Revised Challenge List

June 18, 2006

1.  50 sit-ups in 50 seconds
2.  50 pull-ups in 50 seconds
3.  50 push-ups in 50 seconds
4.  50 seconds plus 19m or less 5K
5. 50 seconds plus 39m (or less) 10K
6.  50 minutes plus 4h (or less) HAT Run
7.  50 minutes plus 4h (or less) Phunt 50K
8.  50 laps (1.25M) around CF in 750 minutes
9.  50 minutes plus 4h (or less) Escarpment Trail Run
10. 50 seconds plus 3h 30m (or less) marathon for BQ
11. 50 seconds plus 59h 59m or less Barkley Marathon
12. 50 seconds plus 14h 50m M-D Longest Day 100K Challenge
13. 50 seconds plus 14h 50m M-D Longest Night 100K Challenge
14. 50 minutes plus 3h (or less) Trail du Bout du Monde 32K Race

Okay, I gave this some thought over the past couple of weeks and have decided that the 50/50 list is contrived. If I'd listened more to my intutition, I would have known it was flawed by the kind of effort I felt pushing the list to arrive at the number 50. All that did was force me to add things that I was not interested in chronicling. And this is where I am drawing the new line: which of the items do I really want to write about?! When I ponder this whittled-down list I realize that great physical challenges are also mental and sprititual challenging; at least they ought to be. I thought about removing the 50/50 list entries entirely from this blog, but I think I'll leave it there for the time being.

 

The first of the list to arrive is #12, which I'm running next Saturday. We, the 4 or 5 of us running it, are leaving at the crack of dawn rather than waiting for sunrise (I'll explain afterward). Here are some photos and a description from the trial run and a webpage announcement.

The pinnacle of the list above is the 50 lap run in 750 minutes, #8. The laps are 1.25 miles so the 50 laps make up 62.5 miles. To finish them in 750 minutes, the average pace will be 12 minutes miles. Over that length, that will be the toughest challenge for me. 750 minutes is 12.5 hours.

Spritual challenges

June 2, 2006

8. 50 hour vow of silence

16. 50 five lap awareness meditation runs around CF

18. 50 minutes meditation 50 times 

Miscellaneous challenges

June 2, 2006

21. 50 trees planted

22. 50 dreams remembered and transcribed

24. 50 stones collected

25. 50 feathers collected

26. 50 shells collected

34. 50 practical jokes played

37. 50 days without television

39. 50 books catalogued per week, 50 weeks

40. 50 holes of golf

42. 50 massages given and/or received

45. 50 trees climbed, at least ten feet up

The creative challenges

June 2, 2006

1. 50 minutes of music composed

7. 50 poems written

28. 50 stories told

49. 50 moments of spontaneous public performance art, 5m each min 

The spiritual challenges

June 2, 2006

I know there's overlap between the categories, but think these fall best in this group:

8. 50 hour vow of silence

16. 50 five lap awareness meditation runs around CF

18. 50 minutes meditation 50 times 

Community oriented challenges

June 2, 2006

The giving challenges, the ones that help to bind me to the community, the sanga:

5. 50 bucks per week given to charity

6. 50 hours trail work done

9. 50 personal handwritten letters, sent

11. 50 perfect strangers, acquaintance made

23. 50 person Paul Poll, ask for one word description of Paul

27. 50 Letters to the Editor

30. 50 anonymous gifts given

35. 50 pounds of coffee roasted for gifts

46. 50 thank you notes sent

47. 50 or more phone calls home

48. 50 postcards sent, for no particular reason

50. 50 toasts proposed

The culinary challenges

June 2, 2006

Okay, forget the culinary crap. This is about eating and drinking! Here are the challenges:

19. 50 ounces of strong beer in 50 minutes

20. 50 loaves of bread baked

38. 50 pancakes eaten in 50 minutes

Geez, that's it? Three challenges? Well, they better be well chronicled, right? 

The physical challenges

June 2, 2006

2. 50 pull-ups in 50 seconds

3. 50 sit-ups in 50 seconds

4. 50 push-ups in 50 seconds

10. 50 miles running per week average

12. 50 seconds plus 3h 30m (or less) marathon for BQ

13. 50 minutes plus 4h (or less) HAT Run

14. 50 minutes plus 4h (or less) Escarpment Trail Run

15. 50 laps (1.25M) around CF in 50m plus 10h, or less

17. 50 seconds plus 59h 59m or less Barkley Marathon

29. 50 seconds plus 19m or less 5K

31. 50 minutes plus 4h (or less) Phunt 50K

32. 50 seconds plus 39m (or less) 10K

33. 50 seconds plus 14h 50m M-D Longest Day 100K Challenge

36. 50 minutes plus 3h or less Trail du Bout du Monde 32K Race

41. 50 hours night running

43. 50 seconds plus 14h 50m M-D Longest Night 100K Challenge

44. 50 seconds standing on my hands

Okay, here I go: my 50/50 list

June 2, 2006

This is the list I compiled for my birthday challenge, written out over the first week into my fiftieth year here on the planet. At 49, I feel like I'm growing both younger and wiser each day. Am I ready to take on this list? Yes!

A few things about it:

First, the idea for compiling it came a few months back through reading some of the posts on a running forum; curious about one of the contributors, dirtdiva, I found my way to both her own blog and to the website birthdaychallenge.com. I've been planning to compile my own birthday challenge since then and have submitted this list to them.

Second, the list is not in any particular order. At least not any obvious order. Order through chaos, perhaps, but I'm not going to spend much time on figuring it out. Instead, I'm going to be grouping them into various categories and filing them as such: Physical, Community, Creative, Culinary, Spiritual, Miscellany. I'm providing a short annotation for each. Some will be monstrously difficult for me, others pretty easy. I wanted, above all, to avoid any that were ala NewYearResolutions, and also things that didn't lend themselves to a public journal. (Don't worry, I won't be writing about each and every letter I've hand written, or every loaf of bread baked.)

1. 50 minutes of music composed

This was the first thing that popped up and I wanted to get it out of the way, I guess. I thought about 50 pieces of music, but that would have been way too much and might have fostered some pretty awful stuff. As it is, 50 minutes of music composed will still be a challenge. My schooling was in music but I've not delved far into it for a couple of decades now.

2. 50 pull-ups in 50 seconds

I can do about 3 in 10 seconds at this point.

3. 50 sit-ups in 50 seconds

I can do about 20 of these, nevermind the timing, before my stomach spontaneously combusts.

4. 50 push-ups in 50 seconds

As above, about 20, with the last few getting hard to witness.

5. 50 bucks per week given to charity

Obvious.

6. 50 hours trail work done

This will include work done on public trails and some on a trail I'm working on in the woods by the house.

7. 50 poems written

Interesting!

8. 50 hour vow of silence

9. 50 personal handwritten letters, sent

I've written maybe two or three over the past 5+ years.

10. 50 miles running per week average

Not too tall an order, but to keep the consistency means I'll have to stay healthy–a good idea.

11. 50 perfect strangers, acquaintance made

This should make for some great blogging.

12. 50 seconds plus 3h 30m (or less) marathon for BQ

I've been whittling my marathon times down; less than ten minutes to shave off.

13. 50 minutes plus 4h (or less) HAT Run

A challenging time: I'll have to shave almost an hour off my time.

14. 50 minutes plus 4h (or less) Escarpment Trail Run

Don't know this trail, but I will in a couple of months!

15. 50 laps (1.25M) around CF in 50m plus 10h, or less

This may well be the most difficult challenge of all from this list, with an average of less than ten and a half minute miles. The CF refers to Cabaret Farm, where I live.

16. 50 five lap awareness meditation runs around CF

Fun runs.

17. 50 seconds plus 59h 59m or less Barkley Marathon

Crazy for putting this into the list, I have to be invited to participate. I'll try to get in to this romp…pray for me (if I'm get in).

18. 50 minutes meditation 50 times

here

19. 50 ounces of strong beer in 50 minutes

I'm not much of a drinker so this should make for some hilarity. Want to join me?

20. 50 loaves of bread baked

Feeding friends, see?

21. 50 trees planted

Now this is what we need to be doing. Suggestions for saplings?

22. 50 dreams remembered and transcribed

Already have one, and since putting this on the list have remembered a couple of other snippets. Otherwise, I'm one who hardly ever remembers his dreams.

23. 50 person Paul Poll, ask for one word description of Paul

I may ask you…be prepared.

24. 50 stones collected

This one and the next two were inspired by a moment on an island off the coast of Brittany.

25. 50 feathers collected

I'll be picking them up on runs and such.

26. 50 shells collected

Great excuse to find my way to the sea.

27. 50 Letters to the Editor

Give em hell, Paul.

28. 50 stories told

I'll try to transcribe some or most of them as well, but I'm thinking mostly of the oral tradition.

29. 50 seconds plus 19m or less 5K

Another big, imaginary line to get across. I've got about a hundred and ten seconds to shave. Gulp!

30. 50 anonymous gifts given

I've often thought of these as being the truest gifts, unaffected by any reciprocity (not that that's in and of itself a bad thing).

31. 50 minutes plus 4h (or less) Phunt 50K

Another 50K challenge, in winter's nadir.

32. 50 seconds plus 39m (or less) 10K

And another [imaginary] line to beat. Probably ranking up there with #15.

33. 50 seconds plus 14h 50m M-D Longest Day 100K Challenge

This is a new race that I'm helping to organize. Read about it.

34. 50 practical jokes played

The challenge will include avoiding payback.

35. 50 pounds of coffee roasted for gifts

I like to roast my own coffee. Other's like it as well, I guess. I call it Delmarva Coffee.

36. 50 minutes plus 3h or less Trail du Bout du Monde 32K Race

My first race on foreign soil. Coming up this July in Brittany. The name means Trail [Race] at the Edge of the World.

37. 50 days without television

Not consecutive.

38. 50 pancakes eaten in 50 minutes

Leave this to me, I'll do it and you'll see them. They'll be of varying sizes–hey, I'm making the rules around here.

39. 50 books catalogued per week, 50 weeks

I also sell old books, manuscripts, ephemera online. I threw in a business challenge here, and an organizational one as well.

40. 50 holes of golf

I can't swing 50 rounds of golf (financially or timewise) in year, but I think I can a few. No, not really a challenge…how bout if I putt with one arm and one leg?

41. 50 hours night running

Training runs and any long runs/races that go overnight.

42. 50 massages given and/or received

I've got a great massage table but have hardly used it these past few years.

43. 50 seconds plus 14h 50m M-D Longest Night 100K Challenge

This might be another of the MOST DIFFICULT OF CHALLENGES. After I complete the Longest Day Challenge I'll have an idea of the course. This Longest Night Challenge, a concept at present, should run the opposite direction, from sundown to sunrise, on or near the winter solstice. May be a most far-fetched idea, but it's on my list.

44. 50 seconds standing on my hands

Goofy, but I figure that I should try this after I've worked my way up with the chin-ups I'll be working on (#2).

45. 50 trees climbed, at least ten feet up

Just like old (very old) times.

46. 50 thank you notes sent

To be a better person.

47. 50 or more phone calls home

As above.

48. 50 postcards sent, for no particular reason

No particular reason, none.

49. 50 moments of spontaneous public performance art, 5m each min

I'm allowed to consider ideas ahead of time, just not formally planned. This will be good blogging material!

50. 50 toasts proposed

A good excuse to…uh…propose toasts, yeah.