You have to get on the bus !
In the winter of 1992/1993 I was working at Ocean Honda in Santa Cruz California, it was a job, it was not my passion but it did give me a chance to work with my brother Neil, which I enjoyed. The money was good at the time and the owner was very supportive of my developing running career- in fact a couple of years later he would be instrumental in helping me transition to a career and life change into personal training and ultimately coaching....A few months earlier in the Fall of 1992 I set a new marathon PR at the time of 3.28 at the San Francisco marathon and next up (marathon wise) was the Honolulu marathon slated for December 1993...at this stage of my career the only coach and running bible that I had for reference and guidance was the 'New Competitive Runner's Handbook' written by Bob Glover- but I loved the book and believed in it wholeheartedly...one midweek damp. cool and misty evening I returned home to my apartment after a long tough day at the car dealership and was scheduled by 'Coach Bob' for a 'bread and butter' six mile run...It was as foggy in my mind as it was outside. Seemingly not as inviting outside as my couch was...I took in a lite bite, turned on the gas fire and laid down on the couch wrestling with my conscience....I could justify blowing off a run, after all the marathon was some ten months away. 'What's the big deal'? I thought as I cast a guilty eye over to the front door where my running shoes lay ready to be laced up and taken for a run....
' Belayneh Dinsamo' I thought out of nowhere ! A couple of years my junior this Ethiopian wonderboy set the world record in the marathon in 1998 in Rotterdam with a blistering 2.06.50...but why was he on my mind all of a sudden?.....I knew why....he was my alter conscience....sure part of me wanted the easy road, the easy path, the easy life, who doesn't? and it was easy in some respects with my main goal for 1993 being so far away.....but I was driven, I was determined and I was learning to be respectful to the science and the process...and my work ethic was being carved and shaped...'Belayneh' I thought to myself, wherever he was on this beautiful planet on this night would not choose the couch over training, would not take the easy option, the soft option in front of a gas fire, he would be relentless in his pursuit of improvement and so must I ! I sprung up off the couch with a renewed sense of purpose and fresh adrenaline pumping through my veins- I donned my running clothes and laced up my running shoes and I swear they looked up at me with the excitement of a puppy knowing he/she was being taken out for their evening walk with their master !
I declared my intent from that day forth to make Belayneh my friend and foe....he was at 2.06.50 and I was at 3.28, so how much could he improve and by how much could I close him down?...I knew wherever he was, in the hills or plains of East Africa, the mountains of South America, the European Forests or the great tracks and trails of the USA, I would track and pursue him relentlessly with the smarts and wits and drive of a Native American scout and from that day forth a new and deliberate plan was in place.....most of all I thought to to myself, that for me to enjoy and maximize my journey and the ride ahead, I had to 'get on the bus' !
What happened next on this run was life changing and quite extraordinary.....stay tuned to tomorrow's blog to find out what I discovered !
Walk in peace and let the good times roll !
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