Sunday, May 15, 2011
Back on the horse that bucked you
I figure a little bragging on my children is permitted once in a while. I've already told you about my 14-year-old son Morgan's attempt to run the Wellington Marathon to raise funds for his Rugby team's tour of South America. (Amy's much funnier blog about this is here.)
Understand we're not pushing him to do this. It's been his idea and his passion since the get-go. I've run four marathons and know about the training and won't let him do more than he can. Every time I think he's going to quit - that he has good reason to quit - he keeps on going.
But last week was his nadir. I could see in his eyes that his dream of finishing the marathon was going up in smoke. His schedule called for a 16-mile run. The problem was that gale-force winds were howling in off the bays and, not to put to fine a point on it, were kicking his ass.
Come Mile 13 he was done. Couldn't walk another pace. In fact, he stole my bike and headed for the car, leaving me to run three miles having already been on a five-miler earlier in the day. Let me tell you, I felt his pain. With the Marathon on June 19, he was running out of time. We weren't going to let him run 26.2 miles if he wasn't ready.
We talked about what was going on in his head and his body. He knew we weren't not going to let him go to South America. But we let it go at that. We didn't talk about this weekend's looming run - an 18-miler. It was the week's unmentionable. This morning, expecting him to bow out, I asked what he wanted to do about the run.
The wind was howling again, thunder was roaring and rain was waterfalling out of the sky. He had his out. But he looked at me like I was a little dumb and asked if we could wait for the weather to clear. Then we'd go.
And go we did. On the way into town I told him that I'd built a couple of walks into the run: one at Mile 11, one at Mile 15. I bought him some energy gel. Off we went, me expecting disaster, he not giving much away.
Well, friends, he nailed it. After getting stomped at Mile 13 last week, he went 18 this week and finished strong. Really strong. He beat his own mental goal by 13 minutes. And now we're talking about South America again.
I told him I was proud of him. That took guts, being beaten by a run and then coming back the next week and adding five miles to it. Don't cry for him, Argentina. He's on his way.