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Dopey Challenge Training - Week Twelve

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“On race weekend, of course, they're the ones who kick into high gear just as we're downshifting to prepare for race day. They travel along with us, carrying our stuff and eating when, and where, we want. They soothe our nerves. They study course maps to plot out where they'll have the best chances of seeing us. They wonder whether, logistically, they can catch us at mile three and again at mile 11, and still make it to the finish in time, if they hustle. They stand, often in poor weather and often for an hour or more, staring at a sea of grimacing runners as they wait for their grimacing runner to appear. And when we do, they go nuts. They do all of this for us.” ~ Mark Remy/ Runner’s World

Once upon a time, in a marriage far, far, away, I lived with a person who for whatever reason couldn’t bring himself to support me in my running. At the time, I ran no more than 15 or so miles per week but every mile seemed to bring yet another sarcastic comment or nasty putdown. The time I spent on the roads was looked upon as frivolous and a waste of time that could be spent on better things – like watching hockey. Or Nascar racing. Or watching just about anything else but running. If I had a race planned, the time spent prior to leaving the house was made painful and stressful. Funny thing; the more I was made to feel bad about running and the more doubts he tried to create about my own abilities, the more determined I was to run. At that point in my life, running was a necessary escape.

By the late 1990’s, the marriage was over and for the first time in a long time I was running just for the fun of it. Thomas, who I call my CSO (Chief Support Officer), supported me unconditionally as I hit the roads and he (a non-runner) even took part in two local 5ks. In January of 2006 after years of proclaiming “I will NEVER run 13.1 miles!” we traveled to WDW where I ran my first half marathon. Through the ups and down of the entire training process Thomas was there; from foot rubs when my feet ached to endless discussions on training, he tried to right all the previous years of doubt.

I will never forget seeing Thomas on Main Street around mile five in the half marathon as we entered the Magic Kingdom. I found him in the dense crowds of family and friends and just held on tight for a few moments as he whispered (as best you can do in a screaming crowd) how proud he was of me. With a kiss for luck and under a canopy of Christmas lights and decorations, I was off running up Main Street towards Cinderella’s Castle. It was a magical and unforgettable moment and Thomas was right. I really could do this.

Sixty-five half marathons later, Thomas is still the best CSO a runner can have. While he may not be able to be at every race, he’s always there in spirit and in my heart. He was the only one who wasn’t surprised when I sheepishly announced (after my “one and done” proclamation following the 2013 WDW Marathon) that I was signing up for the Dopey Challenge. I could not do what I do without him. So as we pause this week to give thanks for all the wonderful things we have in life, make sure to remember to thank everyone who makes your running / walking dreams possible for without them, the roads you travel might not be as easy to navigate or as fun to explore.

We’re in another step-back week so enjoy the shorter mileage while you can! We are only seven weeks until the Dopey Challenge!

Training Week Twelve–

Monday November 25th – rest / Barre3

Tuesday November 26th – 5 miles / Upper-body strength training

Wednesday November 27th – 8 miles

Thursday November 28th – 5 miles (plan)/ Clark County Turkey Trot 5k (actual)

Friday November 29th – rest (yeah right, add up the miles you put in Black Friday shopping…)

Saturday November 30th – 12 miles (including 4 miles at the Winter Wonderland run)

Sunday December 1st – x-train (plan)/ Hot Buttered Run 5k (actual)

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  1. stan4d_steph's Avatar
    Lots of races this weekend!