Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Growth in 2011

by Paul

Starting out in 2011, I had no idea what the year would deliver and what I would accomplish during the year.

In 2011 I've seen the most growth in me and went far above and beyond what I thought I could ever accomplish. Going into the year I really had no idea the growth one can achieve when they set a goal and go out and achieve that goal.

I started off the year with the Carlsbad Marathon, setting a PR from my previous marathon - and ending the year achieving another PR in the Las Vegas R&R Marathon. Between those two races I learned and grew so much and achieved things that I thought were impossible back in 2010.

I signed up for the PCT50 mile race in January to see if I could run 50 miles and test myself beyond anything I have ever done. The race was in May so I had time to train up for it but I had no idea what I was doing or how to get yourself through 50 miles. The only knowledge I had was from my marathon training and reading the book ULTRA-MARATHON MAN by Dean Karnazes. After reading Dean Karnazes book I realized a person could run more than 50 miles a week - and not totally damage yourself if done right. I was still around 220-230 pounds training for these races - I could not get to my goal weight in training. I went on one training run up at the PCT but I actually went on the wrong trail so I had never seen the trail until I got to race day - big mistake. The PCT race changed my life forever in all of the places I needed it most. I grew so much and learned so much from that race that I tattooed the medal onto my calf to commemorate my accomplishment.

I would have never finished the grueling race Los Pinos 50k if I had never grown the strength and willpower I did from the PCT50miler. During the PCT50, I beat down that voice in your head that denies you the happiness you deserve by telling you to quit before you finish your goals - I grew strength where I lacked it - I found a love for myself I never had before - I fell deeper in love with my wife and kids during these tough struggles on the trails - I persevered where before I would falter and fall flat on my face. The racing and training during the year has help me grow as a person, father, husband and friend to those who enter my life. For all this training, I finished strong and persevered in my next race the Noble Canyon 50k - I ended up doing an hour better than I set out to do. I attribute this to some awesome training partners and their wisdom and guidance during my transition into becoming an Ultra runner.

My son and I volunteered for the SD100 mile race in June - helping other runners achieve their goal of finishing a 100 mile race was rewarding and enlightening for me. I learned a lot by volunteering for others - I learned some techniques on running and nutrition - I learned about a diet plan that might help me achieve my goal weight - I also learned my son is a hard worker.

After the SD100, Rachel and I embarked on another journey and that was becoming Plant-based using the 28-day challenge presented by Engine 2 diet plan. During this time I lost a lot of weight and eventually hit my goal weight but I also learned a lot about food and how I treat food and use it in the wrong ways. My family's medical history is not the greatest, so learning how to eat right and healthy is the key to not seeing the doctor later on with expensive surgeries and tests. I'll pay more for the right foods now so that later I don't have to go in for surgeries and be drugged up the rest of my life.

This past year has been one big lesson of learning, loving and growing as a person. I am taking so much away from the year 2011 - it's the year I changed for the better and grew leaps and bounds. I learned that running is truly my therapy and without it I do fall back into a depression at times if I stop running. Like anyone with depression - therapy (no matter what kind you find) you will need to help you pull out of your dark places.

I feel my community of friends has grown since picking up Ultra running as my new addiction - the people running and putting on these races and training runs are some the best people I've ever met. I love the community of people out there testing themselves beyond what they thought they could do. They've been an inspiration for me in my journey in pushing myself beyond my wildest dreams. I've met so many great people this last year and it's been so awesome to grow and learn from all of them.

I'm taking alot away from last year - I sit here reflecting on all the awesome things I learned and all the great people I met. I can't wait to see what 2012 has in store for me and those who come along for the ride. I've had one great year and one to remember for the ages - well for me anyways I don't think anyone else will remember my year like I do. :-)

I just want to thank all those people along the way that have helped me become this new better person. I hope all of you have one hell of a 2012 and cherish all that you have in your life. Let's all love, learn and grow this year and become the best people we can become without regrets - believe in yourself that you may achieve your goals no matter what obstacles are thrown in your way. If you can't believe in yourself how are you to believe in anything else - this past year I started believing in myself more and my life has grown tremendously.

Go out this year, write your goals down and go conquer them!
Healthy Day and Year


  1. You rock so hard you are scary good!
    Agent Walker

  2. I have to ask as the parent of two young children (6 and 3) how do you and your wife find the time to train for marathons and triathlons?

    1. We also have two children but the one is a teenager that can watch our 6yo. Me, I find time to work out when the kids are at school before I have to pick them up. My wife finds time during lunches to get her workout in and we do our big runs and training on the weekends. We do what we can during the week than prioritize some time on the weekend for our big training days. Plus we are both in training so we make time for one another to have their individual training times or we train together sometimes. I know when my 6yo was younger, we bought a treadmill and some dumbbells and I worked out from home whenever he napped or I had time.