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WAHOO! I did it! 💪



"Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one."

~Bruce Lee


Endurance was definitely the name of the game on Sunday, January 22nd.

I completed my goal to run my longest distance ever at 36.8 miles.

Please just hang on tight because this is a much longer post than normal.

Before I start I wanted to share my playlist which includes about 8 hours of music all at either about 90 BPMs or 180 BPMs Coach Matt's Running Playlist

Here are the juicy details!

The night before the race, Ryan Schooler sent out a text to our neighborhood running group asking if anyone else wanted to join us for some early morning miles. Brian Morris responded by saying yes. I had a fun last-minute running partner addition to my plan.

I tried to go to bed early on Saturday night but it didn't quite work. I got a good 4 hours of sleep and I got up at about 1:15 a.m. or so and started to get dressed. The night before, I had laid out 3 different shoes for my run. This was a fun idea I had that was validated by Joel Hagaman, an ultra runner, and trainer with Camp Gladiator. He also helped me with my running plan. The first pair of running shoes were ones that were older ones that had a lot of miles on them. The next two were two newer shoes that I had gotten for Christmas with low mileage on them.

I had six surprise love notes in my shoes from my lovely wife Christy, and my two beautiful daughters Anna and Emily. When I read them, I teared up a bit. I also found a love note in the pocket of my pants. I appreciate the love and support from my entire family!

I went ahead and ate a banana, went to the bathroom a couple of times, and drank some water and another energy drink.

Matt at 2:00 a.m. ready to start my running journey

I went outside at 2:00 a.m. and took this picture above. I met Ryan School for the first 5 miles. Right before we ran, we said the runner's prayer that I had sent out last week. The weather was about 45 degrees with a slight wind. But overall very good running weather.

I planned to do four 5-mile loops. The most surprising part of the start of the run was all the traffic and activities. What I didn't realize, was that all the bars in the Domain area close at 2:00 a.m. so we were greeted by a lot of cars exiting the area. Along with some people who had a lot to drink. The funniest part of the whole run happened next. As a lady was exiting her vehicle to stay at one of the hotels in the Domain, she saw us running and said something like, "Oh you are running! Yeah, you go! You go, guys!!" I am sure she was slightly intoxicated at this point in the evening or morning. But it was super funny! And I thought about it each time I made the 5-mile loop.

We finished the first 5 miles and I stopped back at my house to go to the bathroom. I also changed my shoes and made my smoothie. I drank about 1/3 of it and we headed out on our second 5-mile loop.

It was more much serene and calm at 3:00 a.m. It was great to run with Ryan. We took a quick picture here too.

After the next 5 miles, we went back to my house and I went to the bathroom, changed my shoes, and drank some more of my smoothie. We met Brian Morris at about 4:00 a.m. and we continued running.

Brian and I chatted about how I was doing after the first 10 miles and I was doing well. We ran the longer version of the 5-mile loop and had a good chat about life and everything going on with me. You know just normal Sunday 4:00 a.m. chatter. After we were done with this loop I had about 16 miles done. We hugged and I went back inside to eat another banana and finish up my smoothie.

The next miles from 16 to 23.5 were honestly the hardest. I was now running alone and the pain of running that long was starting to set in. By the end of the 4th lap, my right toe was in some pain. (Quick note to self, for your next running shoes buy shoes that are 9 1/2)

I had run 20 miles and needed to run to the race start and then do the 3M Half Marathon part of the run. I took my shoe off and just rubbed my foot and toe on the carpet. I went to the bathroom a couple of more times. And then headed out to the 3M Half Marathon race start which was 3 miles from my house.

As I got to the race start, I was getting excited. I saw other runners warming up and running around. I saw the race chute. I lined up in the back of the race chute and waited about 15 minutes before I started that portion of the race.

I had some renewed energy and was looking forward to seeing my beautiful wife and two beautiful daughters at mile 2 of the 3M Half Marathon. See the picture below.

As I was running the actual race, I had some renewed energy and also had to go take another potty stop. I went to the bathroom for the final time in the race and was enjoying the day. I was doing it. I was running my longest distance to date. I was with other runners and was in my happy place.

The pain of the marathon run was setting in but I just kept pushing and kept going. It was not any worse than a marathon run. It just lasted longer. It lasted for a good 16 miles.

I ran and walked when needed for the last 26 miles to 36.8 miles.

Along the course, I had some fun surprises. There was bacon at around mile 7. I definitely took some of that.

Nothing like taking food from random strangers along the race route!

I also had one oreo cookie, one donut hole, and some fruit snacks.

I had also brought with me two brownie Z bars and two packs of Clif Energy Bloks (black cherry flavor)

I finished them both by the time the run was done.

When I got to mile 33 I had a little smile because I knew that I had passed my goal of running my farthest distance.

And then I kept running.

My sister and her husband met me at mile 11 or so of the 3M Half Marathon route. They also gave me a ride home and met me at the finish line! Thank you so much for that!

After I saw them I had two painful miles to go, so I kept running. Then I crossed the finish line! To see the video of that click here. It was PRETTY EPIC!!!

Lastly, I had some responses when I sent out this to my City of Austin fitness classes that I wanted to share: "Congrats on your stellar achievement, Matt! You never cease to amaze me in your dedication to keep challenging yourself and push past perceived barriers. Thanks for continuing to inspire and motivate us." ~ Chris I think this one was my favorite: "Woah! Matthew, great job exceeding your previous milestones – 36.8 miles is greater than the distance all the way from one end of Austin to another! I’m in awe and had to read your message twice. Thanks for being so motivating to others! 😊" ~ Kymberli When all is said and done and I reflect back on this experience I wanted to offer up these couple of questions.

What if running is my gift? What if running is my passion? What if running was the way I shine God's light in the world the brightest and strongest? What if running was the way I could use my one and only precious life to encourage, show, and empower others to show them that they can do anything they want to and get whatever they want out of life?

I hope this post has encouraged you to dream BIG. I hope this email has found its way into your inbox and brought you some motivation and inspiration and joy. Finally, see some fun pictures at the end including one final picture of me eating a potato at Rudy's with my two buddies Jeff and Mike. That thing was delicious!

Happy Monday! TGIM! From Coach Matt MONDAY AFFIRMATIONS: 1) There is nothing that God and I can’t handle together. 2) I believe in myself. 3) Today is a beautiful day. 4) I look forward to my future with joy. 5) I am delighted to to be alive. Share the Matt's Motivational Monday love: 1) Support Matt's Motivational Monday here 2) Or share this e-mail with a friend who might need some motivation or encouragement this day!


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