Two months. Not a lot of time. When I crossed off this past Sunday’s 17-mile training run from the schedule I took a peek at what was ahead. I actually try not to do that too often when I am training for a race because a lot of things can happen – many of them not good.
You can suffer a freak injury, catch a cold, step in a hole on a dark morning. I’ve even slipped and fallen when a neighbor’s sprinklers went off in the middle of the night and the water froze on the street in front of their house – Ouch. But mostly I try not to look ahead because the fact of the matter is, I am a little superstitious. It started back in middle school where I only wanted to wear the number 11. I even bribed a fellow teammate in High School to make sure I kept the number all four years. To this day I always put on my left sock, then my right followed by my left shoe, then my right. Yup, even this morning. I figure, why take any chances?
But this Sunday I did peek ahead and noticed that I only had three training runs that I would consider “long” before the Boston Marathon remaining. 19 miles a week from this coming Sunday followed by my first 20-miler the next week. After another step-back week I will have my second 20-mile training run, followed by a three-week taper to Boston.
Just 13 days later it will be time to toe the line once again at the Pittsburgh Marathon honoring my good friend Dom and hopefully make a big difference for Dom and his family as he continues to fight this terrible disease. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.
It’s funny that from time to time every one of us starts to take things for granted. Even those of us who are supposed to “know better”.
Just last week a good friend who lives out in Boulder, CO asked if she could interview me for a piece she wanted to write about Run for Dom on her website – Saturday Morning Zen. http://www.saturdaymorningzen.com/
What I didn’t realize at the time was that Lara was going to help me in more ways than just sharing our story. Lara, who is a fabulous writer, found a way to really tap into what RFD is all about. She had me looking at something that I had been living for more than six months day in and day out in a completely different light.
She was able to hold the RFD effort up to the light and tilt it ever so slightly. Like looking through a piece of glass or prism, her writing reflecting an entirely different side of the story. You can read part I of Lara’s piece here: http://www.saturdaymorningzen.com/2010/02/interview-with-joe-blogger-of-joe-is-running-for-dom/
Lara, I need to thank you as you were able to really get me dialed back in to what is important about RFD. It’s not about mile splits, personal records or training runs. It is about showing up and giving my absolute best effort every day between now and May 2nd to honor a close friend literally in the fight of his life. Finishing is what it is all about. It is O.K. to look ahead, in fact it is empowering!
With 32 training runs remaining before Boston covering 255 miles I can’t wait to run every single one of them to the best of my abilities that day. There are sure to be easy miles and difficult ones. There will be clear skies and rain. Certainly there will be calm winds and blustery mornings. Regardless, each and every one of them is special, each one is in fact a gift. Embrace them all I say, because they are all part of the journey that started back in August – possibly even further back than that.
Maybe they started over15 years ago when a couple of guys met who were supposed to help each other make some sense of this craziness we call life. Maybe looking ahead isn’t such a bad thing afterall, maybe that is the perspective that I had been missing. Thank you Lara – you are a great, great friend for pointing the way. Your site talks about “running toward wisdom” - I had no idea just how right you have been all along.
If you would like to help RFD or even sponsor one of the remaining 15 miles at the Boston or Pittsburgh Races, please visit http://www.runfordom.com/donate.html or click on the how you can help link in the right sidebar of this page. This is the part where I need some help.
For those of you who have sponsored a mile or are planning to do so – I will absolutely do my very best to make you proud and leave nothing on the course that day. There are very few guarantees in life, but this is a promise you can count on.
Update – Part II of Lara’s interview can be accessed here: http://www.saturdaymorningzen.com/2010/02/interview-with-joe-part-two/