Heather and I have built a pretty strong friendship over the last year and some change. Our families have become very close. We’re both similar in that we don’t tell people much about what we’re thinking or what we feel. We don’t “let people in”. Yet, we tell each other everything. I knew how disappointed she was that she didn’t get to run that marathon. Despite a perfectly logical reason, she took that as a personal failure.
Completing the training but never running the marathon was tough for me to accept. The question, “Have you ever run a marathon?” was like nails on a chalkboard. Sharing the story was even worse but when I told Damien the story after he ran NYC he simply replied, “You’ll run one someday.”
I nodded in agreement but in truth it was something that I decided to remove from the bucket list. I had tried and failed, that was that.
When I agreed to run the Providence Marathon I knew I’d get Heather to run it with me. There was no way I was going to run it with Mica. I can’t keep up. I had a slight fear he’d cross the finish line, forget I was there, and be on I-95 feeling like he forgot something.
Hahaha… Mica would never do that!
I knew Heather and I could keep the same pace. We could train together. When the offer for the training program came, I knew she’d run with me.
I peppered her with questions about training and why she wouldn’t run.
Right after the Disney Marathon Damien decided he needed to try again. He’d run another marathon with a better time. Mica was in the process of getting back to training for his first marathon in years. I suggested they try this one together. THEY try this one. Despite Damien’s joking on why I wouldn’t run I had zero intention of attempting another marathon. I dodged his questions and was happy when he dropped the subject (or so, I thought).
Finally, I made it pretty simple.
“Heather, you’re running this marathon”, I said.
“No I’m not”, she responded.
I think it was more like, “NO. I. Am. NOT.”
“How do you know this training program works? You can’t offer a training program you’ve never used.”
“Mica’s done it.”
“Mica’s not normal. Listen, you’re doing this training with me and you’re running the marathon with me.”
“No”, she barked back.
Actually I said, “NOT a chance. That is NOT happening.”
“Then I’m not doing it either.”
What?? Nice… real mature.
So, he pulled that card. If I didn’t agree to run he wouldn’t run?
Motivation comes in all forms and manipulation was one of them that day. Damien was pulling out all the stops and wasn’t taking no for an answer. I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach just discussing the idea and I knew that feeling well. It was fear. I don’t back down often and the idea that this had so much control over me bothered me. I started to pick apart my reasons for not trying and later that day when Damien said, “So, you’re running the marathon!” I could hear the triumph in his statement.
Clearly, the decision had been made already. ”Yeah, I guess I am.”
Needless to say, having the attitude of a 10 year old worked. She agreed to run and the next day we went out for our first day of training.
That day called for an easy 7-mile run. We decided to hit the trail and run near the water. The day was perfect. Then came Monday. The recovery run. From what I understand, with my limited knowledge, a recovery run is designed to, well, recovery. Recover from the previous days run. Nice, slow, and relaxed.
Anyone who has ever trained with Heather and myself knows we are extremely competitive people.
Who me? Okay… maybe just a little.
Nice, slow, and relaxed? We ran 4 miles at a 7:55 pace. Not lighting the ground on fire, but not exactly slow either. Apparently, neither one of us wanted to be the one to slow down, so we just kept running. It wasn’t the last time.
The following Sunday called for a 14 miler. I won’t go into detail about how I let Heather plan the route. Nor will we discuss how we got lost. Twice. I’ll again focus on the Monday recovery run. 4 miles at 7:51 per. Not only did we learn nothing, we actually got dumber.
Damien isn’t from Connecticut. I was just showing him around. Twice. And speak for yourself, Barling. I was just seeing if you could keep up!
Anyone want to guess what happened the next week after a particular easy 9 mile Sunday? Anyone? Anyone? 7 miles at 7:46 per.
I have no good excuse here… nothing. My favorite part of this was immediately following the run we told Kara about the speed problem. She said, “Why did you run so fast? Damien, you’re not a good pacer.” Hahaha…yep, it’s his fault.
(Part III highlights, homemade gu, Damien’s first 5K, Heather’s fastest, and “are we at 14 yet?”)