Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Captain and Tammy

Most people think of a rainy Autumn weekend as a good time to huddle indoors, stay warm, watch football, eat good food, and take naps. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Even better after a good workout...I have to admit, I looked at the forecast and thought, "This will be a great weekend to run!" Am I crazy or just embracing life? You decide, but keep in mind that there are others like me out there :-)

So, the Goat and I met for our usual Saturday morning running ritual yesterday. We did about 10 and called it. We agreed to meet again this morning as we are challenging ourselves to at least 5 workouts (at least 3 of the 5 must be running) per week for the next 12 weeks. Since racing and rock climbing season are ostensibly (that's for you Dawn) over and skiing and ice climbing don't start for another month or two, we need something to stay motivated. My running season generally kicks into full swing around the start of the new year, so this helps bridge the gap.

Anyway, after our run yesterday, I logged onto Facebook and was happy to see that many of my running friends had also been out for a morning jaunt. However, two of my running buds, Bill and Tammy, were contemplating and seemingly dredding the Newport Marathon in Newport, RI. They are running in the race as I type this note, and it is raining and raining and raining. Bill and Tammy both indicated that the weather called for 35 mph winds, rain, and temps in the 30's/40's.

OK, it might sound pretty harsh (and it is), but I bet you they come back with some incredible memories. For those of you who don't know Bill and Tammy, they were the couple from CT who competed on The Amazing Race with 2 of their 3 children a few years ago. While their kids were much younger than the others on the show, they competed admirably and fared well. It was fun to watch them compete and hear their stories afterwards. Bill and Tammy are also on our Reach the Beach Relay team. Bill is team leader, hence the "Captain" moniker.

So why would they decide to run a marathon in a full out Nor'easter today? Well, they are attempting to run a marathon in each of the 50 states. There is actually a club that recognizes this achievement and I believe Bill is more than halfway to this goal. Tammy, who always has a smile on her face, has been clicking off the races as well, and it is great to hear about the races they run together. I'm sure they will share many memories from these races: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I, for one, think running in the harsh conditions is what it is all about. Heck, anyone can run a marathon in perfect conditions (OK, perhaps not, but you get the point). It's the bold that take on the harsh conditions and relish the challenge. Ian Torrence, one of the outstanding west coast ultra runners, was quoted as saying something to this effect, "When I really get down in a race, I think about what I would be doing if I wasn't running, and realize I'd probably be home watching TV." I think of this world as having two types of people: those who live life and those who watch others live life. Here's to those who live life!

So, here's to Captain Bill and Tammy. One of Bill's favorite quotes is from Steve Prefontaine, and it has become a mantra for our Reach the Beach Team. Pre said, "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." So, as the Goat and I put in our 9 miles this morning, I thought about Bill and Tammy battling through the winds and rain in Newport. As miserable as they may have felt, I bet they gave it their best, and it is something they will tell their grandchildren about someday.

Preliminary congratulations to Bill and Tammy for running the Newport Marathon. I hope they cherish the cold and wet memories. They definitely earned bragging rights this year!

Post Script:

I got a call from Dawn who just finished a 14 mile run at the reservoir in the pouring rain. She sounded cold and miserable. Then, I asked her how it went and she replied, "It was a good run."
That, my friends, is what it is all about.

Have an incredible week!



Dawn Alguard said...

While I was running today I remembered the last time I was doing laps at Res 6 in the pouring rain. I ran into you and Kevin coming down from Hueblein and you said "the girl of my dreams - who else would be out here today?" I'm glad we were both out there today.

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