We are all going through a challenging time right now. There is a lot of uncertainty. Our daily routines have been disrupted and our way of life is turned upside down. The one thing we all need to remember is that we are all in this together and we need do what we can according to our means to look out for each other during this time.
Here at KRNaturalPhoto I feel very fortunate in this moment as this business is still my side hustle and I have my day job to support me through this. If there is something I can do to help support a member of my community out there during this time please reach out and get in touch with me.
Often in the early months of each new year I write about how the pursuit my goals went from the previous year. Then I subsequently write about what my goals are for the new year. And when I write about my goals I always write about two separate lists of goals. I list of goals was for my running goals and the other list of goals related to my photography. I am not doing that anymore. There are no longer two lists. There is only one list and really there is only one goal and every other goal is a step along the way to achieving my most important goal.
I have been a photographer for a long time. During that time I have had a lot of successes. I have been published in print publications. I have sold artwork in galleries. I have had solo art exhibits. I have photographed community events. I have sold race photography. I have done portraits. However, all of these successes have come as I worked on my photography as my side hustle. Always splitting time between a full time job and often school and then running when I found that much needed outlet.
As we are becoming more aware of the potential health impacts of the Corona Virus it is becoming clear that we will have to adapt and change our behaviors and out lifestyles to some degree for the benefit of society as a whole. I big part of that is the cancelling of events and gatherings. I know many of us plan our lives around going to things or doing things that involve lots of people gathered in one place and now we won’t be able to do those things. It is frustrating and may make us sad and even angry and that’s ok. Feel those feelings. Allow yourself that. There is nothing wrong with that. But do not unleash your feelings on others. That helps no one. No one wants to be making these decisions. No one wants to be cancelling events. No one wants to have to be worried about the health of our communities like this. But this is where we are.
I have now run 7 half marathons but this last one I ran might just be the one that means the most to me. I ran my first 5k around 6 years ago and my foray into running dates to before that time. I never really thought I would have a chance to experience what I did in this last race and it was truly special to me.
When I started running my wife had no interest. As I began to run more and more she supported me but didn’t understand why I did what I did especially as I began to actually enjoy running and testing myself. Then a couple years ago my wife decided she wanted to run a 5k and then an 8k and she did both of those things. She never expressed any interest in running any event farther than that distance. She would scoff at the idea of running a half marathon. She loved watching me run and push myself at races but she said it was not for her.
When I ran the Pine Creek Challenge 100 I knew that I had a great support team consisting of my wife and my closest running friends cheering me on and supporting me. What I did not realize is how many other peopl would be cheering me on and supporting me without me even knowing it that day.
My crew is awesome. I knew they would take photos of me throughout the day and they would have fun and post their adventures and fun to social media. I also knew my wife would likely be posting updates of how my race was going on her social media. What I did not know is how many people would be following along on social media and clicking the like button and posting messages of support while I was out there on the course. There was this whole invisible cheering section online. They were all sending me their good vibes and pushing me along the course.
This year has been the most challenging year of running for me yet. Not because I set big goals for myself, I mean yes because I set big goals for myself, but also because of other struggles. Going into this year, after running only two 50k’s I decided it was time to push myself farther and longer. First I decided that I would take on a 50 mile race. Later I decided that this would also be the year I took on a 100 mile race. This all before I even ran my 3rd official 50k. I didn’t even wait to see how a 50 mile race would feel before diving in head first into the 100 mile pool. I put it all on the table early on in the year.
It seemed so….. Simple? I would train like my previous year for my 50k in May. That 50k would be my longest training run for my 50 mile race about a month after. The 50 mile race would be my longest training run leading into my 100 mile race two months later. The 50 mile race would also give me some experience at a new distance so I would have an idea of what to expect through the half-way point of my 100 mile race and that seemed like important knowledge to have.
I continue to bounce around and have ups and downs in my 100 miler training even as the race itself draws ever closer. This does not help to reduce my anxiety of taking on this challenge. After my regular short weekday runs my hip bursitis seemed to be flaring up a little bit, so I took an extra rest day going into my weekend long run which was going to be Sunday this week because I wasn’t going to be running on Saturday either this week.
Saturday was my planned “rest” day for this week of training. And by rest I mean getting up at 1:30 AM to drive 1.5 hours to meet up with my friends and stand on my feet for about 18 hours to help crew for them at the Twisted Branch 100k. It was amazing to be part of this event and help my friend and cheer for them as they crushed some huge goals along with all our fellow runners. It was a great experience and it was great experience for my upcoming race. I got to feel what it would be like to be awake and on my feet for as close to 24 hours as possible without being at the actual race. So I think that was invaluable experience in a way.