Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Dori Tribute

Today I learned that one of my friends, Dori Brown, passed away after a long battle with leukemia.  If I'm completely honest, I didn't know her very well, but I consider her husband, Jim,  a friend and fellow runner.  We had coached our sons' third and fourth grade basketball team together, and in that time, I got to know him.  My lovely wife knew Dori better than me, personally and through mutual friends.  After my wife told me about Dori's passing, I did a quick, hard hill workout.  This was on the schedule for today, but after hearing the news, my heart wasn't really in it.  I had hoped that the run would help burn out the sadness and anger I was feeling, but it didn't.  Now I just feel tired physically as well as emotionally.  As runners, we're often said to be running to or running away from things, be it a finish line, weight loss, better health, addictions, life problems, or just sadness.  There are no words to express the amount of injustice I feel has been laid at the Brown's doorstep, and despite the number of miles I run, those miles won't change the fact that a family is now without their wife and mother and a community is without a good and kind soul.  My thoughts and prayers go out to my friends along with the thoughts and prayers of everyone else that they know and have touched throughout their lives with their kindness.  If you know the Browns, you can pass along your sympathies and condolences at Run For Dori and find out information about the services as well.  Thanks.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Lakeshore 5K Race Recap

I'm in a quandry.  If I 1) run a 5k, 2) finish 5th place overall, 3) finish 1st in my age group, and 4) get a PR (21:20) in the process but really have nothing to say about the race other than that;  have I 1) lost my blogging/writing mojo, 2) taken short distance for granted, 3) raced in too small of a field, or 4) all of the above?  Seriously, everyone I know that knows how I run a race can guess how this went.  And this race wasn't any different.  It was an inaugural race at the Lakeshore Christian Church to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank.  The field was small and after a quick evaluation of my competition, I was cocky enough felt good about my chances.

Like a text book, I went out too fast at first. However in my defense, it was not my fault this time.  Some yahoo was standing next to me on the starting line, so he was practically spitting in my face with his challenging spot/stance/position.  I can't let a challenge go unanswered, so I hung on his heels till I passed him at the first mile marker.  After that I dragged a little in the middle while keeping the lead pack in sight, till the last mile when I nearly fell apart.  Still I managed to cross the finish line with a great time, and a 1st place finish in my age group to boot (you have to love a small field sometimes).  Other than the place and the time, it feels like I've written this blog before. 

Now would usually also be the time that I vow to run smarter next time to really acheive my goals.  Also some people would say that maybe if I raced smarter, I would have a better story to tell.  To those people I say, phooey.  Yes, I said phooey.  Capital P to the H to the -ooey.  In a long race, you conserve energy to tap into your reserves for those last painful miles.  In a short race, I say go out like a comet, baby!  A short race is about speed!  Gut-wrenching, blistering, pounding-till-you-go-blind, awesome speed!  It's about going fast; chasing your demons and running them down for the glory of winning in some spectacular fashion or burning out in smoldering ball of stubborn stupidity.  Think about it, the word "race" practically demands that I lay it all out on the line (much like that yahoo who stood too close to me at the starting line) and go for it.
Long story short, I'm too dumb cocky stubborn to change my ways with how I run a 5k.  I will probably always 1) give that challenging yahoo standing next to me the stink eye, 2) go out too damn fast at first thanks to my cocky attitude, 3) chug through the middle in blind hope, 3) struggle at the end in a stupid refusal to quit, and 4) hopefully, just hopefully finish big, gratefully, tired, and a better man than when I started. 

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