Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Goodbye and Hello!

As a few of you already know, I've decided the Spartathlon will be my last race for quite some time. I'm not sure exactly how long "some time" will be, but it'll most likely fall somewhere between the length of the average Professional Boxer's "Retirement" and the 23-year hiatus of The Cars. There are a couple reasons why I have made this decision, but the biggest (and happiest) of all is that my beautiful wife Elizabeth and I are having our first baby this winter!
Lizzy + 1!
Our first published Family Photo!
I've always said running (and ultra running in particular) is a fairly selfish pursuit when you consider all the time you spend out on the trails/roads by yourself while family/friend/work obligations take somewhat of a backseat, especially during peak training. It's easy to become obsessive about "getting your miles in" or planning to use all of your vacation time to run races all over the country/world. While friends who have met me at races (or via this blog) may describe me first as a "runner", I like to think those who know me best would think of me first as simply a "nice, normal guy" and not a one-dimensional running freak. That being the case, as soon as I found out Lizzy was pregnant, I immediately wiped my running plans for the next year or so clear while I focused on what really matters most to me: My Family. I'm so excited about being a daddy, and hopefully some of my hard-earned endurance fitness will help me through the long days and sleepless nights that will undoubtedly follow!

Once the Rose Family has the new routine of life as a trio down pat next year, I'm sure I'll pick up a nice running stroller and start slowing getting my self back into ultra shape every night while giving Lizzy a nice quiet break at home. When I do come back, my focus will involve far fewer organized races than I've run in the past. When I daydream about running, I always envision myself running on a trail somewhere with no watch or aid stations or crew. I love running for the simple enjoyment of running, so most (if not all) of my future runs will be similar to trail adventures like I've done in the past (Horse-Shoe Trail, Long Trail, etc.). With a big ol' country full of woods, my options for adventure runs will be plentiful: I'll get myself back out to the Grand Canyon and do something fun out there...When they finish the Cowboy Trail across Nebraska, you bet I'll saddle up my shoes and run that too...the options are pretty limitless out there on the trails.

When I do come back to the sport, I'll happily reclaim the title of "ultrarunner", but no matter how far or wide any future runs take me, my new title of "Father" will always be the most important to me.


UltraBrad said...

Wow! Congratulations! Fatherhood will test you in ways ultrarunning never can...and will bring you more joy, love, and fulfillment.

Enjoy your "last race for some time"!

Jeff said...

Congratulations! When our daughter was born, I took some time off and I think it did me some good - I came back faster than ever!
Downside is that now the only way we can get her to take a nap now is to use the jogging stroller!

Casseday said...

Congratuations Dan! Wow, that is awesome!
I'm glad to hear that you've got you're priorities in the right place . . . now how can I block this blog post so my wife cannot read it before we have kids? :)

nmp said...

Congrats Dan (and family)! That should make spartahlon extra special.

You can always take a shot at some baby jogger records in a few years...I think the marathon mark is 2:30ish!

Ric Munoz said...

Wonderful news, Dan -- congratulations to you and Lizzy! What an exciting time is ahead for the two of you. I hope this won't mean you'll have to shut down your blog entries -- I'm sure all of your fans will want to know how you handle the ULTRA-challenging (but rewarding) experience of fatherhood!

Dan Rose said...

Thanks everyone! Lizzy and I are definitely excited!

Nick - The Spartathlon will definitely be extra special (and i'm killing myself in training to make it extra successful too!), but since my marathon PR is 2:41 without the stroller, the only way I'm coming close to 2:30 is by entering a 100% downhill 26.2 course and riding in the stroller myself!

Ric - Good question re: the blog. Not sure what will happen here. While I love writing posts, I know lots of people don't want to read about someone else's kid on a running blog. We'll see how it evolves of the coming months. I have some ideas that could keep things fresh and interesting.

Alison said...

Dan - congrats! What exciting news. And very good on your part to let running take a backseat, if just for a while, to this special new person who will completely change your life. I recommend the BOB jogging stroller - it goes off road. ;) I used that with my first son and then a double when my second was born. Never made it very far running with kids - like you said, their needs come first - but we had some good runs and even won a couple of jog stroller races! Before you know it your little one will be cheering you on at your next race! :)

Chris Roman said...

You are the man Dan, so excited for you on all fronts. Fatherhood is amazing and the trails will always be there my friend :)))

Agent Em said...

Congratulations Dan! It's quite a journey and it has changed my outlook on so many things. You're right that you will need some time to put the pieces back together after your baby arrives.

Chris Carver said...

Many congratulations to you both. Reading this post takes me back to when I found out Fay was expecting our son.

I was still in hospital recovering from having part of my right lung removed.

I agree that ultra running can be a selfish pursuit and for a while other things have to take priority. Fatherhood is a fantastic job but the pressures are enormous ... the rewards are even bigger though.

I found that the short time I spent running, almost daily, was my 'time to myself' but I was careful not to be out for more than an hour or too for the first couple of years.

Enjoy the experience.

Our son is 17 now and aiming to start university next year.

Amelia said...

Showed my mom your post. She didn't know what you meant by "The Cars" but she got the main point and sends her very enthusiastic best wishes. And our little family of 3 in NYC could obviously not be more thrilled for you!

Kim said...

Congratulations to you and Elizabeth!!
I look forward to saying 'congrats' in person at The Ring, as I see you are volunteering, and thank you for that!