Wednesday, September 14, 2011


"and the rest is silence."-Hamlet

To run or not to run?

Marathons are a strange process. The race day, of course, is very exciting and challenging and the run itself is long. 26.2 miles long, plus in NYC, the long walk to the UPS van that holds your stuff. Is it not miraculous that with over 44,000 runners, you can hand your stuff to a person who then heaves it into one of over maybe dozens of UPS trucks, then at the end you go to the truck and they give you your stuff back? Anyway, the day of the run is spectacular. Maybe heartbreaking. Maybe the best day ever. Maybe just a nice run on a fall day in  a great city. But it is all the days leading up to it that make the marathon something addictive.

Some of us follow a plan. For me, it is Hal Higdon's Advanced 1 which builds mileage every 2 weeks, then drops back for a week, which adds in speed and hills, which gives me a nice structure on which to hang my bandanna (my head gear of choice for long runs). But although I dream of running like Greta, in reality I am training because I love to run and because I am raising money for Livestrong. I might break my last PR of 3:29. I might not finish. I might finish but run like a clydesdale. I might skip through the streets of NYC and just groove on being one of the gang.

Runners get kind of obsessive about following their training plans. This can lead to trouble. For me, I have been noticing an ache on my foot. It is a tendonitis. It isn't horrible. But it is a reminder that my body is the boss, not Hal Higdon. Not my aspirations to be the next elderly olympian. So, I am learning to take days off. Yesterday after work I ran 10 miles, and I was really tired, though by mile 6 I started to feel good and was glad I had done it. Today, my foot said to me "I demand a long bit of icing, and you sure as heck better not even think about doing that 5 miler you and Hal had planned." I am going to listen to my foot. I have a 20 miler this weekend, and that is where the money is, if building up for a marathon is like putting coins in a piggy bank.

Mice and Men. Parents on a road trip with their kids. Rock bands on tour. Doctors who think they are God. Insane princes of Denmark. Runners. They make plans and then it all gets messed up.

No rest for the wicked, so I must be good.
The rest is icing, so I will have my cake and eat it too. With icing.

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