RACE DAY# 33: 7-14-04: RACE ACROSS AMERICA-Louis Rodriguez updates

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Posted by Gail Marino on December 07, 2004 at 10:04:31:

In Reply to: RACE ACROSS AMERICA-Louis Rodriguez updates posted by Gail Marino on August 02, 2004 at 09:02:43:

RAA DAY # 33 WEDNESDAY 7/14/04

It is quite muggy & humid, as we start out this morning from Denver, Colorado for 46.8 miles to our destination Byers, Colorado with a cutoff time of 13 hrs 22 min. Lou is wearing his new sneakers that he bought yesterday in a runners shop, called the runners roost. Taka is also wearing his new sneakers that he picked up in town. Unfortunately with this type of running, you must break in new shoes during the run, but if that was the worse thing that we must encounter, it would be a piece of cake. Taka sticks with the same shoe type & brand, because he knows that shoe & how it wears & it works for him. Alan told him he shouldn't break in new shoes during the run, but Alan probably doesn't realize, it is either run with a new shoe with support, or run with a worn out shoe without any support left. So new & support wins every time. Lou & Taka both feel the difference in their running with the new sneakers. Lou dressed in his shorts & jetblue reflective vest, tries to run again just behind the 3rd runner through the city. Running through the cities, reminds us of running in Staten Island & we sort of feel at home running against the traffic with streets & traffic lights. But running behind the 3rd runner for us is abnormal. It is not the position, but it is forcing yourself to run someone else's pace. A pace that is much slower than you are used to running & then stopping every time they stop, whether you need to or not. I cannot understand why they feel that this is necessary or threatening for that matter. Lou's time faster, slower or what ever, has no bearing on any ones time or place, because it doesn't count in the race. They can use Lou as a rabbit, but instead they felt intimidated by his speed, when they could have ran as athletes & true competitors. I am embarrassed for those who allowed their testosterone to cloud their sense of sportsmanship. But of course, this is just my opinion. We had to learn quickly, that the journey runner & his crew had no opinions, because we did not really exist, we were allowed to stay without a voice.
Well, running just behind the 3rd runner, was just not working. There were too many stops & if Lou tried to jog on, to hold the 3rd runners spot while they stopped, until they caught up, Alan would blow his horn & tell Lou to get back. It didn't matter if the 3rd runner told Lou, "go ahead, I'll catch up". I felt like, we were in the 1st grade again. But 1st grade or not, this was Alan's rule for us & it was obey or leave. So we did what we were told in order to stay & fulfill our mission of encouraging & reminding women & their friends & families the importance of early detection. So going the distance was our only option, "no matter what". Of course running cross country was Lou's dream for as long as I can remember & winning would have been the icing on the cake. But life itself is so precious & to lose life to cancer, because we are too busy or we forgot to take care of ourselves, is just too common & we refuse to accept this. The risk factors for breast cancer are a family history, overweight & increased body fat, poor diet, getting older, smoking & just being a woman. So every woman has at least one risk factor & probably does not know it. I had 2 risk factors, being a woman & getting older. How many do you, or your loved ones have?
So we back off on the pace & take more breaks. We don't even take this amount of breaks in our training runs. Jean, Luc's crew told me that Bob was angry on July 4th, because Lou passed him & Bob tried to catch Lou but couldn't. I am not sure if this was Jeans opinion, or if he witnessed this personally, or if he heard this from someone. But from the _expression on Bobs face, as he finished on July 4th, I formed this same opinion myself.
After a few turns during the day, we ended up on hwy 36 at mile 22. It turned out to be a very hot day as we left the city & then ran through the country that was basically fields & fields of wheat. Since cutoff time is a big issue for this run, I have learned to calculate what the times are for each mile within cutoff time & now I don't bother with mile splits, because you only do that in a race where you actually run. This is how we knew if Taka was in trouble or not & besides Ryota always would let us know if Taka needed help some way or another, if we were ahead of them. Lou made a promise to himself & to Sumio before he left that he would make sure Taka made it to New York & anyone else for that matter.
Kaz finished today in 9 hrs 55 min, Lou in 10:06, Olivier in 10:41, Don 11:35 & Taka in 12:42, just 40 minutes within cutoff. I guess the sneakers helped. Till tomorrow, Lou & Agnes

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