Sunday, April 26, 2009

Team In Training Week 12

Week 12 was a beautiful run around Cazenovia Lake. I wish I had a picture to share. No camera and still having trouble getting an image of the lake off the web.

The run around Cazenovia Lake is slightly more than 9 miles; we ran two laps of the lake equalling 18.2 or so miles. I think seven of us ran the 18 miles while the a larger group walked or ran one lap for their half marathon.

We met at the Cazenovia HS and ran from the Forman St. entrance. I commenced my run with Charlie and as he pulled away I hooked up with Tim and found myself alone as Tim stayed with the ladies- a better choice I'm sure.

Running alone has its good points and its bad points. I'll stay positive on this post. The good points are:

1. the solitude

2. the opportunity to stay focused

3. the scenary and sounds

4. the chance to meditate

Solitude is first because it is the license for the others. When you are running alone you do not have to shut anyone off. You just run, think, and listen. This is how I know Des Carte was incorrect when he said, "I think therefore I am." He has never run and took in the beauty which surrounds us, especially on a run around the beatiful Cazenovia Lake. Des Carte believed that it is by thinking that man creates himself and his world. But, that is rediculous. Running around the lake and seeing and hearing the birds, watching a chipmunk run across a gravelly road, or listening to the sound of a dog bark (or a dog chasing you from a strangers yard) could never come from mind. My mind cannot create such natural beauty.

For example, while running about 6 miles or so alone I heard a woodpecker. I couldn't find him among the trees, but I could hear the signature peck against a tree. Woodpeckers are a favorite of mine when running on a lonely road. He lets you hear him as the morning fads. He likes to be left alone. As you get near to the tree where he perches he goes dark, no sound but the breeze rustling passed your ears and the dull sound of sneakers hitting the pavement. Soon, as you pass his perch the woodpecker says, "So long," and begins pecking again.

The chipmunk I mentioned is a charcter in this story. As I ran along a gravelly, rutted, and pot-holed road, I was chased by that miserable dog mentioned earlier that made my heart skip as he charged down the yard. Yet, it was the little chipmunk who helped my heart settle as he scurried before me running off the street and into the brush. He actually ran beside me, in the brush, for a few feet. I guess I made him panic a bit too. To him I was the dog. I can see the chipmunk. He was four inches long, light brown fur, with a black and white racing stripe down the middle of his back leading to his bushy tail. Now I can think of him. Yet. as I think and write nothing becomes a reality on my desk or outside my window although I am not thinking of that while I type.

My favorite part of running alone is the chance to mediatate about God's wonderful creation. The world was created from nothing. And the beauty of creation, a tree for instance, could only be created and placed by someone, not an inanimate something. I like to say a decade or two of the Rosary while I run. The chance to meditate on the life of Christ and His blessed Mother is always time well spent. I also like to think about the day ahead. What will I do when I get home? Who will I see first? What will I eat? And which child of mine will be the one to ruin my serenity? All in one isolated lonely run we can look at ourselves for what we are and what we will be; we can look at our failures and our successes; we can, on this morning's run accomplish what many haven't... a personal best.

I did eventually catch up to Charlie who slowed down and walked some to allow me to catch him at Carrie's water stop. I stopped at her stop each loop around the lake. Once to refresh and catch Charlie and the other running the back 7 miles. However, congratulations are in order because Carrie is pregnant. She is not able to run being 8 weeks along, but she is still coming out to support us and figures to be at Lake Placid cheering you guys on.

The water stops, I can never say enough about them. The stops make the long run manageable and possible. I do not know the names of the folks who volunteered to help us runners get through the 18 miles but there was a mom & son pair at water stop one, Carrie at water stop two, and Tyra(a black lab) with a mother and daughter team at water stop three. The mom at water stop three cheered and rang a bell as we approached. Tyra was excited to receive a tap on the head while daughter held Tyra and encouraged us onward, "The finish is less than 2 miles out." My second pass at their water stop I choed down Vanilla Bean gel and two cups of water and a Gatorade.

While I 'm talking Gatorade, Maureen has been fooling us all. The lemon-lime drink we have been drinking may not have always been Gatorade, but Powerade in a large Gatorade container. I love the green Gatorade. Now I have to admit that there is little to no difference between the two brands regarding flavor. Its like being told you're drinking Classic Coke and then realize you've been duped into drinking Pepsi. It's simply unforgiveable, not really. Now I can buy whatever. In the words of Bill Murray, "It just doesn't matter."

By the time I returned to Cazenovia High School and met up with the mentors who anxiously awaited the marathoners return I was greeted by a friendly group offering me water, Gatorade/Powerade, ale, and fresh off the gridle pancakes. I grabbed my share and chased them with the green drink I savor, but do not know what it is. Matt cooked up the pancakes. The mentors seem to be a preety tight group. I just listened to their stories about past events and concerts they may be attending. Let me think about who was who sitting around and enjoying the "finish festivities": Yvonne, Matt, Maureen, Tim, Paul, Kristen, Megan, Charlie, and Jennifer. There were others, but I cannot recall their names off hand.

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