Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Next

The will to win means nothing
Without the will to prepare.
- Juma Ikangaa, 
1989 NYC Marathon winner

We have reached April's final Sunday. The good news is that May is right around the corner.  Of course that also means that the New Jersey Marathon is also right around the corner.  Seven days from today, a number of hardy souls  - including the Blonde Bomber and her middle-aged, graying sidekick who bears an eerie resemblance to Yours truly - will toe the starting line at Monmouth Park in Oceanport and begin an invigorating adventure that shall eventually deposit us on the Boardwalk in Long Branch some 26.2 miles later.  An equally hardy but intellectually superior number of souls - including Gidg - shall depart from Monmouth Park as well under the cover of dawn's early light on a 13.1 mile jaunt that culminate for them on Long Branch's Boardwalk.  

The training cycle for this year's New Jersey Marathon began for me on Sunday, January 10. Between that Sunday and this one, I have run distances on Sundays ranging from five miles to twenty miles.  My experience is similar to that of almost every other man and woman who shall run the Marathon next Sunday.  Training programs vary but their goal is essentially the same:  Build up the miles so that on race day when you call upon your body to hold it together for 26.2 miles, it does not respond with an unequivocal "You have got to be shitting me!"  

On this final pre-Marathon Sunday, I shall travel south from our 'home' beach (17th Avenue Beach in Belmar), through Spring Lake, and into Sea Girt before curling my way north and, finally, home.  Once upon a time the prospect of running eight miles on a Sunday might have terrified me.  It no longer does.  

Today, it simply serves to remind me that the hard work needed to be able to compete effectively against the race's distance next Sunday is almost complete and that all that remains to be done is the race itself.  

-AK 


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