Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sweet Charity

While it is too early to tell (being the wee, wee small hours of the morning and all that) the weather in these parts today is supposed to be somewhat unspectacular - gray with a side order of rain.  It is always a bit of a bummer to me when the weather is at best punkish on Saturday or Sunday, especially when we get into the "easier to spend time outdoors" part of the calendar.  Here, that part of the calendar can be incredibly condensed, wedged as it is between the "so cold that my boys have frozen into one solid unit" portion of the year and the "so hot I fear I might spontaneously combust" portion, so when it first pokes its head above the tree line the prudent thing to do is run at it as fast as possible, embrace it tightly and hold on to it for dear life.  Your grip will weaken eventually and it shall be lost to you again - as it was last year.  It is inevitable.

If I had to be selfish (try not to gasp so loud in astonishment as to disturb your neighbor) for a moment, and if I was only permitted to have one good weather day this weekend, then I would ask Mother Nature to unleash the cats and dogs today and permit tomorrow to be - at the very least - hospitable.  Tomorrow morning I am doing (along with Gidg) what we did at or about this time last year:  running in the Unite For Charity Half Marathon at Rutgers University.  At this time last year the thought of running 13.1 miles struck me as something akin to terrifying.  While I do not now consider it to be a walk in the park, having run a distance equal to or longer than that at least once a week every week for the past six weeks - including twenty miles this past Sunday, I no longer am intimidated by the distance.  Feel free to check back in this space on Monday to see if I write with the same sense of bravado post-race as pre. 

Perhaps I was spoiled by my experience in this event last April but I am really looking forward to tomorrow.  If the weather tomorrow is a reasonable facsimile of last year's then it shall be absolutely terrific conditions in which to run.  There was a good turnout of people in last year's inaugural edition and I presume that there shall be a field at least as big tomorrow.  Last year, live bands played at spots along the race route, which started on the Piscataway side of the Raritan River in the area of the Werblin Aquatic Center and finished on the New Brunswick side of the river in the area of the College Avenue Gym - or "The Barn" as it was known when Bill was matriculating his way through R.U. back in the day.  From start to finish, the runners enjoy a nice tour of the campus, which is itself quite beautiful. 

How I wish that tomorrow's adventure represented the longest distance event on my docket for this Spring.  Alas, it does not.  The 800 pound gorilla in the room - the New Jersey Marathon - looms now but two weeks ahead.  In my head I believe I am ready for it.  Tomorrow will give me a good test - a measuring stick if you will - by which to gauge whether my legs and my breathing match my head's level of preparedness.

Here's to passing.  And to a good day for a run.


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