Friday, October 30, 2009

6 Hour Race Splits

3 M Matthew Wilcoxen   31.92       33 05:57:30   
1:    8:58 00:08:58   
2:    8:40 00:17:38   
3:    8:43 00:26:21   
4:   11:04 00:37:24   
5:   10:51 00:48:14   
6:    9:18 00:57:32
7:   11:09 01:08:40   
8:    8:32 01:17:11   
9:   15:43 01:32:53  
10:   15:26 01:48:19  
11:   11:59 02:00:18  
12:    8:23 02:08:41
13:    8:34 02:17:14  
14:    8:40 02:25:53  
15:    8:41 02:34:34  
16:    8:28 02:43:02  
17:    8:38 02:51:39  
18:    8:40 03:00:19
19:   15:21 03:15:40  
20:   15:56 03:31:35  
21:   12:29 03:44:04  
22:   11:08 03:55:11  
23:    9:45 04:04:56  
24:   11:31 04:16:26
25:   11:31 04:27:57  
26:   15:10 04:43:06  
27:   10:14 04:53:20  
28:   15:37 05:08:56  
29:   10:10 05:19:06  
30:   11:07 05:30:13
31:    9:32 05:39:44  
32:    9:27 05:49:10  
33:    8:21 05:57:30 

1 Hour Race Splits

2 M Matthew Wilcoxen     8.09      8 00:57:27   
1:    7:26 00:07:26   
2:    7:24 00:14:50
3:    7:20 00:22:09   
4:    7:19 00:29:28   
5:    7:17 00:36:44   
6:    7:04 00:43:47
7:    6:56 00:50:43
8:    6:45 00:57:27 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Perspective

Sometimes things happen in this life that really put things in perspective. I can't decide if I'm more surprised at the patience of our creator or my own stubbornness when it comes to how many times I have to be shown what is really important in this world. My life is not great right now. There really is no other way to say it. It sucks in many ways. But really I'm blessed in so many more ways.

I had the amazing privilege to meet an extraordinary woman today on a flight to D.C. The conversation started out as most do with jovial banter about where you from, where you going, etc. I really enjoy meeting new people and was content to leave this one at the superficial level of airline seat companions but something changed at some point and I found myself deep in an emotional experience I won't soon forget.

This amazing woman has a daughter that composes music freestyle. No sheet music and no pre-programmer recordings. She plays all the instruments and then arranges them into wonderful compositions of boundless waves of melodies. I've always wondered about and been in awe of artists who weave their crafts directly from the heart onto their canvases. I'm not exaggerating when I say this music was good. It really was. The girl is 13! She free-flows this music and you can feel the emotion in the songs. I'm a sucker for talented people who produce honesty and beauty directly from their soul. When the structure and the form aren't studied and force-learned but are planted in the soul of the artist by the creator it stirs my soul and makes me realize how amazingly more than predictable this life really is.

That is not why this woman touched my heart however. She had a son that was a twin of her much-talented daughter. He was 13 and as wonderful and joyously intriguing as his twin. His life was taken by a virus that attacked his precious little heart. He was taken suddenly. I know all this because I shared with this saint-of-a-woman that I was worried I had spoiled my youngest son because I want to hold him all the time and did so when he was younger. We are now trying to break some of his clingy habits and I was espousing the trials of having a spoiled 6 year old when she stopped me and told me of her late son. I was stopped in my tracks. My eldest is 14. I take him for granted much more often than I like to admit. Although he is a teenager, I remember him as a small baby that had wild hair when I think of him. I remember teaching him to ride a bike and putting him on the school bus for the first time. I remember him playing soccer and I'll never forget the day we both played hookie from school and work and played a Playstation game all day. What I can't imagine is the thought of him being taken. Suddenly. How hard it is to imagine that in a few hours he could be gone? That is the one thing I can't seem to get my mind around. I can accept a lot and try to keep myself prepared for most things but that I just couldn't handle.

There is nothing you can do to reconcile the balance sheet after the loss of a child I suppose. Truth is, my heart went out to this woman but it seemed insignificant and much too tainted to be worthy of even speaking with her about it. I have questioned my worth ever since. All the selfish desires I have followed at the expense of others that I care for, all the worthless situations I've worried about, all the personal goals I've sacrificed for all seem nothing more than vapors when put up against the backdrop of what this woman has been through. I wish I could write words that could ease her pain or do this subject justice but I can't.

What I can do is ask you all to go hug the one you love. Right now. DO IT! Don't wait. Don't squander the love that's given to you.

Sorry that this post contained NOTHING about running but remember this is my psychologist's couch too.

Thanks for listening

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sickness



This flu thing is really kicking my butt. I've been down since Friday evening. And when I say down I really mean down! I have become permanently attached to this bed. I'm taking every medicine/immunity booster known to man and I still can't seem to fight this thing off.

I shouldn't be surprised that I caught this thing so fast. The schools are emptying with kids going out with it. Now normally my body would be strong enough to fight this thing off and keep me from getting a full-blown case. These are not normal times for old Willie though. I'm down 15-20 pounds depending on what day I get on the scale and I haven't slept well in weeks. My diet has been abysmal and it's really a wonder I made it this long. Basically, I'm a walking (running) germ magnet!! Every little microscopic organism that can get near me takes up residence and homesteads on this nice, fertile ground right now. My immune system threw in the towel long ago and posted For Rent signs outside my nostrils and mouth.

I am feeling a little better this morning. My chest is still hurting and breathing is not quite right yet but we're getting there. I am considering ventilating the house today to see if that would help. Sometimes I wonder if I'm not perpetuating the sickness by walking around in the same disease-filled air all the time.

I'll be back to work tomorrow but running will probably wait until this weekend. It's become fall here while I've been down and it's rather cold outside for my tastes. I'm going to ease into this new season slowly.

Thanks for listening

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Valley

I should be writing a race report for the Spirit of Survival marathon this morning but I can't because I didn't run it. When the starting gun went off this morning down in Medicine Park, I was laying in bed probably snoring very loudly.

I spent Wednesday night with my boys watching TV and just lounging around. We had a good time and everyone was feeling fine. Thursday morning, however, I got a call and discovered that The Big One had come down with the flu. He went to the doctor and was cleared of Swine flu but still would be out of action for at least 7-10 days. That really sucked for him and when I did see him again on Friday night he looked horrible.

Friday night I went to Elite Feet and picked up some Hammer Gel for the race. Then me and The Little One settled in for a restful night. There was to be no rest for me though. Around 7 PM on Friday night I started getting a sore throat. An hour later I had a mild fever and started feeling achy. I took some Tylenol PM and went to bed hoping a good sleep would clear it all up.

Saturday morning I was in full-blown crappy-ass-pitiful-feeling mode. I tried so hard to not let myself get down about the marathon. I concentrated on taking in massive amounts of fluids and getting as much rest as I could. No matter what I tried though I couldn't get the marathon out of my head. I had this empty feeling down deep that knew I was going to be a DNS for this one. I told myself I wouldn't make any decision until Sunday morning.

Saturday night around midnight I knew it was over. I was still feeling horrible and had a fever. The worst part however, was my chest. I couldn't take a deep breathe without coughing. Really hard. And it hurt A LOT! My throat was so raw and sore that I had sharp pains each time I tried to cough. I knew I would have to breathe during the marathon and that just didn't sound appealing. Breathing was a problem.

So I sent the text that I was dreading all day. I wouldn't be meeting up with the group to go down.

I know it was the right thing to do and that's what is bothering me so much. When have I ever done the right thing? It's not in my nature to look at a decision and see both the right and wrong answer and choice the right one! I may be growing up and I really, really, really hate that!

So here I sit, still in bed, still coughing, still have a fever, and now with a big fat DNS in my list of past races. It rained all morning so I know I would have been miserable out there even if I had made it to the race somehow without collapsing. But somehow I can't stop thinking that this just isn't my year. So many things have gone wrong in 2009. Some I brought on myself, OK, MOST I have brought on myself but some have been out of my control.

I suppose that this is all for some greater purpose, at least I hope that it is. Out of all this bad a few good things have already come and I have to keep my faith that this is just a temporary valley and that this hill I'm on is the road out of it. As much as I hate running hills I know that they always lead to the top of the mountain and you can't get there without some amount of pain.

That doesn't stop me from wishing that this hill were smaller though.

Thanks for listening