Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Run With a Story and a Moral

Linear Trail: Temperature 88 degrees; feels like 92 degrees. Splits 9:37; 9:08; 9:15; 9:06; 9:04; 9:00; 55:10 total for 6 miles; 9:11 per mile pace. (Planned pace was 9:30 or better and a 4 mile run).

With some of my fellow bloggers having children starting school now or soon, or working as a teacher, I decided to tell a story. Feel free to share this story with your children, or your classroom children. I'm sure it will inspire many children in this world to excel in whatever they do. (Yes, I'm joking, but bear with me,OK?!)

Once upon a time, Marathonman had a brain. (Side note: my wife sometimes doesn't believe I know how to use my brain). Marathonman's brain, like all other human brains, has a scientific explanation of why it thinks and behaves like it does. You see, experimentation has shown that the two different sides, or hemispheres, of the brain are responsible for different manners of thinking. Left brain is logical, sequential, rational, analytical, and objective. Right brain is random, intuitive, holistic, synthesizing, subjective, and looks at "wholes."

Today's story is about how right brain tricked left brain into running. At 10 a.m., it was already 85 degrees outside, with a "feels like" (temperature and dew point combined)temperature of 90 degrees. Right brain told left brain that Marathonman could run on the Farmington Canal Linear Trail today because it has shade and is mostly flat. Plus, as a reward for running, Marathonman could run a 9:30 per mile pace, and only run for 4 miles. Nice and slow, on a flat paved and cinder trail, with lots of shade...However left brain still wasn't convinced. Right brain upped the anty. How about some delicious Blueberry Pomegranate GU Chomps and a Vanilla Bean flavored GU Gel before the run? We'll take an Endurolyte to help prevent cramping. Plus Marathonman can bring along the delicious Blueberry Pomegranate GU Chomps, another Vanilla Bean gel and a Hammer Nutrition Apple Cinnamon flavored gel for the run. Of course he'll have 40 oz. of ice cold water available with his tool(hydration) belt. "DEAL" said left brain, so off Marathonman went to the trail. Mile 1 was slow and steady...Garmin chirped and displayed a 9:37 split. Left brain was thrilled. Marathonman was hardly sweating, there was a breeze blowing, and the humidity wasn't bad at all. "What a joke this run is going to be," thought left brain. One mile had been completed at a slower than expected time. Life was good for left brain. Right brain was angry. How dare left brain take advantage of his kindness? It was a perfect day to run, a breeze was blowing, it wasn't too hot on the shaded trail, the scenery was great, and the trail wasn't too busy. Legs were complaining that left brain was holding them back. They wanted to move faster. Feet agreed, as did stomach and arms. Right brain, legs, feet, stomach and arms took control. Garmin chirped again at mile 2, and a "9:08" appeared on its screen. Left brain was upset, even though the mile was smooth and easy. "I'll slow down," it threatened. "We had a deal." Right brain decided to pacify left brain with a couple of Blueberry Pomegranate GU Chomps and water. As left brain was enjoying the bribe, right brain, legs, feet, stomach and arms were conniving to continue the quicker pace and increase the run an extra mile. At the 2 1/2 mile turnaround point on the trail, all was still well with right brain, legs, feet, stomach and arms. Left brain was enjoying the effects of the continued water consumption and the chomps, and suddenly realized that body had gone an extra half mile before turning around. Left brain was angry and slowed the pace a little. Garmin chirped at mile 3, showing a 9:15 split. "Ha-Ha" left brain thought, "My plan worked." Right brain knew the slower third mile was due to the turn-around, but of course said nothing. Still feeling well, left brain started thinking that 6 miles was a possibility. Legs, feet, stomach, and arms also agreed it was a possibility, if only they could keep left brain content. Right brain decided that since food worked before, why not try it again? So as Garmin chirped and showed a 9:06 mile 4 split, Marathonman ingested 2 more chomps. Hearing no complaints from left brain, the journey continued. Legs were actually feeling stronger, and the Endurolyte pill was helping stomach stay cramp free. Arms and feet said they were fine. At mile 4 1/2, right brain told legs to take a left turn. Left brain was upset. He suddenly realized that the initial 4 mile run was well past that, and now legs were taking body in the wrong direction. Left brain tried telling legs that they hurt. Legs disagreed, and said they felt fine. "Then feet, you've been pounding this hard asphalt trail for a long time, and now you're running on a sidewalk...no, now a road...don't you hurt?" "No," feet replied. "We're fine." Left brain didn't bother asking arms how they felt. He knew they were fine since they kept waving to everyone they passed on the trail. Stomach was his last resort. Stomach said it would make a deal with left brain. If left brain stopped complaining, he would reward it with his favorite Hammer Nutrition Gel: the Apple Cinnamon. Stomach and right brain had deliberately saved the Apple Cinnamon gel until the end, knowing that left brain loved the sensation that stomach and taste buds gave him whenever the gel was ingested. It was like liquid apple pie. Left brain agreed that was a fair compromise, as Garmin chirped and a 9:04 appeared on its display. The gel was eaten, and stomach and left brain were excited. This stimulated legs and arms to move faster, and Garmin happily chirped a 9 minute last mile. The last 3 miles had been completed quicker than the first 3 miles, and with descending splits. Right brain, legs, stomach, feet, and arms were thrilled. Left brain was grumpy that he had been tricked.
What is the moral of this story? Be strong and stand up for what you believe in (Right brain). Don't let anyone tell you to quit, or that you cannot accomplish whatever you put your mind to (Like left brain tries to do).

8 comments:

Meg Runs said...

That was too funny!! It's interesting how right brain and left brain can't get it together!! We'd be super star runners, marathon WINNERS if all of our systems just got along(just like in kindergarten!).

By the way, thanks for the inspiration...don't listen to the word QUIT!

Tara said...

Hah! Great run and an even better story. Thanks for the positive energy...I'm loving it!

joyRuN said...

LOL! Sounds like I've been left-brain dominant the past few mornings :)

lindsay said...

i love this story! (esp since it has a happy ending) go team right brain! i think my left brain has been dominating too much lately as well.

Kelly said...

Hahaha. You crack me up.

Anyways, I won't hate you for being a Mets fan- the Mets don't bother me :) Only the Yankees!

Katie said...

And he is a storyteller to boot?! Love the story and the great moral!! Keep 'em coming :)

Irish Cream said...

HAHA! I love this story! Way to dominate that left brain! I'm going to have to remember this story during my runs and stick it to my own left brain ;)

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