Sunday, October 21, 2007

Race For The Cure (Saturday Oct 20)

Base Line

I finally ran a race this year. I finally committed to facing the reality of how much slower I have become. Race For The Cure is the 5k I ran last year — I came up short of breaking 20 minutes after some confusion about the course and clock time. This year I wouldn’t get close to that time. Running a 6.25 minute pace for 3.1 miles was not in my bag of tricks. I was avoiding the magic mile with the group because my training was off and I did not want to face short comings. Yea, yea, you’re thinking it’s not a competition, it’s a fundraising effort!
Still, I want to run strong. Everyone wants to run (or walk) strong.
Strength and commitment is at the core of any successful endeavor. My decision to participate in this training (and money raising) effort for a second year was not easily made. It took a lot out of me last year however, I also realized how much still needed to be done. Everyone that has been through this before KNOWS how much sacrifice is required in order to advance this cause.
I ran the course in 21 minutes — about a minute slower than last year. Not a bad time but not my best time. The important thing is that I ran the race and finished without stopping to walk because I was tired or discouraged. I wanted to stop —
my feet hurt, the lungs struggled and my mind was working against me. I finished.
A base line is established. There will be more 5ks and 10ks. There will be at least one half marathon and then the February 26.2 with Donna Marathon.

Please keep all the kind words of support coming.
I will begin working on a series of final paintings and organizing an art show that will happen prior to the race (hopefully the first weekend in February).
I’ll let you know.

Race For The Cure sketches

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Catching Up

rainbows and rv's

Just because you haven't heard from me in a while doesn't mean I’m not training. On the contrary — beginning October 1st I stepped up my running and workouts. Personally, I'm doing well. Family is awesome and work has been rewarding. I guess I’ve just been too busy to post.
Last weekend I stole away some personal time and traveled with a few friends to Cape Hatteras to relax and surf.
More on the trip in a moment.
I’m looking forward to seeing the group Saturday morning October 20.


The last time I joined the 26.2 with Donna group we ran 5 miles at UNF (and some of us ran an additional "magic mile").
It was October 6th and NE Florida was on the backside of several weeks of torrential rain.
Beds are the best place to be at 5:00 am when it’s pouring down rain.
Running in the rainy darkness might seem miserable but it does have some advantages.
The temp is a bit cooler with rain and if the dew point (thanks Tim) is favorable a rainy morning run can be very enjoyable.
Getting up and showing up is the tough part.
The group that morning was smaller than the 180 (or so) that I had gotten used to seeing. But, it’s still amazing to see 80 to 100 committed fund raising runners out at 5:30 in challenging elements.
After the "fasties" completed our run on Saturday I allowed myself some time to study the development of a rainbow in the western sky over the UNF pines. It reminded me of a sunrise. A whisper of refracting light in the sky gradually forcing it's full presence on the earth below. I determined that this emerging double rainbow was an appropriate finish for all of the selfless runners that managed to show up and participate on behalf of the Donna Hicken Foundation.
I'm glad I did not argue and grumble myself back to sleep!

The five day surf trip to Cape Hatteras (we stayed in Duck) was planned as a surprise for Scott "Doc" Wagner.
Thursday, October 11 thru Monday, October 15 was a well kept secret for nearly two months
His wife Kate took care of ALL the details. We traveled by rented RV to a rented house and relaxed and surfed for four days.
It was a great trip.
My only challenge was how to fit a fourteen mile run into the weekend.
If the Galloway group was running that distance on Saturday morning, October 13, I was determined to keep pace.
I awoke early Saturday morning to witness a sunrise from our "rented" North Carolina beach and thought back to the morning rainbow a week earlier in Jacksonville. It can be extraordinary and comforting to watch light grow and consume space. This would be a good day for a long run.
Sixteen miles and two hours later I was back at the house with my surf companions. They were all amazed that I managed to pull off a sixteen mile run in the middle of a surf trip. The run did not seem out of place to me. I'm not sure why but, I felt my day was more complete because of the time I spent outside that morning. Anyway, two hours later we were in the trusty RV heading south to catch perfect waist high waves. We would surf until the sun worked it's way down into the low western sky. The temperature dropped, the sky changed colors and as I watched my friends catch their last waves into the beach I felt at home.

View of Sunrise from Duck Beach