Saturday, November 7, 2009

Done in by the Birthday Meatball

Day 74

Boston Qualifying Training. Thursday morning and it is off to Swim. It would be difficult to say swimming is a fun thing for me, it would be stretch to say I like it, but it is fair to say, it is helping.

I know the swimming is maintaining a solid base of conditioning while the low impact of allows my body to heal from the run workouts.

Today would be a series of 300’s, lot's of them. With the girls missing, it is just Shane and I in lane two. The first few 300’s are good, but I felt myself fading as the workout went on. It would have been easy to just turn it off and cruise, but that certainly would not be any benefit.

Many times in a run, when the legs are toast, the lungs burn, the mind drifts, it would be easy to just back off, but that does not raise the bar, you just have to push through it, through the pain, push out the negative thoughts and move forward. Applying that same mindset, I focus on my stroke and I pull deep from the reserves. I break the workout down into easy to accomplish segments and keep on "moving forward". I finish the workout and consider it a small victory. I also put that moment in my mind, something to pull on when things get tough, the ability that I can drive on.

A quick shower and I am off to put Wil & Jack on the bus. Unlike Wednesday when I was slammed on work, today I take PTO, my first PTO in over 4 months. With my sister and brother-in-law visiting, we schedule a day of golf.

Golf is like any other sport, it takes practice and a mental toughness. That said, the last time I played golf was the beginning of summer. Kim and I had hooked up with another couple and we played nine holes, I have not touched the clubs since. Today we were playing 18. I decide to put my competitive nature to the side and not take the golfing too serious, rather enjoy the day with family. Good thing. My score would best calculated with an abacus.

Kim played well and my sister has a good game too. However the real joy is watching my brother-in-law, Harry. Harry who is 63, a very young and athletic 63 played great. As we play, I might hit a good shot every 8-10 strokes, a good drive here, a nice putt there, but I do not play enough to ever string together a decent game. Harry however is very good. We played a course he never played, we played from the back tee’s that included many blind shots. His play is consistent, hit shots are down the middle of the fairway, this approach shots are not on the green, but in a specific spot on the green. He shoots a 75, 3 over par! Funny, he was a bit upset with that score!

As for me, I stopped writing my score down after the first snowman, and that was the first hole. However, I did have my moment of glory. The 9th hole, par five, I hit Harry’s driver, a crushing drive straight down the fairway, I actually out drove Harry by over 30 yards. My next shot, a 5 wood, from 210 plus yards away. I take a quick practice stroke and it feels good. I step up to the ball, a quick glance to the hole and I steady myself. Drawing back the club I feel good, the swing is fluid, the ball takes flight and takes a trajectory directly to the green. I watch as the ball lands on the green and checks up. It sits perfectly, 14 feet away from the hole. I smile inward.

Arriving at the green I can actually see "the line". Sometimes I see it clearly, others I have no idea. This one I see. I draw back, but my putting stroke hesitates, I leave the putt short. Harry say’s “you babied the putt”. I agree. No Eagle, it would have been a first. I will not miss the Bird. I line up the putt and firmly stroke the ball, center cut.

A Bloody Mary with my sister at the turn, I feel nearly drunk for holes 11-16 and my game turns further south. I hit maybe 5 more good shots the rest of the day, but I’ll live on way I played the ninth hole.

I fix a big bowl of pasta and meatballs for the family diner in preparation for tomorrows big 20 miles. After a quick dinner I head to Taco Mac for a beer and a new glass.

On the way home I feel a bit sick. Kim calls, she is not feeling well. By the time 9:30 hits, the family is sick and everyone is throwing up or… well yeah that too.

I spend the night bent over in pain waking more than sleeping. The 20 will be tough.

No comments: