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Friday, June 25, 2010

In like a lion...out like

With the challenge of Stu's 30K behind me, it was back to focusing on the next event. Stu's was a deviation from my quest for beer. The next race in the series was to be the April Fools 4 Miler in Salisbury, MA.

4 Miler.


Perhaps you're wondering why my reaction is what it is. After all, I just did a 30K, which is 18.6 miles. A 4 miler should be a piece of cake, right?


The best way I can think of to describe it is by relating a conversation I had when running with my friend, Leigh, one day. I was sharing with her how people assume a 5K is easy once you've done a marathon. She chuckled knowingly and said, "when you get to mile 15 in a marathon you say to yourself, 'I feel a little tired'. When you have been running in a 5K for 15 minutes, you say to yourself, 'I think I'm having a stroke.'"

See the difference?

Think of all the energy you have as being stored up in a bottle. You have to spread your energy evenly over the distance that you are running. If you run a 5K or, in this case a 4 miler, that means your energy is flowing really, really fast...because when you cross that finish line, that sucker should be empty. However, you get the same size bottle in a marathon. But, it's more like "slow release". You still want it to be empty when you cross the finish line, but you are expending it sparingly.

Make sense now?

The rest of the month was pretty uneventful as far as running went. Some highlights included a 14 mile run with Christine and John on 3/13. The first five miles were easy paced, the next six miles were at an 8:20 pace and the final three were easy. It was nice having their company, particularly in the middle portion.

Plus it felt like old times. Except it wasn't below freezing and Christine didn't have her speed skater hood on.

On 3/20, I met some of my 2008/2009 Lazarus House Hunger Striker teammates at the Andover/North Andover YMCA for a 16 miler. It was great to see Kelly and Coach Bill again, not to mention meeting a couple of people for the first time. The miles just flew by and, before we knew it, we were done. Coach Bill has so many stories, it's ridiculous, and I mean that in a good way. The weather was warm and it was a marvelous day to be running.

The last run I'll mention is my 18 miler on 3/27. I had the pleasure of running the first six miles with my friend, Jeremy, (he is the theatric collapser I spoke of in an earlier post) and the last 12 with Ted. This was to be his longest run since he completed the LA marathon on 3/21 in 3:27, thus qualifying him for Boston in his first ever 26.2 adventure (good show, mate). He even offered to drive up to NH and meet me for the run. What a guy. We had a good time catching up while in motion. He told me about his marathon experience and it was positively inspiring to me. I was starting to get excited about running my race in May after hearing about his.

It was also around this time that the Vermont Marathon PR strategy changed a little bit. Originally, when John and I decided to do this race together, he offered to run with me the entire way in order for me to get my 3:45. Now that Ted was in our circle, things changed. Ted had his BQ already and believed John should run the marathon for himself. He offered to be my pacer. Remember, I had only known Ted since January and here we are, late-March, and he's offering to run a marathon with and for me. Thank you, Ted. Thank you, Universe!

The biggest story of the month, and the inspiration for the title, was the rain.

It rained. And it rained. And it f**king POURED!!!

As of 3/30/10, the City of Boston had seen almost 13 inches of rain, breaking every record you can possibly imagine. The city was expecting another 2.5 inches of rain to fall that day. Providence, RI already had 14.7 inches of rain that month and would easily break their record of 15.38 inches. Rivers and basements everywhere were flooding. Just when you thought it couldn't rain anymore, it did.

It's enough to make you run on the treadmill, isn't it???

Not us!

We ran in it anyway. John and I did 5 miles on that Tuesday and we got soaked to the bone. There were puddles EVERYWHERE. But, we wouldn't have had it any other way. I felt like a little kid again, splashing around, not caring one iota how much of a drowned rat I must have looked like. It was a blast. We couldn't control the weather, but we could control our attitude about it. Instead of complaining about it, we embraced it. As a result, we had a lot of fun.

The same can be said about anything that you approach in life. You are where you are. The Dalai Lama said, "We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves."

Make peace with where you are right now and you'll get to where you want to go.

In like a lion and out like a fish.

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