“Never squeeze a wet bar of soap….?”””

Yikes!!! Am loosen it…

Being so preoccupied with my up coming marathon, my mind has exhausted any rational thought.  Fear of injury / sickness has found me in a place of irrational scrutiny.  A minor slip from a curb screams “SH$#$!!! …this is it…” –  Fist bump Greetings are less worrisome then full-blown handshakes for sure.   Any one of my Grandchildren could be patient “ZERO”…. “Never squeeze a wet bar of soap….?” WHAT??? How did this get into my head?

Ok, OK calm down…You put the time in and as they say it’s the journey -” There is no starting or stopping – only doing”

Whew!!  I have enjoyed the build up to my marathon.  The long runs on Sunday mornings with fellow runners have been (are) so looked forward to…There are only 2 weeks left until the destination arrives.  My last long run behind me – a 15 mile run tomorrow seems tame.

It’s the journey!!!

“The most important thing I learned [from running] is that there is only one runner in this race, and that is me.” Dr. George Sheehan

 

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Acts of kindness

Acts of kindness..

I have been the recipient of kindness.  In the moment, the act is recognizably warm, humbling.  Twice as warm for the giver – Warming 1st with the desire and then again with the giving.

A lot has been said about acts of kindness;

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Sir Winston Churchill

“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.” – The Dalai Lama

My Favorite;

“Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness, and small obligations given habitually, are what preserve the heart and secure comfort.” – Humphry Davy

On a long run awhile back, on a course I was unfamiliar with, a few of the faster runners held back to make sure I made the right turns.  Small things, but recognizable.

Performing an act of kindness is a gift to oneself.  Kindness is a wonderful thing……

 

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Penelope and the 3 P”s….

I’ve learned over the years that the 3 P’s are essential when dealing with downtime;PPP

 

  • Persistence -to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action, or the like, especially in spite of opposition, remonstrance, etc. (from persist)
  • Perseverance -steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
  • Patience -the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

Although the 1st two are much more ingrained in one’s (a runner’s) Psych, Patience is a “Bear”

penelope patience

Penelope is the goddess of Patience – in her case, patience came in the form of fighting off suitors while Odysseus was doing his thing….

 

 

 

My 2 year old granddaughter’s name is Penelope.  Pi for short..  Indivisible she is.. P and Gran(interestingly, her mother was born 3/14 – PiDay)

For now, with Penelope’s help, I will be Persistent while I Persevere thru this downtime trying to maintain the Patience I require in order to keep my sanity..

 

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The “Open”

1860. The Very First Open.

On 17 October 1860, eight professionals assembled at Prestwick for a tournament to determine who would be the Champion golfer.

The winner was to receive the Challenge Belt, a prize crafted from red Moroccan leather and worth £25. The competitors played three rounds on the then 12-hole links, with Willie Park Sr beating Old Tom Morris by two shots. A year later, Prestwick announced that the tournament “shall be open to all the world.”

St andrews -claret jug

The Claret Jug ten years later

The “Open” will be played this year on the Old Course @ St Andrews – It the 29th time since its inception that the tournament will be hosted there.

According to Wikipedia, The Old Course is considered by many to be the birth place of golf back in the 1400s.  Interesting that the game became so popular that in 1457 James II of Scotland banned golf because he felt that young men were playing too much golf instead of practicing their archery.  The ban was upheld until 1502, when King James IV became a golfer himself and removed the ban.

st andrews

14 Rounds complete in 7 days – all walked!

 

My experience with St Andrews took place in the early 90’s.  My Brother Phil had decided to retire after an extraordinary career in telecommunications.  (He was at the epicenter of the AT&T breakup back in the early 80s) . As a retirement celebration, he treated myself and his two sons to a golf trip in Scotland.  The fun began in the planning.  We literally mapped out our plan for a 7 day trip starting on the west coast and ending up on the east coast of Scotland at St Andrews.  A few of the courses required advance introductory letters (Royal Troon).  We played twice each day, walking each round.  We’d finish each day packing ourselves into a Volvo station wagon with all our gear and clubs – 4 sets of golf clubs, 4 large duffle bags and 4 grown men – it was always a puzzle in how to fit everything in properly.  Then the “left-side” driving had to be mastered with the same concentration given to a 4 ft putt.  The 1st attempt had my brother at the wheel leaving Turnberry – “Are you OK with driving Phil?“Sure no problems..”  50 yards later the side mirror went missing…

st andrews -3

Oyster, Mussel and Onion Stew! And the BLACK. It made for interesting digestive adventures….

The days ended with lots of Guinness, single malts, full bellies (I lost ten pounds in spite of all the good food) and of course, wonderful companionship.

st andrews-2

My brother passed away a few years ago.  He was such a presence in my life.  I am thankful for the time we spent together –a lot of golf… He taught me how to be a gentleman.

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“One equal temper of heroic hearts..”

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

– The last lines from ‘Ulysses’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

I followed a number of runners from my running club running Boston this year.  It is such a spirited event – made more so by the events of 2013.   BAA.org had an app for my desktop that allowed me to monitor each one’s progress.  Little “stick” icons representing each runner and their progress along the course.  Some of the local runners chronicled their training up thru the race via blogs and Facebook.  Each with a wonderful sense of anticipation allowing me a peek into the “mental”, as well as the physical side of their quest.  Each one inspirational.

There are SO many “people” stories that surface from Boston (Marathoning and Running in general).  I think it was Joan Benoit Samuelson who may have said that “…“For me, the most inspiring stories come at the back of the pack…….”  and Bill Rodgers , while resting against a tree after a sub 2:15 asked the runner who sat down next to him, “How did you do”? – “Fine, finished in 4:30…”  To which Bill Rodgers replied, “Gee I don’t think I could run that long…” (I hope I did not embellish these quotes too much, but the message they send has stayed with me for years.)  These back of the pack, mid-pack personal journeys culminate on race day, but are cultivated and nurtured by each individual’s spirit far in advance of crossing the finish line.

I love this quoted section (above) from the last lines from ‘Ulysses’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.  Part of it may be engraved on the Boston Marathon Memorial in Copley Square.  It was posted on the Boston Marathon Facebook page.  I have since committed it to memory….

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Running and being a gentleman…

The female form is beautiful – it’s even more beautiful when in motion.  I don’t think this is sexist – I think it’s the truth.

But I cringe at the notion of a female runner having to “endure” the cowardly actions/catcalls of a few not-so-gentlemanly males.  I can only imagine while running alone and being subjected to this behavior must be like. …. Dollars to donuts the perpetrators have never laced up running shoes for anything other than to get from their car to the bar and back…The catcalls can’t come from runners … they know and share the admiration one runner has for the other regardless of gender.  If there are calls they come in the form of encouragement.  Am saddened by this…but also angry… cowards….

It is different for males it seems.. Full disclosure… I’ve been spit on and the recipient of the proverbial snot-rocket (both unintentional – I hope anyway).   I’ve had soda/beer cans thrown at me (Mostly back in the 70’s), run off the road by drivers who, I can only guess, were trying to reclaim the road as their own.  Told to get a job…Chased AND bitten by dogs.  And propositioned by both genders –

Whenever my son and I are together, we always part with the phrase “Be a Gentleman”.  Not sure how this started, but it has lasted a long time.  I guess it was my subliminal effort to implant a respect for his female counter parts.  He’s 35 now and soon to be a father himself.  Raising children in a tough time.  Each generation has their own moral evolutions. He is a gentleman…not a runner, but certainly a gentleman.

I think if these cowards, the ones leaning out of their cars excreting catcalls, would lace up a pair of running shoes and head out for a 3, 5, 10 mile run… afterwards, when they see that lone female runner running in the park, they may have an altogether different reaction…

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Starting over…on occasion the EEOR comes out in me.

I’ve been here before. Starting over. This time it was bronchitis and a chronic right calf pull that I aggravated by running when I should not have. It’s been 5 days since I’ve run. Feels like an eternity.  2014 has been interesting to say the least.  A series of “Did Not Starts” for a variety of reasons – all legitimate but some preventable.  My current disappointment is the Philly Marathon.  I had signed up for it when registration opened.  My Fall Marathon – Things were going well, I was feeling good – long runs from 10 to 15 miles each weekend with an occasional 10+ during the week.  Felt that my endurance level was improving even through my pace is getting slower.

smiling-eor

 

I have been walking around Cooper River the last two days (3.62 Miles) – I can do it at a brisk walking pace in about 55 minutes.  This routine will have to do for the foreseeable future until I can begin to gradually run again.  It’s not the end of the world and I am thankful that I can do what I can do but on occasion the EEOR comes out in me.

 

 

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