Monday, November 06, 2006

Sunday Sermons

I tried to cojole two or three people last week into running twenty miles with me on Sunday. To my astonishment eight people initially said they were going to run between sixteen and twenty miles (I added a little extra mileage loop at the end to make the extra distance optional as per my usual custom)and I was amazed when six showed up. My cup runneth over! So Seven of us went out and had a great long Sunday run, those who had finished recent marathons peeling off at 16 miles and heading for the restaurant. In the end, three of us hung on for the full twenty mile full meal deal...

And this made me feel immensely better.

In Under Three Hours, Lance Armstrong Learns Anew About Pain and Racing - New York Times

This was famed seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong’s first marathon, and he said that running the 26.2-mile distance, particularly the final eight miles, was the “hardest physical thing” he had ever done.

Exhausted and nearly walking, Armstrong crossed the finish line in 2 hours 59 minutes 36 seconds. He was 869th, with a pace of 6:51 a mile.

“I can tell you, 20 years of pro sports, endurance sports, from triathlons to cycling, all of the Tours — even the worst days on the Tours — nothing was as hard as that, and nothing left me feeling the way I feel now, in terms of just sheer fatigue and soreness,” he said, looking spent, at a news conference.

At the marathon, he was more recognizable than the top runners who stepped to the starting line. Armstrong said that was when he became nervous. He saw that the other runners’ legs were as thin as pencils. His are much more muscular. He was about 160 pounds when he raced in the Tour de France; he is now 180. He dreaded the pounding ahead, he said.

“I wasn’t kidding when I said that I’ve never felt this bad, ever,” he said. “My legs are killing me. My back doesn’t feel that great, either. I’m really suffering.”


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