Props to Lafe for both kind words in a comment yesterday, and for stick-to-it-iveness (Wow. Spellcheck would hate that) in his trek back to shape.
I’m going to be blogging in a much more catch-as-catch can style, to this is a two-fer post:
Yesterday, I sat through a necessary but tedious meeting – information dense but not intellectually stimulating, and was feeling completely disconnected at the end. But, it was a sunny, windy day, and I’d defensively packed my gym bag, so I figured “WTF, let’s go run.” Swung by the gym, popped on shorts and shoes, and hit the road. For whatever reason (most likely it being on top of the clean pile), I’d popped in an old OCS (officer candidate school) t-shirt. Selected Paul Simon’s “Graceland” on the BRAND NEW 40 GB iPod (have I mentioned how much I love the iPod in general, and the new one specifically, and how cool it is to have every piece of music I own in one place?), and hit the road.
As I’m coming around to the smaller basin on the base, I notice there’s a whole string of folks wearing Marine Green ahead, finishing a group run for their senior enlisted school. One of the cool things I learned from Drill Instructor Staff Sargent Hyler, United States Marine Corps, down in Pensacola, was never to let a straggler run alone. Well, these folks were doing the same for their comrades; each person huffing had someone barely breaking a sweat running alongside, giving encouragement (helpfully, not shouting). I passed the first one about a half mile from their finish. About 100 yards later, the encourager sprints about 15 yards past me, then pulls up and goes back to the person he was pacing. Pass another about 300 yards from their finish, and about 10 yards later, both are sprinting flat out past me to the finish.
With the iPod, I couldn’t hear anything; my guess, though, was that the shirt sparked at least a little bit of inter-service rivalry, and a little bit of inspiration for the other service in the Department of the Navy. (For the record, one of my proudest moments was at the end of OCS when Drill Instructor Staff Sergant Hyler, United States Marine Corps, had put us through our last set of push-ups, had us gasping and standing at attention, and said “Now, you all may wear Navy Blue, but every time I look at you I’m going to see a little green Marine”). (And also for the record, when I’m struggling, I can usually get an extra half mile from bringing up the vision of Drill Instructor Staff Sergant Hyler, United States Marine Corps, running alongside me, shouting invectives at me with combination coffee/cigarette breath and spit and sweat flying)
This morning, I was Christian’s 6AM man again, but was kind of spent after yesterday afternoon’s run, which turned into what (for me) was a mini-epic. So we knocked off the mile to where Chris usually pauses for a walk break, and walked about another 2 miles. Kind of nice to watch Newport wake up and stretch the legs out. So as a run it was a failure, but it was good for the soul.
(Would have been better, but neither of us brought cash along, so we weren’t able to succumb to any of the places we passed offering coffee and bagles)