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Wine, Women and Wowzers By Scotty Mac

August 7, 2012

The Proposition

“I love you more than anything, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you… Will you marry me?”

That’s what I said to my girlfriend of 4 years after she blew out the candles on her birthday cake. There I knelt on the same kitchen floor she played on as a kid. Her family and high school friends stood smirking, awaiting the inevitable answer…

And they stood there….

And I knelt there….

The love of my life, mouth agape, and eyes bigger than plums, frozen in shock, stood silent….

Oh shit… it is too soon, she doesn’t love me, oh God! Stand up!!!

These thoughts, along with others, zoomed through my mind.

Just before aborting I heard a whisper of confirmation.

“Yes!”

Cheers from the crowd!!!

Well as you can infer, I am now engaged! And I have never been happier! However, this relationship is tough… it sucks… because waking up, and rolling over to feel the once warm sheets on the other side of the bed is never fun. She lives in Michigan because we both have dreams. We agreed, before love, before engagement, before we knew this was real, that we would not let our relationship get in the way of accomplishing our personal goals.

Well, she didn’t qualify for the Olympics in gymnastics, and I didn’t qualify for the Olympics in the marathon…

Yet, she is still in Michigan working a job not many are lucky enough to have. And I wake up in a cold lonely bed every day to run hours on end in search of my true destiny. My chapter in Austin is not yet closed and she has just started a beautiful book on coaching in Kalamazoo. So, for now, we sleep, cold, alone and 1,300 miles away from each other.

The Surprise
I was on an easy run around Town Lake the other day, and I GOT PASSED! Wowzers! This has surely never happened before! Now in my defense, I was on an “easy run”. I was recovering from my long run. I was just covering the miles and I should not respond to this challenge from a lesser runner! No one passes me on Town Lake, I wrote a blog about this for God’s sake! I didn’t recognize him, so I was fairly confident I was faster than he was. The cocky ego in me wanted to sprint up to him and ask him his PR’s. But as a runner, you have to realize that it doesn’t freakin’ matter how fast you loop the lake… it is how fast you run the race!

Still fighting every instinct in my body to counter this guy’s move, I stayed the course and ran easy… however this challenger continued to perturb me. So as I rounded the east side of the lake towards the end of my run, I decided to stretch the legs out, with the smallest hope it would give me the ease of mind and maybe encouragement enough to forget this no named runner that sped past me with purpose.

The trail is marked ever quarter mile, so I decided to do pickups every other 400 meters. The gravel on the trail is not conducive to speed, and I know I am not in fast track shape so I wasn’t expecting much… I just wanted to play, have fun and change it up.

The Test

Here it comes, the first quarter mile mark… okay stay relaxed, stay smooth, don’t hurt yourself… GO!

I accelerate. I lift my torso. My knees drive up and forward. My arms begin their pendulous swing. My heart rate rises. The wind. The wind is now whistling past my ears. I hear my speed. I relax and settle into a rhythm. A sharp right turn tests the last of my shoes. I lean into the curve like a motorcycle cornering a track.

I slap my split. 73 seconds! A 73 second quarter on gravel is impressive after 12 miles of running.

I jog, shuffle, slowly slogging over the next 400 meters.

Here it comes, the mark is approaching and I take a deep breath filling my lungs with ever bit of humid air I can manage. Upon the exhale, I split my watch and run!

I fly. I feel light on my feet.

BABY!

I hurdle a carriage being pushed by an un-aware parent!

Thank God I was a steeple chaser!

My rhythm renewed, I manage to settle into my pace and concentrate on nature. As I float by I hear the birds and the insects rummaging around the shoreline. I start to smile. I must look ridiculous sprinting down the trail with a cheesy grin on my face… but I love it!

Split!

68 seconds…

My chest compresses as I chase the oxygen in the thickened air. I slow my feet, my heart and my breathing. I have one more pick up on the trail before I reach my destination. Almost 13 miles have been covered… and I feel better now than I did at the start.

GO!

Last one! I open up my stride and control my breathing. Don’t Sprint! Just relax and run!!! Run like you were made to! I wish I could describe the rest of this rep to you, but I can’t. My brain shut down. I did the only thing I really understand in life… Run.

One fluid motion, relaxed speed. I passed the final marker and hit my watch for the final time…

64…

Confidence

These past few months I have done something I have never done in my entire life!!! I have built “a base”.

A base is that oh so crucial part of a training phase. It gives you the strength to run through a season, as well as finish races with the gusto and gumption I perceive in my dreams! I have been running… no quality workouts… no hill repeats… no track sessions. Just plain ole’ running. And I have been running a lot!!! Last week I averaged over 2 hours of running each day. At my paces, that is anywhere from 112- 120 miles for the week. This is the training I need in order to compete with the best. I finally feel like a runner. Silly, I know, after 11 years of elite level running, I finally feel like a runner. But it feels good!

I am getting really fit! With the fitness comes confidence. I have never run this much in my life and I am starting to see the results!

I can say now with confidence, that aside from Leo Manzano in a mile, no one in Austin, or Texas for that fact, can beat my in a distance foot race. However, all challengers will have to wait until after I run my re-debut marathon in November.

Until then I continue to live life to it’s fullest. I run, eat, drink and enjoy every second of this amazing life I have been given. I am grateful! I am happy! And I am confident.

C’est la vie!

It doesn’t have to be a phrase you utter after and unfortunate or unappreciated event. C’est la vie… “Such is life… This is life…” and Life is good!

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