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  • Writer's pictureNick Klingensmith



I am in Hell right now. A deep circle of Hell known as Too much time between races. Unless this is the first time you’ve stumbled across my name, you know that I’m passionate about Obstacle Course and endurance racing and sharing those adventures to inspire others.

2020 took something away from us and this year I’m determined to take it back.

From Ohio to Boca, I’ve competed in 17 obstacle course and endurance events so far. My soul is on fire. The return to competition, the self-improvement, the best of human interaction, has all been euphoric.

But now I must do the insufferable. As I write this, there are 43 days, 20 hours, 55 minutes until my next race. And what’s worse? I self-selected my entry into this purgatory. My next event happens to be an Ultra, a 50K Obstacle Course Race on a mountain in Vermont… And then the Chicago Marathon just a few weeks after. I need this time to focus on training.

I learned from past mistakes.

I’ve run 4 marathons and each time performed worse than the one before it. In 2018, I badly aggravated a back injury while training just 2 months before the Chicago Marathon. In 2019 I sustained a stress fracture during an obstacle course race less than 2 months before the NYC Marathon.

I completed every race, but never came close to my goal. Other than my first marathon (Boston, 2018) where my goal was just to finish, I chose ambitious goals in the low 4-hour range. I might as well have said I would break 2, because all I did was race and get hurt. I was never truly committed to the process, therefore I was never truly committed to the goal.

There’s a thin line between being agile and reactive.

Yes, it’s important to remain flexible. Circumstances change and require adjustments, but not by forfeiting your fundamental process. An effective process measures progress as well as results, but if you deviate too far, it measures nothing.

What you choose to focus on becomes your reality. If you keep going out every day like it’s race day, you’re just going to end up with a busted ankle, broken foot, low blood sugars and finish behind everyone else.

Stay focused. Be patient: The waiting IS the work.

This year I'm following a marathon training plan. I did make modifications for strength, incline and mobility work to prepare for and recover from the Ultra. But above all, I committed this time to focus on training.

After all, is my goal to run a better marathon or just another marathon?

#gostride #chicagomarathon #spartanultra #throughthefire #keepmovingforward

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