Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just Keep Going!

We made another return back to the rolling hills of Porter Ranch this week. Seven miles was on our agenda, and none of us were leaving without breaking a serious sweat. Coach Brett mapped out an aggressive course with a pretty serious hill for us to climb… 2.5 miles of straight upward. I was looking forward to this run and had high expectations of myself. I wanted bite into it, chew it up and spit it out. My run however did not come with its challenges.

The night before my run, when I typically explore dreamland, I was wide awake - not just for couple hours, but for the ENTIRE NIGHT! I could not for the life of me catch a wink of sleep. ‘Insomnia’ most people call it, more like INSANITY. I tossed and turned and tried to wrestle my eyes to sleep, but nothing that I tried put me out. I entered my morning with blood stricken eyes and a cloud that only I could see.

I took off from the starting line with a bit of a lag. I could feel the affects of the night on my energy level and knew that I somehow had to muscle past it. This did not take long. When I hit the hill my mind turned to fighting mode. This was MY hill, I thought, and I’ll be damned if I’m not the first person up it. My feet were with me and my legs seconded the notion, so… IT WAS ON! The street poured behind me as I forged my way to the summit. I knew that Quincy Avenue marked the highest point on the hill and I chased it down with a fury. As I climbed the hill's gritty face I carried with me the notion that once I hit that crest I will have conquered the largest hill I will face on race day. Check it out...

Though my energy level was lower then normal, I still managed to reach the top just behind Robert (the fastest guy on our team). I felt accomplished and took a quick breather to regroup. I passed through our water station without a stop and continued down the backside of the hill. Downhill running is not my favorite. Though I don’t feel it while I’m running, the aftermath usually tells of a medley of knee pains. I tend to take it pretty easy on the downhills, regulating my speed and periodically walking.

I brought the last mile in with one of my teammates Elaine, and we finished about three minutes behind Robert. I felt my run was good, but I was insanely tired. Jamie came burning in about 10 minutes after us and looked great. WOW!.. she has really pushed passed her injuries and is doing AWSOME!! We hung around to cheer on the rest of the team as they finished up, and then took off.

Breakfast, ice and a shower were all an order, but the afternoon nap was pure unadulterated bliss.

As I run I think of the many challenges that face people each day with cancer. I run for hope, for the challenge, and most of all for the battle against cancer. But sometimes that battle is not always won. Recently the running community suffered a huge loss with the passing of Craig (The Moose) Chambers. Craig was a local running figure who spent most of his spare time running the hills and streets of Los Angeles. His battle with melanoma did not slow his spirit though and he completed the L.A. marathon last year in true form. I would like to take this moment to thank Craig for being an inspiration to us all. I will tag my jersey with your name on race day!!

Just keep going!!

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