IBM – What it all means

Posted: October 14, 2010 in Motivation, Pace and Racing
Tags: , , , ,

So here we are, Thursday before race day.  20 Weeks ago at the start of summer I placed a training plan on the “magic refrigerator”, 96 runs and a little over 750 miles later we’re here.  IBM.

You may remember me telling you about the magic powers that our LG side-by-side, bottom freezer has.

Just by placing a piece of paper with days, weeks, months and miles to run on the door can make my body, mind and spirit do some pretty incredible things.  It was this very same “magic fridge” that got this very average guy with average abilities to the finish line of two major marathons just 13 days apart this spring.

A big part of me knows that it was Dom and his incredible will to take his cancer battle the full fifteen rounds that kept me going.  His courage and bravery throughout the last year is something that I am still in awe of now two months since his passing on August 15th.

But I also know that there is something powerful about that refrigerator.  Something that pushes me out the door in all kinds of weather to take on tempo runs, hill repeats, long runs and in all fairness some easy runs, all while nobody is looking.  I did it these last 20 weeks missing just a single planned training run two days after Landry was born. 

Quite fitting as I realize that some day before I know it I will have to find another location for my training plan as Landry’s art-work will take its place, giving me an even more powerful reminder of what it means to inspire someone.

Perhaps in some small way, years from now, Landry will feel that her Mom and I provide her with motivation and inspiration to try to do something that isn’t a slam dunk.  Something that she has to work hard for and will “test her”, to be the very best that she can be.  Letting that be her measurement for success, not how she compares to her friends or peers, but how she stacks up against her own talents and expectations.  That she is in fact the best “Landry” she could ever be.

Getting just the smallest sip from that cup is incredibly intoxicating. 

I watch Landry discover new things every day, get stronger, hold her head up a bit longer, tighten her grasp on my finger a little tighter and I think about all of the amazing things she will do in the coming months and years.

You're going to run how fast Dad?

As I grow weaker, she will grow stronger.  As I run slower, she will run faster.  She will eventually pass me by, as it should be.  But not right now, not this weekend.

This week while I was traveling back and forth to New York I had a lot of time alone to reflect on things.  On what it is about Sunday’s race that has me sitting here with pre-race butterflies more than two days before the event.

Upon reflection, it has something to do with racing for the first time since losing Dom with something at stake.  With something to lose, where by making my time or not making my time there are repercussions.  In every summer race to this point I could explain away a bad race due to the fact I was racing while training or had a bad day or just didn’t “feel it”.  I celebrated the good efforts and tried my best to forget the bad ones, because at the end of the day, the only race that truly mattered was this one.

I want to run well for a lot of reasons on Sunday, but above all else I want to honor the man whose name is on my race shoes.  I’m running for me on Sunday, but I’m carrying Dom with me and it just won’t be good enough to not run to my capabilities.  Not this Sunday.  Not at this race.

The sponsors at IBM are calling it a 10K fun run.

Good for them, no doubt there will be a lot of fun to be had on Sunday.  We’ve raced 11 times so far this year, and with the exception of the final miles at Boston, we’ve had a lot of fun at each and every event.

But Sunday isn’t about racing for the “fun of it” for me.  This is a “Goal Race” which makes it much more serious to me than all but 2 of the 11 races that preceded it this year.  I don’t know of too many things that I have circled on a calendar 20 weeks in advance and worked my butt off to get in a position to be successful only to come up “small”.

So here we are, just an easy 2-mile shakeout run is left on Saturday morning, just like I run before a marathon.  Nothing strenuous, just a quick workout to get the legs moving and burn off a little nervous energy, and then it will be race day.

Boom goes the dynamite on Sunday. 

And you know what?  It IS going to be “fun”.

  1. Jodi Higgins says:

    You are going to rock IBM on Sunday, I just know it! I too already have butterflies for Detroit. I keep having an arguement with myself in regards to taking today off as an extra day (the legs are a bit sore from the week) or just get out there for the planned 4 mile easy run after work. I have been diligent about following the plan (only missing the day before the 1/2 marathon I paced Jenn at). I need to finish what I started I suppose and head out there for a nice relaxing, mind inspiring scenic run!!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Jodi! Thanks for the message. You are going to do great at Detroit! So excited for you. The easy four will probably clear your mind a bit and make those legs feel a little “better” afterwards, but if you’re still sore come “run time” – just take the extra rest day.

      That’s the key to this training thing, listening to your body even when a workout that you planned 8 weeks before looms ahead of you on the schedule. Our body is a tricky thing, but either way, you trained great on a really sound plan – your legs will be there for you on race morning – no doubt about it!

  2. Lara says:

    You will not “LOSE” anything. You will always have the love, respect and admiration of the people who are the closest and most important in your life. Your performance will never diminish that. The training was the journey; the race is the icing. You inspire people by being you, not by posting an amazing time. Remember that, Joe. After that, anything can be fun!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Lara! Thanks so much for the support and kind words – you are very, very right. (Man I want to hit that time though! 🙂

      Take good care, continued good luck with your training for CIM. You are doing great!

  3. I have no doubt that you will rock it on Sunday. You never fail to impress and you’re running for all the best reasons. We’ll be sending speedy thoughts from LA!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi AJ! Looking forward to bib pick-up tomorrow and then hanging out, laying low with Landry this weekend to get ready to rock on Sunday. Legs feel good today, I’m sure will feel even better tomorrow after another rest day.

      Stay tuned for the race report – going to be a good one!

  4. onelittlejill says:

    This race is yours! Go get em!

    Looking forward to the race report. 🙂

    PS- I think you need a post dedicated to Landry- like a Landry-fest of photos. Cause I think I am in love with her and need to see more!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Jill! I do believe that Landry is in need of a post of her own …. she is such a cutie! We’ll be watching the Phils together this weekend – I’ll be sure to send along a few pictures to you rooting home the boys.

      Take good care, J

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