Monday, November 24, 2008

The pillars of patience

One of my great weaknesses is patience. Like all things, running requires time, patience and hard work. Inevitably, all runners realize that there are no shortcuts. The runners that accept that continue on, the few that refuse to believe either quit or are eternally frustrated by not being able to out think simple hard work.

I am currently on my version of a literary marathon reading Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth. Because I lack the patience to invest in reading long novels I generally don't take on many books. I was a voracious reader when I was young, but now I just want to plow through a book and will generally read through the night once I attack a novel. Pillars is not one of those read in a weekend novels. I received the book from my friend April for my birthday and it made trips to Boston, New York and Dallas without a single page read. On the trip back from Dallas, however, I made the first step.

I just reached the 1/2 marathon point of the book last night at about 2 a.m. I am struck by how patient people needed to be in the mid-12th century. Jobs would take lifetimes or more to complete. In fact, it was a dream to have a job that required a lifetime. Trips that would take 15 minutes today required the better part of a day. It was just accepted that things took time.

When it comes to running my lack of patience is a huge liability. It's even worse when it comes to marathons. I think my mind and what little talent I have are better suited for 1/2-mile or one-mile races. Being patient enough to properly set the pillars of successful training is my constant challenge. After 20+ marathons I have yet to get it quite right but I am looking forward to the day I do.

Today was a good follow up to Saturday's run. Had another solid effort (7 miles) with our adidas rep, Ben Evans, who is a frequent visitor to the Raven. Ben is a former stud runner for Michigan State and ran 2:29 in his first marathon at Boston this year. Despite his Spartans getting a major beat down by Penn State on Saturday and missing out on the Rose Bowl, Ben still kept a positive face and got a run in with Jerry in the a.m. and p.m. with me.

"Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience."

peace out


Kelrock said...

Patience is my weakest link. Its as if the concept does not exist at times. Exercising patience at this stage is more difficult than ever, especially when the desire to do so much more is overriding any common sense! I agree with what your saying man. I too need to take the build up slow and more calculated.

Rupp was easy yesterday. No one was beating him. The guy is world class.

Tom Ritchie said...

"Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience."

I love that quote! It will be my screensaver for a couple of weeks.