Monday, March 1, 2010

Bill Horton and Vern L. Equinox

Hopefully March will bring better weather 'NTSG. I would say something snarky such as, "How much worse could it get?" save for the fact that my television gets the stations that have provided coverage of the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile so I have seen in technicolor the answer to that very question.

Without being snarky about it I hope that spring jumps the gun and arrives here 'NTSG a bit early. In about six weeks I am running in a half-marathon for reasons that remain a mystery to me (although when the light in the bathroom hits my head just right in the morning I can make out the remnants of the lobotomy scar). Running is a fairly recent addition to my day-to-day. I enjoy it and have very much enjoyed running a few races since I took it up on a regular basis last fall. To date the longest distance I have run in a "race" setting is five miles. While I sought refuge in law school to avoid science and math, even I understand basic arithmetic enough to know that 13.1 miles is a distance more than two times greater than to date I have ever run in the company of others. If reading this you find yourself asking the question, "What in the hell were you thinking of?", know that you are not alone in asking it although it is unlikely that you ask it with the combination of volume and disbelief present in your voice that is present in mine when I do.

In preparation for this suicide mission I have been adhering to a training schedule that I printed up off of a website entitled, "How to train for a half-marathon" and being the inherently cautious man that I am have remained faithful to its code. The lengthiest run of the week - every week - is my Sunday run. Two Sundays ago - to my surprise and delight - I ran six miles. Yesterday I ran eight. Until two Sundays ago I had never run more than five miles uninterrupted in my life so having done that now twice within the past ten days pleases me quite a bit. What pleases me more is that to this point I have stayed within the parameters of the per mile pace that my running guru has established for me, which is 10:00. In a shorter distance race such as a 5K I run at a faster pace but in stretching out to a distance of thirteen miles there is little chance of me completing the race if I try to push my way through at too fast a pace. My goal for this little shindig is to complete it in 2 hours and 10 minutes, which time would most certainly not qualify me for honorary citizenship in Kenya but would most certainly please me immensely.

I desperately need March to bring better weather than February toted with it for its twenty-eight day life cycle. I need to be able to get back outside to run. Yesterday while spending slightly less than eighty minutes on the treadmill to complete my requisite eight miles, I thought I was going to drop not from exhaustion but from boredom. I got through the last mile and a half by envisioning the invisible block of Gouda cheese dangling from a string just beyond my reach and my relentless effort to grab hold of it. When I was finished I did not know what to do first: shower or eat a hamster pellet. The schedule to which I am adhering calls for Sunday runs of greater than ten miles each of the next four Sundays. If I have to make any of them indoors on the treadmill, I might just George Jetson myself to put an end to the misery.

The good news is that I know at least one of my Sunday sessions this month will be outside. On the weekend when winter officially cedes the spotlight to spring, I am running in a 10 mile race in Freehold, cleverly entitled the "St. Paddy's 10 Mile Race", which will take place on the roads of Freehold and not on the treadmill upstairs in my home. I cannot wait. Although being an Irishman and believing faithfully in the religion that is Murphy's Law, I anticipate having to run 10 miles either through the rain or the snow. If it was easy it would not worth be doing.

Anyone else up for a grilled cheese sandwich?

-AK

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