Saturday, October 10, 2009

Home... Homeward Bound

Day 47

Boston Qualifying Training. I wake up rested for the first time this week. Smart going to bed early last night and staying on Eastern Time. I did get a call at midnight from my work colleague asking if I wanted to go hit a bar in Chicago… Uh, dude, I’m sleeping.

I had hoped to hit the gym this morning and had brought a pair of workout shorts and T for just that, however, there was too much on the agenda today and sleep was far more important than work. I keep thinking how good it was to run in to Bobalu and how it helped me put my last run into perspective. Everyone should know Bobalu. I share a little bit today.

I met Bobalu, Bob Kaiser, several years ago, an introduction from a friend and that time, my boss who was living in Texas, the same as Bobalu. It was a business meeting and it was brief, I was a bit taken aback by the fact that this grown man, ten years my senior would call himself Bobalu. The meeting went well and we agreed that there was merit in a second meeting at an upcoming conference in Las Vegas. I had just started running again and was competing in 5K’s and 10K’s. During the meeting in Vegas, I shared that I was a “runner” Bobalu asked if I wanted to join him on run the next morning at 4:30 AM. Sure. I believe he must have had a degree of doubt based on the surprised look on his face when he walked off the elevator that next morning at 4:30 and I was standing there ready to go.

You showed, he said. You bet, I replied,. Here we were in "Sin City", two guys in running shorts and t-shirts, making their way through the casino floor filled with people smoking, drinking and gambling from the night before, and off we went into the desert night.

Out on the strip I asked, how far are we running, "11- 12 miles" was the reply. I had run only 8 miles at that point, though I had done 13 way back in high school. The pace was moderate and the temperature was perfect. I learned how Bob Kaiser became Bobalu, but more importantly that day I learned something about myself. Up until that time I did not believe I was capable of running a marathon. Too far, I’m not made for that distance, was my thought. However that early morning run, at a moderate pace I ran well over 11 miles and I felt good doing it.

It helps to have a guy like Bobalu to run with, he is a great story teller and can keep you in high spirits as the miles slip past. As a Marathoner, Bobalu assured me that I too could be a marathon runner, coming from a guy that today has run over 105 marathons, that was enough for me. I was determined, my next goal… 26.2.

That early morning, the ideas of qualifying for Boston was not there. Heck, I did not even know what running the Boston Marathon was or meant to runners. That morning I was like every other “newbie” I wanted to finish!

So it began. I signed up that week for my very first Marathon. I already knew the one I wanted to do. The Disney Marathon. I remember two years prior going into a FleetFeet after a 10K in Buckhead, "The Buckhead Sizzeler" and seeing the finishing medals for Disney. I also remember thinking at that time, that I could not ever get one... 26.2 miles, was too far in my mind. That all changed, I was determined. My perspective changed. I would run, and I would achieve what I considered at that time unachievable. That was 10 marathons ago... Now I work to achieve what I again thought might be unachievable, qualifying for Boston.

Thank you Bobalu for that great run that early morning in Las Vegas. I also learned the 4 best things about running that morning, but that too will have to wait until another day for me to share.
Bobalu runs Chicago send him good thoughts as he runs to qualify for Boston on Sunday.

Sitting on the plane home from Chicago I was looking forward to seeing the family. I knew the 13 miles awaited me I the morning, but that was tomorrow. I arrived home early enough to catch the second half of the Milton football game with Jack and our friends. After the game, the family sat together watching the Yankee’s beat the Twin in extra innings. I finally made it to bed at 11:30, but would not trade the time I spent last night with all of us on the couch. As Wil would say, Good Time, Good Times.

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