November 14, 2008

Goin' 4 It!

Richmond Marathon is tomorrow.

My Boston Marathon qualifying time is 3:30. It has been 17 years since I last qualified.

Tomorrow, I roll the dice one more time.

Why try? Why not sandbag like always? Why not just run/walk for the first 20 and then find somebody who is struggling near the end and help that person finish? Several reasons ...

• The 19:09 5K I ran two weekends ago is concrete evidence that I am in way-faster-than-3:30 marathon shape. More like 3:07 shape.

• My buddy Bob is struggling these days with injuries and will be pretty pleased if he breaks 4:15. His PR is 2:49. If Bob was in 3:07 shape, he would try.

• My friend Dennis can't run any more. Ever. His PR is 2:37.

So this one's for Bob. And especially Dennis.

November 10, 2008

A Smack in the Mouth

So the other day, this is what I woke up seeing …

As We Forgive Those

As We Forgive Those

As We Forgive Those

Wow. How’s that for a smack right in the mouth first thing out of the box?

As we forgive those? You mean, even when I feel as if I am one of the few who is getting it right? You mean, even when I am so sure that somebody else is all about himself and how he looks? You mean, even when I am doing good, solid, heart-felt work with precious little support? Even when the other person isn’t my friend? You mean, always … in every instance?

You mean, even when up until sometime recently, I was grinding my teeth at night because of all the uncertainty at how I’m supposed to figure out how to get all this work finished when I feel as if I am all by myself on most of it? And even if I feel so strongly deep in the core of my very being that I am pushing myself hard, yet seeming to miss every deadline because of factors outside of my control? And even when people are unkind and change their minds and jerk my chain?

As We Forgive Those?

As We Forgive Those?

Yeah. Every time. No matter what.

Wow. And I thought finishing a 100-miler was hard.

November 3, 2008

On a Bit of a Roll

Saturday: I do the JMU Dukes Homecoming "5K" Run. Brutal course, teeny field, no mile marks, no splits, very low-key. I crushed it, finishing 7th outta 66. Raced the whole way, never looked at my watch, just focused on being controlled, working every climb, steady on the flats, open it up on the downs. After the initial shake-down of a torrid start on a fairly steep uphill, there are two guys within striking distance: one maybe 30 meters up and the other maybe 60 meters at, say, Mile 1. I work my way up to the first kid by the end of a sweeping flat curve, then dust him on a fairly long downhill. The next kid I get on a sharp uphill before, say, Mile 2. From there, I start the long surge to the end, just like the old days. Just like the old days, the mantra is "CHP. CHP. CHP." (Chest up, hips forward, push off.) The final half-mile is flat, and I tie up just a little bit the final 300 or so.

I hit my watch at the finish. 21:00.

Wow. With this effort, I know this course is way longer than 3.1 miles. After a 10-min. warm-down, I find the young kid who is the RD (he refs basketball with us) and ask him how long the course really is.

His answer: It's 3.4 miles. (Traditional course. Sees all of campus that they want to show off, hard to change it now that it's been going on for many years blahblahblah).

Using a Runner's World conversion tool, I ran ... 19:09. Yeah, 6:10 minutes per mile pace. 19:09. That's 18 seconds faster than I went last July in a 5K that's very accurate with a much larger field, hence plenty of people to key off of when you are gassed at the end.

MAN, was that fun :)

Sunday: Planning to do an easy 2-hour run/walk, wake at 6:30 a.m. without time to get in said 2 hours before church, so opted instead for taking the online basketball ref test. Cranked the 100-question, true-false test in an hour. Needing a 70 to ref varsity and an 80 for post-season eligibility. Instant result: 88! Sweet! Church at 8:30 a.m. with a seriously moving ceremony, then groceries. Expecting to pump out a quick 25-minute run before taking Ben to lacrosse practice in C-ville, then rush back in time to head off to Strasburg for a ref meeting. Get home to find a voicemail from the lax guy saying practice is moved from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., so Heidi cuts me loose to head off for a long run ... so I drive to JMU and do 2 hours very gently of 9 mins. run/1 min. walk. Legs felt awful at the start, then totally peachy by the end.

Monday (aka one amazing way to cap a pretty neato three days): On my 25-minute jaunt before work, I find a $20 bill!

A 19:09 5km, a 2-hr. run/walk and a little extra green. Not a bad three days at all.