Today I did one of two long runs left before my running goes into taper mode. Running is more traumatic and stressful on your body than swimming or cycling so in terms of tapering, it starts further out from race day. I ran east from Evolution on the WO&D Trail through Falls Church and onto the Custis Trail in Arlington. My legs are a little heavy from the track workout last night but overall I felt good, a "7" on a scale of 1-10. A total of about 17.5 miles today in 2 hours, 20 minutes. Amazingly, I feel good even as I type this. A tribute to the training and frequency of my program.
I thought about things that have been motivating me lately during my run. My client and good friend Ben, who is doing his first Ironman. He's going to do great and I am proud to be his coach and doing the race with him. I also thought of a conversation I had this weekend with my friend and injured Iraq veteran, Captain Patrick Horan, U.S. Army. Pat was shot in the head about this time last year and for a number of weeks he lay in an induced coma. It was a scary time for his family and friends. Fast forward 1 year later and he has had an amazing recovery. He's walking with the aid of a cane but soon won't need it. His speech, memory, and ability to hold a conversation are just about back to normal. He's even been riding a recumbent bike under supervision for therapy. Today, my friend Pat was my inspiration.
I will carry a lot of thoughts about pacing, nutrition, and what I am supposed to do to execute a good race on race day. However, I will also carry thoughts about how lucky I am to be able to do this. I will carry thoughts about my friend Pat, my family, friends, and all those who made it possible for me to train and compete.
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift."
-Steve Prefontaine, running legend