Archive for March 20, 2011

It’s race week …. maybe.

Posted: March 20, 2011 in Motivation

This coming Sunday more than 35,000 runners will toe the line at the Cap 10K here in Austin TX.

10 Kilometers, just 6.25 miles. The very same distance as the shortest runs I travel during my training. A distance that I normally would be able to cover without batting an eye. I might have been in good enough shape after training for the Austin Marathon to make a run at my 10K PR of 38:06.

I’m registered.

In fact, by virtue of my sub 1:25:00 half-marathon time at this year’s 3M half – I have a spot in the seeded starting corral just behind the elite men.

A race that I was looking forward to as a tune-up for the Cooper River Bridge Run 6 days later in Charleston, SC looms in less than a week and I am still hoping for some magic this week. Without it, I will be spreading mulch in my backyard while those 34,999 runners are racing.

I am holding out hope that when I go for my trial run on Thursday morning, the pain on the inside of my left knee will be gone. If I am able to cover a pain-free 4 miles on Thursday, I’ll run a short 2-3 miles on Saturday and give it a go on Sunday morning.

If the pain is still there on Thursday, we’ll have to punt and look toward the following week in Charleston to perhaps race again.

I have not had a legitimate “run” in over 3 weeks, since my final leg at the Ragnar Del Sol race in Arizona back on February 26th. I have been diligent in my rehab by icing the knee three times every day and taking my anti-inflamatory meds. In the hopes of keeping my leg strength and cardio in order I have been hitting the tri-bike hard. Logging 90 miles of riding this past week, including my first ever 30 mile ride on Sunday morning.

I’m doing everything that I can right now to give myself a chance at racing next weekend, but with each passing day, the likelihood of that occurring becomes more and more slight.

I am reading a book right now written by the 1968 Boston Marathon winner Amby Burfoot. It is titled “The Runners Guide To The Meaning Of Life”.It showed up on my doorstep the very day that I walked home from my latest attempt at a run on my injured knee. As I began reading I had not even made it through the 14th page when I was greeted with the following:

Patience –

I’ve never known a runner who had as much patience as he needed, but any and all amounts of this precious quality are invaluable. We runners simply don’t get better fast enough to satisfy ourselves. Like the hare, we blast away from the starting line with visions of glory. We should be more tourtiselike. For that is the path to success.

Every runner gets injured at some point (always the wrong time). Every runner catches a cold or flu just before a big race. every runner has to deal with marriage squabbles, job pressures, schoolwork, too much travel, or something related to these issues. When the frustrations and obstacles seem too great, every runner is tempted to quit.

This is when you most need patience. This is when you need to tell yourself that tomorrow or next week or next year is soon enough. Distance running requires you to take the long view. It takes weeks and months, at the least, to get in shape. Give yourself time. Don’t make hasty and unnecessary mistakes. Remember: You’re in it for the long run. Life is a marathon, not a sprint; pace yourself accordingly.

Amby, I know that you are right. In fact, if I miss the next two race weekends, I am more than at peace to set my sites down the road to the third Saturday in June. That will be the day when we will hopefully be running the Holland, TX 5K – going for our third straight age group award at one of my favorite races.

If we can’t race until June, I’m fine with that. All I know is the next time that I am healthy and trained standing at the starting line of a race – you had better look out. I will be leaving absolutely everything I have out there on the course and will cherish every single stride.

It may be in Holland, TX – it may be in New York City next November at one of the largest and most prestigious marathons in the world. Whenver and wherever, make no mistake, we’ll be there ready to go Mach 1 with our hair on fire.

I will be a smarter runner, a stronger runner, a healthy runner. In fact, I will be better than I have ever been.

That is what this injury has taught me. I have found my passion once again to compete against the only runner who matters.


Thanks for the reminder Amby. When that race day comes, I wouldn’t bet against me.