18 of 52: Team L8Runner vs Team HyberNation

It’s Groundhog Day Again 

Another Saturday where my desire to rest wins. I didn’t sleep in like a teenager who literally needs 16 hours of sleep per day but only gets 4. No, this was your run of the mill “old man missed his nap yesterday” kind of sleep.

As I sat in my coffee/reading/comfy chair I thought – “Hey, text Susan and see what she’s up to. You can probably get a few miles together on the trail.” Some time later I realized I was doing my best imitation of my brother getting ready in the morning in high school – staring out the window with one sock beginning to make its way over the tips of my toes. I would find him like this a lot in the mornings. We’d make up for lost time with creative navigation and other bad decisions.

My trance was broken by the buzzing of my phone – Susan texting. The universe had spoken. Of course it was speaking a different plan than the one I had in my head – which was “run up to the trail, meet Susan around mile marker 1 and then do a few miles with her before she headed for home. Nope – the text read:

“Team L8Runner is meeting DTA at 9:45. There will be coffee post run.”

Team L8Runner is comprised of anyone who knows what it’s like to get up ass early on the weekend to run long because you told 150 strangers you would be there and they literally could not do it without you. Or it could be anyone who used to have to get up ass early to run long on the weekend because the kids will be up by 7 and I need to run 18 miles before they take over the house. If this used to be you but it is no longer you and you sleep in and run later – then you are on this team. You get the idea.

It was 9:08 and I still had one sock hanging off of my foot and I am a 4 mile run from DTA – I could drive over and then run with them the whole time – but it seemed like I would be better off if I ran there. You know – cus I’d have to run back. My reply:

“Team HyberNation will def join Team L8Runner in DTA”

Team HyberNation is comprised of anyone who planned on getting up earlier but is mostly bear so you slept in. Me.

I asked roughly what route they would follow since I knew I’d be chasing them – no way I would get that second sock on my foot and make it downtown before they were long gone.

The Run

So I did get a move on after making plans with Susan. I left my place and started my usual 4 mile route to DTA. I glanced into the Starbucks window just in case they decided to wait for me – but no such luck. I now started the runners math…

“If a man leaves his place at 9:25 running a 10 minute per mile pace…” You get the idea. Long math short, I figured I was about 20 minutes behind them when I got to DTA and that I’d need another few miles and a significant shortcut to catch them. I am shocked to say that it worked out even with a little construction detour on the way.

Me: Pointing to a pathway lined by construction fences… “Hey (to a guy who just came out from where I was pointing) – does this go all the way through?”

That guy: (Looks at me one second too long) – “Yeah”.

It did not go all the way through – so I turned around and came back around another way. I did snap this cool picture though:

We were running at the US Naval Academy at this point and the usual route is along the outside perimeter of Forrest Sherman Field and then up “Hospital Hill” – I just skipped the perimeter all together, headed up to the top of the hill to get a better vantage point and who should be coming up the hill but Team L8Runner.

The whole perfectly rectangular perimeter – I skipped it.

I was really glad to see them – not just because it meant that I could slow down and stop chasing them but because I had just seen two figures halfway up the Naval Academy Bridge and I did NOT want to have to chase them up that hill – though we did wind up going over the bridge together.

When we got to the other side Susan suggested that I continue on to Boulter’s way and then meet them back at Starbucks. I did not like the idea of continuing on alone. Going over the bridge had made me cold and I was looking forward to a hot coffee.

Me: “Why don’t I just head back with you guys and then I’ll run home after coffee. That will get me 13.1.”

Susan: “That’s sounds awful! I’ll drive you home from Starbucks.”

She was right of course. Who wants to be cold and wet, then get warm again just to have to head back out into the cold to run some more. I mean – people do it – but I wasn’t in the middle of some ultra. I’m not training for a 50 miler (or longer) so it would just be unnecessary and foolish really.

So on I went. I was alone so of course the wind “picked up” and the temperature “dropped” but I did feel strong so I went after the rolling hills that lead from the bridge to Boulter’s with some gusto. When I reached the mileage I needed to turn around I was just a couple hundred yards short of Boulters.

Me: “Well I can’t just turn around *here*. *Here* isn’t anywhere in particular so that can’t be right.

Also Me: “You do it all the time.”

Me: “Yeah – but I feel good. Besides, Susan said to run to *Boulters* not *no place in particular* so I’m going to keep going.”

And so I did. It was just a little bit but I’m glad I did it. I made my way back over the bridge and back into town to the Starbucks where Susan and Gloria were enjoying a hot beverage. I ordered a coffee and oatmeal for myself and then joined them.

My face was cold. I warmed it up with my coffee cup. Gloria and Susan both agreed that I should stop. It’s good to have friends.

Not a particularly speedy run, but that ain’t the point now is it?

Not the Run

I recently attended an awards ceremony where my oldest child was being recognized for their outstanding achievements in the STEM program. The keynote speaker talked about things that successful people do. One was “practice, practice, practice”. You know I could not agree more with that. He also mentioned this gem: “Get a Coach. The minute you aren’t learning from someone else who’s further down the road than you are then you’re stuck!”

I immediately thought – “who is my coach?” And in some areas of my life I could identify my coach right away. For running it has always been Susan. She was my first running coach. I was training for my first marathon and she was the coach. She’s *my* coach. I know I’m not alone when I say that.

I was surprised though that I couldn’t name my coaches in other areas of my life – most notably my professional life. I need to get on that ASAP because I can tell you that even with all the uncertainty that comes with significant change – one thing that has become clear is that I need a career coach. I need someone to tell me not to run when I’m cold and wet and to stop rolling my coffee cup on my face – but for work stuff.

I’d write more but as it turns out I need to go Google “how to find a career coach”.

Next Week: Pacing the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon

One Comment

  1. Man, I absolutely look forward to reading your blog. You should write a book! You’re ability to recall how you felt at a particular time, what was going through your mind is unbelievable to me. Until the next one be well and in the words of Dory “just keep running “. I know she said “just keep swimming ” but that doesn’t fit this story!😁

    Liked by 1 person


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