Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pending Patton

2011 is shaping up to be a pretty exciting year; huh? In case you missed it, I have decided - likely against my better judgment and the wise counsel of anyone who has a brain occupying the space in their head currently marked "For Rent" in mine - to run a marathon. On May 1, 2011 I shall participate for the first time in the New Jersey Marathon, which begins and ends in Long Branch. Why this marathon? Why any marathon at all? Fair questions - both of them. I have opted for my home state's marathon as my maiden voyage at 26.2 miles because I am a Jersey boy and it is very close to home (I can get from Middlesex to Long Branch in less than an hour......driving time of course). I figure that if I need emergent medical attention, I will end up in a hospital with which I have at least a passing familiarity. If I die, Margaret can simply have them roll me out onto the beach, light me ablaze and then scatter my ashes over the ocean....or pour them into an empty Coke bottle, whichever is easier and less stressful for her.

I suppose that a downside to entering the New Jersey Marathon for me is that it does take place on May Day. I will have to remember to call specifically for "Help!" and not to shout out, "Mayday! Mayday!" to minimize the chance of some quasi-imbecilic spectator confusing my call for help for a calendar update. While saying the following requires one to embrace to the point of strangulation Professor Einstein's proclamations about all things relative, I am presently in the best shape of my adult life. I have already printed up my training plan off of the same site ( that I used to prepare for the Half Marathon at Rutgers last April. Presently, I presume I possess the physical ability to run a marathon and that I possess the modicum of common sense necessary to follow and to adhere to the training plan. I suppose that I will find out for certain at some point in the early afternoon hours of May 1, 2011 whether that I am right on both counts or not. For those keeping score at home, if on May 2, 2011 this space is either vacant or contains something authored by someone other than me, then you will have your own independent confirmation of the correctness of my presumptions.

When I trained for the Rutgers Half-Marathon last year, I kept posted on my computer at work and on my refrigerator at home a quote of George S. Patton - helpfully identified on the site as a WW II General and a 1912 Olympian, which quote I have already taped to my computer in preparation for May's adventure. Patton said, "Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired."

Pretty heady stuff courtesy of Ol' George; eh? Now all I have to do is find a pair of size 9 1/2 Asics running shoes for my mind and I shall be home free.


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