It’s the Luck of the Draw

Here I am just finished week 11 of 16 as I prepare for Olympia and I’m reminded of how fickle fate can be. This morning I had one of the most excellent long training runs I’ve ever done. Everything seemed to go right. Pretty much just the reverse of last week’s 20 miles but I started strong, felt good all through, had a surprising and rewarding speedwork stint at mile 14 through 17 with a comfortable finish.

Contrasted to last week’s 20 miles this was like the proverbial night and day… what happened ?

The weather was different. Not a lot but definitely cooler, with a nice breeze. I guessed right on what to wear this week too, and wasn’t caught with a vest when the sun came out. I got a full night’s sleep Saturday where I had been waking every hour last week. One of the few things I could control that was different was I avoided using one of those hand-carried water bottles (it made my arm ache last time). And the intangibles ? CG was jetting back from TX vacation this morning. That put a positive spin on the morning even before the run.

We can train and follow a plan… buy the best shoes and shirts we can afford… eat well in the days before the big day, but some things are just the luck of the draw. You can’t sleep well in your hotel room (recalling the “Stalag Luft V” style security light outside my window in San Diego). Uncooperative weather (humid in Houston and I couldn’t prepare for it in WA). Perhaps the weather changes during the race (wish I had worn running tights in Boise). Sometimes the gear lets you down (the water bottle carrier belt snapped on mile 1 in Edinburgh).

Then there’s just plain old bad luck of the “Murphy’s Law” kind. What can go wrong… will go wrong. Like the missing aid station volunteers at mile 16 in Albuquerque – a bunch of us ended up taking a wrong turn and ran only 20 miles in the end… oops.

So, if you want to stay sane, and stay happy, you shrug it all off and laugh. You remember that there’s plenty of other days to try again. When you realize that’s how you see it, then you know you are hooked. I think that’s one of the things that makes us runners.


~ by John Rankin on Apr 15, 2007.

One Response to “It’s the Luck of the Draw”

  1. Ha, I like this post. Simply unpredictable as much as we try to prepare. Such is the way it goes…

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