This is Sunday, April 21, 2024.

Week 6, day 7.

This is your long run day.

Your workout:

Warm up slowly,

75-90 minutes of running for juniors and seniors and 65-70 minutes for freshmen and sophomores.

Hydrate,

Cooldown,

get out of wet clothes,

Recover,

 

Larry’s Deep Thoughts:

Long runs build many things.

Strength, endurance, confidence, and the ability to enjoy nature are at the top of my list.

My college coach, Dan Durante, set up a series of long runs through the Santa Cruz Mountains for my teammates and me. Dan Durante coached Santa Clara University through the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Most of the runs were fifteen to twenty-three miles through some of the most beautiful abandoned towns in the Santa Cruz mountains. On both sides of the paved roads were beautiful Redwood trees, some of the oldest living things on the planet.

We started Sunday runs around 8 AM. The drive from Santa Clara in my 1962 Ford Fairlane (I bought it for $250 cash with 100,000 miles on it and got another 150,000 miles out of it). This was after my 1969 VW bus, which blew. I was returning from a Diet Pepsi 10k in 1979, but that is another story.

We would get up to Dan’s house on Summit Road. Dan would run the first six to eight miles with us, talking politics and such, and then head back on a shortcut only he knew. Paul and I would head down to the ten-mile point and then begin the long, hard grind back up the winding roads, surrounded by some of the most beautiful natural scenes.

Paul and I would naturally separate ourselves from the pack and continue talking about classes, the upcoming races, my frustrating dating situations, and, generally, the life of a twenty-year-old. Paul was an engineer, and I was a History /Art major. We spoke about politics and history a lot.

About ninety minutes into the runs, we started speaking in one to three-word comments; then, you would just hear our breathing and see it in the cold fog coming up through the woods that surrounded us. The sun would sneak through the redwoods, and we could appreciate the beauty in between gasping for air.

It was during this long drive home that Paul and I would get into the moment. One becomes aware of one’s legs, arms, heart pumping, and sweat beginning to drip down one’s neck. We gasped for breath as we focused on becoming one with the road and the hills, wondering how much longer we could take it.

As I have realized, overcoming these challenges gave me the inner strength to conquer many of life’s demons over the past 40 years. I thank Dan for those challenges in my head most days.

Dan Durante would plan that we had about 30 minutes of challenging hills at the end of the runs, and we knew it. We took it as a point of pride that we could handle it, and then hit the last two miles, we could breathe again.

After the runs, Dan would have us soak our legs in ice-cold water from a hose that kept us from getting sore the next day. Dan had learned this from watching horses at horse racing and thought he would use it on us.

Most Sundays, we would grab brunch with Rick Allen, Danny Greco, Danny Crowley, Tom Farrell, and Thuy Nguyen. It was a small group, but we were close.

I think about them a lot.

Sunday runs are a big deal.

Get into the habit and enjoy time with yourself and your friends.

Today, I started my walks again, enjoying the Sunday sunshine and almost warmth in spring that is coming to Wisconsin in spurts.

 

Larry Eder and Dan Durante, Fall 1981, photo from Santa Clara University Yearbook

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