Be Great or Be Forgotten – Week 11 Recap

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the last line of this video! “Be Great or Be Forgotten.” This might be a great mantra to adopt as I enter the final 8 weeks of preparing for the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon. Time is passing quickly. However, this was a great week of training for myself! I made it to all three training runs and was even able to get in a gym workout. Lately, I’ve lost touch with those gym workouts. However, last night’s workout was one of the best I’ve had in quite some time. I felt amazingly strong throughout. I may prefer running outside to the gym workouts. However, it’s all part of the puzzle of training. I know that the gym workouts will help me get stronger. So, I just need to do them. In order to be great, you have to do all those little things in training. While it was great to hit all 4 workouts this week, there were no special, super fast times to report. This week, the celebration comes from making it through every workout I had planned for the week. I made all 14 miles of running and the one gym workout. That was the victory of the week for me.

One of the best things about the fall, for me, is college football. This year, it’s been a mostly difficult fall because the school I cheer for, the University of Southern California (USC), has had a rough go of it. Things were so bad early on that we fired our coach after the 5th game of the season. So, it seemed like a lost season for the Trojan family. Then, Coach O stepped in and turned the entire season around. In the same 5 game span that cost Lane Kiffin his job, Coach Orgeron may have just earned a more permanent job by turning the lost season into a very special one. Coach O took the 3-2 USC team and lead them to a 4-1 record heading into Saturday’s matchup with the Number 4 team in the country…the Stanford Cardinal. There is this positive momentum that USC had going into the game. However, I figured that this game was going to be a loss. On Saturday morning, ESPN analyst, Lee Corso, made his prediction on ESPN College Gameday

As was pointed out, by USC on their athletic twitter feed, Lee Corso was 15-0 in predicting USC to win games and 5-0 when predicting them to lose. So, in games where he’s made a prediction involving the Trojans, he has always been right. 20 times he’s been correct and never has he been wrong. WOW! Well, I started thinking that maybe this could be a good game after all. You just never know. I went out and ran my 6 miles after this because the weather is finally cool enough in Southern California for me to actually run at 10am on a Saturday. Then, I went about the rest of my day. My plan was to watch the start of the game. If things got bad early, I was planning on going to see Thor. When the game started, the crowd was hyped like I haven’t seen in a long time.

Matt Leinart was on hand to lead the charge on home-coming weekend. The stadium crowd was so loud that Stanford had to call two time outs in their first 3 offensive plays. It was all incredibly exciting. USC scored a touchdown in their first offensive possession and it was on! USC lead 17-10 at half time and looked amazing. Be Great or Be Forgotten. The second half was one that was all about defense. Stanford tied the game in the third quarter and their defense was shutting down the USC offense. Tied up going into the fourth quarter. Who wanted the win more? Who was going to be great?

As you can see from the highlights…USC was great! Andrei Hedari hit the game winning field goal with around 20 seconds in the game! It was all set up with a few key plays. First, was the interception by USC‘s defense. Then, the gutsy play call for USC to attempt to get the first down on a 4th and 2. Not only was it a tough call to make, but Marquis Lee, who had left the field hobbling just a few plays before, made the catch to get the first down! Amazing! Then, the field goal. As hard as this season has been to be a fan of the USC Trojans, Saturday night was one of the most satisfying victories I’ve ever witnessed. When the crowd charged the field after the game, it about brought me to tears. It’s amazing what sports can do for you. USC was playing with more than 10 fewer players than Stanford. The defense for the Trojans only made 2 substitutions for the entire game. Meaning that only 1 player on defense missed any plays. Amazing! Why am I talking about a football game on a blog about Disney and running? Check out Andrei Hedari’s interview…

A few things to take away from this interview.

  • First, Andre had missed a point after (a touchdown) kick early in the game. Listen to how he dealt with that failure. He said that he knew there was going to be another one and that he had to learn from what he did wrong. He also talked of the importance of keeping a positive attitude. Isn’t that something us runners need to remember? I mean we go out and run so many miles preparing for various races. Some of those races, or even just some of the miles in those races, will not go so well. What should we do when that happens? Keep it positive, learn from the mistake, and remember that we have another opportunity to make up for it. If you have a bad mile in a training run, you can always have a better one in the next mile. Don’t let that mile tear you down. Keep it positive.
  • Second, I like how he described what was going through his head as he got ready for that game winning kick…It’s just another kick. It’s the same as he has done in practice. In another interview, I saw him talk about what the USC Quarter Back said to him…you’ve done this in practice lots of times, you can do it here as well. Again, as a runner, we need to approach our runs the same way. We train to be great on race day. We train by running the miles. We run hills. We run flats. We run many, many miles so that when the race comes, we know we can do it. That’s what training is for. It prepares us for race day. So, when we line up to start, we can have the same mindset as Andre Hedari had before lining up for the game winning field goal. We can approach our marathons, half marathons, 10K’s, and 5K’s with the mindset of…it’s just like practice. We can know that we’ve gone those distances before and our race is our victory lap.

The more I train for this marathon, the more I understand how much mental training means. This week was one not to be forgotten because I did the little things that will make me great on marathon day…January 12, 2014…55 days away!

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