Monday, October 23, 2006

Running with Dean


I ran with Dean yesterday on Day 35 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. What an experience! I have never been so spontaneous in signing up for a marathon (1 1/2 weeks before the run) but I just couldn't pass on the opportunity to meet and run with Dean. I drove up that morning at 5am and was ready to go with Dean with 49 other runners. After taking our group photos we started off on the most interesting marathon I ever ran. We had a rolling caravan of people on bikes blocking off intersections and a support vehicle handing out food, water and drinks to keep everyone replenished. The pace started out at about 9-9:30 min/mile. As you know, I have been focusing on trail runs and all of my long runs have been on the trails with power walking breaks incorporated during the runs. I knew that if I started with power walking breaks I most likely wouldn't be able to keep up with Dean, so I decided to roll the dice and run as long as I could with Dean. I was able to chat with Dean for few minutes and told him that you were my coach. His face broke into a smile and he told me to " say hi" to you and that you are one of his dearest friends. I lasted at that pace for about 16 miles, then my hamstrings cramped up with all the pounding on asphalt. The main pack continued on without me, but I accomplished one of my goals, to run and talk with Dean. Now the next goal was to smartly finish the race. In the past I would get down on myself and just limp in to the finish with a bad attiude. However, with the help of your coaching, I knew that I was in good enough physical shape (push ups, rowing, jump rope...) to gut it out and I ran/limped the last 10 miles on a 9/1 pace. I finished under 5 hours (a heck of a traing run) and had another chance to meet with Dean and take a picture (see below). He is so real and genuine (like you). He reminds me of a pied piper inspiring runners in all fifty states. Lisa, thank you for telling me to go for it (again) and inspiring me to believe I can do things that other people view as crazy or unrealistic. If anyone has an opportunity to run with Dean during his last 14 days, go for it, even if your training level may say otherwise. This race is not about a PR, its about celebrating human desire and dtermination.

Go Dean, you are the MAN!!


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