Saturday, May 1, 2010

TNT Train Run (18 miles)

Today was the famous Team in Training (TNT) "Train Run" for the San Diego Marathon team. It's true. Teams all over the world hear about how our team takes the train 18 miles up the coast to Oceanside, CA -- and then run all the way back to Solana Beach, CA....you know, where Pizza Port and the beer is located....

We call it a "commitment run." So often in life it's easy to come up with excuses or to not follow through....but on a run like this?? You have no choice. You walk off the train, the train conductor wishes you "good luck, runners" as the mass of runners shivering in the dawn hours nervously walk off the train --- and there is just one way back to your car. RUN TO IT.

It's my favorite run of every season. Due to my recent Boston Marathon (woot!), I ran 12 miles today, instead of the 18 miles. I felt like a slug for the first 6 miles. It's been a long week for a variety of reasons, and my heart wasn't quite in it yet. Then the adrenaline started pumping...my heart settled into the run....auto-pilot came on...and the last 6 miles rocked. My running buddy, Erin, and I had a great time. Seeing the ocean, talking about how lucky we are to be alive, listening to the birds and cracking jokes helped us both enjoy the day.

The first six miles, a runner in front of us kept running super fast (with a full pack on...huh?) and then stopping to walk. There was no "jog" or slower pace...it was his "super-fast pace" or "stop." Two switches. Even in the beginning of my run, I took those first 6 miles out too fast and pushed too hard (which makes no sense for a training, long run). So, I guess I was right there with him. It became an analogy for so much in my life....

BALANCE. So often, it's a perspective we miss. In fighting cancer, it's also very needed. Even with facing potential tough outcomes, you can't go full throttle and force things in life. Balance in running, as in life and so many other things, is the key. I can't say I practice what I preach. I'm one of the folks that just might take pliers to pull the flowers open on a budding rose. But, I know it's needed. Today, when we slowed our pace just a touch, took time to breathe in the scenery and find our balance, we had a great run.

And yes, that run ended at Pizza Port with beer (or water or cola or whatever). I'd like to say it was all in the spirit of finding that balance -- working really hard for that end goal, but also knowing when to *chill* with friends, old and new, and celebrate a mini-victory in our training.

The San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and the Guiness World Record event are a month away. Wish us luck -- and best of luck to all of you training for it!!! I had an amazing day hearing your stories about why you are running for charity, and I'm truly touched.
Pic:
1. Running buddies, Julie & Erin M., on the train heading to Oceanside, CA.
2. The TNT marathon team crew at Pizza Port celebrating raising over $200K in fundraising for LLS and a great 18 mile run.
3. New friend (Michael B.), Julie Westcott & old friend (Mike Sheehy of the GWR attempt) *chilling* at Pizza Port with a pint to celebrate another infamous Train Run.

4 comments:

  1. Balance....something we all need a little more of...Thanks for the reminder.

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  2. That sounds like a great run! No backing out either! I do that sometimes with hikes on an out and back. Once you get all the way out there, you have two choices (1) hike back or (2) lie down for the night and hike back the next day. So far I have always managed to do (1). Having pizza and beer waiting is a good thing. Now that is what I call balance - pizza and beer! :) Good post, Julie! Art

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