The Importance of Training as a Group

A beastly one and a half hill ride Friday night.  An always tough 3.5 hour ride on Natchez Trace less than 12 hours later.  An open water swim this morning followed by multiple naps on a rainy day.  The only problem was, somehow, someway, I had to summon the energy for the infamous Monogetti Run.  One hour of splendid torture.

It was 6 pm on Sunday night and the odds of a “Mono” run were closing in on zero percent.  I sat at my computer and (as I often do with this handy site) calculated how many days it is until Wisconsin and when the answer popped up, it had particular significance, it was my age . . . 49.

Forty nine days, one for each year of my life.  I wonder if the days will pass as quickly as the years have?  It’s really quite amazing and I literally feel like I was just in High School, but as a good friend often says to me, “There’s no such thing as time,” so I think I’m just gonna live in the moment.

Forty nine days to get ready for the biggest challenge of my life.  49 days to use wisely.  Every missed workout is a missed opportunity and on day 49 I was dangerously close to missing the first opportunity of the rest of my training.


Jim had already knocked out his run.  Kevin posted his Monogetti run was in the books.  I didn’t hear from Mark, but with his dedication and intensity he likely climbed Mt. Everest or its equivalent.

So, yeah, it’s around 6 o’clock and I get a call from Daniel.  We talked about a million things as usual, and after about 20 minutes, I finally got around to the question we all want to ask each other, “What was your workout today?”  It took probing and prompting, but he casually said he swam in the afternoon after running 18 MILES this morning.  I’m like, fuck-shit, damn.  Talk about motivation.  I swear, the minute he said that, my legs felt better and my mind shifted to Monogetti mode.  It was closing in on 7 pm now and I’d basically slacked the whole day, but now, it was off to run in the dark.

I strapped on my new Mizuno running shoes (Pearl Izumi is close to losing their sponsorship opportunity with this aging rookie, but I have not closed the door completely) and hit the road.  One week after the Muncie Half and some grueling biking, my legs were DEAD as I shuffled down Valley Park Drive in beautiful Inglewood, Tennessee.  At this point, I wasn’t sure if I would even make one mile, but was making the effort.

That effort paid off, and an hour later I had officially knocked out my Monogetti and inked every scheduled workout for the week to the letter.  This is the time that counts and it’s far too close to let 7 solid months of workouts go to waste.

As I was finishing the run, I thought about how fortunate I am to be training with the Fab 5 +1, +2 and coach, not to mention dozens of inspirational people that flow into my life on a daily basis.  While we rarely train “together,” the sum of the parts is a powerful motivator that always seems to show up when you need it most.

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