Monday, June 11, 2012

100th Mile: A blog for those who go the distance

There are many positive changes taking place at X-City Running which we'll be posting about in the weeks to come. Since hosting our first run in November X-City has grown into an active group of runners with a visible presence in the Portland community. At our recent goal setting workshop we discussed making some changes to the blog to reflect that growth.

For starters I will be moving my training log over to 100th Mile, a personal blog that will host my writing on sports training, nutrition, and other areas of life in which I perform, compete, and exist. Check it out and let me know your thoughts...

Our current blog will focus exclusively on the pursuits of X-City as a group and be opened up to all of our members to utilize and contribute to. Keep checking back to see what we're doing with our site, our group, and our goal of "strengthening the running community while strengthening the community that we run in". -David

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Summer Hours

Last Monday the X-City crew met at Local Sprouts Cafe for the final time to a) eat there instead of just blocking the doorway before and after our group runs and b) to discuss our goals for the group as well as our individual running goals for the summer.

Local Sprouts has been a great meeting spot for all of the reasons that we mentioned in the "About Sprouts" post a while back. But, in order to meet the larger goal of engaging and involving neighborhood youth in the project we are making the following changes beginning on Monday, May 20th.:

X-City group runs will now be held at 7p every Monday night and will start at the Preble St. Teen Center, 343 Cumberland Ave. in Portland.

Many people mentioned running their first race or beating their fastest time as one of their primary goals for the summer of 2012. We've decided that a 5k in late summer/early fall would present an opportunity to meet both of these goals by training together and competing in our first race as a team. Looking forward!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Upcoming Runs

Route Planning Run: Monday May 7th

We talked about shifting the meeting location for our weekly runs to the Preble Street Teen Center for the summer. On Monday, May 7th, we will be meeting at the center at 6 to plan a beginner friendly through the Parkside neighborhood. The PSTC is located at 343 Cumberland Ave. in Portland.

Goal Setting @ Local Sprouts: Monday May 14th

We've discussed our personal training goals and our goals for the group while running through the streets every Monday night. On May 14th we will have an opportunity to continue these conversations while we're not out of breath and running up a hill through rush hour traffic...

 X-City Running members will be meeting to discuss ways that support each other in our personal and collective goals while enjoying good food and good vibes at Local Sprouts. Our group run for this week will start at 5 and we'll be sitting down to talk goals at 6. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Moving Forward

So what should I do? Quit? "No!" my mind screamed. "I can't quit!" The very thought of quitting was a horror gnawing within me. So I posed the next question: What can I do? And the answer came back from the hollow desperation deep inside my soul: I can still put one foot in front of the other, can't I? For once the answer came back--"Yes!" - Gordy Ainsleigh, founder of the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Race on how he made it to the finish line

I lost something important this weekend. It was a notebook containing over two months worth of school work, programming for an event that I'm organizing, and notes for a series of projects that I've been working on. It was the "If I ever lose this notebook I'm $%#@@ notebook". I bought a new one and began the process of rebuilding several months worth of work, seeing an opportunity to improve upon the contents of the old one that had I'd probably put on top of my car before hitting the highway. Whats done is done and the only way to move is forward.

While filling in the new notebook with ideas, rough drafts, and papers that I was now writing for the second time I started to think of how I might have reacted to a setback like this a few years ago...

A friend of mine who is an avid racer/runner went on vacation to Oregon last week. He went for the first run of his trip and returned to find the window of his friends car smashed and his gym bag containing his running gear, his phone, and his wallet had been stolen.  He mentioned this in passing as he described what a great vacation he had running on the trails in the North West. Only one way to move-forward.

This made me think of the lessons that we learn through running, competing in races, and following the discipline of a training program and how they shape our attitudes towards the hurdles, large or small, that we come across in our lives Here's something that stuck with me and I wanted to share it:

When you run into a challenge during a race or a hard training session (a killer course that you weren't prepared for, the ice storm/snow storm/bone-chill cold of (most) Maine winters, realizing that you made a wrong turn on the course) you're faced with two choices-move forward or quit. There is no time to dwell on this, no time for self-pity,no time to complain. Abandoning your forward progress, even for a second, only prolongs the situation that you're in. You can either suck it up or give it up. Two choices. No in-between. Move forward or quit.

I think that this all or nothing approach to forward progress rubs off on all of us who push ourselves to the finish lines-both the ones marked with tape at the of a race and the ones that are waiting for us at the end of our goals, dreams, and desires that we will either reach, or abandon, when faced with the inevitable challenges that await us on the course. We'll either move forward-or quit.

I wrote this post so that I can look back on it the next time that I'm reconsidering putting one foot in front of the other and taking the next step when I know that I have it in me,somewhere deep in the reserves, to do so.  And I hope that some one else who reads it does the same...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Good Company

"The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best."
- Epictetus

I came across this quote and wanted to share it.  I think its a good one to keep in mind as we take a look at our "inner circle" and ask ourselves a) whether the people in our lives fill this role and
b) if we uplift, inspire, and bring forth the best in the lives of those around us.

It also made me think of the supportive atmosphere that I see developing at our weekly Monday night group runs. Some of us are just discovering running while others are experienced racers...but everyone has worked together to create an uplifting environment where we can put forth our best. 

Good company for sure...

Join us on Monday nights at Local Sprouts Cafe, 649 Congress St. at 6p for our weekly group run through Portlands West End. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Launch ME Initiative

The Maine League of Young Voters is holding a contest offering community organizations a small start-up grant. The Launch Maine Initiative will highlight projects that work to empower local youth and X-City Running has thrown it's name in the hat and applied. One of the requirements for the contest was to submit a short video illustrating your project. Here's what we came up with:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Keeping Pace

I just learned about PacePal, a locally founded site helping runners connect with others in their area. Joining the Pacepal community is a great way to meet others with similar training goals.  The site was founded by runners, for runners, and is quickly becoming an international resource for runners of all abilities to join together and do what we do  Check it out: