Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. - 1 Cor 9:24-27

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blow me off the Bike Path

This morning, I stepped outside to 30 mph winds with gusts from 50-60 mph.  In store for me was a 4.5 mile tempo run.  The temperature was 42 degrees and falling.

My training plan calls for a 5 mile tempo run, but the bike path ends at 2.25 miles from my house.  Since I've been addicted to out-and-backs lately, I can not seem to change the route.  That will change soon as I'm sure the city will not plow the snow that will pile up on the bike path.

With my headlamp on low, I warmed up as Gunner (my Garmin) was getting reacquainted with the satellites.  With running early in the morning, a headlamp is necessary to see and to be seen.  I set my headlamp on low until I get further out onto the bike path, then I turn it up to high.  It also has a red blinking light on the back.

On the way out, I ran into the wind.  The strong gusts made it seem like I was to be carried away.  I laughingly told myself that that wouldn't be the case last November, when I was 40 pounds heavier.

When I reached the turn around point, the wind was at my back and pushed me home.  One of the reasons why I do like the out-and-backs is that the return trip seems shorter.  I've found that I need to play mental games to keep me running.  During my half marathons, I focus on getting to the next aid station.

Later today, I discovered that the winds that I experienced were the same conditions that shipwrecked the Edmund Fitzgerald, one of the most mysterious and controversial shipwreck tales on the Great Lakes.  She's second to the Titantic.  There's even a song about it, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald", which is played on the radio stations around here.

"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"
by Gordon Lightfoot

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy.

With a load of iron ore - 26,000 tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go it was bigger than most
With a crew and the Captain well seasoned.

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ships bell rang
Could it be the North Wind they'd been feeling.

The wind in the wires made a tattletale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the Captain did, too,
T'was the witch of November come stealing.

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashing
When afternoon came it was freezing rain
In the face of a hurricane West Wind

When supper time came the old cook came on deck
Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya
At 7PM a main hatchway caved in
He said fellas it's been good to know ya.

The Captain wired in he had water coming in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her.

They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the ruins of her ice water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams,
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.

And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed, 'til it rang 29 times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I do not like to run in the wind. We had high winds here on Tuesday and I was glad it was my scheduled day off! I'm impressed you got out anyway! :)