Well, another weekend training run for the Mountain Goat has passed, and it was a challenging run from the get go...
Waking up early after a late night of watching The Walking Dead was quite appropriate because I had nothing on hose zombies except for I could think about the task before or rationalize a way to stay in bed.
I did roll out of bed, and I hit the road for downtown Syracuse where I promptly arrived just before the start of the run with upwards of 300 other runners. This morning I ran alone which made it that much more mentally taxing.
I ran to the music in my iPhone. As always the start is unbearable. My legs and back ached and my mind was telling me to quit. I slowed my pace and watched the other runners. The best distraction and motivation a runner can have is to chill and observe the surroundings, especially the runners. Runners are quite varied in their appearance... One guy looked like a jigsaw puzzle. He wore long sweat pants covered by jogging shorts and several shirts of various colors and sleeve lengths. As I ran passed him, I wondered if he actually dressed himself and realized how silly he looked. I would have said, "Is he blind or something to dress like that" until I witnessed a first, a blind runner. She ran while holding onto her sighted running friend. Now that was inspiration.
I felt good now that we were about a mile in. I was acing just over a ten minute mile and reached the water tower of our first descent into Strathmore and Hiawatha Park. More hills and another beautiful downhill; I love going downhill. An opportunity to go fast and rest simultaneously. Unfortunately, I still had many aches and pains in my legs and back plus ankle pan. Yet I ran forward determined to make it those ten miles. My pace quickened nonetheless.
As I trudged up Colvin, I passed a friend who was walking and two other friends passed me floating on clouds. Very impressive. I decided to stay close to them to maintain a nice pace through Thrndon Park for that final hill and quick descent toward East Genesee St and the finish line at Armory Square. I made it to the square and kept running to my car saying to myself, "what a hard run, but I'm glad to have completed the course for a third time."
My only words of encouragement are to "stay the course." Finish the race my friends. Train hard and never waiver from your goal because its achievable. Overcome the negative aches and pains that push you to quit. Replace the bad thoughts with the happy thoughts of success and the joy of reaching the end.
With that said, "I'll see you on the road."