Ryan Donnelly's Blog

Learning Never Ceases

This past weekend was one hell of an experience.  I learned a lot about myself and the people in my life.  Made new friends and got to see some people push their minds and bodies to a different level then I have seen before.  Also got to see history made when Phil McCarthy broke the U.S. record for most mileage in 48 hours passing John Geesler’s record of 248 miles with his own record of 257.34 miles.  Yes everyone, you read that correctly.  I had the privilege of speaking with Phil today and this guy could not be more humble and polite.  He took the time to talk to a novice runner like myself.  This guy has competed in Badwater twice finishing both times in the number 8 position.  Now to put this into perspective, Badwater is considered the toughest foot race in the world.  The 135 mile race is run through death valley at the peak of summer with temps reaching 135 degrees.  So just to finish is an astonishing accomplishment, but Phil has 2 top ten finishes.

Throughout the race this past weekend, Phil kept passing me by, over and over and every time he did I could see how hard he was pushing every cell in his body to perform at it’s peak.  Many times he looked like he was in tons of pain, did he slow down?  No, he kept pushing and though I didn’t speak a word to him the whole race, when he crossed the finish line after 48 hours, my emotions got the best of me. I started crying because of the example he put on.  This guy gave it everything he had and it was so awesome to see someone accomplish such a feat.

After this weekend I thought I had hit my peak of running. Man was I wrong.  I have been inspired to push myself to a new level.  I need to dial down my nutrition and lose about 30 lbs to get to where I want to be physically.  I want to reach for my dreams.  It may take years, but I want Badwater.

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