Sunday, April 28, 2013
The next day, out for my usual morning run, I started coming up with an idea: what if my teammates could participate in a marathon with me, or at least experience one? I really wanted them to fully know what the marathon is all about, and see the good side of it, the way it challenges us, brings out the best in us, and how marathoners respond to challenges with persistence and determination. Not only that, but joining in on a marathon would be the perfect message and response in the wake of someone attacking Boston: no matter what happens, very much in the marathon spirit, keep running!
So for our next team meeting, the very next day, I put together a short presentation that was essentially a combination of my "For Boston" post and the two paragraphs you just read. Then mentioned that the San Francisco Marathon's registration is still open, and they have a marathon, half-marathon, 5K, and progressive marathon as options. Of course, I had to explain what a progressive marathon is, but I sold that hard, mentioning that just about anyone can jog or walk 23.1 miles in the span of two months, and just about anyone can jog or walk a 5K on race day. Do that, and you get a finisher's T-shirt and medal just like everyone else, and you get to be a part of the San Francisco Marathon.
I concluded the presentation with what I presented as our team mantra:
"For Boston, I will."
What surprised me was how receptive everyone was. They friggin' applauded!! (that rarely happens for anything in our weekly meetings). A couple signed up for the half marathon, but a ton of people seemed interested in the progressive marathon. Others said they'd come out and volunteer or cheer us on. The whole team just had the brightest looks walking out of that meeting. I was, well, I was touched. It meant something to me to see it mean something to them.
So now we're gonna have a handful of Googlers running in the San Francisco Marathon with me. Awesome.
For Boston, I will.
"My head just isn't in it today, huh?" I thought to myself. I jogged another quarter mile back to my building, got a breakfast taco, showered, and went to work.
It wasn't even a good breakfast taco, either.
To some degree, I think I'm losing a little bit of a mental edge. I really need something to keep me going upstairs. I may have found it today, something of a new mantra. Will post later if it sticks and starts working.
As much as I'm having a hard time with consistently sticking to my training schedule, I'm doing just as bad, if not worse, when it comes to eating. I really need to lay off the sweets and stop picking the heavier, meat-oriented items at the cafeterias at work. And I need to eat a little less in general. Well, if I run as much as I should, maybe I don't need to eat that much less. I dunno. The point is I'm currently eating more than I need to, and not making the best choices. That needs to change.
I wound up doing brick training today (a bike ride followed immediately by a run). Haven't done that in a long time. Wound up feeling pretty good; maybe I should do that more often. Not a whole lot, mind you, but after my long rides on weekends, follow that up with a couple miles on foot. Think that'll re-establish a little bit of toughness, both in my legs and in the mental arena, in a "you're never done" kinda way.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
For Boston, I will.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
It turned out to be some organization trying to help people run their first half-marathon (good for them!), and they were doing a training run today. A mile later, I saw another aid station. And mind you, they didn't just have water, they had a full spread of snacks. This was not for an actual race or an official half-marathon, but just for a training run, presumably significantly shorter than 13 miles. Meanwhile, here I am, on a 19.5-mile training run, carrying no food or water.
And don't carry so much stuff. It just slows you down.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
The third Monday of April has become something of a personal holiday for myself. The Boston Marathon has a deep meaning to me, and to thousands, if not millions more, representing an ultimate goal, a personal challenge, an achievement for a lifetime. A chance to run with the greatest, hell, to BE among the greatest, running along a hallowed course, your footsteps echoing through history.
I know the attack probably has nothing to do with the Boston Marathon and more to do with a big crowd and a worldwide audience, but this feels personal. There is nothing remotely offensive about the Boston Marathon, in fact, it represents the good and the miraculous in all of us. It shows us that ordinary people can accomplish great things. And for these athletes to have tragedy strike as they're simultaneously in the middle of both the accomplishment and the experience of a lifetime, well, that just sucks.
While we're at it, it's a shame that hardly a single news outlet was saying a derned thing about the Boston Marathon until people started dying. Not even in the sports section. Next time around, it'd be nice if we celebrated the triumph of 26,000 as strongly as we mourn the tragedy of 100. I wish we as humans were drawn to good news as much as bad news, if not more.
So congratulations to those that finished the Boston Marathon yesterday. Your accomplishment is not lost on me, even in the face of a horrible act by some jerk.
Yesterday I cut my morning run short when I started feeling lightheaded (I trained a lot over the weekend and didn't eat enough). Then when I heard what happened, somehow the only thing I could think of doing was go for a run. So I posted something on a listserve at work and managed to get two other Googlers to join in on an after-work run "for Boston". Then I went out for a Boston lager.
It's early, but I'm thinking I'll run Boston next year. Like hell someone takes our marathon away.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Saturday, April 13, 2013
I wound up doing only 18 miles within the park. Not only was the lack of continuity already irritating me, but it's also clear that I'm not particularly skilled on a mountain bike yet. It would probably be a good idea to get to know each of these parks on shorter rides first, before I string them together on a long epic ride, increasing the chances I'll make a mistake and hurt myself as I get more tired throughout the day.