"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Monday, May 17, 2010

Welcome To The Dude Room

The hard work is done. And what a way to finish it. Saturday's 21-miler was far and away my best run in my short 10-month running career. I effortlessly breezed through the first 14 miles, ran past my house to get another bottle of water and finished the last 7 miles strong, completing the run at a 7:53 pace. There's been days when I've though to myself, "I could have done it today. I could have run 26.2 miles." Saturday was one of them. Great feeling and big confidence boost as I move into my tapering period these final three weeks before Newport on June 5th.

Credit to a couple of things:

First, after dealing with stomach cramps during my long runs just about every week (nothing too bad, more annoying than anything -- but I was always afraid they may get worse), my pre-run Saturday breakfast this week consisted of the following: 8 ounces of water. That's it. My weekly diet was the same as it always is, and I didn't sleep any more than normal (actually a little less than normal for a Friday night). Maybe I'm crazy (don't you have to be at least a little crazy to find running 3 hours at 6am on a Saturday enjoyable?). And I can't explain it, though I'm looking into it. What I do know, is that I've never felt better during a long run.

Second, The Dude Room. It's long overdue that the Dude Room be introduced (stay with me here -- I promise there will be a running-related point made).

In the fall of 2003, there were six of us that returned to college after having recently completed serving two-year missions for our church at various locations around the world. Five of us had lived in the dorms together as college freshmen prior to those two years, so we all should have known what we were getting ourselves into. We welcomed ourselves to the crummy, run-down, overpriced (did I mention hideous?) Park Place Apartments (they've since been remodeled I'm told) and immediately went to work carving out a niche as the (we thought) coolest, most likable group of 21-year old bachelors in the greater-Provo area.

There isn't time or space to recount all of the Dude Room successes or triumphs, but there are a few worth noting (there will be a point, I promise):

1. Sticking it to the man landlord. After the mess of a completed construction project sat outside our door for many, many weeks and after repeated requests for it to be cleaned up (try woo-ing a member of the opposite sex when your front door is surrounded by construction trash AND other tenants trash that they decided not to throw in the dumpster), the landlord notified us of an upcoming apartment cleaning check (with fees assessed for uncleanliness). We eventually did clean our apartment, but the landlord couldn't have known it. The morning of the check, as we all left to go to our classes, we hauled all of the trash up to our doorway, making our apartment completely inaccessible. We also left a note that in no uncertain terms said that we would clean up our mess, when they cleaned up theirs. The mess was gone the next day. And we never had a clean check. Point, Dudes.

2. BYU-hosted talent show. Brown paper bags in place of identities. Minimal coverage. Epic.

3. The Dude Room "Boy Band" Christmas card and photo shoot. Yes, we spent an hour on campus doing this and yes we printed dozens of these (as a joke....or maybe not...). Also epic.

4. Rich's Magnum P.I. 'stache grown for Halloween.

5. Impromptu middle-of-the-night concerts. Some nights Greg would break out his best Jack Johnson impression. Other times T-Weed would join him on the guitar and whoever was in the room would break into a Good Charlotte song. On a really good night, the guitars would remain stabled and "You're the Best" from the Karate kid soundtrack would have everyone yelling and jumping around (doors and windows open for all to enjoy).

We didn't do too badly at Park Place. In the year spent there, four of us met, dated and became engaged to our future spouses (three of whom also resided at Park Place, which consisted of just four men's and six women's apartments -- a pretty impressive success rate I think. The fourth's future spouse lived just up the block).

Now, six years later, our neighbors at Park Place (as well as our landlord and residents of the neighboring apartments) would probably fall out of their chairs if they knew the original Dude Room now consisted of MBA graduates, aspiring dentists, Ph.D. candidates, Teach for America alumni, financial advisors, triathletes, fathers, homeowners and generally upstanding citizens (and marathon runners).

The point of this is that when the run started to get difficult around mile 17 my Ipod conveniently dropped Good Charlotte's Motivation Proclamation, a true Dude Room classic. Not only was I reinvigorated, but I found myself running down memory lane, where I hung around for a few miles. I found myself thinking of the good times had by a bunch of dudes looking for a little fun. And about some tough times as well. And about how awesome it was and is to associated with such quality dudes, despite being spread all over the country and unable to get together very often.

When I next looked down at my Nike+ sportband, I was pushing myself up a steep hill, approaching the 20 mile mark. Whatever fatigue I had started to feel three miles earlier was gone.

I've heard people speak of "losing miles." I wasn't sure what that meant until Saturday. Internal disassociation. At the right time and in the appropriate manner, it can be very effective.

The hard part of my training is now complete. It's three weeks to race day. In terms of my training, I've reached the top of the baddest hill around and only a downhill run to the finish line lies ahead. It was important for me to have a good run last Saturday, my third 20-miler of my training. And like times before, it was the Dudes who were there to pick me up, brush me off, back me up and push me along when things got difficult.

Greg, Rich, Carter, Trevor and Matt -- You're quality Dudes.

1 comment:

Trevor said...

Dude, couldn't have said it better myself. Man, we look like a bunch of babies in those pictures. Kind of funny we felt so old! Those were good times. I chuckled at every stop in the list. Hey, we live like a half hour from Newport. Can we meet up? We'll bring the BodyGlide, posters, bag to put over your head and BYU-issued swimsuit to run in. You just worry about the shoes and the legs. For real though, let's get together!