Monday, April 18, 2011

A Sunday in April

Yesterday an intimate crowd of several thousand runners gathered at Rutgers University for the second annual Unite For Charity Half Marathon.  Unfortunately Hoyle - whoever the hell he is - had different ideas.  The Noahesque amount of rain that fell on Saturday night had an effect on yesterday's race.  It actually required the race to be modified since it rendered a portion of the course unable to be run upon - knee deep water will have that effect on runners.  Thus what was advertised as a 13.1 mile race was - in fact - a ten-mile race.

It was for us (Gidg and me) a productive morning as part of our marathon-training program.  The program that we are both following for the May 1 race had called for yesterday's 'long' training run to be a nine-mile run.  We had both happily been looking forward to a run slightly more than four miles longer than our scheduled training run.  While that did not turn out to be the case, we still were able to get in a run that was a mile longer than called for in the training plan.  With only two weeks to go until Marathon Day, a free extra mile is nothing to sneeze at.  Not to mention how potentially messy it is when one sneezes while running.

The shortened race course notwithstanding, this event this year was as well-run as it was during its maiden voyage in 2010.  While the ground was saturated, the sky was sun-splashed and the temperature was ideal.  It was a terrific day to run - as if Mother Nature found it in her heart to reward the organizers for their hard work. 

And two weeks out from Marathon Day I would be lying if I did not say that I was happy to see my own hard work rewarded.  Ten miles covered in slightly more than seventy-eight minutes.  While there are those for whom that would represent a jogging pace (Russ and Jill both leap immediately to mind) for me it represented a bit of a milestone as I had never covered a distance as long as ten miles at a sub-eight minute per mile pace.  More importantly, it provided me with more than a bit of positive reinforcement.  Two weeks out and I am feeling pretty damn good.

Fourteen weeks down.  Two to go.


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