Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shining Sun and Sleeping Dogs

Today is the 9th of January. In all likelihood, unless today is your birthday or you have a rooting interest in either of the two professional football games being played today and/or whichever college bowl game is being contested, you shall elect to hold onto your rat's ass as opposed to giving it here in recognition of today's date. That is your prerogative, which is not to be confused of course with his prerogative or hers for that matter. Although it does lead one to ask the musical question, "How many times can a terrible song be recorded, released and make $ for the artist?" to which the answer appears to be, "At least two."

Another reason perhaps to be interested by today's date is that tomorrow is January 10, 2011. Not only is tomorrow another "basic math day" (01/10/11) but it may very well be for me the first day of the final sixteen weeks of my life. Forgetting for a moment that stupidity is after all the flip side of valor, several weeks back I voluntarily signed up to run the New Jersey Marathon. This year the race shall take place on May 1, 2011. In fairness to me, I am not especially bright. Thus, I am quite easily smitten by splashy, shiny things that appear before not only my mind's eye but before the two eyes that sit squarely affixed in my over sized melon head looking outward. When perusing the event's website way back when in November 2010 (sounds so much longer ago than saying "two months ago"; right?) I was seduced by not only the sights i saw but also the reference to the event as the, "New Jersey Marathon Festival at the Shore".

It is a well-established fact that notwithstanding Altamont a "Festival" is a happy, fun place chock full of laughter and good times. A real "feel good" experience. Who cannot feel good at a festival? The obvious answer I suppose is a 40-something year-old imbecile whose feet and legs are ablaze and whose chest is ready to explode as a proximate result of his decision to run 26.2 miles....all at once. Man has got to know his limitations. So sayeth Josey Wales. He is as correct now as he was when he first uttered those words.

Do not misunderstand. Lots of people, including too many to count who are older than I am now (43) and shall be in May (44), run marathons. Hell, I think if challenged to do so that both my sister Jill and my brother-in-law Russ could complete one the whole distance either hopping on one leg or running on their hands. Better yet, both would likely still finish with a better time than someone who resembles me quite a lot likely shall in May. I should know better. I know me - at least I should. Running is a diversion for me. An activity that allows me a wonderful release of work-related stress while also helping me maintain some level of physical fitness.

While I have been running regularly for more than a year now and I run quite often (usually 4-5 days out of 7 each week) I do not cover a tremendous amount of distance when I run. I typically run between two to five miles. To prepare to run in a race that covers 26.2 miles, between tomorrow and May 1 there are days on which - according to my training plan - I shall run anywhere from fifteen to twenty-plus miles. In the interests of full disclosure, I should mention that I have run more than ten miles at one time exactly once in my life - in April last year when I participated in a half-marathon.

Clearly this was not a well-reasoned, thought out decision on my part. I still am not entirely certain what happened. I am well-versed in my limitations and live my life paying strict attention to them. I avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and the beach during the summer. I avoid exposure to the dance floor at weddings. I avoid "do it yourself" projects under any and all circumstances. Yet this trip outside Ye Olde Comfort Zone I not only failed to fail to avoid, I volunteered for it.

Stupid is as stupid does? I reckon we shall find out soon enough. Stay tuned.


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