Commit to your goal and never quit.

The word of the week is firewood.

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The guys have spent 6 days so far cutting up the trees that fell a few weeks ago.  Joe says we have enough firewood for three years.

I didn’t particularly want to pay for three years of firewood – and, I would rather not have three years of firewood stacked all over the yard.

He brought his gas-powered splitter to my house yesterday and they’ve been splitting the massive trunk-sized pieces into something more manageable, which will save me oodles of time on my old manual splitter this winter. In the meantime, we need another wood shed just to stack it all.

My job is to haul the split pieces in the wheelbarrow, up the winding path from the driveway and to the yard up above. One practice run last night tells me there will be dozens and dozens of walks up the path with my wheelbarrow.

Running this week brings what I consider to be the first serious long run. Your body tends to have its favorite distance and for me this is 10-15 miles. Anything less is fairly easy, anything more is challenging.

Sunday’s long run is 16 miles bringing the 20-mile runs ever so near. I’ll pair the 16-mile run with two 4-mile and two 8-mile runs, the last one again at race pace.

I watched as Tiger Woods won the Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday afternoon. He had a difficult approach shot once when his ball landed in the rough just below the green. He turned his putter length-wise and hit the ball with the tip of the club rather than along the face so that the putter cut through the grass and the ball popped right out and onto the green. He made it look so easy.

The announcer commented that you don’t just come out and get lucky with those shots. Rather than practice a million easy puts, Tiger throws the ball into difficult lies so he can practice those jaw-dropping shots before the match.

They took us back to a similar shot where he literally reached around a tree to hit the ball out from the other side.

The “ball-in-the-rough” for me this season is the hill at the end of the Marine Corps Marathon. Their website says, “Finally, the course unfurls alongside the Arlington National Cemetery then offers a final, up-hill challenge to the finish at the Marine Corps War Memorial.”

They want to make it sound beautiful but nothing about up-hill and finish in the same sentence is beautiful. Nonetheless, during the first week of marathon training I found myself two routes that end on a hill so I can practice the unfurling of an up-hill challenge to the finish.

I ran this route for my pace run on Saturday, forcing myself to hold pace up the hills and all the way through the finish.

Tiger says:

“I’m always trying to improve, whether it’s on the golf course or in the gym. So I ask myself: What do I need to do today to be better than I was yesterday? What am I going to work on tomorrow to be better than I was today? The key to improvement is to commit to your goal and never quit.”

Sounds like good advice for this week – especially when it comes to that pile of firewood.

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