Given that my level of physical activity has been so long for too long, as I wrote about yesterday, I felt in need of a book to read that would inspire me to get motivated and pick up the pace, especially in light of a 25K trail race on my horizon in April.
The first book that came to mind was North by Scott Jurek. The first reason this book is an inspiration is that Scott Jurek himself is an inspiration. Just look at some of these accomplishments:
- Appalachian Trail Speed Record: 46 days, 8 hours, and 7 minutes: 2,189 miles – 2015
- U.S. record for 24-hour road run: 165.7 miles – 2010
- 7 x consecutive winner of the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run – 1999-2005
- 2 x consecutive winner of the 135 mile Badwater Ultramarathon – 2005, 2006
- 3 x consecutive winner Spartathlon 152 miles-Athens to Sparta, Greece – 2006-2008
That should be more than enough inspiration for any runner. Much more is listed on his website at www.scottjurek.com/about-scott.
The second reason that this book is an inspiration to me is due to my long connection with the Appalachian Trail. I remember dreaming about hiking the whole trail as a kid before I ever set foot on it. It’s still a dream, but in reality my experience of the trail is limited to several miles in New Jersey and Pennsylvania on either side of the Delaware Water Gap. Even so, there is a certain magic I feel when I’m on the Appalachian Trail, a sense that if I really wanted to, I could keep going for hundreds of miles in either direction. I remember when Scott ran the trail in 2015. I followed him on social media. I regretted not being able to be at the Delaware Water Gap when he crossed into New Jersey. I read North when it came out in 2018. I laughed. I wept. I ran more. I’m trusting it will have the same effect on me on my second read.
Read more of my Appalachian Trail related posts at this link.
A Sign from the Running Gods?
So, I pulled North of the shelf. How should I break down the pages to finish before the Hyner Challenge in April? What about a chapter per week starting tomorrow, Saturday, January 2? Let me check the number of chapters: 17. What is the date of the race? Saturday, April 24. Let’s see how many Saturdays there are between now and then. January 30 will be 5. February 27 will be 9. March 27 will be 13. April 24… race day… will be… 17! No way! 17 Saturdays! 17 chapters! Finishing the last chapter on the day of the race! Perfect!
God help me run!
Been a While
I haven’t run for a while. I was busy. Studying for another certification exam. And I’ve been experiencing a lower back problem which is causing numbness in my feet and left leg. Annoying.
But yesterday I just needed to get out there. My back wasn’t too bad. The numbness in my leg was minimal. I did feel some in my feet while I was running. It’s unnerving. (Pun intended.) But the run did me good, especially psychologically.
This was my first time using a new much brighter headlamp. My old one was only 200 lumens. That’s not enough for rocky leaf-covered trails at night. 200 lumens is only enough to get you safely downstairs to raid the cookie jar in the middle of the night.
THIS is much better!
I got out for a run today. It had been too long again. I hadn’t run since the first of the month. 29 days between runs is probably too long of a recovery period.
There’s a 3-mile trail loop 1 mile from my house. I can take a few streets through a nice neighborhood to run there. But running through those streets annoys me, bores me, demotivates me. So I’ve been driving the 1 mile over to the trail and parking my car on the street. I do the 3-mile loop and drive back home.
This is what I did yesterday and it felt so good. Aerobically it killed me for the first 15 minutes. But, man, it did my spirit a world of good! Three steps down that trail and I already felt the cares falling off my shoulders. You know it’s been too long since your last run when the feel of dirt under your feet brings happy tears to your eyes.
I need to get back to more regular running. I still have big running goals to achieve. Today I’m just happy to have gotten a few miles in.
Hat tip to Lynyrd Skynyrd from whom I’ve stolen the title for this post.
I went for a run at Mahlon Dickerson Reservation this morning. It had been a long time since I had last been there. I was impressed by the changing scenery in the woods. The scenery is ever going through its cycles. But when I don’t get out there for a lengthy period of time, the changes are stand in stark contrast to what I last remembered seeing. The temperature was in the high 60s. The humidity was low. It was a perfect morning for running.