Sunday, February 11, 2007

Just an All-Around Good Time

Although I gave myself an advance on the chunk of sweet potato tart with white chocolate ganache, I went to the rec. center this afternoon and deserved it.

Ten five-mile-plus runs remain because I took a 6.5-mile run on the track. Since my timed approach in swimming has been working, I thought I would apply it to my running as well. I set my sites on an hour run and went the farthest of my 2007 season.

Paula Radcliffe, however, couldn't tell you that. My iPod battery died near the end of mile four, so my Nike+ account will never believe me. But that's OK: I'll just have to do it again to get my congratulations from Paula. And I'll make sure my battery is not in the red before I start running next time.

Today's run was more a mental test than a physical one. Because I'm focusing on endurance, I had to ignore all of the people who were running around me: the sprinters, the one-lappers and the ones-who-are-just-fasters. It was hard. I was, however, able to keep a constant pace and feel great throughout the whole run.

Around mile five, a six-foot-five girl came chugging up behind me with heavy feet and rhythmic, hard breathing. One of her strides was equal to 3-4 of mine, but she just seemed to stay clomping in my blind spot. Lap after lap. I did my best to ignore her and maintain my pace... for ten laps! Finally, I made a pit stop for water and she ran another 30 yards and stopped. It was so nice to finally shake her. Geez!

Whenever Neil and I talk about endurance running, we bring up the T. Rowe Price commercial that has the two guys running. You know, the one guy runs at a constant pace while the other guy speeds past him. But down the road, guy #1 continues with his constant pace past hotshot #2 (I like to call him 'Flipper') who is heaving, cramping and stretching at the side of the road.

The message relates to consistent, steady investing that beats its Lipper Averages. So, my motto is that I want to run with steadiness and consistency that beats my Lipper Average! Just call me t-Ro.

My birthday this year was quite possibly the best ever (perhaps second only to the day I was born). For the first time I'm not promising myself to achieve some unreachable goal "by next year." I'm actually doing it now! Hardcore training is nothing to sneeze at! This isn't to say I've somehow pulled off everything I need in life, but that I'm happy with how I'm doing now. Finally! (Although I still have the left-over-from-my-20th-birthday goal of making it into The New Yorker by 28. We'll see in a year!) And I can't help but think my training (and the unending support and advice I receive) contributes to that great feeling. Plus, the Cavs spent the entire weekend kicking butt in my honor.

Not to get too gushy, but training makes me feel motivated in all other areas of my life. So, rather than thinking "gosh, I have no time for anything," I go with "the more I have on my plate, the more I'll get done." It's never been more true. And I even had time to take a nap this evening. That's what birthdays should be made of: happiness, wishes-come-true, super people and luscious naps. Oh, and good desserts too.

More about the weekend's festivities will be posted on my other blog some time this week.