Wednesday, August 25, 2010

inspiration received.

Okay, so I snapped out of my running funk today.  That was quick, huh?  I think I just needed to vent, and your comments were very helpful and kind.  Thank you very, very much. 

Even after a long day, my first day back to work, having been up since 4:45 am, forgetting my ipod, and being a little hungry, I had a great, strong run this evening.  I'd even say it felt effortless, after all my griping.  Go figure.

When I came home, I also got to read the blog post I'd been waiting for since Sunday.  My friend Lloyd, the husband of my best friend Adrienne, ran the Leadville 100-mile trail race on Saturday in Colorado.  Because of the distance, the altitude, the terrain, and the amount of climbing, this race is the big daddy of endurance events, the superbowl of running.  I know some of you read Born to Run recently and loved it like I did.  The Leadville 100 is featured significantly in this excellent book about endurance running and the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico.  It is a wonderful story, and a compelling read for runners and non-runners alike and I highly recommend it.  Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

When I was reading about the Leadville 100 in Born to Run, I had to keep reminding myself that I KNEW someone training for this race because of the descriptions of how greuling of an event it is.

Well, Lloyd started running at 4 am this past Saturday, and finished running just about 10 minutes before 4 am on Sunday.  That means that starting from before I woke up on Saturday, while I was showering, eating, packing, driving to Schoodic Lake, swimming all day, celebrating, eating, driving home, hanging out, eating dinner, and then sleeping for the rest of the next night, LLOYD WAS RUNNING THE ENTIRE TIME.  He also claims that his legs did not hurt after running for 100 miles.

Here are some amazing stats:  650 runners STARTED the race, and only 360 FINISHED.  Lloyd finished in an impressive 56th place, and because he got in under 25 hours, he got the coveted belt buckle too. 

Like me, Lloyd lost his father, and like me, he thinks about his dad a lot when he runs, so when I was reading this post and got to the parts when Lloyd was talking to his dad in his head to get him through a tough stretch, I was a blubbering mess.  And I cried all the way to the end of the report when he finished.  It was inspiring, to say the least.  I so wish I had been there with Adrienne at the finish line.

As a point of contrast, Lloyd is humble and understated, for sure.  The same weekend that I ran the Vermont City Marathon (remember the pain?  the misery?), Lloyd ran a "Double Marathon" (as in two marathons, yes) up and back down a mountain, and his race report said something about having a "relative low point around mile 30" but overall, feeling strong.  And when I read that, I thought that Lloyd must think I'm a pathetic histrionic psychopath after reading my marathon post.  Except that Lloyd would never say that.

Lloyd says in his post:  "I love running but I try not to overstate its significance."  Which is funny to me because when I read that I thought, "Hmmm.  I hate running, but I tend to overstate its significance."

Anyway, here is Lloyd's excellent post. Even though it is long, it is well worth the read.  I know you guys are shy about commenting (why is that?  we need to talk about that some time), but don't you think that when a guy runs the hardest trail run in the country, 100 freaking miles, that he deserves a virtual high-five?  I think so. 

Thanks to all of you and to Lloyd for helping me put my whining about running into perspective.   Fine, I don't hate running anymore.  I'll keep doing it and overstating its significance for you all.  There.


Danielle Frottier said...

that is truly amazing. Lloyd went to Seaholm, right? I also think he went to NU, but I think he is 3 or 4 years younger than us, right? said...

Danielle... yes, Lloyd went to Seaholm and graduated one year behind us.

ann said...

Geez Emilie--you really know how to hurt a girl. I was proud of myself for WALKING 6 MILES this morning until I read about Lloyd. I feel a bit humbled now!
Absolutely amazing!

Sara said...

You were winking at me when you said "you guys hate commenting." I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now, and I have to say that you have inspired me. I've been a self-professed running hater since I had my kiddos (5 and 3 now). Although I love to hike and ski, I couldn't bring myself to put on the shoes and hit the road running. After discovering your blog, I've started doing just that. Starting slow - a revised version of the Couch Potato-to-5K. I quickly discovered that I can run better and more consistently than I thought I could. Thanks for the inspiration. I'll keep reading. Please keep running so I have something wonderful to read that will keep me going.

Sarah Woulfin said...

Hooray! Yay for loving running :>

Lloyd said...

Emilie, you're way, way too kind. Thanks for your kind words & ongoing support. You're always one of the first to send me a note of good luck or congratulations. You need to get yourself out here to Breck for some trail running. You might find it short on oxygen, but I promise, it's heavy on inspiring scenery. And I find you only slightly psychopathic :) But really I find your running tales very inspiring. It's a mental game and you're relentless even when it's not so easy. Thanks again. (I was 2 years behind you, btw)