Monday, April 19, 2010

Go the Distance - What's in a name?

When we first began planning this event we knew it needed a catchy name. By the second meeting we decided to call it Go the Distance. I liked the name. It was fine. But as the event has taken shape the phrase “Go the Distance” has come to have more meaning for me. It is an appropriate name for a 24-hour run because of the extreme distance that I intend to cover but there is more to it than that.

The phrase originated in the boxing world and it was used to describe a fight that went all scheduled rounds without stopping due to a knock out. I remember in the original Rocky movie, all Rocky Balboa wanted to do was “Go the Distance” against Apollo Creed. “Nobody’s ever gone the distance with Creed”. For Rocky, an incredible underdog in the fight, it was not his primary objective to knock Apollo out; he just wanted to still be standing when that final bell rang. The more I thought about the name of our event the more I realized it was the perfect fit.

In many ways I approach this 24-hour run as if I am entering the ring for a title fight. A shot at the title against a formidable opponent that I have faced before. Each of the previous times I’ve faced this opponent it was an epic battle till the end. In this case my opponent is the distance and I have an incredible amount of respect for my opponent. I know there will be no first round knock out. This fight will Go the Distance. I already know I will take a beating. I may be knocked down but I will somehow have to find a way to get back on my feet and continue. In the end, like Rocky, I will still be standing. I will have gone the distance.

As I’ve said before, Go the Distance is not just about me and the challenge I’ve set for myself. It is about a school and a community that has decided to take it upon themselves to do something a little out-of-the-box to ensure that health and fitness programs remain a priority at our school. I’m confident that on Friday April 23rd, at 8:50 am when the 24 hours has expired and the event is over, our fight will continue. There will continue to be a need for funding that the State and District are unable to provide and we will have a choice to either accept the reduction in programs because it is easier or we can fight for what we believe in. “Life is full of choices. You can choose the path of less resistance or you can choose to Go the Distance.”

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How do I know if I'm ready?

I’ve been training specifically for this 24 hour run for the last six months. Week after week and month after month I’ve torn the muscles down so they will rebuild stronger. Much of the last two month I’ve felt physically drained of energy due to the hours of exercise every day. The legs have never felt completely recovered and as a result I’ve never really known what kind of shape I’m in. After each long test run I’ve asked the question, “How much better would I have run if I weren’t so tired?” How do I know if the training is working? How do I know if I am going to be ready on April 22nd? I guess I just have to believe in the training. I don’t write up a specific training plan but I do keep a log of what I’ve done. The training log is what tells me if I’ve put in the work that is necessary and gives me the confidence that it will all come together. Everyday I look in the mirror and ask myself, have I done enough? Have I trained correctly? Will I be ready? Several weeks ago I began to taper down the miles and the legs have slowly begun to feel better. My pace has become quicker and the miles seemed to fly by with ease. With two weeks to go rest days became more important than the run days. The legs have now had time to recover and the rewards of months of hard work are beginning to show. Today was a bittersweet day. Today I did my last workout before the 24-hour run. From the first steps I knew it was going to be a good run. The asphalt felt soft under my feet and the long quick stride felt effortless. My breathing was shallow and my heart rate was low. As I made the turn for home I continued to increase the pace only to find I still had another gear left. Feeling good and knowing this would be my final run I continued to pushed the pace faster and faster each of the remaining miles home. Having a run like the one I had today was the perfect way to finish off my training. Lance Armstrong has described it as “no chain” meaning he sometimes feels like there is no chain on his bike and he can spin the pedals as fast as he wants without tiring. That’s how I felt today. “No chain.” So there it is. The work is done. There is nothing more I can do to prepare other than rest. I’ve put everything I have into the training for this run and after today I have to believe… I’m ready! Greg Bomhoff Ready to Go the Distance. ~ Greg Bomhoff

Monday, April 12, 2010

Franklin gives back

Part of my inspiration for Go the Distance was from a friend of mine named Jason Harper who back in 2008, ran 100 miles to raise money for Oak Ridge Elementary in Sacramento. Oak Ridge Elementary is among the most impoverished schools in the Sacramento Valley and back in 08 only about 12% of the students had health care. Through Jason’s efforts now over 85% of the kids have some sort of health care.

Jason and his team of volunteers did not stop there. They continue to promote health and fitness as well as nutrition and have programs in place to see this happen.

From their website:

Be Change After-school Fitness and Nutrition
Many inner-city children are sedentary and do not have access to healthy food options. With 100% of Oak Ridge Elementary children on district's free lunch program, Equal Start's Be Change After-school Programming provides a running club to help kids get moving. Be Change partners with Fleet Feet of Sacramento, The Running Zone, and the California International Marathon to give kids goals that are achievable. More than fifty kids are enrolled and are committed to getting active. Nutritionally, Equal Start's Be Change in conjunction with the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services gives every child a bag of groceries on Friday to augment and counter the effects of hunger through the weekend.
GOAL: Mobilize kids into quality after-school programming to stimulate a healthy/nutritional awareness using running as goal setting activity.

Go the Distance and Franklin school have initiated a plan to give back to those with greater needs than our own and will organize a Food Drive for the kids of Oak Ridge Elementary. On Thursday April 15th, I will visit each classroom at Franklin and challenge each class to raise 125 non-perishable food items to coincide with the 125 miles I have challenged myself to run in 24 hours. On April 22nd, at the Go the Distance event, Jason, his team and some of the kids from Oak Ridge Elementary will come to our school to accept our contribution and be a part of our event.

There is an important message here that I want to pass along to our kids at Franklin School. I began Go the Distance because I saw a need. I believe that teaching and encouraging kids about health and fitness at an early age is important to their future and I want to make sure the funding is available for it to continue. However, I also understand that there are those who have much greater needs than we do at Franklin School. In this case those kids are just 30 miles down the road. I hope for this food drive to be a great benefit for the kids of Oak Ridge Elementary but I also believe the kids of Franklin will get a lot out of it as well.

Please help me encourage the kids and Franklin families to take part in this noble effort.

Additional information will be coming home with the kids on Thursday the 15th.

For additional information or if you would like to help with this food drive contact:

Amy Osborne –
Kasey Smith –