I have been training, and I have not been training. I have been focusing, and I have been goofing off. I have been tired, and I have been lazy. I have been dialed in, and I have been injured. I have been quick, and I have been slow.
Now... yes now, it all seems to be coming together. 4 months of work comes down to evaluation over 26.2 miles on Saturday. Strangely, this is not a race where I expect to do anything spectacular or remarkable. I take that back. I will do something spectacular and remarkable. I will pace my step-brother through his first marathon.
After he ran 8 miles with me on Christmas Day a few months ago, I convinced him that he could easily do a half marathon and that his life would be whole and complete if he ran a marathon. Eric ran cross-country when he was in school and he has continued to run over the years. He admits that he should have lost a few more pounds and that he still needs to figure out some of the knee and ankle issues that have bothered him from time to time over the past 6 months. But he has assured me that his last 11 mile run felt great and that he is ready to run through the streets of Seattle with me in a few days.
This has been an interesting 4 months of training for me. I had all of those knee issues back in February after taking a few weeks off after running the Goofy Challenge. I found out that I was severely deficient in Vitamin D. 8,000 mg a day has solved the knee issues. I began a "5K a day for 40 days" when Lent started and kept up with it as best I could until I had to take a few days off to pout when our Spring Break trip back to Cozumel was canceled. I recovered and started running with Greyhound as he prepared for the Ogden 1/2 Marathon. Team in Training kept me busy, but my coach kept me even busier with some dang hard functional strength training. It has worked. Those first few weeks I was sore all the time. Now I am only sore for an hour after the workouts. TRX Suspension System...I LOVE YOU!!!
I swam to recover. I rode my bike to spin out the legs. I ventured out into the blackness of the early mornings to get the long runs done. It made it easier having someone who was holding me accountable to show up and get the work done. I traveled 170 miles three weekends in a row to get some running in where there would be some hills. I finished my 21 miler in crazy heat and smothering humidity. I am sure that I looked like a fright, but I got the "'Atta Girl!" and the fist bump and suddenly the weight in my legs was gone and I seriously felt like I was floating.
Floating, soaring, flying....I was running some of the fastest splits that I have ever turned out. Even at mile 11 and mile 17. Even in 84 degree heat and 79% humidity. Even on days where I got too little sleep. Mind you, I'm still slow.
All that matters now is not how good I can run on Saturday. All that matters is how well I can lead someone to their goal. I did the hard work so that on Saturday I could take it easy and focus on someone else. Someone else will become a hero to their son and love of their life. It is my responsibility to make sure that happens.
I run and race for others. I always have. I do it for those who cannot. I do it to encourage those who can to join me. I do it to change people's lives.
I hope that my brother has an awesome adventure on Saturday. I hope that there will be a cancer patient who will benefit from my personal contribution of $1250.00 to be a part of Team DetermiNATION with the American Cancer Society. I hope that I will be an encouragement to someone along the 26.2 mile journey.
I want to thank my family for once again putting up with my crazy shenanigans. I want to thank my coach, Anthony Humpage, for putting together a plan that has made me a stronger runner. I want to thank my brother for joining me on this wild ride. Most importantly, I want to thank my training partner, Greyhound. He got up early and met me in the dark to run with me and to keep me safe. He ran miles that were not even in his training plan so that I could get mine in. He waited for me when I had to go out and run more. He kept me updated on my pacing and reeled me in when I was working too hard and pushed me when I needed to hurt a little. He encouraged me when I was ready to throw in the towel. Greyhound has been such a great friend over the past year and a half as we have trained for IM Cozumel and other stuff and I hope that I have been as good as a friend to him as he has been to me.
Remember that you can be a part of my support team by going to the Coach Liz link and making a difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families. Join me!
More to come...