Friday, April 24, 2015

My Crowded Hour

Teddy Roosevelt always referred to his experiences in the Spanish American War as his "Crowded Hour."  That phrase popped into my head when I reflected back on the last six months of my life. This period was without a doubt very stressful but the anxiety was a result of many blessings within a short span.
Roosevelt and his legendary Rough Riders on San Juan Hill.

I accepted a Territory Manager position with Mizuno in late October that launched my Crowded Hour.  A week later I was flying to Portland to attend the Run sales meeting and frantically trying get all the details ironed out with Mizuno corporate.  At the same time I was working to dissolve my relationships with the six other brands that I had represented previously.  The following week I competed in the Wynne Marathon (see previous post here.)  Then I had to organize my new sales samples and hit the road for a selling season that would last until the end of January.  In the midst of my travels we celebrated seven family birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christ's birth and the new year. Along the way we continued to get our house ready for our first baby (see nursery reveal here.)  Then of course the baby himself appeared!  Charles Dixon Baddorf was born on January 31st and weighed in at a bruising 9 lbs, 4 oz.  As you can guess the Crowded Hour continued over the next few months as we wrestled with the challenges of a new born.  I am not trying to complain at all, like I said there were a lot of blessings crowded in there.

Charles "Charlie" Dixon Baddorf at 8 weeks. 

 Luckily I planned for some of the commotion (I had a nine months notice on the whole baby thing.)  I also knew that I would have a busy selling season regardless of what brands I worked with as a Sales Rep.  So during this time I definitely expected a slow down in my running and that is what happened.  I paced some friends during the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis (which got some nice coverage in the local media) and trained whenever I could until baby Charlie arrived.  In the early days of my son's life there wasn't much running done by this BaddRunner.  We also happened to have a lot of rotten weather which didn't help the matter either.  Eventually though I began to climb back in the saddle.  Charlie slowly began to develop a routine and I was able to follow suit and find time to lace up my Mizunos (insert product placement here.)

BaddRunner on far right on the local news after St. Jude Half Marathon

Rockin' the Mizuno jersey on the far left in the local paper

The last few weeks have been pretty good for my running.  The weather has been great and I've been able to get in some mid 40 mile weeks and then 57 miles last week (follow me on to chart my fall and rise.)  I've even thrown in a few track workouts which has not happened for a long time.  So my fitness is improving for sure but what is the goal of all this fitness?  Nothing.  Not having goals is kind of my style these days.  I enjoy being in good shape so that when I do decide to hop in a race and put a hurting on some folks I have the tools to do it.  Although I normally end up putting the hurt on myself more than anybody.

One day soon I'll probably climb aboard the Pain Train and enter a local race to test the ole fitness level.  I'll also start pushing Charlie in the running stroller once he is big enough and that will have its own benefits and challenges I'm sure.  Not too long after that the weather in Memphis will become so hot that the idea of improving one's fitness seems insane.  My goal then will be to maintain and hope that I don't die from dehydration.  Right now I'm just going to take it one run at a time, be thankful for the blessings that I've received and hope that I'm officially on the way out of My Crowded Hour.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Goodness Gracious "Snowballs" A Fury

(Post run beard - good thing I
basically wear a hat on my face!  It
was cold out there)
Admittedly there is clearly much to report from a running point of view in the Baddrunner community since we have not posted in quite some time, but why bore anyone with the mundane of everyday running topics...

Especially when there is snow on the ground!  I love the fantastic experiences that come from running in the many varied options dealt out by Mother Nature.  Snow running is high up there!

Just as I was finishing my run this morning, which is one of a few I've completed in the past month due to being careful with an injury and overall laziness, a neighbor waived and proclaimed, "Now that's dedication."  Looking up and seeing the broad smile on his face and the enthusiasm which was clearly communicated in his voice I felt bad for my lack of dedication over the past few weeks.  "I never miss a chance to run in the snow," I said back, feeling as though I needed to deflate his being impressed by my lackluster running dedication.

The weather certainly can play a determining factor in our ability to make it out the door in the mornings, and I have definitely missed my own share of runs due to feeling it's too cold/raining too hard/or whatever lame excuse I can come up with (especially at six in the morning).
(just a nice look at the roads - didn't
 take my camera on the run
 and it unfortunately looked much
more nice and untouched.
But I walked the roads later)

As I sit and write this Bryan sits across from me pretending to work on some of his Mizuno accounts or something.  While he did not make it out on this particular run (supposedly due to "Charlie complications" - his one month old son who is becoming quite a good excuse these days), that did not stop him from giving me a comment on running out on cold snowy roads.

He smirked a little bit and then I think his beard took over as he said, "Tell them it takes great big snow balls to get out there and do what needs to be done."  Chuckles were had, coffee sipped approvingly, and I decided while cheesy, it is 100% accurate.

(Love the snow covered roads. Can
you see all the kids and parents
in the background sledding and
At the end of the day we run because it's who we are and what we are made of deep inside.  Some runners are born with a need to run and others of us, myself included, build this intrinsic desire, oddly enough, through running.  Today was a good day and the "running demons", as Bryan calls them, were satisfied.  I can already feel myself wanting to run tomorrow more because I ran today!

So get out there and enjoy whatever conditions have been dealt out to you.  Muster up some big ole' snowballs and do what needs to be done, what deep down you know you want to do anyway.  Have a great run and enjoy it.  We never know when something will come along to claim our running from us.

**Coming soon - a post about the ridiculously crushing four mile trail race we did recently**
(Wanted to add this pic I took on the walk.  Wearing my dad's old army jacket with my monkey hat made in Nepal by women who have been trained to make these so they can make a living, thus giving them an option out of forced prostitution.  So that's cool - the job part, not their previous circumstances)