Sunday, November 8, 2015

Thinking 'bout a Ghost I Hear at Night...

Failing to Prepare is 
Preparing to Fail.
-John Wooden

I had the time of my life one week ago.  Completing the New York City Marathon is a physical achievement of which I am - and shall remain - quite proud.  Nevertheless, I should have completed it in a better time than I did.  My failure to do so is directly attributable to my violation of the Gospel According to Coach Wooden. 

One cannot prepare insufficiently - or incorrectly - for the New York City Marathon and simply fake one's way through it on Marathon Sunday.  As I toed the starting line last Sunday, I knew that I had not put completed all of the preparation work that I had intended to complete.  I come equipped with no alibi and no excuse for my failure.  I simply failed to do it.  

In 2016, the New York City Marathon shall be held on Sunday, November 6.  I have already started my preparation for it.  While I do not know whether I shall win entry via the lottery again or shall run as part of a team sponsored by one of the Marathon's charity partners, I know that I shall be among the 50,000-plus runners standing on the Staten Island side of the Verrazano Bridge, waiting for my turn to tour the five boroughs.  I know that I shall prepare better for the 2016 edition than I did for the 2015 edition, including running more hills and strengthening my core.  

To their credit, but not to my surprise, neither of my familial running influences and mentors has offered a critical word about my maiden NYC Marathon performance.  Jill and Russ are great sources of inspiration to me.  This past week, I utilized my good friend, Google, to perform a bit of research into the NYC Marathon history of my sister and of my brother-in-law.  My research revealed to me that each of them has completed the Marathon in a time roughly two hours faster than my finishing time this past Sunday.  Two hours.  One hundred and twenty minutes.  

I am not delusional.  I know that each of them is a significantly better marathon runner than am I.  But their success now gives me a goal to which to aspire - not the goal of approaching their time - but the goal of achieving my best-possible time and not simply the best time possible under the circumstances.  

One should never doubt the wisdom of the Wizard...


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