Thanks RobbieD for that poignant recap of my life. Despite some minor details (a tear drop? Common!) it is - sadly - quite accurate. I have been sucked into a vortex of science (see! Now my metaphors are even scientific!). In the past some people have confused me working at MaRS with me being on planet Mars; now I don't bother correcting them. I have essentially been swallowed by an alternate universe. I just hope that I don't get usurped by a black hole and vanish eternally.
That being said, I am somewhat aware of the occurences happening in the outside world. First of all, it is April! Thanks, anonymous poster, for reminding me of the changing months. Living on Mars I am frequently not aware of this subjective thing called 'time.' Second, it is racing season! It's a good thing my co-worker is a triathlete gearing up for Goodlife, otherwise the world of shin pounding may have entirely escaped me!
Thus, I am also aware (perhaps also due to Le Rob periodically invading Mars to make sure I haven't died along with my mice) that Rotterdam is fast approaching. There is nothing I am more excited for, though given my current thresholds of excitement perhaps this isn't saying much. Yesterday I jumped for joy after getting my pipettes calibrated. Last week the highlight of my week was inventing a new science pun*, which was promptly shut down by my labmate Korris. I protested that I'd test out my awesome new joke at lab meeting, where I would SURELY receive a 'Korris' of laughter.
(I think at that point he put his head down and walked away. Or hit me, I can't quite remember...)
Anyway, I digress, how very non-linear and unnerd-like of me! Getting back to Rotterdam - since Le Rob did you all a favour by sharing a flattering recap of my life as of late, I will return the favour and recap why Le Rob will make a great marathoner - this weekend and beyond.
Most of you know Rob through le Blog. You think you know him pretty well eh? Well I can assure you, internet Rob and real Rob are quite different. Actually that's a lie, they are pretty much the same. But there are some important things about Le Rob that the casual le Blog du Rob reader won't fully appreciate.
In his blog, Le Rob comes off as joking, light-hearted and positive, yet sometimes aggressive, wreckless and crude. (Ok, forget the 'sometimes' on that latter statement. After all, his blog WAS voted 18A by Canadian Running.) Although most of these traits are true to Rob, there is much more depth to him than you would think. I know, hard to believe, right? But it is these extra facets of his personality that truly give him an edge. Those who doubt what Le Rob can (and will) do, don't know the real Rob.
First of all, he is a smart guy. Yep, I know you are all saying 'No way!!!" but it is true! He may spit out spelling mistakes and incorrect grammar on a regular basis, fail to divide his posts into organized paragraphs and write in brain-joggling run-on sentences, but he's got some smarts nonetheless. (I am pretty sure my last sentence was a run-on anyway, it happens to the best of us ;). Heck sometimes he is just completely incoherent, but that is probably because he is drunk. Rob won't deny that the dumbest things he does usually stem while being severely intoxicated. So providing he does not replace his morning beet juice with beer, he's good to go!
Getting back to my main point, Rob knows what's up. He keeps his goals in mind and takes steps every day to make sure he will achieve them. That starts from his daily runs and workouts to proper nutrition, strength work, rest and mental prep. To elaborate on the latter point, Rob is a master of adopting the right attitude. He knows that positive thoughts will bring positive results, so he works hard to keep that mindset. Sometimes he says such ridiculous things that I mistake his positive mindset for extreme childlike naivety (keep in mind, I have a mildly cynical personality). It could be blizzarding and slizzarding out and instead of complaining, he'll stress how WELL this was going to prepare him for the marathon! 'If I can run 50k in this,' he'd bubble, 'I am going to smash this marathon! Let's get 'er goin'!' Anything negative that happens, you can count on RobbieD to focus on the positive.
He is also pretty astute with his recovery. I know, after watching the pitiful recovery video he posted in NC you might think otherwise. 'Does recovery mean drinking a lot of beer and eating a lot of cookies?' one might ask. Well, believe it or not, this is a very small component of his recovery routine. I would actually call the beer his reward system and his recovery just another part of his training grind. Foam rolling, plantar digging, icing, re-fuelling, sleeping - he'll give his body what it needs. Though I am a terrible judge of sleeping habits. But he does sleep a lot more than me, so that has to count for something?
Second, he works freakishly hard. We all know RobbieD is talented, but not everyone knows how hard he works. There is pretty much nothing that can get in the way of him getting his training in. And I have probably tested him in every way. Get him really drunk? Nope, 'running is the best hangover cure!' he'll chirp. Schedule something between the hours of 6AM-1PM? Nope, he'll wake up at 4:30AM and get at least one of his training sessions in. I am pretty sure if you stole all of his running gear from him he would do his long run in jeans and bare feet (I was going to say dress shoes, but he would never wear dress shoes. Ever.) What's more, is that he knows how to make it hurt (twss). That's fundamentally why I think he will be a successful marathoner. Rob can grind through anything, he grinds until he convinces himself he likes the grind and it's no longer a grind. So when the grind hits everyone at 30k, Rob's legs will finally start to feel comfortable, and he'll kill it.
Finally, le Rob may never admit this to his internet friends, but he has a huge heart. This is not just beneficial for efficiently pumping blood to all of his working muscles, though it does help him run faster in that regard. His big heart is evident by how much he cares for and how well he treats people that matter to him. And one of the things dearest to his heart is running. This gives him a motivation that's deeper than talent, commitment and enjoyment of the sport. He loves running to the very core of his being. It is so clear to anyone that knows him that that is deep down why he runs. He'd be out there grinding out daily runs even if he were hammering 5:00/km repeats, because he loves it.
There is a famous quote that says to run a great marathon, you must 'Run the first part with your head, the second with your legs, and the third with your heart.' If that's the case, my friends, le Rob is ready to dominate.
Go get 'em RobbieD!
*Ooooh you want to know my science pun! It is truly great. Essentially I am looking for an interaction between two proteins, PP2A and ERK. I have done some preliminary experiments that suggest that they do in fact interact, but the main experiment remains to be completed. After discussing these exciting lead-up studies with my co-worker, I exclaimed 'Wow! If this next experiment doesn't work, I will be so ERKed!' [enter cackles of laughter here]. I know, brilliant, right?!