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Feeling defeated? Check out this guy

I have to admit, I've been a bit of a Negative Nancy lately.

My nature is to be positive and upbeat, but a few weeks ago, I did something that I knew at the time was questionable. I signed up to run a 10K.

Now, if you've read my blog before, you know that I've run that distance and then some before. I did my first half marathon in April at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. That's 13.1 miles. A 10K is 6.2 miles. Not a short distance by any means, but clearly, this is a distance that I've done before.

But when I signed up for the 10K at the Equality Run, I knew it would be a stretch. Running in the summer in Oklahoma is tough. It gets so hot so early in the day that if you don't get up early, you're bound to be running in some fairly brutal conditions. I am an early riser, but my motivation of late hasn't been great. I've not really done any runs of more than 3 miles, and while I've run in the heat and gotten myself better conditioned for the heat, my regimen hasn't been stellar.

That has made my sense of dread about this 10K grow.

This morning when the alarm went off at 6 a.m. and I didn't run, my dread only grew.

Then I came across something on Facebook. Just so happens it was posted by Amy Downs. You know her as my running muse, the survivor of the Oklahoma City bombing who now runs and bikes and inspires. She had a post earlier this morning about the "Iron Cowboy" being in Oklahoma City yesterday, about how he completed his ironman distance and checked Oklahoma off his list, about how people were there to cheer him on.

All of that got my curiosity up, and when I saw that she'd linked a YouTube video, I clicked it and watched.


Turns out, the Iron Cowboy is a guy named James Lawrence. Normal guy. Husband. Father of five. But this summer, he's doing an ironman triathlon every day for 50 days, and he's doing each one in a different state. Every day, an ironman. Every day, a different state.


I'll let you watch the video to hear why he's doing what he's doing, but for me, Iron Cowboy has changed my outlook. He's going to do an ironman somewhere in the U.S. on Saturday, the day after he did one somewhere else. I'm going to run 6.2 miles.

Suddenly, doing so doesn't seem so difficult.

Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football... Read more ›