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Penguins atop an iceberg

Penguins atop an iceberg

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about icebergs.  Why? It seems very strange to think of icebergs in the summer in a part of the country where icebergs would melt immediately. But I’m really starting to wonder and question how much unexplored athletic territory as an athlete that I have. Have you ever wondered about this, asking yourself how far can you go as an athlete? What is my maximum capacity as a runner and as an athlete? Could I actually run an ultramarathon and finish it? Or is it better to stick with marathons and shorter races? I used to think marathons were my maximum but am beginning to seriously question that. I seem to have a lot of energy or “gas in the tank” at the end of my runs and that really makes me wonder whether I have peaked as a runner yet. Sometimes we push ourselves to accomplish certain things like finishing a marathon and find we reach new frontiers and unexplored horizons.

Have you noticed that there is so much iceberg underneath the water with the surface of an iceberg? The area below the surface is like our uncharted waters as athletes. We don’t know how far we can go in life (or as athletes) unless we try (or dive underwater to observe iceberg depth unless you are going to calculate it mathematically).  Notice that icebergs are very fragile and can be sometimes broken easily. We are like that, too. Runners and athletes are very susceptible to injuries that throw us off course (or life slows us down in other ways). But we bounce back quickly from adversity after wrestling with it for a while.

Today was my 21st consecutive day of running: the summer run streaks continue (my own and the Runner’s World Summer Run Streak challenge). Strangely and unexpectedly, I find the daily run streaking is vastly increasing my strong, obsessive desire to run. Minimally, I want to carry the streak to July 4. If possible, I’d love to extend it to Labor Day and beyond. Meanwhile, I find myself competing in a summer running competition online with some folks through the Sonic Boom challenge that my wife’s employer runs (keeps you healthy & cuts your insurance rates). I made the mistake of warning the leader of the summer running competition: “I’m chasing you, red leader” and cued the Star Wars music as a joke (he chose the color red so I couldn’t resist-remember Red and Gold Leaders in Star Wars?). Oops! Now the leader takes off at “warp speed” after laughing at my joke! (I know, it’s so wrong to blend Star Wars with Star Trek concepts, right? Or is it?). So I’m going to chase him in a tactical, strategic manner for 66 more days and try to win. I’m finding that although this competition was described as “friendly” by the leader who set it up, somehow the top 4 of us are very competitive runners and don’t like to lose so it has become “competitive”. It’s may take a herculean effort to catch this runner and hold him off that long because he runs a lot. (He’s one of the co-organizers of the Lincoln Marathon.)  Probably more than I do…or did previously. So into hyperspace we go! The race is on!

Yoda with his famous saying: "Do or Do Not. There is No Try."

Yoda with his famous saying: “Do or Do Not. There is No Try.”

May the “running force” be with you! With running love, Jeremy