Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Ritual

The Santa Catalina mountains in gorgeous Tucson, Arizona.

Like many runners, I am a creature of habit (my wife would call this an understatement). To get the miles in, I follow a certain protocol. Here is how it's supposed to go-

1. Wake at 4:30am, stare up at the dark ceiling in bed for a few minutes.
2. Start the coffee, dunk the whole-wheat english muffin in the toaster, pour some o.j..
3. Eat the muffin with peanut butter and jam, drink the juice, coffee and a glass of water at my daughter's miniature ladybug table in the kitchen with the lights off so I don't wake the kids up.
4. Lace them up and head out the door (stuff a few salted pretzels down my gullet if it's 16 miles or over).

This ritual gets me out the door, and by not dinking around too long I usually get back in time to help some with the kids and allow my wife to shower in peace. Unfortunately, when my system breaks down it is often the family that takes the brunt of it. Last night I joined a group from The Running Shop, one of our local stores, for an 8 miler in the evening. It dragged out entirely too long, and to make a long story shorter, I got home way too late, starving and dehydrated, and missed getting to bed at a decent hour. Fast-forward to this morning, when I over-slept and got home from the morning run late, when I had promised my wife to be home early to help get things together for our son's doctor appointment. I blew it. We made it to the appointment but I let running get in the way of my responsibilities and I broke my word.

Nothing I can do but apologize, right? Wrong. I can learn to plan better. I'll bring food/drink along just in case if I do the evening run again, and while I can't do anything about accidents and detours keeping me from getting home, at least I won't arrive home starved, exhausted and cranky. Kiera would certainly appreciate it.

The website address for my blog is "champions everywhere", and it refers to Arthur Lydiard's famous quote, "There are champions everywhere. Every street's got them. All we need to do is train them properly." In the 1960 olypics in Rome, Murray Halberg, Peter Snell and Barry Magee all brought home medals under his coaching. They were just neighborhood kids with some talent when they started.

Many have said it and I'll say it again: What makes a champion is not how they deal with success, but how they deal with adversity and setbacks. I goofed up today, but I can try to make it good.

Training: 6 miles a.m., easy 8 minute mile pace, 4 miles p.m., probably with Haiden in the jogger.

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