Training, Dharma & Ultra Athletic

Its been a while since I checked in with a life update, so wanted to take a moment and reflect on the last few months – where I have been and where things are headed.


On the training front, everything is finally beginning to click into place. I had a frustrating winter, a time in which my training seemed to be constantly interrupted due to this commitment or that – family, travel, professional, whatever. I just couldn’t get into a consistent groove. I’d get a few good days in, then something would come up that would derail me for a bit. I was starting to get a little depressed, a feeling compounded by the fact that I had not competed in so long. Then a couple months ago, marathoner Ryan Hall asked me if I would be interested in running the Boston Marathon as part of his STEPS Foundation crew. I’m hardly a marathon runner by any stretch, but I just couldn’t say no to that opportunity. It was a great way to reset and prioritize. To be part of that legendary race and to be in close proximity (not during the race of course!) to a guy I greatly respect and someone I knew was ready to uncork a huge race – it was an exciting prospect.

So I started to focus my training on running — and running a lot. For Ultraman prep, I rarely run two days in a row and have always been very careful about my running volume and particular about my intensity so as to avoid injury. But soon I was running six days a week and doing intensity sessions I had never done before. For the first time, I actually felt like I was learning how to run – really run. I was experiencing some great breakthroughs and unprecedented gains due to the singular focus. I was excited. Then came the injury – my first ever overuse injury since I entered the endurance sports world about four years ago. On a tempo set about 11 weeks ago, my Achilles started to flare up. And it wouldn’t go away. It just got worse, until I knew running on it anymore would just lead to a greater injury and threaten my long-term goals for the season. So I had to pull out of Boston. I took two weeks off, doing nothing. OK, so I pouted. It was a bummer. And after sitting on the couch watching Ryan run one of the most sensational and inspirational races ever, it was quite disappointing to not be there. But it was the right decision for me and my season.

Fortunately, after that two-week break I refocused my energy on building up my cycling, which didn’t seem to aggravate my injury in the least. And I’m happy to report that in a rather short period of time I’m already sustaining watts I have never before seen on the bike. Way ahead of schedule. And way ahead of anything I was outputting in 2009. Pretty cool. And my injury seems to have finally subsided. I’m starting to run a bit, albeit cautiously. It will be a very slow, tentative & progressive build back to my running form, but I have the time and am confident that come November and Ultraman – my priority race this year, I will be more ready than ever. And I plan on using Ultraman to raise funds for STEPS, making up for my inability to follow through on my Boston commitment. I have a lot more to say about STEPS, but I’ll save that for a future post. But if you haven’t heard of this great and quickly expanding charity, please check it out.

On the professional front, there have been several interesting developments. I have been working very hard on my book, currently titled FINDING ULTRA, for the Crown imprint of Random House. It’s an honor and a privilege to have a book deal at all, let alone with such a renown publisher so enthusiastic about helping me tell my story. It seems like just yesterday I was a fat 40 year old desperate just to shed some weight. I could have never predicted how my life has unfolded in the last few years. But to be writing a book about it? Its crazy. And if that’s not enough, my editor at Crown is veteran Rick Horgan, the man responsible for editing Condoleezza Rice’s recent memoir EXTRAORDINARY, ORDINARY PEOPLE, as well as Valerie Plame’s amazing book FAIR GAME. Not only am I in the highly capable hands of an expert literary mind, Rick is passionate about the project, behind me 100%. It’s extremely exciting, but also daunting — a lot to live up to. The bar is set very high. But I’m up to the challenge. I want this book to be the best it can be and am working my butt off to realize this dream – my story, plus plenty of training information and a plant-based nutrition primer designed for both the athlete and the everyman. I have made great progress so far and am really happy with the direction, but plenty of heavy lifting ahead in order to deliver a book of the highest quality by my September due date. Crown anticipates a release in Spring 2012, so of course it will be some time before it hits the bookstore shelves. But I can’t wait to get it out there for everyone!

It’s been quite a juggling act trying to do so many things – train for Ultraman, practice law, write the book, be a good and present dad to four kids and a loving husband to Julie. In the last two years I have somehow been able to find a delicate balance between everything; it wasn’t easy. But now I have added another huge commitment into the works – the full time job of writing an entire book in the middle of everything else I am trying to do. Sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode. There just are not enough hours in the day to do everything – at least if you want to do things well. And I want to do everything not just well, but great. The pressure is on, and sometimes something’s just gotta give. Sometimes its sleep. But usually it’s training. And yet if I have to miss a training session or two here and there to work on the book or attend my daughter’s school assembly, that’s just fine by me. I’ll take that trade all day long. The book is forever. And blink and the kids are grown up.

Writing the book — and all the opportunities it presents — has been revelatory in that has affirmed my love for helping people achieve breakthroughs not just in their diet and fitness, but with respect to complete life transformation. There is so much I want to say and share, my only fear being not enough pages or time to get across everything I want to say. But one thing is certain. More than ever I am committed to finding a means to step into the health, nutrition & fitness arena on a full-time basis in the most professional manner possible, pondering additional and creative ways to spread a positive message of optimum wellness to the largest audience possible. Plant-based nutrition has so radically changed my life, I want nothing more than to devote my life to sharing what I have learned and experienced as a means to empower and inspire others to manifest their own personal transformation, inner potential and vitality.

Solidifying this commitment to help me finally arrive at a place where I can responsibly set aside my law practice in exchange for pursuing my passion and dharma, I have recently enlisted the managerial services of Ryan Correia at Ultra Athletic to help turn up the volume, broaden my reach and get the message out. A weekly podcast is in the works, as well as public speaking engagements, training / nutrition / yoga / cooking camps & retreats with my wife Julie, nutritional products in partnership with Ascended Health, and alignment with industry partners to broaden the promotional platform of my wellness, preventative health and green living advocacy. Its all super exciting and I can’t wait to take everything to the next level.

At the moment, Ryan C is actively sourcing corporate alliances, media and public speaking opportunities on my behalf. So if you – or someone you know, the company you work for and/or any community/government/fitness/health organization you are involved with – has an interest in getting involved with me to help spread a positive message of personal life transformation through wellness, including having me come to speak about my experience, I’d love to do it.

For more information, please contact Ryan at:

Ryan Correia
Ultra Athletic
[email protected]
949.872.1485

I am so excited about the future. I hope you join me in walking this path together.

Plantpower!
Rich