When I got done with Palo Duro…I was DONE….more mentally than anything else. Burned out and frankly at one point didn’t care if I ever ran another Ultra or otherwise in my life. Frankly, that scared me. If you would have told me, in November, to go for a 6 hour run, I would have mauled you on the spot with no mercy….no remorse. I was toast. I did continue to run a bit…once a week. On a different front found joy in going to spin classes, early morning boot camps and core strength classes. There was no pressure….no training schedule….no mile repeats…no long runs…and if I missed a day...so what?!! For two months I did this….and in December started to go longer on the weekends….about ½ marathon on Saturday and 4 to 6 miles on Sunday morning. I came through the holidays in great shape…dropped four pounds and an inch of my waist…and mentally started coming back around. I love this endurance stuff…deep in my soul….for a moment I thought it left me. I came out of this stronger and ready to roll…and that my peeps is a very good thing!
So at the North Texas Trail Runners Christmas party where the main 2 questions are: “What ya training for?” and “You going to Bandera?” I didn’t know how to respond to the first one and didn’t want to respond to the second one! Come to find out, Luke’s first basketball game is on the weekend of Bandera so that took care of itself in a way.
In mid December, I mentioned to a few of my “inner circle” that I wanted to run Bataan March…the Marathon Distance and I want to run it Heavy! That thought did not take long to take root grow…and after that…well forget about…IT’S ON THE SCHEDULE! Everyone of my close buddies followed up with the comment…”That is your style of race…freaking do it”…or something like that. The race organizers try to have some of the Bataan Survivors at the finish line…and truthful wanted to run this before they all pass on.
So here I am…telling you on March 21 in the desert of White Sands New Mexico, I am running a marathon with a 35 lb pack. The Bataan March Marathon is to honor the survivors of that fateful event in World War II history. Below is pulled from their website:
The Bataan Memorial Death March honors a special group of World War II heroes. These brave soldiers were responsible for the defense of the islands of Luzon, Corregidor and the harbor defense forts of the Philippines.
The conditions they encountered and the aftermath of the battle were unique. They fought in a malaria-infested region, surviving on half or quarter rations with little or no medical help. They fought with outdated equipment and virtually no air power.
On April 9, 1942, tens of thousands of American and Filipino soldiers were surrendered to Japanese forces. The Americans were Army, Army Air Corps, Navy and Marines. Among those seized were members of the 200th Coast Artillery, New Mexico National Guard.
They were marched for 66 miles in the scorching heat through the Philippine jungles. Thousands died. Those who survived faced the hardships of a prisoner of war camp. Others were wounded or killed when unmarked enemy ships transporting prisoners of war to Japan were sunk by U.S. air and naval forces.
I have an acute sense of history…in fact I only have left a handful of college hours to have a degree in history…so this race took root deep in my soul…and being a Marine…all the more so.
We are in uncharted territory running with a pack. I keep telling myself it is only a marathon…but after this weekend of donning a 35lb pack for the first time and running a total of 11.5 miles….well, let’s say it’s going to be a little tougher than sauntering through a normal 26.2 miles.
This brings me to my last, and maybe most important issue. I have decided to raise money for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. A fund that helps injured Soldiers, Marines and Sailors and their families….from everything of housing, transportation, specialized equipment. God has blessed me to be able to embrace endurance sports….I have served a stretch in the Corps without a scratch (ok...there was that HUMVEE thing...but nobody got hurt!) …and so when I think of the men and women sacrificing…sometimes ultimately…this is the least I can do. I understand these are not the best economic situations…and some may not be able to help out financial. Trust me, I understand. If you can, I ask that you do…my goal is $5,000.00. You can do it anonymously as well. I will only periodically mentioned this and ask that you spread the word a bit too. The link to do so is at the top of this blog.
Additionally, as I blog about my training from time to time…I want to take us on an historical account of what happened at Bataan….I ain’t going to make it boring…you know that…and so let is run on….NO MAMMA, NO PAPPA, NO UNCLE SAM…REMEMBER BATAAN!