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Friday, January 11, 2013

Yes, I'm Wearing Pants

Christmas Eve morning was downright cold in North Texas.  To get a head start on the stress that was most certainly in front of me, I headed out for a six mile run.  You would have thought I was Santa Clause, an elf or flying reindeer based on the nutty looks I was getting.  More than several cars passed by in the opposite direction with the driver and passenger looking at me in disbelief.

I smiled and waved at most of them, because I’m just friendly that way.  Internally, I was thinking to myself what could possible be wrong?  Was it because they thought I was avoiding family time and selfishly spending time away from them? (the family was probably still sleeping, but I’m not going to lie to you and say there isn’t some truth to the concept).  Maybe I was supposed to be doing last minute shopping.

Fear suddenly set in as I thought momentarily that I forgot to put on pants after the athletic briefs.  I looked down immediately and….yes, I was wearing pants.  Shorts actually.  I don’t like running in pants and I’m still not comfortable in running tights.  I know, I know…get over it.  But I don’t like the way I look in skin tight leggings and I certainly don’t want to put others through the visual experience either.

Suddenly, it all became clear.  They were looking at me because I was wearing shorts in sub-freezing temperatures.  Not super cold mind you.  Maybe it was 28° with little or no wind.  I certainly was not cold, but non-runners don’t get it.  These people driving in their cars with full winter coats and hats simply thought I was crazy.  “Look Bill, there is a crazy man running half naked down the street.  Do you think we should call the police?”

Last night I went for a run in the rain.  I wanted to try out a new light weight rain jacket and there is really only one way to test these things.  My neighbor pulled up at I returned to the neighborhood in the downpour.  She shouted out her window that I was crazy and smiled.  I wonder if she meant running in the rain is crazy or the fact that I was again wearing shorts.

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

MIV - Over The Century Mark

It wasn't pretty, but I did finally reach the century mark in miles for the year.

I needed only about 74 miles in December to reach 1,000 miles running in 2012.  I had almost 100 on the schedule so the record seemed easily achievable baring injury or illness.  It wasn't pretty because I sort of limped in with nearly the minimum amount of miles needed.

On New Year's Eve I was scheduled to run a half marathon, easily surpassing the 3 miles I needed on that day to reach 1,000.  Well, the weather was awful and I'd been fighting off a cold for over a week.  As I sat in the car, temperature in the mid-30's, listening to light rain falling, I was certain it was over.  Rather than put on my gear and get ready to head to the starting line, I started packing things away.

Suddenly, with about 8 minutes until the gun went off the rain simply stopped.  I was tormented for a few moments of whether or not I should go for it or go home.  The need for 3 miles was strong.  How disappointed would I be reflecting back on 997?  I simply couldn't deal with that thought and scrambled to get my shoes on and geared up for certain rain and wind.

The weather held for a few miles and then light rain began again.  At four miles I had an inner smile and was happy I hadn't wimped out.  I'm glad I started and was determined to finish.  After finishing the first of two loops in the half marathon, the wind started howling making the rain drops feel like sleet or hail.  It was downright miserable.

I ran White Rock a year earlier in similar conditions and swore that I would never do it again.  You can get through the first hour or so without too much trouble, but eventually the wet clothes and feet create an inner chill that simply escalates beyond reason.  The problem is that once you're 6.5 miles out, the only way back is 6.5 miles.  One might as well finish.

Because of the double loops of this race, I had options.  The story would be different if I had never run a half marathon, but I have completed over 10 in the past 18 months.  This was just a two day challenge that I had already completed the year prior.  Thus, the draw from my car as I ran by the parking lot was incredibly strong.  It was calling to me..."Randy, Randy...come inside and get warm.  You can run again tomorrow, but come inside."

So, did I keep going?  Heck no, I wimped out and ran straight to my car, changed clothes and went home.  I regret it now, but it was probably the right decision for me.  I still regret it because it was my first DNF (Did Not Finish).  It is a real bummer.

Overall, I'm trying to stay focused on the 1,004 miles.  It was not a goal I set and was unrealistic in my mind in late August.  The marathon training really ramped up the miles in September and October which suddenly made it a possibility.  In 20 years of running, I believe this is my first year with over 1,000 miles.  I find it hard to believe and do not have records from the earlier years when I was very dedicated...yet, I'm thrilled with it regardless because I know I haven't even come close  in quite some time (which in itself is hard to believe with 9 marathons in my past).

My goal for 2013?  Heck, I don't know.  Let's say...1,005 miles with a much stronger December!

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace