued for the next two years. So that is my story of how I almost started training for a Marathon.

Until May 2008. I entered a commitment with my good friend Susie to run a marathon in Logan. We signed up, started training and in 22 hours I will be running my first marathon. I rememeber thinking that my first six mile run at the beginning of the summer was soooo long! but I kept picking away at the milage and following the training program that I had chosen. I adjusted my diet and other small things that allowed me to run better and longer, and before I knew it I had finished my last long training run of the summer which was 19 miles. I can't believe how far I have come! I am a little nervouse because during the last 5 minutes of that long run I had shooting pain in my foot. For the last three weeks I have been contemplating running the marathon. My foot is uncomfortable to walk on and very painful to run on. The more agitated it gets the more it hurts! Is this really happening to me??? I get so close and this is what I get?? What amI going to do??? So I leave it up to the docotor.

jessica:"so doc, if I run this marathon will it cause long term damage to my foot??"

doc: "it shouldn't cause long term damage as long is you let it fully recover after your marathon, but I will tell you this. It will hurt like hell." ( ok I don't want to sully the name of the good BYU doctors so he didn't really say H-E-double hockey sticks, I added that for dramatic effect)

As soon as I heard no long term damge I was good to go. But negative thoughts kept nagging at me. "Will I really have the mental strength to run through the pain??" This is where my good friend Dean comes back into my life. Yesterday I decided to give him another chance. I caught up with him on his blog, discovering his endevor of running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days. (which was completed at the end of '06) Reading about him and his new accpomlishments has renewed my inspiration. Even though this new foot problem has switched my focus of the race tomorrow from running it under 4.5 hours to just finishing, I am still excited. If Dean can run 50 marathons in 50 days then I can run one marathon with a little foot pain. I will finish the race tomorrow, even if I have to hobble accross.

Thanks Dean!

For more information about Dean's Endurance 50 gohere:

For every reace he blogs about his experience. His Idaho post is really awsome! It is near the bottom of the page.

Here is Deans site if you just want to know a little more:

Wish me luck!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Rodebush Boys' Fishing Trip

Anthony's brother Greg came in from New Jersey a couple of weeks ago. The boys took this chance to spend some quality time together on a fishing trip in Colorado. The morning they left they lined up for their mug shots.

Once they hiked down the 2000 ft vertical Black Canyon, everyone set up their tents....except Anthony. This wasn't because he was unprepared. Those of you who know him well won't be surprised to hear that Anthony built his own shelter. As you can see, his shelter is made from a supple bed of reeds, a wind thwarting wall of rocks and an intricate covering of woven foliage. Other tent dwellers must have been jealous.
The hike down to the Gunnison River was entirely underestimated. This picture was taken at the trail head after a six hour hike virtually strait up! (Can you believe that they are all still so good looking after all that hiking?!)They were so tired and sore! Even though they had a blast, they were so happy and relieved that it was over. They immediately headed to the local steakhouse to pig-out. Look at Anthony's shoulders, can you tell that he was wearing a 50 lb. pack?
It was great to have Greg in town. We don't get to see him enough. Next time we look forward to seeing both Greg and his beautiful wife Kristen!