Longtime readers will remember that Pete is my running mentor. He taught me everything I know about running and we ran long runs together for 8 years. He trained me for every marathon I did and you can only imagine the vast knowledge that I was the beneficiary of during many 20 mile training runs. But in 2009 he told me he wouldn't run with me anymore stating that I had gotten good and fast and he didn't want to hold me back. No matter what I said to him he wouldn't budge and so my Saturday runs with Pete ended.
I've mentioned him a couple of times here on Doing A 180 because I always kept track of him. He had several races that he's been faithful to for years so I would always check to see if he had run. The last time I checked, he did our local half marathon in September of 2011 with a time of 2:58:32. If you look this up there's an asterisk by his name because that finishing time is under the USATF guidelines. Maybe that's puzzling to you until you realize that when Pete ran that race, he was 85 years old!
He turned 86 in December and I found out through the grapevine that he planned to do some racing this year. So I began a campaign to get him to run with me once in a while. He finally agreed to run with me in honor of Sherry Arnold - and then it snowed. I was frustrated because I didn't know if I could get him to agree again and then at the end of the week, he emailed me.
So we met Saturday morning and by the end of our time together we had done 7 1/2 miles. Yes, the pace was very slow for me but I didn't even care because I got to spend some time with my running mentor. At the end he said, "Will you help me work up to 13.1? You can set your Garmin for intervals so we do better than today." My heart melted because the roles have reversed and here is my teacher asking for my help.
Anyone who knows anything about running knows that it's all about putting in the miles and not about pace when it comes to long training runs. Getting your legs used to turning over and over and over for hours. It was Pete who taught me that. Of course I'm going to do it - with joy!
Just when I think everything is under control, I get a reminder that I'm not all that after all. Over the last couple of weeks I've had a myriad of things happen that individually would be just a bump in the road but piled on together created a derailment of sorts for me.
The result has been that I've spent February in maintenance - not because that's what I planned but because of the involved stress. I've pretty much been losing a pound then gaining it back the next week. Fine, I'm not going backwards, but honestly, not fine as I've still got a ways to go.
Additionally, right where I am at this moment is very much a danger zone for me... I feel terrific and I'm seeing the results of the work I've put in . I've dropped two full sizes in clothes, my running paces are quicker and especially in the last two weeks people have been asking me what I'm doing because I'm looking great.
Right here is where it's easy to get lacksadaisical - just to let things ride. But that's not what I really want and certainly not getting me towards the long-term goal I've had to be at "goal" (whatever that is) by the time I have to start my black belt cycles in July.
So today, I'm challenging myself. For the next 12 days I'm doing what I'm calling the "Straighten Up and Fly Right" challenge. Once again concentrating on eating and exercising for my best health and honestly, just saying no to some things I've been indulging in. Why 12 days? Well, that brings me right to my birthday and I already know what's going down that weekend. Then, I have another plan which I'll tell you about later. For now, I'm just going to straighten up and fly right!