The VOICES are chattering and everyone is excited. This has been the best year of training in club history. That's not saying a whole lot considering the WE have only been running since 2006 but still, it's been a good year. More miles, consistent paces and awesome long runs have translated into PR's at EVERY distance that I have raced in this year. The 50k last week was not a PR for the distance but it was a PR for a trail 50k. Mile 21 of Sunday's marathon will be the 2,000 mile mark for the year, 500 more than last years total miles. All of this has the VOICES rambling on about PR's and chasing down the elusive sub 3 hour marathon. I'm not sure about the sub 3 but feel confident that a PR is realistic.
My first marathon was Bass Pro back in 2007 and the 3:13:something still stands as my PR. There have been some really close times but this has been my best. I think, if everything goes right, on Sunday- there will be a new PR at that same marathon. Muhammad Ali and Babe Ruth are battling in my head. Ali predicts a KO on the 3 hour mark and the Babe is pointing to the fence signaling a home run on the PR. These two dudes know that confidence makes a difference. Confidence comes through training and WE feel like the dues have been paid and it is time to put it to the test.
A slight scare at the end of today's run has me a little worried but I think it will be okay. As I was finishing up, my hamstring felt like it was knotted up and I had to walk it off and stretch it out. Hopefully this will not be an issue on race day and things will go as planned. I have the “pie in the sky” hope of sub 3 but will be pleased with 3:10. That's a huge difference, I know, but that's my approach. If it feels good early on then I will hammer down and see what happens. If not, I'll ease up and try again in 2 weeks at the White River Marathon.
Last week, I ran in PINK and honored all those touched by cancer and in support of breast cancer awareness. The $423 raised for that event, combined with the money from the Honor Scroll and the Relay run brings the total to almost $4,000 this year. Pretty awesome support. This week, there will be no “gimmicks” and the pink tutu will stay in the closet. Of course, the FIGHT continues and donations are ALWAYS welcome but the begging will cease for a while. Thanks for all your help.
Even though this is not a fund-raising event, it will have a significant impact, for me, as I re-new my efforts in this FIGHT. I will run, as always, in Honor of all who have battled the beast. My mom and dad, as always, will be in my heart BUT they will have to share the space with some very special people. Two of my favorite people in the world have both lost their battles with cancer this week. Two men that have had a lot of impact and influence on my life have been stolen by this monster. To say that I have know both of these men for my entire life would not be a stretch. I am 38 and they were both a part of my life for over 30 of those years.
Two different people but they both shared a common trait. They both believed in me and were always quick to let me know that fact. Joe was a former Marine that served in Vietnam. He carried himself in that way that Marines do, and lived his life with pride and integrity. He had the confidence to try anything and made people around believe they could too. He was a major influence in my decision to join the Marine Corps when I was 19. He did not suggest that I join, he did not tell me that I should, in fact he never even talked to me about it until after I went through boot camp. His influence came through his actions and the pride in which he lived his life.
Bob was a great friend to me, even when I was a kid and he was a few years older than my dad. He always treated me like I was special, even though I was just like the rest of the crowd. He always welcomed us to his house for a hunting trip, canoeing on the creek or just to lay around on a lazy Sunday and watch football. As an adult, we often worked together and I enjoyed learning “tricks of the trade” from him- he also taught me that it was OKAY to fish in the rain as long as the fish were biting and there was enough cold beer.
I will miss both of these great men. On Sunday, I will be running with a heavy heart and I fully expect to shed a few tears as they bring me through the hard miles. I know they will be watching and patting me on the back with pride. This will keep me running when I want to quit. This will keep me involved in the FIGHT when I want to quit. I loved these two men and I HATE cancer.
This is how it works-
I love to run but there are times when I would rather not. This is when the voices start. Chants, name calling, guilt and reverse psychology is how they get me up and out the door. I don't really mind the voices and have actually started looking forward to their daily calls. Together we have formed a running club that supports, encourages and competes with each other. I love these peeps. They are much more experienced, talented and tougher than I am. Pushing me out the door, through the hard miles and up the monster hills when I am feeling lazy or want to give up. Some people have "real" training partners, coaches and support crews. My team is ALWAYS with me and helps me to keep my eye on the prize and not veer off the track. Sounds crazy- Yeah, probably is.........