Saturday, April 18, 2009

No Quit

It's pretty clear the Routine post resonated with several RFD visitors. The day after that post, the alarm actually woke me up and I almost skipped a four miler. But how can you skip after posting about routine?

This morning at 5, I headed out for my long run. I've never gone past 14. Today, I reached new territory - 15 miles. I took the first two very slowly, hitting mile 2 in 20:40. I had the road all to myself the first five miles, and didn't see a car or a runner this crisp morning until I reached downtown. As I ran up 1st Avenue along the Cumberland River, the sun began to push upward, setting up a glorious morning.

Weaving through downtown, I hit the first of a series of hills. Another hill at the Baptist Hospital at Mile 8 punched, and I punched back, with my iPod as my companion. Working my way along the outskirts of Vanderbilt's campus, I continued the gradual climb back to our house. My pace was 9:58/mile around Mile 10. At Mile 11, I stopped for the only time, stretching for 90 seconds at most. My Gatorade was almost gone, and the water stop I rely on hadn't been set up at the Athlete's House, where I buy my shoes and running supplies. Tough cookies.

A younger heavy dude passed me, but this did not deflate me. I was focused on keeping my tempo, not his, and finishing a record run. At Mile 13, I began to feel the run seriously. More bumps and small hills awaited, and each felt bigger than it really was. Unfamiliar pains visited, including feet that throbbed and a left hamstring that asked, "Are you sure about this?" "Yes, I am, hammy ... don't fail me now."

The last mile was about blocking out everything and celebrating what I was about to accomplish ... finishing my longest run ever. My final time was 2:31, a 10:05/mile pace. I'll take it ... It's a good training run.

After the run, some carbs and a shower, I headed to the ballfield with Will. His team trailed 9-1 in the bottom of last inning. I had a funny feeling we were going to rally, as I coached from first base. We did, in grand style, winning 10-9. The whole time, I kept thinking positively, "We will never quit." The kids didn't, giving themselves the opportunity and an improbable, wonderful finish. They also gathered themselves quickly and showed the other team great respect during the post-game handshake.

Dori had a clinic visit this week. Her platelets hit a new high, and her bloodwork looked excellent. Hans, my friend, I'm gonna kiss you when I see your European face the first time.

One night late, here are some Friday Night Flashbacks - some ERA-loving Partridge Family, some infamous Crowded House and smooth, break-up tunage from Level 42.

1 comment:

Ann said...

Really great news about Dori's counts and congrats on the fabulous run. 15 miles is quite an accomplishment. :)