I’ve been thinking about this next challenge for a while and decided it was time to put it out there and commit. Let me get right to the point.
On June 23, 2013 I will turn 60. That day I will run 60 miles in celebration of life in general. I am calling the event 60 on 60. My planning is still in its infancy, but I have about 11 months to go and I will need most of that to get ready.
Here are the weapons of choice. They may be modified and updated as time goes on, but these are the go to items.
There are a number of reasons, but first is that I want to run an ultramarathon next year. It has been part of my goal ever since I transitioned to minimalist style. I’ve run two marathons and have another planned in October of this year. After reading so much about the human as distance runner, I decided that I wanted to see just how far I can go. It is as much about curiosity as it is about running. Curiosity about the pain and running through it.
The second reason is that I want to give something back. I’ve never been big at running for donations, although I often contribute to those who do so. It is time to change that. I will be doing this on behalf of The Hole in the Wall Gang. This organization was started by Paul Newman and is dedicated to giving kids with debilitating and life threatening diseases some time to just be kids. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my ability to run than to support helping kids have fun.
Why a Year Away?
I has taken me about 9 months to get to a feel of comfort in minimalist form. Not just the running form, but the muscles relaxed and adapted so that I can run in the double digits in comfort. Remember, I’ve been running since 1967 when I was a freshman in high school. For those first years it was in flats and basketball shoes, then I converted to elevated, heel cushioned, high tech shoes and ran in those for 30+ years. My muscles need time to adapt and I figure it will take about another 9 months to really get there. Once that happens, I’ll be staged to make the big run.
What do you need from us?
See how I cleverly got you volunteered! Sure, I would definitely appreciate any donations to the cause. I am working with the Hole in the Wall organization to set up a website. Since it is a year away, I’ll be reminding people more after the new tax year, but I wanted to put a stake in the ground now.
Donations are only part of it.
I want you to run with me. Make it a virtual run. I’ve started to outline some rules and will formalize them and post them as part of this blog. Here are some of the key rules for right now:
1) Have Fun. This is not a workout or a race. The run on this day can be as fast as you want, but has to be done with a light heart and a smile. I want you all to celebrate the fact that you can run. Remember what it was like to be a kid and just take off and have fun? Do something unusual. Drag your kids along with you and re-discover how to have fun with them. Exercise, but enjoy it.
2) Keep to the Numbers. 6-23 is my birth date. All of your runs should be a distance that is related to 6, 2,or 3. You can run 6 miles, .2 miles, .3 kilometers, 300 feet, or 18 miles (3 times 6). Plot it out. Try something new. Make it as hard or easy as you want, but keep rule #1 in play at all times.
3) Carpe Diem. The weather in New England can be pretty fickle that time of year. I will run the 60 miles in one 24 hour day, but it may not actually be on 6/23 because of weather. I will finalize the day a week or so ahead of the run. I’m looking for lower heat and humidity. This is not part of an organized run, so I have the luxury of being able to adjust as needed. It would be great if you could all hit your run on the same day, but I understand how life can be. You have plus or minus 1 week to be able to meet your commitment. I am going to set up a chart for you to register in and we can track the number of miles that get run that day.
4) Test Yourself. I am realizing that our bodies can take a lot more than we think. There are some trains of thought that think we lose health benefits if we don’t task ourselves. We evolved to work hard. It was all survival. That work included distance running. Use this as a chance to do something you haven’t tried to do. I’m not asking anyone to do go off the deep end. Have a serious look inside and set a goal that might be a stretch for you. Keep it to yourself or broadcast it here, but find your inner runner. BUT, have fun while you do it. I’d rather you back off and enjoy than stretch and hate every step.
5) Beer. Yes, beer is good food and in keeping with the celebratory mode I will drink a six pack during the run. It will have good carbs and the alcohol will burn off in a few minutes of running. I’ll probably need the anesthetic effect by mile 40 anyway!
More to Come
I have a number of tasks and todo’s that I am working on. A good friend has offered to help me come up with a logo. I’ll use that to create badges for your web pages if you commit to the fun run.
In the town I live, there are a number of loops I will run. There are 3, 6 and 18 miles versions, and some others that I will have to manage. I’m not going to be anal about the exact mileage of a loop, but they will be close to the 2, 3, 6 format. I may throw in some trails, but most of my routes are on road surfaces. My home will be the anchor so I can eat and refresh between loops.
Web pages, twitter accounts, FB pages. All of that will be coming. It’s just me doing this, which is how I want it, but it will take a while. I do have a day job and I need to keep u with my writing.
Speaking of writing. One of the reasons I am making this announcement now is that I signed up with Booktrope to publish my current book, SYN:FIN, and its follow on novel, that is in first edit. Booktrope focuses on indie authors and has developed a unique business model that will be the future of publication. I am honored and excited about the opportunity to be part of the Booktrope team.
When I thought of doing this run I told myself that if I got the contract with Booktrope, then I would make the announcement. Well, I can’t back out now. That is also one go the other reasons for making the announcement now. There is no backing out.
Going forward this journal will still cover my ongoing transition and discovery. I will also add updates on the 60 on 60.
Thanks, in advance, for your fantastic support and commitment.
Run always! Run free!