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NYT Article on Jim Walmsley - Running was Therapy for a Life Unfulfilled (Read 108 times)

Nimmals


Stotan Disciple

    Eureka, just read the piece on Walmsley.  I can't help but note the similarities to what I posted last month about the singular unfulfilled ultrarunner.

     

    The NYT writer's story echoed similar thoughts and show how unfulfilled Walmsley life was that lead him to ultras. Now his life has more meaning he is coming back to marathons or at least the trials. I am happy to have read his story as it relates to ultras.

     

    Catra Corbett had a similar story and even the girl from that Reese Witherspoon movie I loved  who walked the trail to give meaning to her unfulfilled life. So I wasn't very far off. Their stories inspired people but my opinion inspires hate.

     

    "The original marathon had some things in common with the ultra­running scene of today (Philippides did, after all, drop dead upon completing it)."

     

    "It was in that depressive hole, he told me, that he started to make a plan to run every day. It was right then that he started making sure there was always a race to train for. He knew it was crucial to have something on his calendar to look forward to. “I’d go a couple days without even really going outside sometimes,” he said. “I’ve described it as self-prescribed therapy.”

     

    "He’d been a good kid, a high achiever. And then he arrived in Montana, and everything went horribly wrong. If he was kicked out of the Air Force, what would he be? Maybe, he would sometimes think, it would be easier — for him, for the loved ones he had shamed, for everybody — if he ended it"

     

    “There’s just a numbness of not caring anymore,” Walmsley said. “You start justifying it like: There wouldn’t be the disappointment anymore, either. Maybe some of the negative parts would go away.”

     

    Running doesn't just change your body, it also changes your mind, your attitude and your mood. Running makes worries disappear.

     

    As I've said we cope, how we cope. If running is therapy then let it be but don't deny the truth. Jim embraced his own truths and it set him free.

     

    Thank you for sharing this article now I understand why my post was seen as a pathetic, it hit home.

     

    I don't mind being a zero if rescuing him makes you a hero.  I can still run, you couldn't maybe you were in a dark place?  I hope now that you are better and running again you fulfill all your goals.

     

    Catch me outside running...

    Thinking should be done first, before training begins.

    DoppleBock


      I do not think the issue you keep bringing up is isolated to ultra-running.  Many elite athletes have issues -

       

      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333161272_Mental_health_in_elite_athletes_International_Olympic_Committee_consensus_statement_2019

      Long dead ... But my stench lingers !

       

       

      Nimmals


      Stotan Disciple

        I don't understand why there would be limits to psychotherapy when athletes respond well to regimented schedules.

         

        Similarly I was surprised to see pharmacological treatment as another method considering the whole host of performance enhancing barriers they would have to clear while being treated.

         

        Thank you that's an interesting read.

        Thinking should be done first, before training begins.

        Brewing Runner


        3:56 marathoner at heart

          Whenever I remember he was "kicked out" of the military I laugh. He was discharged because he earned himself a DUI. He earned this DUI by driving partially home, stopping because he didn't think he should drive, climbed in the back seat and fell asleep. A cop came up to the car, Jim explained what he was doing, and since the keys were within reach he was considered driving under the influence. He could have put them outside the car door and been safe, or just kept driving home and never been kicked out of the military to become the awesome ultra marathoner we're enjoying today.

          1 mile: 5:38 (September 2018)

          5K: 20:23 (March 2018)

          10K: 42:11 (May 2018)

          Half: 1:29* (2019 CIM first half)

          Marathon 2:59* (2019 CIM)

          Annual Miles 2,121 miles

          *CIM is a NET downhill course and the weather is unpredictable.

           

          2020 Goal: Short Distance PRs so people won't make fun of me. 

          Nimmals


          Stotan Disciple

            Brew Lets hope he doesn't pull the stunt he did at his first big race. I remember Wardien did a similar stunt at US trials in 2007. He lead the field by a huge margin through Broadway and just into Central Park then faded hard. I remember I could not fathom someone knocking off 4:46 miles in the middle of a marathon.

            Thinking should be done first, before training begins.

            Brewing Runner


            3:56 marathoner at heart

              Pretty sure course markings won’t get destroyed at the Olympic trial. He wasn’t the only one who got lost on the trail and the time he was going through there having never run it I can understand the missed turn. I believe the person responsible for marking that section of the course was devastated when they found out too.

              1 mile: 5:38 (September 2018)

              5K: 20:23 (March 2018)

              10K: 42:11 (May 2018)

              Half: 1:29* (2019 CIM first half)

              Marathon 2:59* (2019 CIM)

              Annual Miles 2,121 miles

              *CIM is a NET downhill course and the weather is unpredictable.

               

              2020 Goal: Short Distance PRs so people won't make fun of me. 

              darkwave


              Mother of Cats

                Going on the record to predict that Walmsley will be an interesting story, but ultimately a non-factor.

                 

                I feel like I've heard this song before (Gwen Jorgenson).  Athlete who is dominant in a sport that is closely related to road racing attempts to crossover, with much fanfare and prediction of stellar results.  I suspect it will turn out the same way.

                 

                There's a certain amount of revealed preference in endurance sports - people naturally gravitate to the type that fits their strengths the best.  And Walmsley was drawn to trail running.  Which is different from road running.

                 

                Looking at just Walmsley's road performances, there's nothing screaming that he is a top contender.  And I think you have to go off of his road performances when assessing his chances.

                 

                I know that many point to the Atlanta course as an advantage for him.  I agree that would be the case if the course was a surprise - a last minute change or something like that.  But it's not.   All those top guys have been structuring their training around this course, and will show up prepared, eliminating any advantage that Walmsley might have otherwise had.

                Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.

                 

                And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.

                pepperjack


                pie man

                  Going on the record to predict that Walmsley will be an interesting story, but ultimately a non-factor.

                   

                  I feel like I've heard this song before (Gwen Jorgenson).  Athlete who is dominant in a sport that is closely related to road racing attempts to crossover, with much fanfare and prediction of stellar results.  I suspect it will turn out the same way.

                   

                  There's a certain amount of revealed preference in endurance sports - people naturally gravitate to the type that fits their strengths the best.  And Walmsley was drawn to trail running.  Which is different from road running.

                   

                  Looking at just Walmsley's road performances, there's nothing screaming that he is a top contender.  And I think you have to go off of his road performances when assessing his chances.

                   

                  I know that many point to the Atlanta course as an advantage for him.  I agree that would be the case if the course was a surprise - a last minute change or something like that.  But it's not.   All those top guys have been structuring their training around this course, and will show up prepared, eliminating any advantage that Walmsley might have otherwise had.

                   

                  His road performances are rather old, and not that far from Jared Ward's frankly.  In the end I don't think he'll be top 3, but 5-8 isn't out of the realm of possibility.

                  11:11 3,000 (recent)

                  pepperjack


                  pie man

                    11:11 3,000 (recent)

                    Brewing Runner


                    3:56 marathoner at heart

                       

                      His road performances are rather old, and not that far from Jared Ward's frankly.  In the end I don't think he'll be top 3, but 5-8 isn't out of the realm of possibility.

                       

                      I'd agree with her asessment strictly off his trials qualifying time being so close to cutoff. I've never paid much attention to olympic running, or running in general, so my predictions aren't worth the paper they're written on. I'd LOVE him to come out dressed "like a fool" to lots of "traditional" running fans and just blow the doors off the competition. I'm sure the doubters would say "well he runs well in the heat because...." and if he blows up in a ball of flames they'll say "see this is why he should stick to trails."

                       

                      I also wish more"no name" athletes would win like it was a Disney movie or the 1980 Olympic hockey finals.

                      1 mile: 5:38 (September 2018)

                      5K: 20:23 (March 2018)

                      10K: 42:11 (May 2018)

                      Half: 1:29* (2019 CIM first half)

                      Marathon 2:59* (2019 CIM)

                      Annual Miles 2,121 miles

                      *CIM is a NET downhill course and the weather is unpredictable.

                       

                      2020 Goal: Short Distance PRs so people won't make fun of me. 

                      pepperjack


                      pie man

                        His heart rate on the HM was ice cold.  Seemed closer to a tempo than an all-out effort.

                        11:11 3,000 (recent)

                        pepperjack


                        pie man

                          So, about Gwen...

                          11:11 3,000 (recent)