Thursday, September 08, 2016

One Month Out

Another great day to donate! Two marathons and two charities! Let's raise a combined $6,500 for cancer research through Fred's Team and low-income seniors with Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly (H.O.M.E.)!

Donate to H.O.M.E. here. Donate to Fred's Team here. More information here and at the top of the blog!

I've never detested a run more. Every ounce of my body soul and mind wanted to not run. In fact, in an unusual alliance, they all agreed that staying in bed (actually the air-conditioned couch) would be just fine.

My head swam for the first few minutes. I had moments of vertigo - or what I assume is vertigo. I felt ridiculously tall and that I was way to high up from the road. I felt unbalanced. Fortunately that passed and I kept slogging along the familiar path in Central Park. It is bad when even Central Park, with all of its beauty, magic, and charm seems hateful.

But I couldn't not run. This is the last bit of the heart of marathon training. I am one month away from Portland. I am one month away from the starting line and putting my feet where my mouth has been all along. In a few days the training will move into the taper phase. I'll run less and slower. My body will hopefully recover. But that didn't help me this morning. It was just not what I wanted to do.

I did run a few miles over the labor day weekend. And those were all decently enjoyable. Friday I picked up the schedule recommended 10 miles. Saturday I aimed for 20 miles. Somewhere in New Jersey I lost my way and ended up doing only a bit more than 17. I was pretty sore about missing the intended milage, and all of its psychological benefits, but I had run out of water and would have been in big trouble if I hadn't cut it short. And then Monday I ran the New Haven Road Race 20k.

I hadn't run that race since 2012 when I was attempting to finish graduate school, attempting to get a job, and watching my love life break into confusion and die. All in all it wasn't a good race. I started with TP the 70-something dean of the Graduate School. We had run before many times. He proudly ran all the time. It was a right of passage as a new student to see him running around campus in nothing but the tiniest of shorts. That day we started together. And after a while, I announced that I would try to find my own pace. He warned me not to push too much. Boy was he right.

Soon I was dying. I hadn't been running much. I didn't have the heart either. And it was a hot day. I was passed continually by other runners, each time sure it was T back to get me, back to crush the last bit out of me. It was the only thing that drove me on. He didn't catch me. Though he did catch me a few weeks later in the elevator and said he had been trying and at the finish he looked up our times. He proudly reported that he only missed me by 30 seconds.

But that was then. This year I went up with my friend B and we ran together. She is a much better runner than I am and I am in much better shape than I was a few years ago. We ran for pleasure. We talked. We passed people continually. I took more than a bit of sick pleasure in knowing that we were probably very demoralizing to some of the hard working, wind sucking people we passed while chatting. It was great.

But then I was staying up late last night drafting an email to send to all of you - all of you potential donors and I didn't get to bed on time. (When you get the email you'll still probably think I should have stayed up a bit later. Bill Shakespeare I'm not.) How quickly running goes from torture to fun and back to torture. I need good rest, practice, and a bit of heart.

The next run will be better. I learned that from Fred's Team. And while it is not always true in the literal sense, it is more than true in the real sense. I can get good rest before the marathon. I will have put in the practice. And you can give me a touch more heart by donating and by coming to cheer me on!

*This post was in no way read over for typos. It wasn't read over at all. It may or may not have been written on the toilet. TMI?

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