When: Saturday, April 16, 2011 6:15 AM-11:00 AM. Central Standard Time
Where: Veteran's Park (21st & Riverside)
All right class, can we say too hot and too humid and way too early and that it totally kicked Larry’s @#% - HEY! That’s enough – you not only didn’t have to add that last part, but you also didn’t have to say it with such a sense of unison and joy. Yes, last Saturday was not one of my better days for running, but still managed to get through it without having to lug around all that extra body fluid that the medical community likes to refer to as blood. Just think of the time saved by plasma extractors when they are able to draw it directly from the vein, sans centrifuging, just the sweat nectar. It’s times like this when we must keep in mind that survival is preferred, but not something to be taken for granted. Of course we all know the real story – er, that is, let me see, oh yeah, that – um – I ….. was ….. hold that thought a little longer …. purposely filling the sweeper role by trailing the group at sufficient space and distance to ensure that we didn’t leave anyone behind, or lost, or ….. Can I get back to you later when I think of, I mean accurately remember, how it might really have happened? Thanks. Plus, last week is so in the past, and as we’ve learned throughout the training season, we need to be focused on the future.
Which brings us to Saturday’s Final Long Training Run – the longest of the season. 24 solid miles of circuitous sole tenderizing bliss, just trust me (OK, I know this “just trust me thing” hasn’t necessarily worked out all that well for fellow ‘Noes and ‘Nettes in the past, but this time might could should possibly will be different). In fact, you’re gonna’ sorta’ have to, cause for this extra special marathon training extravaganza we’re banning all timing devices and electronic guidance systems. Yep, this time when we get lost we’ll be doing it the old fashioned way, just like my grandpa did (but of course He would never admit that he was lost – wonder where I ever got that gene?). Aside from the obvious abusive nature of it all, there is actually a purpose to the madness of not running with that old familiar electronic wrist suffocating sun dial. It vaguely has something to do with learning to listen to your body, set a pace based upon your breathing and conditioning, to focus on form and being relaxed, and also to ward off the panic that can set up during an actual race when the batteries die or the satellite signal won’t sync or the band breaks and the watch disappears or the dog ate your homework – oops, the old standby reflex just kicked in. Anyway, tunes to move to are in, but knowing exactly where you are, how far you’ve gone, and how long it’s taken to get there are totally out. Just Trust Me.
For an encore, I dipped into my special issue bag of top secret run leader powers, and wishing to use them for good for a change, arranged for a return to early spring temperatures for Saturday morning. The special powers are very strong, but they aren’t very long lasting, which means that it will likely warm up quickly as the sun draws higher and higher. Not to be daunted, cause a run leader likes to pretend like he is prepared for any situation, (although the repertoire typically consists of running, walking, or stopping – not necessarily in that order), we’re chosen to honor all of those unspoken requests and have agreed to start our run 30 minutes earlier. For the time anchored sort who desire a bit more precision in their muster, plan on arriving at Veteran’s Park Saturday morning at 6:15 AM’ish, and we’ll take it from there. Also, it might be good to bring along several sets of left and right turns, ‘cause we’ll be using quite a few. As the last long training run, make sure you do all that other prepping and primping and nutritioning and hydaterating thingamabobs that you should get down pat (which is way much different than a pat down) before the actual marathon.
If everyone does their part, which pretty much means to not question anything I say within earshot distance, it’s not entirely outside the realm of imagination that Saturday could actually be Something Special.
Also, I hate to keep bringing this up, but PLEASE, just this one time, kind observance of the No Hitting Run Leaders Rule Suggestion Hope would be much appreciated.