Groundhog Day

We’ve all seen the movie (one of my favorites), Bill Murray is a reporter and goes to report on Punxsutawney Phil only to find himself repeating the same day over and over again. When I looked up “Groundhog Day the movie” on Wikipedia I found the following;

“Groundhog Day has been considered a tale of self-improvement which emphasizes the need to look inside oneself and realize that the only satisfaction in life comes from turning outward…”

“It has even been dubbed by some religious leaders as the “most spiritual film of our time.””

“In the military, referring to unpleasant, unchanging, repetitive situations as “Groundhog Day” was widespread very soon after the movie’s release…”

Training for a race of 100 miles in less than 24 hours is my very own version of Groundhog Day. It does give me plenty of time by myself to think about my life and what’s really important to me and what’s just static interference. And there is plenty of unpleasant, unchanging, repetitive situations. Every night I put my running shoes and clothes on the kitchen island before going to bed. When the alarm goes off at 2:30 a.m. without thinking I stumble to the kitchen where getting dressed, starting the water for coffee, fixing a bagel with PB & Nutella and filling my hydration bottles is all done on auto-pilot. Thinking about doing this for another 96 Days 17 Hours 46 Minutes and 38 seconds (yes, the countdown clock I added to my blog last week is already starting to play with my mind!) is more than a little overwhelming. But it’s good training for the actual race itself where thoughts on race day like “I just finished 31 miles and still have…70.4 miles to go” will fry my brain. I’m learning very quickly to keep my thoughts “in the moment” and not look back or ahead when thinking about my running.

The cool thing about training right now is my miles are up to 72 this week without a really long run. I stumble out of bed and my legs feel like wood when I start running each morning but within a couple miles they feel strong and I can honestly feel the improvement in strength almost daily. I’m learning to run on tired legs which is very important because on November 12th I’ll have tired legs for 20+ hours and there won’t be an option to stop and rest.

Since I started this training schedule on May 31 I’ve run 499.05 miles. It’s interesting to see exactly where that could’ve taken me. I got tired of plugging cities into MapQuest so just drew a radius around my house of 499 miles. All I know I could be in a heck of a lot cooler weather right now if I’d actually kept going instead of coming home each day after my run!

I’ll update this map periodically, it’s fun and gives me some perspective of what I’m accomplishing before the race even starts.

Every once in a while there is something that breaks up the monotony of my daily run. An occasional face to face meeting with a javelina on the trail before the sun comes up or worse a rattle snake. Yes, amazingly I saw my first rattle snake on the trails this week (I’m surprised I haven’t seen several so far). The thought of running across a rattle snake never bothers me because they give plenty of warning you’re getting too close…except for the one I saw. Laura had just called me (I hate taking calls on the trail but this one saved me) and I was walking to put my phone back in my hand held hydration pouch when something instinctively made me stop. 9 miles from my truck and civilization, silently stretched across the trail 5 feet in front of me was a rattle snake. It wouldn’t move or rattle, I rolled a rock across its back…nothing. So I rolled a baseball size rock across its back…yikes! Coiled up, head in the air, mouth open and rattle vibrating it was what it should’ve done before I got this close. After a 30 second stare down it slithered off into the bushes and I was on my way again. I hate to think if I hadn’t been walking and was moving faster what would’ve happened.


(*Note: I took this image off the internet, what I’m doing might sound crazy to some of you but I’m not stupid enough to try getting a good picture with my crappy cell phone camera while I have a pissed off rattle snake 5 feet in front of me.)

Until the next time…have fun and be safe!

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4 Responses to Groundhog Day

  1. Dad and Mom says:

    I have to tell you, if this was the real one that you ran into, I can believe that you weren’t getting much attentiuon. Look at the size of this fellow, he’s stuffed with the last runner that would have come by. :-) Be sure you run onto “FAT” rattles, he/she won’t be wanting to get a hunk of you.

  2. jvaupel says:

    This is very close to the rattler I saw. It blended in with the trail to the point it was hard to see and was approaching 3′ long. Maybe not as fat but when you get surprised by a rattler out on the trail that far from any other signs of life they normally look to be a lot larger than they really are.

  3. Cathy Splete says:

    Had to comment on the phrase that resonated with me the most from your latest installment:

    “Every night, I put my running shoes and clothes on the kitchen island before going to bed.”

    Are you kidding me right now? You are putting those filthy running shoes on the KITCHEN COUNTER?? Have you not learned, in 49 years, that shoes DO NOT belong on the kitchen counter? Good grief.
    P.S. I’m telling Laura.

  4. jvaupel says:

    My trail shoes are not filthy…much.

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