Sunday, June 7, 2009

Boston, Boston everywhere

Well the lottery results for the New York City marathon came out this week and once again I didn't make it in. It could have something to do with the fact that I forgot to register but I think it's just plain discrimination against procrastinating-forgetful people. I may write a letter.

I had a wonderful speed workout Tuesday night where I ran my fastest mile for this year. We did a 800-1200-1600-1600-1200-800 ladder and I ran the miles in 6:28 and 6:30 respectively. Not bad for an old bald guy. Last year around mid-summer I was running 6:00-6:10 miles so I'm almost there. Wednesday was National Running day so we got together and (tried) to run around Lake Hefner. I only made 5 miles of it. I knew after step number 3 that I wasn't going to make it around. My legs were really tight and my running labored. I didn't care too much because I was still on a high from the speedwork. Thursday my small group of running friends had planned to run around Hefner again (we like this place) but I again couldn't make it all the way around and settled for 6 miles. Saturday we got together with the big group again for 14 miles around the marathon course. That was a nice easy run with lots of good conversation and relaxed pace.

I am able to explain my problems with running last week as lack of rest. I just couldn't sleep well and I seemed to be always on the go and busy. Stress in my life has a horrible affect on my running. I worry about my job, I worry about my kids, I worry about money, I worry about worrying and by Wednesday I'm sometimes so tired I just can't get one foot in front of the other. This makes a good run very difficult. I usually recover on Sunday where I sleep in and lounge all day. This recharges my batteries and I'm good to go for Monday and Tuesday. If I have a good couple days I can sometimes make it to Wednesday or Thursday before I breakdown again but sometimes I'm gone by Tuesday night. I must stop this cycle.

I say all this to explain my next discussion. Boston. It seems that qualifying for Boston is in the air again. One of my friends has committed to training for Boston and another friend is thinking about it. They both have the potential to run the qualifying times with a little work over the summer. I really want to help them both get there. They always ask me when I'm going to qualify and I laugh hysterically and say I will go watch them as a spectator and that's the only way I'll get to Boston anytime soon. I've been down this road before people and it just isn't in the cards for me. Truth is I want it so badly but not enough to give up what I would have to give up in order to make it. I need a 3:15 in order to make Boston. My PR is 3:32. In order to make Boston I would have to increase my weekly mileage quite a bit and my workouts would have to be of much better quality. Both of these things are something I'd love to do, I would love to run 60 miles a week and do it all with some good intensity. I like to eat though and my house payment is due every month no matter how much I wish it weren't. My kids like me to be around every now and then and so does my boss.

I know lots of people who juggle all this and still run extremely well but everyone is different and I haven't been able to find the balance that those people have. I'll get to Boston someday and I really hope it's achieved with a 3:15 but for now I have smaller goals. I'd like to run a sub-3:30 this fall and I'd like to maybe run the Redman triathlon too. Those are goals that are challenging but can still be achieved under my current way-of-life.

On a much more positive note, you guys (mostly gals actually) are running so GREAT! I've been keeping up with most of you through Twitter and your blogs and I must say that I'm impressed. Everyone seems to be either running PR's or training really well lately. For what it's worth, I am impressed with your improvement. I haven't been blogging that long but I have seen some of you go from beginners to pro's and it's inspiring.

Some of you inspire me with your ability to juggle hectic work lives and still find the enjoyment in running.

Some of you inspire me with hardcore gym workouts which I'll never understand.

Some of you inspire (bewilder) me by swimming massive distances, biking up vertical roads, and running trails through wilderness peaks on both coasts.

Long runs through heat and humidity while dealing with serious psychological delusions about college football teams inspire me to keep my head up and stay positive.

I've had a dream of writing a book for many years now and some of you keep that dream alive by reminding me of it from time to time. I love that and I love reading about wonderful races in Northeastern towns that I can only imagine. Ever improving races times are inspiring too!

One of my proudest achievements in blogging is that I've gone international. The world works in mysterious ways and that's ever so true in that my international flare comes from a country that I am absolutely in love with! Who could have guessed that I would have a virtual friend from the place I have always wanted to visit since I was a kid?

And, last but not least, are my local blogging friends. These are people I actually see! I've run with them, I've spoken actual words to them. What a concept huh? The list of inspiring things I see in them is way to long to list here. They are a constant source of energy and strength.

I know I don't say enough thank you's in my life. If I tried to thank everyone for all that I get from them in my life I'd get nothing done. I'm nothing without the wonderful people I'm surrounded by.

Thanks for listening.


cath said...

what a cool post!! thanks for that! What I like is how you write with fun and honesty...especially re juggling it all.., keeping it all together...I know what it's like...(sort of).One of my dreams is to do boston...but am not redy yet...jusggle wise or fitness wise..mite see you there in a few years huh! Keep up the good stuff!!!

Calyx Meredith said...

A 3:30 PR this fall - that's a fantastic goal. With just a tiny bit more sleep you'll be there no problem! Great job on the speed work. Thanks for being my runner-blogger buddy. You've been an inspiration for me to run a full marathon. That's my next goal after the half iron. And I will so be cheering for you from afar if you do the Redman tri!! Go Willie Go!

chris mcpeake said...

Great blog good luck on your 3:30 goal. I too have not gotten into may races that I havent registered for.

Sarah said...

This was a great read, Willie. I didn't know that you had a dream of writing a book, but I can honestly tell you it would be a fantastic story. You have a gift.

Second, I hope that you run your 3:30 at Tulsa just so I can be around to give you a high five and buy you a beer (which I might just do because you're cool anyway). You will definitely hit it as it is an attainable goal for YOU!

Get a handle on that stress! It's all gonna workout one way or another whether you are sitting around stewing about it or now. Fine words from me, I know, but you can handle it all. I promise.

Have a great day!

JenZen said...

"Long runs through heat and humidity while dealing with serious psychological delusions about college football teams inspire me to keep my head up and stay positive."

Hmmm...who could you be talking about here????? LMAO!

Willie - I just KNOW you WILL TOTALLY make it to Boston. (And if that's not enough capital letters, HERE ARE SOME MORE!!) You're an amazing, inspiring runner who is always improving. You. ROCK.

And stress and life and bad knees and humidity and all of it take a toll on my running frequently too. It's running blogs like yours that help me get through it and persevere.

Terri said...

Willie, I'd like to second Cath's comments above. Your blogging and writing tone is just so easy to read. I've never met you in person but I feel like I have. Does that make sense? You really should write a book, but I know what you mean with all the competing demands on your time. 3:15 is an insane time to need to qualify. Are you coming up on a birthday soon that would give you a few more minutes? (I confess, I don't know your age, or the cutoffs for Boston off of the top of my head.)

Please know, if you ever do do Boston, you could stay with us. The trip is expensive, believe me!

And also let me put this one out there - the Bay State Marathon is very, very close to where I live - it's super flat, and it does have the largest number of qualifiers! I'm just saying....

Your post was beautiful, Willie, really beautiful.