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Ben Ray

Blogging on the road through the Grand Slam of Running




May 3, 2007

What's Next?

So I stopped hurting so bad, and really was back to being my totally obnoxious self by probably the middle of the day Tuesday. Don't believe what they say in Runner's World, kids, drinking heavily CAN lead to a strong marathon recovery. Honestly, if it wasn't for the sheer volume of work I have to do (that's an utter lie, I blow off work all the time), or the fact that I completely swore off running until Saturday, I'd be hitting the road today, and probably have done it yesterday, too.

So the good news is, being done with the marathon means I can back off of training like crazy and do a little bit more of what I want--the bike is starting to look a little cobwebby. The bad news is, and I have no better way to put this, I am all out of Crusades.

My personality is such that I have to have some all-consuming passion at all times in my life. It used to be my fraternity (Because, well, if you don't know the story, I can't explain it here, but I transferred into my grandfather's chapter and tried to fix a colossal debt, a hazing culture, and a drug problem.), but after I lost that battle and the chapter closed, I said ok, I'm going to run a marathon. Thankfully, that adventure turned out better, but to say the least, I obsessed over it.

Now, I don't really have anything left to obsess over, and it's got me feeling kind of lost. I mean, I've got schoolwork, and our finals are coming, and then summer classes, and then my last term ever...but schoolwork has never been somethingto ignite my passion, and that's what I'm after here. School is just a job, something I'll do to get where I really want to be (oddly enough, grad school. But leave my hippocracy out of this, because I'm taking so **** many classes out of my major right now it's not funny. Freaking liberal arts schools.). What I want now, is the next way I can define myself.

Ben Ray, Beta Theta Pi, Marathoner, ???

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April 29, 2007

Oh, this hurts.

I finished--4: 21:45

I was on the 4:15 pace group all race, until I started to fall back around 22 miles, and then cramps on the bridge finished me off, focing me to stop and stretch and go slower for the last of it.

My legs hurt for the rest of yesterday, but I was ok--made it back to Danville, etc. Obtained a pretty nice piece of furniture that calls itself a "bungee lounge" to lay in. Went to bed (for me) early.

This morning? Oh wow...

I can barely shuffle. Understand, my pain tolerance works a couple of ways--I complain, a lot, at first. Then I stop as the pain increases, and try to tough it out. Somehow, this morning, I've managed to blow right by both of those steps, and OH MAN does this hurt. And not just my legs, either, which I guess I was ready for, but all the core muscles you engage while running are pretty gone, too.

I don't know how I'm going to make it to the dining hall when they open. That invovles such impossibilites as steps, and a hill.

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April 27, 2007

Countdown...

...22 hours, 47 minutes...

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April 25, 2007

Motivation Week, Wednesday

One of the things that's gotten me most psyched about running this year, is my enthusiasm finally rubbing off on somebody else.

Oddly enough, it happened to two people, at the same time. And you know, I never really cared to run with other people--I'm SO antisocial about running. I go when I want, as far as I want, on my course and pace, to my music, and will not talk to you. Until now.

And then in the same week, my two friends that are so close they're practically family both picked it up. To embelish on a neologism from the dearly departed O.C., it was Chrismahanukwanzmakuh. I started running with them, helped them pick out shoes, even splurged and bought them both some gear so they weren't running in heavy cotton stuff (one was even wearing long sleeves. ew). I've totally come around to the social aspect of running, and through the backdoor, even. Go figure.

And I know I've been giving off inspirational running quotes...well, this one is a little different--this one is mine. I was asked not long ago if I was religious; here's how I responded:

"I don't know how to answer that...the closest I feel to God...I see a divine plan when I run. Maybe not any other time, and I certainly choose to get mad as hell at whatever God there is an awful lot...but I see him when I run."

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April 24, 2007

Motivation Week Continues...

...I'll confess, I steal ideas from NBA players.

I write stuff on my shoes. Every year.

The first year I ran, I had a Great Aunt and Uncle die unexpectedly less than a week before the race--and the funeral was scheduled for the saturday afternoon of the race. Fortunately for me, it wasnt until long after I was going to be finishedrecovered/showered...so I could still run. I thought it'd be a good way to motivate myself, so I wrote their initals on my week-old shoes.

Of course, I hadn't trained that hard that year, and you talk about a painful, painful race...

Last year...
I was supposed to run the marathon relay with a fraternity team, and lo and behold, it started drying up. As we got down from a five-man team to a four, then, three, and two-man, team, I finally resolved to running the mini, by myself. This was ok, except, I was, you know, not really trained up for this...
My grandfather was in the same fraternity as I was, and the same chapter, and we sequentially list ourselves--they're called roll numbers. So I put both of them (672, and 1412) on my shoes, which made me feel a little better about the big Beta bailout on me, and even though I hadn't been planning on it, I ran a strong mini, and ended up deciding that day to do what I'm doing this year...

The full Marathon. So what goes on the shoes this year? They've been blank, and I want to put something on there about how running is my therapy...
We'll see. I've got three days.

Today's Quote:
Act like a horse. Be dumb. Just Run.--Jumbo Elliott

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April 23, 2007

Forgive Today's Delay on Motivation...

...I've been working on getting that very first post-college job (even though I'm not graduating until December). Quoth Young Jeezy: Welcome to the life of a go getter.

Anyway, here's today's big-time runner motivational thingy, summarized from the QUOTABLE RUNNER:
One of New Zealand's all-time greats, Murray Halberg, once won an alarm clock in a race. Why was this bad?
The alarm clock was the prize for the first runner-up, a reminder to keep training harder next year, and bedside motivation--how would you feel to have your loss sounding reville every morning?
It could be depressing. It could have you up and out of bed extra fast for the next 364 days.

Of course, a fat lot of good that does right in the midde of your taper...but it's still a cool story, and if you're coming off of a bad race, it carries a more important message: no failure is permanent.

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April 22, 2007

It's Motivation Week

Marathon on SATURDAY. Countdown clock as I type: 5 days, 21 hours, 2 minutes, 3 seconds

We're close enough now for the weather reports to have any meaning beyond an average of previous years, and the high for that day is going to be 72. I'll start the race around 50, at 7:30am, and sometime just between 11:30 and noon, if all goes according to plan, I'll cross the line.

That is a wide, wide band of temperatures to deal with. And it's going to be sunny.

Personally, I'm doing everything I can to get myself up; I'm asking my friends and family to help build me a playlist (being an ipod type as I am), and running early in the day as opposed to late so I'm "used" to it for the race, and trying very hard to guilt one of my collegiate friends into driving me up and back. This is partially because I don't want to work the clutch on the way back, and mostly because the people here are as much my family as anybody else in this world.

And, I'll be writing here about running, a lot. Quotes, motivational tricks, stories, you name it. And yeah, I've got papers out the (redacted) for school. But the big push is on, and I'm not letting up now.

Quote to get myself worked up over today:
Big occasions and races which have been eagerly anticipated almost to the point of dread, are where great deeds can be accomplished.--Jack Lovelock

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About Me


I'm a senior at Centre College, and I'm double-majoring in criminology and history. This is my third year in the Triple Crown, and after two Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathons (one without bleeding), I thought it was time for my very first marathon.

To be completely honest, I used to absolutely detest running. Not the way we all do some days, not the way golfers hate golf and throw their clubs into a pond; it hurt, and I saw it as punishment, and as something to be completely avoided at every opportunity. To add to this aversion, I was dating, all though high school, a track and cross country runner, who would respond to queries of, "How was practice?" with things like, "How dare you ask how my practice went!" So this sport hurt AND made you crazy? Count me out, man.

Despite all of that, I was pretty quick. When coerced, I could run a six-minute with what amounted to no physical training at all. So, when a substantially nicer girlfriend asked me to run the Triple Crown and Mini with her during my sophomore year, I said no. This lasted until I noticed my beer belly smiling upwards at me and decided I was wrong. Of course, by then, I was slow. But alas, that's life.

The series lasted longer than our relationship, and I'm reasonably sure that the last time I ever saw that particular girlfriend is Mile 12 of that first miniMarathon. But running has stuck with me ever since, and it's become an integral part of my life. Oddly, I don't have many friends that run; I can't run with a buddy, and I'm still not sure that I can run without an iPod. But I'm obsessed, and three years into this, it shows no signs of going away.




My Recent Posts


What's Next?

Oh, this hurts.

Countdown...

Motivation Week, Wednesday

Motivation Week Continues...

Forgive Today's Delay on Motivation...

It's Motivation Week

Hot, Nasty, Speed

My whole body hurts

Wow, I must be...



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