Saturday, April 9, 2011

I am not Superman.

Ok, so Charlie Sheen might not be the only one who is aware of this fact. Perhaps you are aware of this as well. I figured it out (again) on today's run.

I say "again" because this always happens. Do you remember as a kid when you read about a superhero in a comic book, or watched a cool TV Show that you immediately wanted to emulate what the superhero did in the book/movie? How many broken bones have there been in the last 4 generations with kids jumping off their houses with a cape? In fact, around our house you can count on anytime we see a movie with a superhero, we will have several days of superhero battles and epic struggles against the enemies of law and justice. (not me, my kids..I usually get to play the bad guy)

Last night my wife brought home a book from the library that I had requested. It is called Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner by Dean Karnazes. So far it is an amazing book. I am nearly halfway through the book in just a day. (that's a huge deal for me...I'm not an avid reader, I will accept your applause and adulation in the comment section) The book goes into vivid detail of his experiences on his first few races. The first of which was the Western States Endurance Race. These races are simply mind-boggling. They are 100 mile Ultra Marathons through some of the worst terrain imaginable. Oh, and you have to complete Western States in twenty-four hours. 100 24 hours. Only a handful finish the race each year.

Not long ago I read about a fellow blogger in Hawaii who ran the HURT 100 which is a similar 100 mile trail ultramarathon. She (yes SHE) was one of only 32 of 111 finishers of that race. Her race report is truly inspiring.

Last year I read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. Are you aware that there are people on this earth..right literally chase down live antelope or deer on foot for so long that the animal can finally run no more and just simply collapses?!? That really happens. Oh and these guys do it all barefoot.

Are any of these people super human? No, but when I read these stories, I'm like a kid again, with cape tied firmly around my neck, grabbing dad's ladder and going up to the roof. "If Superman can fly, why can't I?" Today I went out thinking I was just going to run through a mountain. I was so pumped up by Dean's story, I went out without regard for pace, and I was going to destroy my 10 miler...unfortunately Mr. Humidity showed up, and I quickly learned that I was indeed, not Superman. I finished, but was completely gassed through most of the run.

What is it that attracts me to these stories of epic human endurance? There is something inside of them that I see and I value. It is an indomitable spirit that simply will not let them give up no matter what their body is saying. Their mind is powerful, and it overrides that voice inside them that says to quit. We all have that voice...we must conquer it in order to lay claim to our dreams and goals. That voice is the only thing that stands between me and what I desire.

We all may have different reasons to run: to lose weight, to stay healthy or to race. But deep down we're all running to defeat "I can't"..for he stands in the way of our dreams.

Let me know how you're defeating "I can't" this weekend.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Break 2011

Spring Break...yeaah buddy....We all know what that means! Woohoo!

Going to the beach, sunshine, coeds in bikinis, parties, every type and shape of debauchery known to man...that's what you're thinking right?

I am disgusted with you people for thinking that. Of course that's NOT what I meant. We're trying to run a family show here!

I mean the school near my house is out for Spring Break. I can run more freely knowing that I'm not about to be roadkill at the hands of a reckless 16 year old driving mom's 8,000 pound death tank SUV while "bouncin" to the Fresh Prince. (or whatever the kids are listening to these days...Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff are still kickin' right?)

Anyway...without the kids in school, my route is so much more peaceful. You can hear birds singing, the pitter-patter of your own feet and the temperatures are nearly perfect for running. Today was about 45 degrees with full sun. It seems that you can really get some thinking done with conditions like that. That is, until you run through a wooded area. Now that you can hear everything so acutely, every rustle of every leaf in the woods sounds like a ferocious bear or pack of hyenas are about to jump out and attack. Yes...wild packs of rabid hyenas could roam the woods right here in South could happen. I've seen the Lion King about a hundred times. Trust me on this.

Be prepared..
I was able to get in 5 miles today, making it 10 for the week so far. I hope to be able to get in 20 total for the week for the first time in a while. My goal is to sustain a 20-25 mile per week base for the remainder of the year. 20-25 miles per week puts me at a good level to start any marathon training program and I've got about 3 months before I start training for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I've been slowly coming back from an injury since February, so getting back to 20-30 miles per week puts me in the mileage range I was in before the marathon last December. That really feels good to know I'm almost there and now I can keep building for the fall.

So, get out and enjoy Spring Break..the flowers...the peace...the freedom on the roads...but seriously, be on the lookout for the hyenas.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Not another running blog....

I know what you're thinking.  You can't sprint 50 meters on the internet without finding some jacked up runner telling you how he/she is exercising these days.  Why not one more?

Well, let me tell you why not.  Because I've never written one.  I guess you could say that I'm unique, just like everybody else.  Wait...that came out wrong.  Let's try this....Like a delicate snowflake lazily falling on a cold wintry day, subtly different than any other running blog you've ever read.......wait, did I seriously just compare myself to a snowflake?  Ok scratch that one too.

Let me put it this way...on no other blog will you get ME.  Take that for what its worth.  You get my all my humor, all my inspiration, all my random musings about life and all my cliched advice...all for the low, low price of FREE.  Since you're all new here and may not know...much of the above was meant to be funny.  It's ok to laugh.  In fact, if you don't laugh, I'm doing this wrong...terribly wrong.  If you're laughing *at* me, I suppose that's ok too but then I'm not getting the joke in that case....hmmm....lets move on...

Why Coffee...on the Run? 

Well my last name is Coffee (yes really...yes, really spelled the exact same way...and yes people have made jokes about it my whole life...and yes I've heard them all.  I might as well embrace it, right?)  I'm 38, married and a father of three, juggling life and limitless running goals.  But it's not always been this way....

I ran in high school track for one year. It wasn't necessarily out of passion for running, but I heard that if you went to all of the practices during the season, the coach would automatically give you a  varsity letter.  So I had my varsity letter in 9th grade.  Unfortunately in my case, my plan did not work out like most 80's teen movies.  Apparently the girls at my school COULD resist a guy in a Letterman's jacket. Go figure.

I came back to running in mid-2009.  My doctor advised that I needed to get active or go on blood pressure medicine.  So I began walking every day in June of that year.  Walking quickly became a bit boring, so I began picking up the pace and running/walking.  Running/walking gave way soon to running only.  I completed 3 miles running for the first time in over 20 years in August 09 and signed up for the Williamston Spring Water Festival 5K to be held a week later.  I finished in 30:19 but fell in LOVE with racing that day.  I loved the crowd support and the total experience, and I've not been the same since.

Over the past 20 months I have been transformed from a couch potato to a running fanatic. I've completed dozens of races of all different types, the biggest was the Thunder Road Marathon in December 2010.
This is what marathonning looks like. Do not attempt.
I have been inspired by so many, that I'd like to give back to those around me, and make new friends along the way. So stay tuned friends, I hope we can laugh together, laugh together, cry together, laugh together and be inspired together.  Check out my tips, gear and quotes pages, and watch for more running-themed nonsense from me.  I welcome your compliments comments and praise feedback.