This past month has flown by and I should have kept the website more current but too many things have come up that take priority. Pacing at California International Marathon proved to be a great experience and reinforced the positive effects of doing a job that you really enjoy. Work will always be work but when you are doing something that you absolutely love, it shows. Being in the booth at CIM, talking to other runners and helping them reach their goals brought me incredible satisfaction. Helping others meet their goals and achieve something they had to stretch themselves to achieve was rewarding. My whole purpose at the marathon was making sure other runners made it to the finish line at or under the goal time of 3 hours and 10 minutes. I wasn’t focused on running my best or making sure I was running fast. I focused on encouraging and helping the runners following me. In my everyday job, I am constantly dealing with my own problems, deadlines and issues. Time is consumed with meeting these demands that I rarely have time to encourage and focus on others. This month has been extremely stressful at work. After the long days I am sometimes left searching for the real deep reward. I am committing my life to work. I better believe in what I do and at the end of the day be satisfied with how the day was spent. At the end of the day, I want to be sure that the day mattered. So what a difference pacing has been. What joy and deep, rewarding satisfaction it has proven to be.
But a couple weeks before the marathon, I discovered www.enduranceradio.com. The site features interviews with other endurance athletes of all types and levels. The interviews make for good listening material and my longer runs. When I contacted the site and recommended they interview Tim Twietmeyer, they asked if I could also do an interview. After the interview, I wished that I would have given more details about running Western States: the ambiance of running in the dark on the trails and seeing headlights bouncing up and down along the trail. The entire day produced vivid memories that will be hard to forget and that is part of the allure of doing endurance events. The vivid memories, the highs and lows of constantly pushing yourself to keep going.
The marathon ended as a success, well pretty close. My splits were even and on pace until the last few miles when I started to run a little too fast. A couple miles from the finish passed Jim and Barb Carlson working one of the aid stations and did a quick stop to say hello. At mile 24, I needed to give back some time and actually gave back too much time, crossing the finish about 30 seconds over 3:10. No harm done since the Boston Marathon qualifying time is 3:10:59. I felt fresh most of the race and ran a very comfortable pace. I probably started with about 50 runners in my group and finished with about 10 running with me the last 6 miles. At mile 24 I needed to slow down and I sent the group on ahead. After finishing and seeing Nicole, Sara and Michael Thompson’s sister Jenny at the finish, I turned around and ran back to catch Michael Thompson. I ran with him from mile 23 to the finish as he finished strong and in under 4 hours. I turned around again and ran back for Joe but on the way ran into Cynci as she also looked determined heading into the final 2 miles and on her way to Boston! A little bit later, Joe came into the last few miles, running but battling a sore knee. We ran together the last few miles and he finished just over 4 hours and 30 minutes.
The next week, ClifBar notified me that I had been selected to pace their West Coast 3:10 marathon pace team. This means I’ll be running about 6 marathons next year helping other runners finish in under 3:10. The marathons will be some of the bigger marathons. Very exciting!
We finally took some time to landscape the yard at our new house. We had the irrigation system installed and a couple days later, ordered 2500 sq feet of sod and 15 yards of topsoil. We spent all Saturday, all Sunday (the rainiest day since 1940), and all Monday night working in the yard. I definitely underestimated the amount of work involved but Nicole really helped out and saw it through. Her parents even came over Sunday afternoon and helped us before more heavy rain starting coming. Best laid plans went to waste when it started pouring Saturday morning, a few hours after we started and most of the yard turned to a heavy mud. It was not a pretty sight (or site for that matter). But now that it is finished, it looks so much better and it is one less thing to worry about. Maybe it’s the same for everybody, but with so many projects going on at once, it becomes harder and harder to relax. A free minute is a minute that can be spent working on something that needs to get done. There are so many things at work and home that need to be done, it is more and more difficult to focus on the task at hand. Lately, there are too many tasks at hand!
Christmas came with a bang this year. After a few days of having the Christmas tree up, we woke up one morning to discover it had fallen over during the night. Ornaments that Nicole had for a long time were shattered in pieces across the floor. We had set the tree on top of a wood case to add some height (a 6’ tree just looked a little small) but apparently the base wasn’t big enough. Tough lesson.
We had a beautiful Christmas nonetheless. Christmas eve was spent with Nicole’s parents. We had dinner, exchanged gifts then watch “The March of the Penguins”. A touching story. Christmas morning, Nicole and I exchanged gifts and Nicole humored me with a drum set, a longtime idle dream of mine