Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Kinship With the Mythical Phoenix

Phoenix - a mythical bird which at the end
of its lifespan burns fiercely and is reduced to
ashes, from which a new, young Phoenix arises.

We were away from the TEAM this past weekend and away from the cooler temperatures that typically accompany our runs. Instead we headed east to the sweltering furnace that is Phoenix, Arizona. I know, I know… what the hell were we thinking?? That’s exactly what was crossing our minds. The reason for this gross scenery change was our nephew’s 1st birthday, and that was all the reason we needed.

Fortunately we did not have to drive the usual 6 hour journey from Los Angeles. My beautiful sister-in-law Diana and her husband Matt flew us out for the weekend… THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! This gave us the leg up that we needed to tackle the 14 miles on Saturday morning.

We hit the Z’s early and woke up late, clocking in about 9 hours of sleep. Physically I was ready to take on this challenge, but my motivation to do so was teetering on “E”. We made the decision to head to a local gym to run the mileage on a treadmill to avoid the triple digit heat, but the idea of running in place for over two hours did not resonate well with me. Jamie had the motivation going for her, so I climbed aboard and rode her wave to the gym.

The gym, not surprisingly, was mostly empty. Fortunately the facilities came equipped with an indoor track relieving us of our treadmill duty. This wasn’t your typical track though – 12 laps was the equivalent of ONE MILE!.. someone somewhere was laughing at us.

My run started out slow with my motivation dragging significantly behind me. The first two miles felt like an eternity. The laps seemed to drag by as I saw the same scenery over and over and over. As I pushed myself mentally through mile three I felt defeat fiercely closing in on me. I couldn’t let this happen – I couldn’t let these minuscule obstacles defeat me! So I decided to collect the smoldering pieces of my broken spirit and reemerge with a vengeance. Keeping track of my lap count was my most arduous task, so I resolved to monitor my mileage by using my one mile time. Each time my watch went off I completed a mile – this was easy enough and it allowed me to forget about the repetitious circles. All of a sudden I was in it – my motivation caught up to me, passed me and was blazing my path… I was REBORN!!

The mileage began to fall away and before I knew it I was on mile 10. With four more miles to go I could almost taste my victory. Unfortunately all was not smooth to the end. At about mile 12 the pain started to settle in and my pace tapered. With my spirits high I tried to look at this in a positive light - with each new mileage milestone my pain has shown up later and later, and this time was no different.

As I steamed past mile 13 a celebration exploded inside of me… I had just completed a HALF MARATHON!! YEEEEAAAAAH! HELL YEAH!!! WHERE"S MY HIGH FIVE??

With that feat under my belt I pressed on to finish out the last mile of my run. Once finished I took a quick breather and then caught up with Jamie to bring in the last quarter mile of her twelve mile run. She was only going to do 10 miles, but she pressed on and conquered 12. HELL YEAH BABY!!

Our post run recovery regimen was put on hold to celebrate our nephew’s 1st birthday. Little Jeffery rocked his birthday party like most 1-year olds, with wide eyed curiosity, smiles and a face full of birthday cake. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE GUY!

That’s all for now. Try and keep up with me.

No comments: