Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Twin Cities to Boston

Because this post is a bit long, which means you may not make it all the way through, here is the key message: Donate to my Boston Marathon effort. The link is located here.

Now, in case you are interested in continuing on:

The Twin Cities Marathon was my first marathon ever, and one of my first running events ever. Prior to that I had essentially been a couch potato for the previous four years, since the time when I ran a half marathon (I was courting at the time so I would do anything). Before the half marathon I had more or less been a couch potato since high school. Athleticism had always seemed like too much trouble to me.

But in 2007 I set a new year's resolution to run a marathon. The primary motivation was weight loss (another resolution was to lose 25 lbs -- I ran the marathon but didn't lose all the weight. The marathon was actually the only one of five resolutions I fulfilled), and the fact that my relatives 20+ years senior to me could do it and I couldn't. So I hit the pavement. I didn't try to run fast or too hard. My basic goal was to just get on the damn treadmill (or path) four days a week and put in the mileage. This turned out to be pretty tough. It's hard to stay motivated that long, and there are a million excuses not to run any given night, especially when you have an intense job with long hours.

Furthermore, my training was always a bit precarious. I'm a bit heavy and I sweat a lot. I often had a hard time in the heat, much better time in the cool. My 14 miler in the heat was tough. My 18 miler in the Florida heat and humidity was tough. My 20 miler in the Boston cool was easy. So there was a good chance my performance would be impacted by the temperature on race day. But Minnesota in October was sure to be nice and cool so my confidence was high. What did we get? The hottest TCM on record... and I was barely able to make it through the half marathon before I shifted gears to run/walking (I later abandoned all pretence of running altogether, and walked for a few miles. I started running again at the end).

So six months of hard effort ended in disappointment. I knew I could do better. So I had hardly gotten home from the Twin Cities when I decided to run another marathon, and the sooner the better. How soon? 6 months seemed reasonable, which conveniently tied to the timing of the Boston Marathon.

Except I'm not fast enough for Boston, so I had to enter as a charity runner. The charity of choice was the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and I have committed to raising $6000 for them. Dana Farber is an excellent research center that is well considered in the Boston area. Please consider donating to my website here. Thanks in advance!

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