Friday, February 8, 2013

The Line to Make

Wonderful timing - this week in the Florida sun.  The Central Park Marathon is two weeks from Sunday.  I have been able this week to do something that I could not have done had I not been (a) on vacation; and (b) on vacation in a place where the weather has been warm and beautiful.  I have been able to run outside every morning.  An elixir for the body.  An elixir for the soul as well. 

I appreciate the fact that many runners to not run with music.  I do.  I find that often for me time passes more quickly and far more painlessly when I allow myself to get lost a bit in the music.  Happiness is a voice in your head that is accompanied by a guitar, a bass and drums?  Perhaps.   In my case it is. 

As the miles I run increase - whether because I am training for an endeavor such as a marathon or simply because I enjoy the cleansing, calming feeling that envelops me during and after I run - the number of songs loaded onto my iPod has also increased.  I have what I consider to be a fairly wide-ranging and eclectic mix of songs that serves as my musical accompaniment.  Not all of them are upbeat.  And to the surprise of some I suppose, not all of them are Springsteen. 

Each serves a purpose, regardless of artist or tempo.  Each is designed to help me stay focused on what I am doing and why I am doing it.   This week, having not only beautiful Florida sunrises to light my way but also roads free of ice and snow upon which to run, I have had the chance to pay a bit more attention than I might otherwise to each song.  

I have mentioned in this space before that training for a marathon is an excruciatingly selfish exercise - particularly if you are (as I am) one who runs and not a 'runner'.  A twenty-mile training run is a three and one-half hour time commitment.  And while I am the only one who is required to complete the training runs,  the effect of them is felt not only by me but by Margaret.   

My marathon goal remains fixed:  complete one in four hours or less.  If I realize that goal this year, then the 2013 Central Park Marathon shall mark the end of my marathon-running career.  Considering that my time in the New Jersey Marathon in 2012 was slightly more than eight minutes slower than it was in 2011, the odds of realizing that goal this year remain....well, let us just call me a long shot and leave it at that.  

Through all of it Margaret has been a trouper.  I am no bargain under the best of circumstances but under these particular circumstances, having to endure the ceaseless preparatory work for what is - to be kind - a fool's errand, she has consistently gone above and beyond.   She has been where she has been since Day One all those many years ago:  right beside me.  

May I be so lucky and so smart as to never do anything to change that and to always be what I enjoy being, which is one-half of a very good team.  Then.  Now....

....and right down the line.


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