It was a busy week in our house. We are an interfaith family, Jewish and Methodist. Palm Sunday and Passover (and my 39th bday) packed together. We are cooking, preparing, and working in two soccer games this weekend. But.......this was the Sunday I was going to run alongside Dean Karnazes, The Ultramarathon Man. If you read my post a few months ago, you know Dean is running across the United States to raise money and awareness for Action for Healthy Kids, an organization devoted to kids' health and undernourishment in our country and specifically in our schools. So this was right in my wheelhouse!!!
My busy weekend was interrupted by a 5:15 a.m alarm clock for a chance to meet this guy who I have read about, followed on Twitter, and have admired not only for his incredible physical and emotional strength, but because about the manner by which he goes about it. Here's a guy who has run a marathon at the South Pole! Here's a guy who has finished in the Top 5 at the Badwater Ultramarathon, a grueling 135 miles through Death Valley culminating at Mount Whitney....IN JULY! (you must read about this race!) Here's a guy who has run 50 marathons in 50 days across 50 states!
This guy is pretty unbelievable. And here's a guy who is inspiring people to move more and eat well. I can't argue with that. Here's a short clip about he is.....
So yesterday, my life long friend, Randy and I took off to run 2.5 miles around the Indianapolis Speedway with Dean as he passed through town. He got here the day before after a 40 mile day, woke up at 5:15 a.m. to run 2.5 with Randy and me and roughly 300 others on a 35 degree Palm Sunday morning.
Here's a few moments from yesterday....
The world famous speedway pagoda with Dean's transportation services.
Dean's crew in one of his two custom buses. (Kelly Ripa was not there!) :(
Grumpy and cold Good Morning America production guys. We were on live!
My only close up of Dean to get an idea of how small his is and how fit he looks!
Dean finishing up. I beat him! Ha!
So what this guy does in incomprehensible to the vast majority of the population, but I see this guy as an opportunity to learn more about my own health and fitness which is what I believe he is all about. While some would view Dean Karnazes as egotistical, I choose to see him as something else: humble, incredible, inspiring, and real.
Some observations from my experience:
1. This guy eats 8,000 to 10,000 calories PER DAY when he is doing this stuff. And he is a tiny and incredibly ripped/athletic man. Proof in the pudding that you are what you eat!
2. He does not worry about pacing with this kind of experience. His goal is to finish. He said, "As long as I am moving forward, I don't care if I'm doing a 9 minute or 12 minute mile." Something to consider in my own training whether it running, Crossfit, a sprint triathlon, or swimming.
3. This guy has major sponsors, Live with Regis and Kelly, books, a team of doctors, nutritionists, a sport psychologist, two running buddies, and much more following him. He was interviewed live in front of us on Good Morning America. With all of this, he still stopped to not only sign autographs, but look people in the eye, smile, talk, engage in conversation, ask questions of complete strangers, cheer on others, and just exude an incredible positive energy while being real about it. After all, he puts his shoes on the same way you and I do every morning. This energy was contagious and something I think is often overlooked by many. While a produced piece of media, I think this video demonstrates this about Karnazes very well...
4. This experience rekindled my desire to continue running, something I've put on the back burner since discovering Crossfit. I've put a goal out there before to run a sub two hour half marathon, and running around the world famous oval today with a life long friend may have lit that spark again.
5. Patience is a tough concept. Thinking about what Karnazes does in order to better me is tough given what his body is capable of versus mine. However, I believe the principles he follows can comparatively transfer to my life or anyone's for that matter. My point? I need to be patient with my training, my expectations, and my overall fitness goals. There should be no rush to achieve as long as I'm doing the same thing Dean is doing on his run across America:
Just keep moving forward!!!