Sunday, November 4, 2007

Living Each Day


Saturday was a fabulous day. Crisp, blue skies, chilly temps that we should have for this time of year, and a stiff wind to challenge us. It lined up to be just about a perfect day, the kind of day that you look forward to.

I started off with a 5 mile run with Cliff just before sunrise. When I used to show horses, I knew that this was the kind of day that you were likely to get bucked off, as that crisp weather brings out the hyjinks in all of us. It was the same for me and Cliff as this was probably the fastest I've run in more than a year as the weather made me feel so good.

Back at the van we amassed a group of riders... Katie and a bunch of the new Natures Path girls and headed out on our ride. I seem to have killed another computer as I was going to use the Garmin, and it was DEAD. I don't know what it is about me, but technology, especially bike computers, have trouble around me. So pace was a bit iffy with me in the lead, and I had to rely on if the person behind me was still there, or not.

Coming back in was much better, as we split up and joined a bunch of guys coming back. There were probably 2 young guys, 6 or so older fast guys, and me and Katie. It didn't take long for the young guys to get gapped and Katie and I had to sprint around them to catch the fine wine guys. Cliff, of course, was in the lead, killing everyone. He's such an animal. I don't think we ever so the "kids" again. I always wonder what they would have thought if they really knew that the age of the guys who just dropped them was anywhere from 55-65. Anyway, it was an exhilerating ride back. I knew that I'd be on the ice packs later, but you have to give it your all every now and again.

When I got home, I went to the computer to see the results of the men's Olympic marathon trials. The trials were in NYC, on a 5 lap, tough, tough, course. This was probably going to be one of the best men's fields ever, and I had really wanted to go, but couldn't. Halfway thru reading (thanks Weldon and Robert) J called. We were both in shock.

I had skipped to the message board, and had started with the early log ins on the race, and they were talking about how great Ryan Hall had done, what happened to Meb, and that now that Ryan Shay had died, maybe Hall was the future of American distance running. Ryan died?

To be honest I was thinking "dying a big dog death." AKA, he fell apart and didnt do well. (A phrase that I've been known to act out from time to time.) The further I read I kept seeing questions, "Did Ryan die?" What happend to Ryan?

Ryan Shay, 5x National Champion from the 5k to the marathon, died of ? at mile 5.5 of the trials. How does it happen to a 28 year old elite athelete, in the best shape of his life. It wasn't the pace, they started off slow. Someone has mentioned that he had an enlarged heart, but so do most really good ones. The autopsy is today and it will be weeks after that before the real story comes out, if they can ever figure it out.

I wish Ryan's family peace with the memory of a young man who lived every day to the fullest. He was an outstanding person, who died doing what he loved, surrounded by the best and brightest of the US runners, many of whom were his training partners. It was just way, way, too soon.

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