Monday, November 12, 2007

Hell Hath No Fury: Strange Motivations for Runners

As some of you may know I began training for a marathon almost two months ago. The process has been very rewarding so far; I feel great, more energy, more relaxed, and with each run its easier and easier to get into a rhythm. Sundays are my long run days with Tuesdays and Thursdays as my short run days (Tuesdays sometimes become imaginary running days). Since I didn't get my long run in yesterday I had to do it was by far the best run I've had and by far the most motivated I have been to push my motivation, fear of my wife.

The run started off as it usually does, changing into my running shorts and shoes, charging my iPod, fine tuning my playlist, out the door, iPod on, earphones in...and off down the asphalt path to glory. The only exception, I started a bit the sun was starting to go down. Last Sunday I had run 6 miles so my initial plan was to get at least 6 and 7 if I felt good.

Sure enough, about 3 miles in I was feeling it. The Killers, "When You Were Young" was jamming through my headphones and I felt light so I decided to take a detour and add an extra mile. The sun was going down about this time...the headlights were becoming more intense creating my own little version of Coldplay's "Fix You" music video. I completed the detour and popped back out onto my familiar route. By this time I was about halfway through my run, at the furthest point geographically from my house. Suddenly, it hit me, my wife and I had scheduled dinner with had to be about 6:30 or 6:45....CRAP!!!

I scrambled to remember when I had left the house...I remembered looking at the clock in the kitchen just before I stepped out the door and I was nearly certain it was around 6 when I left. I was doing mental calculations trying to determine my distance covered, average mile time, etc. My pace became much faster. This wasn't the first time in the past few weeks something like this had slipped my mind. Marelize had been incredibly patient, but I knew this wasn't going to be fun...she had told me just before I stepped out the door not to go on a long the time I thought she just didn't want me running in the dark, now it made a bit more sense.

Mile 5: Pitch black, headlights racing by much too close on the narrow country road, sweating, windy...then the little devil hopped up on my shoulder. What was I going to say about this. I could see her now...her stance, her eyes...the look of disappointment. It was unbearable. For a normal woman it may not have been so bad, but my wife had a little extra bargaining chip on the table, she's currently 8 months pregnant. Thus, the excuses began to flow like wicked poetry. I stopped to help an old lady with car troubles, a pack of wild dogs chased me into an alley where I had to fend them off with a stick, I twisted my ankle and had to walk home....

Mile 6: At this point I was nearing a dead-out sprint. I'd almost settled on one of those quasi-truths, "I took a wrong turn." In fact I had...the turn where I kept going further away from home at mile 3 instead of turning back around. I could feel my heart pounding through my sternum and could hear my breathing muffled over the sound of my music....Fall Out Boy's "Sugar, We're Going Down," how appropriate. I began praying that God would give my wife a spirit of mercy and forgiveness.

Finally, after what seemed like 2 hours at a 6:30-mile pace I made it home. I had skipped my usual 1/2 mile cooldown walk and ran straight into the garage, preparing myself to look as exhausted and flustered as possible (this wasn't all to hard to act out). Bursting through the door I glanced at the clock....6:20! Are you serious!?! I didn't get it...evidently I had left about 5:30 instead of 6. Marelize cracked up as I explained the story to her. The rest of the night went well and I looked back at the incident thinking only one was the best run of my life. I'm a firm believer that physical training is 90% mental, the body will do almost anything the mind wants, the trick is finding the right motivation.

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1 comment:

sagittarus said...

i do hope u win that marathon
nice thoughts about motivation
wake uo early , start running
4 do a far goal u wanna to acheive
nice post and so do the blog
see u later