Seven days until the marathon.
We've been tapering for the last two weeks after the 20 miler. The previous weekend was spent on Tiger mountain running 12 miles.
Yesterday was our last team practice as we ran 8 miles around the Greenlake area. This has been a great training season for me, I've been extremely privileged to work with Jim (coach) and a core group of team mates. I felt a touch of melancholy at the thought of not seeing Jim, Kit, and the team every Saturday. When you start out marathon training, it's uncomfortable. Going outside when its dark, wet, cold (or a combination) is hard. It's hard to motivate yourself sometimes. When you do it with a group, that you bond with over the course of the season, going out to run no longer becomes uncomfortable. It becomes something you get done.
On our very last Thursday run, me and Jim chatted while we warmed up around the park. He talked about how a marathon is a training exercise, how that when I got it done I would miss waking up early on those Saturday mornings. For him, the greatest pleasure was the discipline of setting a plan and executing on it. The main event is in many ways a victory lap for those months and months of preparation that was required.
Throughout the season, Kit has been an incredible source of inspiration for me. The ability to do what she has done and live with CLL. She's always shown up at our Saturday practices even though it drains her energy deeply. Having her at the coldest days of the season handing out hand warmers was a great motivator for me to keep moving. Like her, many CLL patients fight constant challenges to keep a sense of normalcy.
Unlike them, I have one final challenge left this season. One long run to get done.