The Purpose of the "50-Mile Dolphin Dash"

Welcome to my blog leading up to the American Cetacean Society's 2nd Annual "50-Mile Dolphin Dash" fundraiser run on Wednesday, July 6th, Monterey, CA. I'm willing to shed 50 miles worth of blood, sweat, and (possibly) tears to raise funds to attend the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in St. Helier, Jersey (UK), where ACS will be speaking out against commercial whaling and compromises to international whale protection measures. I'm also the Executive Director of ACS, so I put my heart and "sole" where my mouth is.

Support the Dolphin Dash with a tax-deductible contribution:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Motivation. It’s absolutely critical to an ultrarunner. Anybody can pound the pavement for a few miles ‘just to get it done’ – but when you’re talking about spending 30, 40, 50 or more miles – and many hours – alone with your thoughts, you must be in a super-positive headspace to continue.

Ultra running to me is 90 percent mental. The other 10 percent is all in our heads! - Ray Zahab, Extreme Endurance Runner

Motivation. If you talk to a runner long enough, it’s bound to come up as a topic of conversation - how to get it, how to inspire it in others, how to find it when you lose it, how to internalize it. For those of us who use our running talents to benefit social causes, there’s another important driver of motivation – genuine passion for the causes and commitment to the people for whom we serve – a dedication to serving and advancing a cause or idea ‘bigger than ourselves. Even if the run itself is a solo event – the runner is a small part of a larger team effort, unified by a common vision and purpose. The run itself is a bonding experience; a unique camaraderie develops because of the demanding requirements to successfully finish an ultramarathon.

I’m not feelin’ it – the passion or the camaraderie. “The thrill is gone”, as BB King reminds me.  But that doesn't mean the event goes away. I’m deeply concerned that when I hit the physiological wall, instead of pressing through it, I will ask myself, “Why am I working so damn hard?”

And then…Simply... Stop.