Monday, April 26, 2010

Oh yee gods of the marathon why have you chosen me as one of your runners?

This Sunday I run the New Jersey Marathon once again as I have decided for some god awful reason to run a spring marathon when I should be really resting on my butt or at least taking on other challenges like maybe swimming for Triathlons or better yet training for shorter distance runs and develop my speed, yet here I stand with ego in hand running another marathon.
Why did I sign up for this I ask myself? well truth be told I signed up for this because ...
1. I ran New York in 2009 got injured and walked the last 10 miles and I needed vindication for my 5:30 finish. (as if running a 60K 2 weeks later wasn't enough.)
2.I trained my ass off for NJ last year and had the greatest training season ever but on race day it rained and I was miserable and failed to produce the time I wanted to.
So what makes this year different?
1. my training sucked balls
2.I never fully recovered from my I.T. injury
3. because of said injury I haven't put in enough miles and my long runs included way too many breaks.
But I will do this marathon just the same and it will fun for the most part and will be another learning experience.
I already know how I will train for my fall marathon and this spring hasn't been a total waste, my speed workouts have seen me PR in both the NY Half (as a bandit) and a 4 miler in central park (almost 10 seconds off my pace.)
And if these times are any indication of how I'll do on Sunday then I should really do well, the best thing I can do for myself this week is rest and get as much sleep as I can for my sore muscles.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why do we run?

This is a question I am often asked by non-runners and a question I have asked myself from time to time. The answer really is quite simple, it's all about overcoming limitations and inspiring others but I run mostly because what it does for my piece mind.
What does that mean? well sure we all say it clears our head and releases endorphins as with most exercise but the effects of running seem to last longer than that hour at the gym or even yoga (which I enjoy both.)
When I worked in sales and had no idea of what I was doing I ran and overcame my fear of failure to become one of the top sales people in my field.
It seems that 20 mile long runs before work calmed my mind the whole day made me more confident in dealing with people arrogant or otherwise, no longer was i worried about 'getting the sale' I just focused on the process while the results took care of themselves.

When my mother was dying of cancer I turned to running, I ran as much as I could I trained and over trained for ultra marathons 25 miles long runs followed by 10 mile runs the next day but it helped keep me sane and gave me hope. When she did pass I ran more, I broke down during my runs and picked myself up and kept going. Every day I am thankful that I am a runner for that, some people turn to drugs, drink, or just curl up in a ball but I ran which made grieving more tolerable and enabled me to see that everything would be OK in time.

Running marathons and running in general to me is a metaphor for life. You start out nervous, you get into a groove then it gets fun, then it becomes challenging so much so you want to give up but then before you know it it's over and you're looking for another challenge because when you're done and they put that silly medal around your neck you realize it wasn't the marathon that you loved doing it was the training that got you there to the finish.

Yes we are in the midst of a new running boom and I like to think that while I was running in Central Park, on the track, or around the world for that matter that maybe, just maybe I inspired a someone out there to lace up a pair of running shoes and just go for it.