Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hugs and Puppies


Doesn't get much better than puppies. The little buggers that Cactus and Rosie produced are now four weeks old.

I went out to the last Marathon Clinic - for me that is - before the Boston Marathon last night. There are some very talented athletes in this clinic and they are a mere four weeks out from the Vancouver Marathon themselves. Some of them are hurting. And whereas Boston will be my twentieth marathon, Vancouver will be the first for most and I had a few things that I wanted to tell them, mostly the things that I should be focusing on myself.

Relax. Take a deep breath. Enjoy the experience. Don't beat yourself up over missed runs or time taken off for illness. Don't try to make up for any lost training sessions at the end. If you have nagging injuries or are hurting, focus on recovery.

Seymour and I had planned to go out for a little half-price pasta after the clinic and before I knew it we were joined by ten other people. It was great. I mean really great in the nice way. Time spent in the company of people whom you enjoy. A bit like a big group hug, only with no groping. Damn!

And because I have droned on ceaselessly and endlessly during this marathon clinic - and the other ten that preceded it I must confess - about the need for having a strategy and a plan for running a marathon, I was asked a LOT of questions about whether I was ready, and even more specifically about what time I was going to run, all questions of which were issued from little expectant, cute, trusting faces. As if somehow I KNEW...

I guess this is the danger in burnishing your reputation with lots of outlandish marathon and ultramarathon stories. People start to expect that I actually know what I am blathering on about. So I tried to be as honest as I can, admitting and knowing full well that I am as full of shit as any two-legged primate that knuckles across the face of the planet.

This marathon is one of the few where I am at a bit of a loss to know where I am at conditioning and speed-wise. My speed work has all been miles, and I don't have the afterburners that I usually do. But over the course of 26.2 miles that doesn't seem like such a big deal. I banged off runs of 24, 26 and 28 miles, so I have to believe my endurance base is there. My weight is 182, and will probably stay there, so I am as lean as any marathon I have run. I also ran Kelowna at 182, even though I got as low as 177, as I bumped up with my taper diet and pre-race carb-loading. And in Boston last year I was over 190. In Boston I zoomed from a pre-taper 188 all the way up to 194!

I'll really miss Hugh. I ran my last one and a half marathons with Hugh - and trained every week with him for the last two. In Kelowna, Hugh paced me every single step of the way and I know I would never have qualified without his untiring support and encouragement. Hugh was my safety blanket. Last year in Boston we got seperated, so I know that I can at least suck it up and finish relatively strongly on my own.

And the wine. I am 182. There is less than a week to Boston. I was in the company of fellow marathon warriors, comrades in arms, and it just seemed right. Four of us split a bottle of red wine. I had my first glass of wine in eight weeks. It was glorious. Thanks for the toast, folks.

See you next week! Posted by Picasa


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vince you are such a source of inspiration to so many people.

You are crazy, awe-some, and larger than life.

We appreciate all that sound and fury and bluster, your passion, the way you suck the oxygen out of a room, beat up on Seymour, keep us all honest and how you give us the straight goods, all bullshit aside.

You can't ask for much more than that.

Actually, of course you can and the best part is that you are drinking wine again!

Have a graet run in Boston. I am sure you will amaze yourself just like you amaze everybody around you.

12:57:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home