I was watching a few videos on the Internet for the Detroit Free press marathon. I’ve never run this particular 1/2 marathon and I’m excited to see what it will be like. I’ve been told by some friends that have done it in the past that it is pretty flat and fast.

As I’ve said in a previous post I did the 1/2 marathon in Rochester Hills, Mi, The Brooksie Way 1/2 Marathon. This was my 4th race and I loved it. This time of the year (Autumn) is my favorite time and this race shows it off in all its splendor. The air is crisp, the people are excited and the scenery is beautiful. Last year I thought it would be a good idea to try out two half marathons in the month of October. So in January, I signed up for the Free Press 1/2 Marathon in addition to plans to do the Brooksie Way 1/2. The price was excellent at such an early time of the year so I jumped on it.

Enter Despair. After the Brooksie Way, I caught a bit of a cold. I figured no problem, if I can shake this cold in the next week or so, I’ll be just fine for the Free Press 1/2 marathon. Well it seems like the body had different plans. That cold moved to my chest and just stayed there for about a week or so, like one of those slow moving low pressure fronts that move across the country. Coughing, Phlegm, you know the routine. I gave myself until this past Wednesday to make a decision. When I still wasn’t anywhere close to 100%, I told myself it is time to cancel. Whaaaaat. The Never Quit Ever guy is quitting. Let me take a moment to explain.

I don’t believe in quitting. I believe in perseverance, even past pain and discomfort. The problem I had is if I’m congested, sitting at home, just how am I going to do walking and running in breezy, 40 degree weather for 3 to 4 hours. As much as I wanted to, I could just see myself in a hospital fighting off, pneumonia or worse. That isn’t worth it. I don’t believe in quitting, but I don’t believe in ignoring your good common sense and experience either. At times, it is just as important to step back and reassess your situation and approach it from different angle. My angle is: possibly next year. This wasn’t the first Freep Marathon and I’m figuring it won’t be the last.

Although there was a few moments of despair, I believe I made the best decision. I don’t regret it whatsoever. If nothing else, it gave me a good 8 hours or so that I could get my hands dirty work on my truck. 😉

Always Remember…You don’t have permission to Quit.

Jeffrey Washington

You may have read my post yesterday about doing the Brooksie Way Half Marathon, in Rochester, MI. Note: If you didn’t catch it, please go back an check this site on the date just before this post.

I even put together a short video of the race and me in it, double chin and all.  Are you laughing?

I thought about, how few people when they get past a certain age don’t physically challenge yourself anymore. That certain age can be different for everyone. Now if you saw me in the video, I’m not some physical specimen without flaw nor am I trying to say I have it all down pat and worked out.

Since 2007, when I started doing a few road races, primarily the Crim 10 mile, I’ve had many people my age or older that have told me they would like to do something like that but they just can’t seem to get motivated. Don’t totally abandon that 12 year old boy or girl you used to be. You may have been adventurous and would have tried just about anything at least once back then. Embrace a little of that intrigue and curiosity and try something physical that is a bit out of your comfort zone. You don’t have to do something like a sanctioned race, with medals, and bands playing and all that fanfare. It might be something much smaller.

Maybe there is a park near your neighborhood that you have driven to and have always wanted to walk along the shore or ridden your bike to that park. Maybe a race on foot or a good bike ride would suit you. It’s all up to you. Use your imagination and set your mind to something new that you just might enjoy. If it is truly something you find interesting, I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Even if you feel a bit sore afterwards, that feeling will go away. The pain from soreness always reminds me of how alive I am. It reminds me of the immensely complex beings GOD made us out to be and how we heal so quickly after a new activity or small injury.

As I’ve said before, I am not the all knowing GURU on this topic. I’m telling you of my experience. In the last 4 years, I have had small injuries, (back, knees, etc.), that have left me with the feeling, “What are you doing to yourself, you’re too old.” But I always think back to people I’ve known that even at a fairly young age, perhaps in their late 30’s or 40’s, have thought that they were old. Not too old, just old. They’ve approached the remainder of their days with trepidation and fear. They’ve refused to try new things, thinking their older body couldn’t handle it. I’ve had to tell myself often, to not be afraid of pain. To be more afraid of lethargy and all that comes with it.

I’ve like the challenges and look forward to more in the future. What about you? Is there something you’ve always wanted to do. I’d like to hear what it is. I’d like to hear you express the core of your imagination out loud. What is it? I’m listening.

Remember…You don’t have permission to Quit.

Jeffrey Washington

As I write this I’ve finished my 5th Crim 10 mile road race. I’ve done 5 in a row and the last 4 with my beautiful wife Amy. She is a great companion in this regard and I’ve always enjoyed doing the races and the training with her.

I thought I would try to describe what it feels like in this race. My wife and I usually walk, so we get an opportunity to see a lot of the sites and people. Along the course there are lots of people in bands playing music, folks giving us high fives and the crowds are just great. You can even get a beer at Cashew Point. The best way I can describe it is that it feels like we are walking through a giant hug. The love, gratitude and respect shown the race participants from the spectators is infectious. They are so giving with encouragement and the occasional laugh or two. You can feel their energy every step of the way and they truly make the race one of the highlights to my year, every year.

Sometimes, I think of leaving Michigan. Tired of the squalor, violence, joblessness…the list can go on and on. But there are a few things I enjoy here in Michigan that forces me to ask myself; would I really want to leave this. The Crim Festival of Races is one of those things. In the future I will expound on other things here that leave me with the same feeling. For now lets all bask in the glow of the moment. The Crim went well and Flint, my hometown, did us proud.

Until next time,

Jeffrey Washington

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