Sunday, January 27, 2008

Week 4

This was my first 30+ mile week of the year. I actually had not planned on running that far, but some work stress led to an unscheduled 7.5 mile run on Friday. As a result I've almost logged my first 100 miles of the new year.
Today was an interesting and inspiring run. The plan called for 5 laps (2.5 miles per lap) on the trails out at Sachuest Point. It was cold and windy and started snowing while I was running. I felt slow and sluggish for the first 2 laps, but managed my modest average of 18 min. per lap (actually 18:01 and 17:55). I seemed a bit flat and attributed it to the extra run Friday (along with the drinking and dancing Friday night during a Mom and Dad night out). Then I started thinking about a story I was reading. It was the story of Ryan Shay. If you are not familiar with him, please follow this link: Ryan Shay. His work ethic was amazing, from what I've read. Almost as if he was cut from the same cloth as Steve Prefontaine (aka Pre). Ryan's is a difficult story because there seems to be no reason. And I couldn't help but think about his wife of 4 months, and think how unfair it was to both of them. No sooner do they find each other, then they are torn apart. I started thinking about how I would feel if I wasn't around to see Alexandra graduate from college (one of my "happy place" day dreams...).
As I was thinking about all of this I kept running. My perceived effort was constant, but the snow and wind had really picked up. As I glanced down at my watch following lap 3, it read 17:14. I had dropped my pace 41 seconds on the last lap, despite my face now going numb. I kept thinking about the story over and over, imagining I was now logging one of those legendary workouts. I truly was the only soul out running at this point of the day. As I finished lap 4 the watch read 16:49. I had dropped another 25 seconds in the worst weather of the day. It felt great.
I had dropped my pace on snow covered, windy and frozen trails from a slow of 7:12 per mile to 6:43 per mile.
I slowed to 17:35 (7:02) for the final lap. I'm now thinking about my build-up for Boston. I'm also thinking about what my place in distance running will be when I'm done. No, I won't be famous. I'm too slow for that. Rather, what will my legacy be in my eyes? I like the idea of being thought of as someone who is consistent and unyielding. I might not be the fastest, but I'll always put in the work and run tough. I try to live life the same way. I might not always get it right, but I'll always put in the effort and strive for perfection.

4 runs this week: 7.5, 4.5, 7.5, 12.5 miles.
Total: 32
Ytd: 89.55