Saturday, April 18, 2009

Finding the extra oomph

Running coach Chris Phelan casually asked whether I'd ever thought about a duathlon.

"Sure," I said. "I think that sounds fun."

Next thing you know, Chris -- whom I have heard referred to as "running guru" and "rock star" -- sends me a schedule. One that I didn't know whether to laugh or sob when I see it. THIRTY MILES OF BIKING?! (Take deep breaths, Les).

I am, however, happy to do the training runs. Which, this morning, was 13 miles. I wasn't feeling all that great, so thought, "Hm. Maybe I'll divide it into three parts, spread throughout the day." (Yeah, what a weirdo.)

Anyway, I ran about 10 steps and thought, "Oh, Lord. I hope I can make it for three miles."

I did make it three. Then four! Which when the rain started. I considered heading for home and thought, "Nah, maybe I can go six." Which turned into seven...and eight...and I ended up running 11!

I was tickled. Then after my son's track meet and a nap, I ran the other two. Truth to tell, I think they were harder than the first 11.

But the experience once again reminded me how amazing the human body is. How, when we really don't think -- physically or mentally -- we're capable of moving, somehow we're able to do both. We're surprised, yes. And even more, we're grateful.

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