Running Jerks Assemble! The April Initiative

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*Note: 5K Race For Hope – DC – Please donate to Team Ally and Elizabeth. If you clicked here, please click there and give something. Even if you cant make the May 6th 5K run, any contribution would be amazing. Thank you*

So how about that, Pauls back! The Running Jerks who started off as 2, then seemed like it was 1 for awhile, is now 2 again! And in a short time, it seems The Running Jerks have never seemed stronger.

As he covered in his last post, Paul said that he hasn’t exactly been running or even really thinking about the marathon since the last forever. I picked up the ‘I’m running a marathon!” flag about a year ago ish with no results. I blogged a little, ran a little bit, got injured, didn’t run the thing I wanted to, didn’t blog for awhile, didn’t run seriously for awhile, started to run cause I was getting fat, got better at running and at same time picked up my blogging game, bought a big tv, ran a ton more, made a serious plan to make it to October 28, ran some more, then Paul started running again. Year in review done.

It’s been a long time since I felt like I’ve been running with someone. Paul’s had been out of the running loop for a good while. When I was trying to train last year, I was doing so knowing Paul wasn’t going to do it. When I started running again this year, he still wasn’t running. We’re on two different life paths but usually on the same running path; meaning giving the same amount of time to prepare for the MCM.

I remember this go around of trying to come back from an injury (and lazy time) and trying to get back into the swing of things of running. I ran a small handful of times in December and January. I already had plans of a 9-10 month training period for the marathon. I asked Paul if he was going to run it. He gave me that look like if I had just asked him if he would eat dog food for dinner. After 2 seconds he had a confused look on his face and something along the lines of “I don’t think so, not right now, but I’m not ruling it out”. What I do know what he said after that was “I don’t want you getting all the glory”.

That was a clue I picked up on that the running bug hadn’t left Paul, but Lazy Paul was still in control. Maybe it was the 5K on his birthday in early January, maybe it was some fat dude running in his neighborhood, maybe it was something else, but whatever it was I can attest; Running Paul is back!

Preface: Paul and I (along with friends and strangers waiting to be friends) joined a team to compete in Tough Mudder. Watch the video on the main page. We’re trying to do that. Along with the marathon. By October, we’ll either be incredibly sexy or dead.

A few weeks ago, our Co-Captain Garrett (ya I said Co, suck it Garrett), had the idea of organizing a weekly Sunday run at Burke Lake for the team to keep in shape and build team unity and all that bull crap. Despite there being over 10 people on our team right now, only Garrett, Paul and myself showed up to run. The course is 5 miles which is quite intimidating for most or our team, who isn’t ready for that mileage yet.

Our first go around with the course (March 11th) was good for us. Even though Garrett sprained all 17 of his ankles twice, it was a good run. We were able to get some experience on a course that we’re hoping to run a lot on and for Paul and Garrett they were able to get a ‘long’ run in in their books. Everyone finished the run and no one fell in the lake, so a positive run all around.

Our second go around with the course was quite different. Again Garrett invited the team and again only Garrett, Paul and I showed up. I wasn’t feeling up to the run because A) I forgot about it and B) I literally walked into the house from work, Garrett reminded me about it, and 3 minutes later I left the house in my running gear going to Burke Lake. I wasn’t planning on the run nor did I want to do it. But establishing a tradition is way better than being lazy. Shoes are on, both legs are working, let’s do this.

Out the gate, both Paul and Garrett were running fast. Like, way faster than I’m used to (and I’m speaking as the running veteran in this group, which I know means nothing). According to my Nike+, they were running at a 9min-9:15min pace, which was I knew was way to fast for the both of them, because the last time they ran this course they didn’t come close to that. I chalked it up to early eager energy and I hung back of them, waiting for them to slow down during miles 2-3.

Before we get to mile 2, Garrett pulls up limp with another sprained ankle (his 52nd in 5 weeks). After a brief pause, Garrett says he’s willing to go, so we go. I decide to hang with Garrett to make sure he’s ok at first and after the first half mile he seems to be doing allright. My plan was to ditch him after he hit a 10min+ mile/pace but this silly billy was keeping a good pace, around a 9:30min/mile pace. This was almost at the 3 mile part of the run and for the whole run I had thought we’d been running too fast (at least too fast for what I’ve been used to, alone) but here are these 2 guys just booking it.

Quasi injured Garrett was doing ok by himself and we were past the halfway point on the trail, so at worst he’d half to follow this trail to get to us if he got attacked by 3 bears. With that thinking, I thought I should catch up to Paul, who was a good part ahead of us but within ‘seeing’ distance.

So I kick into another Mike gear to get up to Paul. Once I get into a reasonable distance to him, I kick it down to a ‘Paul’ level and follow him for a little bit, expecting him to slow down a little cause by my Nike+ calculation, he hasn’t slowed up at all since we started. I checked my Nike+ once more only to get the reading DOES NOT COMPUTE.

The only thing I remembered about our first Burke Lake run was that there was a long straight stretch run across the lake about 1.25-1.5 miles into the run that Garrett and Paul almost literally sprinted across that tired them out for the last half of the run.

On this run, we started at the same spot, but instead of running right this time, we ran left. Meaning, when I was behind Paul, thinking he’ll tire soon and I’ll pass him good, thats when we got out of the woods and I saw the same long straight stretch, I thought “Crap! We’re almost done! How the hell has Paul kept this pace up? Crap! He’s not gonna let up.”

It was then on that straight away on Burke Lake, still running at a pace I didn’t think I’d run at all during the whole run, 3 steps behind Paul, did I think

The Running Jerks Are Back

I was excited. I had a new outlet to test myself, right in front of me. I was already running faster than I thought I could. Was it because I run with no one else and have no one to test myself against? Was it I always run on hills? Was it mental?

We were running fast. Faster than I’ve ever been used to, especially at this mileage.

I’m still running behind Paul. 2 steps behind.

He’s still running fast. Is it cause he knows I’m right behind?

I wasn’t ready or willing for this run, but I know I have something in my tank.

This whole run I’ve been running at a faster pace than I’m used to. That usually kills me.

For the 2nd time this year I get the opposite message from my brain that I’m used to in a difficult running situation.

Usually it’s “OK, you’ve done enough. Give up, walk, try to do better another time”

This time, it was simple: Run

And so I ran. I passed Paul at a weird trail crossing where cars could pass, but I had this weird feeling once I ran by, Paul knew to follow.

I didn’t have to look back, but I knew Paul was behind me. He hadn’t been running as long as I had (at this point), but has always had that mentality of never to be outdone. Just ask him of what he thinks of people that pass him in any race.

Running behind Paul and a pace I’m not used to got me excited. I was behind him at the long stretch and thought my time for the 5 miles would be good. I kept up with him in the woods thinking I’d be pushing him. Once our progress got ever-so slowed by a car, it hit me; how fast can you go?

I’ve never thought like that when I ran. I’ve always thought about just finishing the distance I’ve set out to run. But all of a sudden it hit me, Run Fast.

So I ran. With 3/4 of a mile left, I started running. I haven’t run since High School. But I felt myself run here, not the whole way, but at parts, and it was amazing. Running, maybe not as fast as I can, but giving it all for almost a mile, felt great.

At the end, neither Paul or I knew that we had that ‘burst’ in us. We ran harder and faster than we thought we could, on an innocent Sunday evening. In March.

Oh yeah, we’re kicking ass. It’s March, but we have bigger plans for the coming months.

PS: Oh ya, my plan is to lose 13 pounds in April. More to come on that later. That’s the April Initiative.

PSS: “The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” – Gustave Flaubert

That’s that quote this website gave my after my 50th blog post. I’m not sure how to react to it yet. Do I believe in running or dog pictures or bad writing?

2 Responses to “Running Jerks Assemble! The April Initiative”

  1. Mom Says:

    You guys are Capt Amazings!!! Soo proud, n Mikey, I told u in early March your blogs inspire me, well, I began to walk/run on beach, and, low n behold, have lost 10lbs since!! Thank you, keep inspiring each other!! ILY both

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