Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tour de Seabiscuitariat

I love Running.  
I love everything about Running, the early mornings, tough workouts, training schedule and regimens.  This past week while recovering from a few workouts, I flipped through channels to catch the Tour de France and two movies - Seabiscuit and Secretariat.  Upon hearing the commentators from the Tour and dialogue from the movies, it made me take a deeper look at who I am because of what I do. 
The Tour de France cyclists forged through all seasons of weather, it struck me that no matter what the conditions they continued towards the finish line of the day's stage.  What drives them to proceed?  Is it the money?  Is it the fame? Can it be the adulation?  Maybe it is a combination of all three. But then I thought about time spent training, the time away from family and friends and the untold sacrifices.  I came to the answer that they enjoy Cycling.  They love Cycling.
The two movies, Seabiscuit and Secretariat are true stories about two horses overcoming insurmountable odds.  
Seabiscuit resonates with me because he is a little horse compared to other racehorses but loved to run and run hard.  The horse went through trials and tribulations but after hard training always came through like a champion.
 Secretariat was a horse that flat out liked to run.  In the final scenes, Diane Lane (who played Secretariat's owner, Penny Tweedy) cheers on Secretariat by yelling during the Belmont Stakes "Let him run Ronnie, let him run."  Which is followed by her quoting a biblical passage from Job 39, "Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?  Do you make him leap like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting?  He paws fiercely, rejoicing in his strength, and charges into the fray.  He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; he does not shy away from the sword.  The quiver rattles against his side, along with the flashing spear and lance.  In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds." This really strikes a chord with me because in my world those words are how I feel on race day.  As I pondered this week's blog post and that quote, I thought about how many of us question our ability and doubt our preparation?  I know I do, but sometimes if I am able to get my thoughts out of my brain and relax I can picture myself with that confidence.  All I have to do is remember that I love to run. Somewhere along the 100 miles when I mentally and physically check out, there are times that I recall and replay that scene over and over again. I paraphrase some of the saying, "I can eat up ground 'cause I can't stand still" and picture the shot of Secretariat coming into the homestretch running at full stride and looking majestic as ever.  
Those are the images and music that I had on repeat in my mind during this week's training. The tempo runs I was Secretariat.  The hill workout I was a Tour cyclist going up the Col du Tourmalet.  My weekend time on feet long runs I was Seabiscuit.  Truth be told, I wasn't that fast on the tempo runs (8:40 pace), I wasn't conquering the Pyrenees (6,900 feet)  and I was happiest when my long runs were over.  In reality, none of that matters.  In my mind that is how I see myself and that is how I perform.  So as I build up my physical endurance for Hallucination 100, I am starting to build up my mental endurance as well.  If I could take a mixture of a Tour rider, Seabiscuit and Secretariat to the start line in September, I would in a heartbeat.  Why? Because I love to run!

Monday - am tempo run and pm tempo run
Tuesday - hill workout
Wednesday - swimming
Thursday - cycling
Friday - am tempo run and pm tempo run
Saturday - TOF long run
Sunday - rest

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