Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Weeks 3 and 4

Week three of training was to be challenging from a workout perspective as we were traveling north to meet new grandson, Joseph Samuel Winn. I decided to leave Jato at home as I'd be gone only a few days and it was unlikely there would be time or weather to allow for workouts. Joey was in a hurry to get started running himself and arrived before we did.

Hiya Joey!
I surprised myself with a 2 hour treadmill run after the flight home. Usually sitting for that long and traveling causes fatigue, but once I got started I felt James Brown good and could have run for far longer.


Week 4 was a good week, a very good week. I completed all my workouts and a terrific long run on Sunday. I did 5 miles on the treadmill then headed over to Alhambra Hall in old Mount Pleasant to finish with 10, maybe 11 if things went well.

I had slept over 10 hours the night before and got a late start; it was one of those days where time seemed to fly. I started a little fast for a long run and slowed myself down, remembering many long runs where the gas tank hit empty a few miles short of the finish.

The weather was suppose to be in the upper 50s but felt far chillier than that especially with the wind in my face. Although I brought gloves, I left my ear protection behind and made the mental note that if I think I will need gloves the ears would appreciate some warmth too.

The water fountains were shut off at Waterfront Park where I usually make a pit stop before heading across the Ravenel bridge. I try to take water with my gels (currently the most awesomely tasty Salted Caramel by GU) so had to settle for my diluted Gatorade.

As I head up the steep incline I notice I am not working as hard as I remember. I resist the impulse to run faster still knowing I have far to go. Cresting the bridge I see the sun low on the horizon and wonder if I should turn around to avoid running in the dark since I don't have a headlamp with me. My inner voice says no, take this small leap of faith and keep going.

I feel a smile in my face.

I think of us flying over the holy city today, and lines of High Flight race through my mind.

Up, up...I remember watching this as a child.

I stop at the benches on the downside, needing to take the picture below.

Running with friends
There are far fewer people on the bridge today, and we greet each other with a wave or a few words. Some give me signs of thumbs up. One with the "L" symbol over their heart.

I fly.

I think of a right turn, a left, and four faces appear in my mind.


Coming down the decline back into Mt. Pleasant I hold back a little, not wanting to stress my legs too much as I will be running marathon pace back to the start. I make a quick stop at the BP station and then head out refreshed. There is fatigue in my legs but mentally I am strong and my pace quickens.

Although growing dark I can see well enough to avoid tripping. My pace is hard but I can feel my previous training and the Thunder Road marathon are having the desired effect. I will run one more mile. I will run 16 miles today.

I finish at the oak tree in the road. It has been a hard effort and I smile again. I am not fast but I am stronger. I take a moment at Adam's tree, think of the love, think of where I am going.

Going to be there honoring those gone before.

Going to finish.

Going to be #BostonStrong.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

- John Magee


  1. Beautiful post. Thank you Richard. Are you writing a book? (you should)

    1. Thank you gRace.

      Not actively writing a book but have been thinking about it when I retire and that day is now on the horizon. Did start something during the recovery of my first surgery which involves running but it is not the focus. The characters stay alive in my mind so I think it will get finished one day.