21 March 2012

Disappointment for El Doce (and The Jewish Stallion)

I have bad news to report today.  For the last two weeks, El Doce has suffered from Achilles tendonitis and has been unable to run.  This means, barring some unforeseen miracle, Double Down on Double the Distance will not take place in Prague.  El Doce will now run Prague with the hope of finishing healthy and having fun, and The Jewish Stallion will have to wait for another race to exact revenge for his 12-second loss.  Unfortunately, El Doce and I leave The Netherlands at the end of June, so years may pass before The Jewish Stallion gets another shot at El Doce.

One of my favorite books is Will D. Campbell's The Glad River.  In that book three men meet in basic training as they prepare to fight in World War II.  The three men form a community they call "the neighborhood," and after World War II, if I remember clearly, the three men gather each year to keep their friendship strong.  I'd like to see the same thing happen with my training partners.  I know the costs of travel would prohibit such a yearly event, but in a perfect world I would find it pleasant each year to plan a race to complete with The Jewish Stallion, El Doce, and Alain.

Running has given me much.  I am fit and healthy.  I have endurance and strength.  I have even earned money as a coach.  But as I live this expat life, running has helped me obtain something even more necessary than money and strength.  Running has assisted in my ability to meet and make friends.  Sure, running partners help motivate me to get out the door and train each day. This goes without saying.  However, what I appreciate most about having training partners is that once you're out the door, you have a chance to get to know someone else who also happens to love endurance sports.  And unlike biking and swimming, running is a sport that allows you to talk with your partners as you get your work in.

*****

Today, I was able to run comfortably for 90 minutes, but my legs are feeling the strain of running 40 miles in three days.  I had mentioned in a previous post that it was important to me to be able to chase my daughters on the playground.  I did a lot of chasing on Monday and again today. Today, though, I was feeling slow and my knees ached.  I wasn't able to play as vigorously as I would have liked.  I need to make sure that I get enough sleep so that I can train and play.  With a newborn, the sleep can be the tough part.  The more I learn about recovery, though, the more I see the importance of sleep.

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