Tuesday, April 21, 2015

One for the Thumb

Today is Tuesday, April 21.  Five sleeps separate me - and thousands of other runners - from the 2015 New Jersey Marathon.  Five sleeps is not very many sleeps at all.   It is more than four.  It is less than six.  

Just think, if you formally retained me as your attorney, then you would pay real American money for such astute observations.  You laugh at the thought?  I do as well sometimes.  Nevertheless, someone always steps up to the window and plunks down their cash.  It beats working for a living.  Some days not by much - to be sure - but always by at least a little. 

But I digress.

I feel better five sleeps removed from this marathon than I have felt at this time leading up to any of the three previous marathons in which I have participated.  More importantly than my physical well-being, which is good, is my mental well-being.  Sunday morning, I forced myself down into the basement dungeon for one final "medium distance" run.  I made it my goal at the beginning of this training cycle to run every mile of every training run in eight minutes or less.  Sunday, I set the treadmill to eight miles per hour and a whisker more than sixty minutes later I had completed my last eight-mile run.  The exercise's purpose has not been to create the delusion that I can run 26.2 miles at a 7:30 clip.  It has been to make my mind and my body get ever more comfortable at being uncomfortable.  So far.  So good.  

The part of this exercise that is equal parts exhilarating and nerve-wracking is that - the RU Half Marathon one week ago Sunday notwithstanding - there shall be but one chance to measure whether it has been a success.  It has been one hundred and seven sleeps since I started it.  I reckon I can hang in there for five more sleeps to see how it turns out.  

In fact, the choice is not really mine to make.  


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