The Goals in our Souls…

Gary Disney World

Catalina Race Report Part 2

What does it take to train for the Catalina Marathon?

That’s the question that I have been trying to figure out now for three years.

And I think that I have found some answers.

Our first test was the Buffalo Run.

How did the Beach Runners do?

Pretty damn well. We walked away with 8 yes count them 8 podium spots.

Christy and I both took first in our age groups.

My race was certainly a BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE. These do not come by very often. And you really got to train for these. A BREAKTHROUGH is when you jump to a higher performance level altogether. I’m not just talking a little improvement…but a huge jump in results.

I went from 51st overall in a tough as nails race to 12th overall. Pretty good.

The reason: well there were lots of them. Sure I was training with all the Beach Runners on the weekend but during the week I was doing HARD CORE INTERVAL training.

I cannot say enough about the importance of doing intervals. I have this killer video of Matt and I doing hill intervals together if I can ever get my imovie to export correctly!!!! Arghh!

So I’d do one hard interval workout a week with Matt. Then wild man Jake returned from India, and we’d do fast uphill tempo runs of 7-10 miles once a week.

And I’d run up to the top of Palos Verdes as fast as my body could. Working STRESS and RECOVERY principles over and over again.

I’d read the Josh Waitzkin book THE ART OF LEARNING for like the third time and I was hearing his words about I had to be willing to INVEST IN LOSS. Josh was the U.S junior chess champion who switched to TAI CHI and when on to win 9 national championships and 2 world championships even beating the Chinese! It is a must read book if you are interested in PEAK PERFORMANCE.

I had to be willing to get my ass kicked every time I could on a training run. And Matt did kick my ass finally on some hills one day.

Then when that race came all that hard work paid off big big time. There’s too much to write about what happened on that run. It was like time slowed down…I got into some strange feelings in my body that would sound way too weird to explain.

But those champion athletes out there know of what I speak…like new super powers you discover in the course of competition.

Post Buffalo Run

I was tired for like two weeks after that race. Way too long to be resting with Catalina on the way. This I have to blame on a drop in my nutrition habits…way too much coffee and sugar in this period and not enough greens.

It was like a complacency I have to be very careful about victories. Especially during the crazy winter race schedule I had planned out for myself.

Walt Disney World

This little side story must be told. A little more into my character…

So some time ago I began the process of learning to be a copywriter. That means I write advertising. Direct response long copy advertising in the mold of Claude Hopkins, Eugene Schwartz, and Gary Halbert.

Through my studies of this fascinating field a name came up…Jay Abraham. Jay is one of the foremost experts in the world in marketing…this is who Tony Robbins hired for this marketing.

And so what I found out is that Jay lived in Palos Verdes. In fact, his office off Hawthorne Blvd was a training ground for many a great copywriter…John Carlton, Brian Keith Volles, even Gary Halbert.

It was like I was destined to work there. Even more powerful was the visions I kept getting in my imagination on long trail runs up on those hills…visions of writing for Jay Abraham.

Why I kept getting these visions…I don’t know.

But like I’ll write about in my upcoming book, visions like this are very very powerful callings for our hero souls to embark on journeys. Journeys that our souls need to take to find our destinies.

Okay, I’m getting a little funky here. Let’s get back to the story.

So I walked into Jay Abraham’s office one day with some copy I had written including blog posts and emails that I send you folks. They tried me out…but ended up referring me to another brilliant marketer Rich Schefren whom I began writing press releases for.

So with like 10 days to go before the LA Marathon…Rich invites me out to his conference in Walt Disney World for the week to help out and learn more marketing stuff.

Which means I’d miss out on the most important run for my Catalina people…the five hour run! Argh!!!

There were deeper forces here at play than a long run. Deeper yearnings pulling at the ship of my soul…I could feel the winds picking up…I was restless at home…so I put up those sails and went.

I got to listen to John Carlton for a day and a half at his workshop. Priceless. Another writing idol of mine. Met a bunch of great copywriters such as Tony Flores, John Newtson, and Charlie Byrne.

And sat and listened to awesome marketing presentations. Met so many great people. Wrote press releases. Did video work. I was a player for a few days.

Meanwhile I was eating LIKE A KING. I’m a batchelor and quite literally can live off oatmeal, green juice, tofu, and broccoli for days…so to be at some swank Disney hotel with a view of the lake…with a balcony…eating fancy fancy spreads every meal was…well…I felt I had arrived.

I got like one run in during this time. Great run. Around Disney lake. Saw lots of cool birds like egats, ducks, and even hawks. But as you can imagine, all of this high life wasn’t so good for my Catalina training.

And my big goal was to win the American Trail Championship for my age group…the combined times of the Buffalo Run and Catalina Marathon. I got second last year with another BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE of going sub four hours at the Catalina Marathon. So I need just to be a little faster…and with that kick ass Buffalo Run…I was primed for success.

Except for all this fine living I was now doing.

So I was supposed to leave on Wednesday morning…but Tuesday night Rich asks me whether I want to stay for another few days and help write a handbook for a special workshop he was doing with…no other than…that’s right you guessed it…

Jay Abraham!

Weird. Way F*&%ing weird!

So you can guess what my answer was…

“Hell yes!”

So I wrote the next few days for Jay Abraham and Rich Schefren. It didn’t go all that well for me. I wish I could have improved my performance there in many many ways. And had to cancel a couple of my classes…

But I did it. Some goal I had developed on the trails of Palos Verdes. Sitting here, writing this now gives me weird shivers up my spine.

And there I was in Walt Disney World…this vision coming true. Jay was a gentleman. Rich was just a firecracker of intellectual energy. I don’t think I had the full chops to hang in there with these marketing giants…but I tried with everything I had in me. It was as difficult as miles 6-10 of the Buffalo Run.

One thing that I’ve learned from marathon running is to just HANG IN THERE when you’re beat tired. I’m tough. I don’t get intimidated easily even with very smart guys like Rich and Jay.

It was like seeing 3:58 on the last turn to the finish line…you’re giving it all til you just can’t go anymore.

And another dream of mine came true. A BREAKTHROUGH for my new career. It just goes to show what you can accomplish when you go for the yearnings in your soul…make goals out of them…believe in yourself…then work your butt off.

The LA Marathon

So I got back on a Friday and ran the LA marathon on a Sunday. Why? Not sure. Always wanted to do both LA and Catalina in one year. And with the opportunity right there…well…you know the story.

I was slow. Which was good. How slow? I didn’t pass a Beach Runner until mile 8. Jake was going nuts. But I had a plan. Real complicated plan…go super slow.

That plan lasted until mile 13. Then I went a little faster. But I had a great time out there on the course that day. I coached sooooo many people I felt like Steve Mackel. At one point I ran into a seven eleven bought 10 cliff bars and was giving them out to hungry looking runners.

I ran the last mile in with Bernice. Who had trained with me up in Catalina…we came down to the finish stretch I was pumping the crowd up…yelling like crazy…and Bernice passed me with like 5 feet to go.

And I stood there watching hundreds of runners crossing that finish line…

Thinking of this wonderful world of dreams all these runners had…and how they put their sails up…how they crossed the rough seas…to make their soul yearnings come true…their sacrifices…

I saw hundreds upon hundreds cross that finish line and get a medal put around their neck.

I stood there dumbfounded by it all.

Cheering on Beach Runners coming across the finish line.

And out there, in Pacific, the the Island sat out waiting for the rest of the team…and me…just two weeks later…


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