Monday, April 23, 2007

A run, a visit, a perfect weekend

ORN: 8.3 miles, 1:17:35, run only, 9:10/mile

It was a great treat to host
Darrell on Saturday night and Sunday! With business travel keeping him on the road for a week, I was glad Gretchen and I could provide a respite from the grind of hotels and restaurant food.


As an added treat, the weekend blossomed into the most beautiful spring weather we’ve had this year, the first spring weekend we’ve enjoyed. With temps in the 60s and 70s, clear blue skies and light breezes, we showed Darrell around Purdue University, my work setting and much enjoyable conversation.

We fit our run together in on Sunday morning. Gretchen gave us both some good-natured kidding on both wearing orange shirts, as if we "coordinated our outfits." Darrell is tapering into the Eugene Marathon next Sunday, so he had 8 miles on his schedule, which fit in fine with my schedule as well. He was very kind to throttle back on his usual Zephyr-like pace for the run to accommodate me and I scrapped the run/walk process and ran away. It worked wonderfully for us both. I took him on a “tour” of the
West Lafayette Trails, past both cornfields, residential areas, commercial areas, wetlands and woods. On a spectacularly beautiful spring morning, everything looked fresh and alive. Poor Darrell probably wondered just how horrible the weather must be here normally, as I could not quit exclaiming what a beautiful day it was.

We ended up doing 8.3 miles, with splits of 9 29, 9 19, 9 23, 9 26, 9 27, 9 14, 9 14, 9 14 and 2:45 (@ 8:43 pace). Quite consistent and gradually picking up the pace, while we remained conversational throughout. It was a most enjoyable run. After cleaning up, we went to church and enjoyed a long relaxing lunch, along with my wife.

In a continuing conversation during our visit, we reflected on injuries we both have had and continue to pay close attention to: Darrell with his left hip, my right ITB. We also considered how unusual it was, in the general population, to put the word “only” in front of the term “8 mile run.” We realized it is important to keep a perspective of gratitude about running, rather than an attitude of entitlement. Every day of health we have is a gift and we are wise to receive it as such.

Relationships are central to life itself. I had a treat this weekend to enjoy Darrell’s company. Next weekend,
Michelle, Jenny, Sarah, Rob and others will get to enjoy Darrell in Eugene. How cool!! Enjoy every minute and the gift these friendships bring.

Persevere.

8 comments:

Wes said...

Yea, I was going to say you guys looked like twins :-) Nice job on the "all run". We do indeed have a lot to be grateful for, do we not?

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Glad the weather was so nice for your run yesterday with Darrell. It is always great to be able to show off your stomping grounds when they look good! Glas you had a great time and I look forward to some great running comraderie this weekend! Not only in getting to meet up with Darrell and others, but our Y club has about 12 runners participating in the marathon, plus some cheerleaders! It's going to be great! Kinda like our dinner party before Portland! Have a great week!
Jenny

Darrell said...

I can't thank you and Gretchen enough for the hospitality you showed me. The weather was spectacular. I hope we can meet again sometime.

Backofpack said...

Joe,
I don't know if anyone who doesn't run will ever understand the relationships that it builds. Running allows great conversations, soul baring conversations, hilarious conversations, sad conversations and more. I don't know if it's the long hours spent together, the intimacy of running through the woods, or the dark, together or what does it, but it is amazing. I can't begin to explain the friendship and support I felt out there on the trail this weekend - from my own running partners, to the Marathon Maniac group, to complete strangers. Running is certainly a gift in my life - and I am thankful for it.

Looking forward to the weekend to come - where I'll be ready for more great running friendships!

Sarah said...

I'll admit I thought you had planned it when I first saw that picture. Gave me a giggle. : ) Glad you had such a great weekend...good weather and good friends! : )

Anne K. said...

What a fun weekend for you all! Thanks for sharing the details!

Love,
Anne

WADDLER26.2 said...

Glad you guys had a great weekend!!

teacherwoman said...

Sounds like a great weekend! How fun!