I follow a handful of adventurous runners on Instagram, and I sometimes get stuck in the comparison game. When will I ever be able to run 10 miles every single day? When can I run 65+ miles in a 12 hour endurance race.
Actually, though, that pity party last about 2.4 seconds before I throw my phone down, lace up my shoes, and head out the door. I’m not going to be able to run 30 miles a week until I can run 25 with consistency. I won’t be able to run 10 miles on back to back days if I can’t even run an 8 miler every Sunday.
At the start of August I had a nice kick in the pants, from the horrible situation involving Tommy Rivers Puzey.
Rivers Puzey first started to feel sick earlier in the summer. Thinking it could have been COVID-19, he self-isolated at home, but as the weeks passed and his situation failed to improve, he went to the hospital. He stayed there for several weeks, although doctors didn’t give him a diagnosis for some time. On July 24, his brother posted on Instagram to announce that Rivers Puzey had finally been diagnosed, and it was cancer.From ‘Support Tommy Rivers Puzey in the Run with Rivs virtual challenge‘
So I joined the virtual event and set a goal of 100 miles, from August 1st to the 9th. I knew I couldn’t run that distance, but I have a bike now, and whatever, I wanted to see if my heart and lungs and body could withstand a 100 mile week.
Sunday to Sunday I ran 34 miles, and biked 67. I ate smart, tried to get to bed early, and made sure to stretch and do some mobility work throughout the week, and wow, it worked.
Taking Monday off was great, and now today, I was up and out the door by 7am for a five mile run.
Running is my “hell yes,” and sets the tone for how I manage my day. Challenges with work, finances, a pandemic… it’s all pretty daunting, but if I can get out for a run or a bike ride, some form of movement where I get my heart rate up and break a sweat, then I’m a happy dude.
Sure, in 2010 or so I was “The Bike Nerd,” and loved biking 25 miles a day, but heck, I didn’t track any of that mileage. I was just riding from bus station to bus station, to a friends house, on some back roads. That was all well and good, but now, a decade later, these adventures feel even more purposeful. For both myself, and for those that running can help in the process.
Turns out a bunch of people did the Run With Rivs challenge, and all told it raised over $180,000.