Sunday, December 28, 2014

Reflections aren't just for ponds and mirrors

Christmas Eve would have been my dad's 66th birthday. He's been dead just over 14 years now and out of my life for another 12ish before that. I visit his grave every year on his birthday and the anniversary of his death in the end of October. I don't remember a whole lot of him, but he cared. There are stories. He was quick to laugh and he was quick to help a friend in need, great electrician and voracious reader. He was also a heavy drinker and would sometimes punctuate talks with my mom with his hands...also, liked gambling...especially the horses, which is why I dislike those majestic animals. In another time he may have been diagnosed a manic depressive or bi-polar, but he wasn't somebody to get help so he was just recognized as a blue collar guy that drank too much, lived life exactly how he wanted and was given a pass sometimes becauses he was a medic in Vietnam and saw things nobody should.

For a long time I didn't know what to make of both sides, but as I grew older I've learned to appreciate and try to forgive. I learned what a man is and what one isn't from him...or the lack of him. I understand that he did the best he could, but some people have a different path that is full of bumps and inner struggles that aren't easy.

Anyway, I hope he's found peace wherever he is and can look down with some sort of pride on who I've become and what I hope to grow into.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

I Shall See the Beauty and Run Through It

I got the wonderful news that I was accepted through the lottery and will be running the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in April. I love this race! It will be my third time doing it and I'm so excited. Washington is a great city with such beauty and culture. The race is well-organized with a superb course and supportive volunteers.

Also, I think it's great to have a goal race again. It's no secret I've lost some motivation along the way the last few years and while still running and training it wasn't with the same vigor. So here's to the future and personal growth!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Howdy Howdy Howdy

It's been a few months since I last posted. Life got in the way as it does sometimes. Been looking for a new job and working a few part-time ones in the interim. Also, had a few dates, read some books tried some good brews...mostly just tried to get by.

I've still been training, but mostly weights and gym stuff. I still ran when I wanted to, or as needed for wear tests, and I still biked as I wanted to, or needed to for wear tests, but mostly lots of strength building.

I honestly didn't realize how much running and the confidence that came with it was tied to my marriage. I really just started doing distance races as a way to entertain myself when my ex-wife had roller derby things. It took some serious reflection to realize part of what was making the long runs so hard was that they were drudging up subconscious memories. Well, I've started trying to address that and developing a race plan for next year. Unfortunately, my finances are going to limit race entries and travel, but that's just that much more motivation to make the ones I do count!

Until next time...all the best.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Simple, honest truths

I learned/realized a long time ago I'm not a good runner. A 7:4ish mile mid 5k won't change the world and 9:16 mile mid-half won't either. I did it to prove I could. An overweight, asthmatic, could work toward and conquer what they thought they never could. Ironically, along the way I found many sympathetic friends and a ridiculous amount of running knowledge.

I told my friend the other week I quit. No more running. No mas. I wasn't totally truthful. Since the bug hit me, I can't give it up. I found peace putting one foot in front of the other.

That said, I've gotten back to lifting, my first and most enduring passion. I feel good. I feel least in one aspect. So you wanna hit a slow few miles holla, but in the meantime I'll be grunting with the basement weights.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Random dribblings #1

I guess there was hope. There wasn't much of anything. An idea? Maybe. Could this be the truth that we were aiming for? Could be lots of things, I suppose, if we played our cards just right. Bluff and retreat. I saw her eyes betray her intentions. That beautiful mouth bent around empty words. Hidden truths. Here is what I'm willing to give. Baby steps of a broken forever. Again and again. One should know better at this point, but one can't help but to hope. Contentment is a foul and contemptuous mistress. A line crossed. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Fraud. A Phony.

I had to change the blog name. Felt wrong. Haven't been running much lately. I lost the passion for it. Still working out just not putting the miles the way I used to. Been exploring other passions that I sort of back burnered...reading, movies, music, non-training friends. Just feeling lost lately. Being alone and in a work rut has been wearing on me and I needed a change. Sooo. Same mediocre and barely tolerable writing in less than sparse fashion, but expanded topics.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It was just a hiatus

I did my first half marathon this past Sunday in nearly two years.  It wasn't easy and I was more nervous than I was the first time, but I finished.

I'm more proud of this medal than I am of the first because I knew what I was getting in to and chose to do it anyway.  I have two more half marathons and a 25k coming up in May and am starting to really focus more on the distance than just getting back to running.

It feels good to set a goal and accomplish matter how slowly.

My time may have been pitifully slow, but I know that because I saw it as I crossed the finish line and that's all that matters.  Plus, I got a great start on my Summer farmer's tan!

Thanks to ábloc nutrition for making a great tasting recovery drink.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Can I borrow some coin me brutter?

Today I got reminded of a fact I had forgotten during my time off due to injury and distractions of life, running is a darn expensive cheap sport.  Now obviously it doesn't have to be.  We've all the stories of people eating just beans, wearing barely more than smiles and rushing through the wilderness for free.  And that's great! I applaud them! Realistically though for most of us we like shiny things, we get dazzled by the latest and greatest and more than likely at some point you'll want to run a race.  If you want to do well in said race, you'll need to be training which will require nutrition of some sort and new the very least some briefs to keep things from rubbing raw and maybe some Red11 Sport to keep your nippies intact.

This thought was brought to my attention after considering signing up for the Marine Corp Marathon.  Got all the way through and sat pondering the, not excessive, but certainly not insubstantial, reg fee...should I be lucky enough to be chosen from the lottery.  Then I started thinking how I could really use some new trail shoes and mid-to-high mileage shoes.  Aaaand I was off...wouldn't say no to a new Garmin and I would really like a chance to re-do Chicago(I think you can still feel my shame of my performance), but that would require a flight/hotel/el/cab/food and that's not realistic right now.

I'm signed up for 4 decent sized races through the end of May right now and aside from a few small, cheap things that might be it for a while and that's fine.  And maybe I'll win some shoes or gear...that would be great.

Orrr maybe I'll just learn to accept that I can squeeze some extra miles out of my rotating shoe stable and that the open roads and, hopefully under the inches of snow, trails are still free.  The main point I guess is, don't stop or make excuses. Just improvise, adapt and enjoy!  Too many people don't have the abilities(I don't mean financially despite the tone of the rest of the blog) to get out there and test their bodies and minds.  Left foot, right that right outsole though, it's getting thin.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

It's going to be a looong trick or treat night!

Been wanting to write something for a few days, but then I it came to me after checking my Facebook(Adam Bricker), my Instagram(@APBRICKER) and my Twitter(@APBricker)! I'll write about the community. My endurance "neighborhood"...hence the cheesy title.

Between the races I've run, the people I've spoken with through social media, either on my own or as an ambassador for one of the various companies I've been lucky enough to promote, or just random folks out along the way, I've been a part of 200k+ block party.  Now obviously haven't spoken to everyone, but I've read blogs, tweets, finisher's list, profiles, articles...whatever and we are all kindred spirits.  The endurance community is one of the most open and easy groups of people I've ever met or known.  For the most part, 5 min mile or 14 min mile, Nike die hard or interested in the latest and greatest...a moment can and will be spared and an equality will be established, because we are all striving for the same thing, self-improvement...and that glorious FINISH LINE banner.

Sometimes I get so lost in the training, which is going well and I can't wait for Spring, or hitting this time or distance, that I don't appreciate everything else being a "runner" has done for me.  Whether it's been a re-tweet or a donation when I ran the Goofy on behalf of the Arthritis Foundation or just reading this now I'm impressed by how giving and accepting the community is.

So just want to acknowledge and say thanks!  Also, can't wait to continue down this road, or trail, with all of you.  Now, please pass the potato salad.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Planting Seeds

Just wanted to give a quick training update.  Things are going well and I'm anxious for some races.  I've lowered the weights and upped the repetitions and cut back my protein intake all in an effort to drop a few pounds and retain lean muscle.  I've still been using Honey Stinger products during longer sessions just like I have since I started running years ago.  Also, started using ábloc Nutrition Endurance Recovery protein after longer workouts during the last month and I really like the results and taste.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my training buddy over the last 20+ years of workouts, chocolate milk.   Good for recovery, good for breakfast...just plain good.

Sorry this isn't full of my normal expansive thoughts, but training and nutrition is what has been on my mind and felt like sharing.

Hope everybody is out there making the most of, and enjoying, everyday.

Definitely give ábloc Nutrition a try! Just follow the link below.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Windex and Goals

So I've had this weird kind of acceptance/happiness/clarity the last few days.  Life and bigger picture questions, that I could barely even comprehend a few months ago, are coming into focus.  Now granted, this might be a premature happy, happy joy,joy blog, as I've not really formed any answers yet, but it still feels hopeful...and encouraging.

Also, I think I'm going to get a chance to work on one of my goals for the year, patience.  More than losing weight (I've been skinny) or more than getting better at running (I used to be ok...or at least contented with my performances) and even more than finding a job I like (I've had 1 or 2 that in hindsight, I've enjoyed and should have stuck at), I want to gain patience.  Never been good at waiting and/or hoping and/or waiting for things to come to fruition.  I'm a pragmatist and I believe in the various strengths I possess which makes me easily frustrated.  I believe there is an answer to everything and with either my mind or muscle it should be rather easily apparent.

As I'm getting older...or maybe more faithful, I'm trying to learn not to push.  Put in the time, effort, prayers and dedication and things will work out...more often than not in a pleasant, possibly unexpected manner.

So despite my hatred of that stupid meme that's been floating around the last few years, I'm going to do my best to Be Patient and Keep Calm.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

And so I say "nice to meet you"

I'm excited to be back running. And with the return I've concentrated on the things most returning runners would...breathing is getting better, knees feel strong, times are improving.  However, tonight I got reminded of one of my favorite parts of running...people.

By nature I'm relatively shy, with two exceptions: the 3-11 drink range and when running/racing.  I remember my first half, the course, the rain, my shoes, the blister, but most of all the talking.  I'm middle of the pack on...on a good day and that first race was. It's funny how something as simple as "this suuuUuuucks" wheezed out on an uphill soaked from rain can spark 6 miles of conversation and stories and laughs.  Since that time I've encountered so many great people in races.  The 2010 Chicago Marathon where I ran 2-7 with a nice lady that eventually realized it wasn't her day and told me, actually had to convince me, to go on without her.  It's hard to tell what's a subtle plea for encouraging words and ass kicking and what is a true mind or body is DONE.  So again, same race, ran miles 19 where I "liberated" a bag of ice from an aid station on an 83 degree day and proceeded to share that bag with a girl right up to and through the finish line.  And just to show I'm not biased, during the Harrisburg Marathon, my first, ran 15-23 with a guy who was also of a larger build and we had a great time.

At any rate, my point, I think I had one, was that more than time or medals or whatever, you can gain humanity from races/running.  Pushing down your own pain and cramps to force a smile and a head nod with a quick "you're doing great" or "how ya feeling...pfff me too, but at least beer soon" or whatever is called for, can, maybe should be your measure as a runner.  Or maybe the humility to accept encouragement in your hour or mile of need.