Race Practice, Redlands, & Fathers’ Day Thoughts

6-16-13 Autism 5K

My Life List for 2013 (there’s a tab about this, above) is that life (and especially the half marathon distance) should be easier (which, I think, implies faster).  One of the ways things get easier is through practice.  So in addition to doing 10Ks around southern california on Sundays, I’m practicing pre-race activities.  This week’s lesson is:  Don’t eat new stuff the night before a race.

6-15-13 Redlands

Yesterday afternoon I went out to the University of Redlands for a President’s Circle dinner celebrating the ” Heart and Soul of Redlands”.  I shared a table with two couples that I’d not met before, but we had lots of friends in common.  It was a really pleasant evening.  The President’s Circle is people who have donated BIG to the University (not me) or who have included the UR in their estate planning (me).  But it was full of foods I don’t eat, in combinations I don’t eat.  Then a long drive home and fall into bed at 11 PM.  Which is late for me the night before a “big” race.  Which today was not.

Tom & LeAnn

I am enormously fortunate to have attended the University of Redlands.  It’s fabulously beautiful.  I had the extraordinary opportunity to go fuck around for 4 years and “find” myself (something kids today probably don’t get to do with tuition at $40K/yr).  And I was (and have been) given opportunities beyond my wildest imagination.  For instance, I spent one semester of my sophomore year and my entire junior year abroad, my junior year all by myself, attending Hong Kong Baptist College.  I am still in touch with lots of friends — now through FB — from Redlands.  And, years after graduation, Redlands’ alumni taught me to fly fish and brought me to one of my most pleasant pastimes and one of my best friends.

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The inaugural Culver City 5 & 10K for Autism.  Nice little event, about 1500 people.  Not enough toilets, but not a fiasco.  The course is an out and back on Washington Boulevard for the 5K and 2 loops for the 10k.  Unfortunately, the first “out” is all downhill, so it’s hard to throttle back your pace.  And as you’re sailing out at too-fast-a-speed (and you know it) you also know that the entire trip back is going to be a grind uphill.   I seriously thought about stopping after the first loop…but then people started appearing with the medals, and those were pretty cool.  So I went back for the second loop.  Interestingly, the second trip downhill wasn’t all that good (because I needed a bathroom).  But the 7-11 was nice about letting me use the facilities.  And the last 1.5 uphill return was probably at race pace; or at least close to it.

I got a blister on my 4th toe, left foot.  I learned you cannot eat completely unfamiliar foods the night before a race (even a little 10k).   I learned that at this point in my training I can’t run hard back to back (that will come).   learned that this bathroom thing needs more work.  On the other hand — I got up, ran the race, and probably could have PR-ed if I had been A LOT more focused.  (I missed by 12 minutes — but that include the two breaks, stopping and talking to Vern for probably 5 minutes, etc.  I had no idea.)

And Fathers’ Day.  I watch the fathers that I know today with their babies — and I hope to god my dad liked his kids as much.  It was such a different time.  I think he did.  But as we grew older (me especially) the distance became so great.  The lesson I learned from my father (both parents, really), that I hold fast to today,  is that most people are doing the best they can with the tools that they have, limited tho’ they might be.

Training today:  10K under race conditions

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