The first 90 days of 2011 found me traveling on 47 of them. Traveling in SE Asia – particularly China – ain’t no picnic, in the best conditions. I try to fit in core work whenever I have a chance on a hard tile floor. The worst is losing control over my schedule, as well as my diet (not like there’s a salad option on any menu). When I wasn’t traveling in January, the morning temperatures averaged -10 to 20 F. When I got back to Shenyang in March, the training temps were a balmy mid-20s. Kinda hard to do quality speed workouts with freezing muscles and wearing three layers of clothes. It is also not surprising that the week before my Stateside trip, I came down with a nasty head/chest cold, and I’m still trying to shake it.
Traveling in Asia, is not very conducive to marathon training – especially if you are training for the Boston Marathon. If you are a gunner like me, anything less than a PR is likely to be a disappointment. So if posting these gripes and conditions ahead of Monday’s race sounds to you like I’m making excuses for a potentially disappointing run, well, you would be correct.
What I’m battling to keep in mind is that Boston is a celebration run – something special that I’ve earned through hard work. Sure, it is a competitive race – all runner competing there are competitive – we wouldn’t be there if we weren’t. Sometimes, however, winning means something other than beating my time goals. This time is a reminder that a different perspective my mean different goals, and that I’ll come around to another PR when the conditions are better. My travels, while not conducive to high-performance training, reminds me that I’m not a professional runner. My travels take me to amazing places where people are suffering and serving and that is truly where I belong – right alongside them, wherever that takes me.
I head to Boston tomorrow, then all the way over to Portland, OR, then on down the California coast, ending up in Irvine traveling by train, plane, bus, and car. I fly back to the Midwest going up to Wisconsin and Chicago, and another round in Michigan before landing in the Fort Wayne area again in early June. All along the way speaking at various venues, visiting counter-trafficking projects, meeting interesting folks, and seeing beautiful places.I look forward to meeting many of you along the way!
Traveling in the States loses some of the “surprises” and oddities one can find in Asia, such as fried spiders at a roadway rest-stop in Cambodia. Here are a few examples from my travels, not that I’ll miss any of it!