The Finish Line in Sight
In less than 36 hours, I embark on this race. It will be cold, windy, and raw. I will be up at 7AM, in a crowd of hundreds, ready to run for a good cause.
And I have not been more afraid of it than at this moment.
My last run and training session did not go as well as expected. Granted, I’ve been training the past two months in the overnight–many days during or past midnight to accommodate my work schedule. It has not been easy to turn around after being on my feet for 15 hours and put forth the effort need to successfully complete this 10K.
That’s all my goal is, really: To finish the race respectably. That’s it. I don’t want to walk or limp or scream in unholy agony to the finish. I simply want to finish. I don’t want to give up. I don’t want to put forth any more than my best effort.
And therein lies the problem. My last run saw me struggling to keep up–and it was only a three mile ordeal. I grew more weary and tired as time moved up. Even decreasing my pace did not help significantly. My five and a half mile run on Sunday afternoon went off fairly well, but that was after a full night and morning of sleep. Is the answer simply to hibernate until Sunday morning?
Then there’s the weather. There had been rumblings of a Nor’easter around my parts this weekend, which could have adversely impacted or cancelled the event. That will not happen, but in the wake of a stormy and soggy Saturday, the Winter chill will rush in, and I will be among the first to experience it.
For some, 35 to 40 degrees is no sweat. It wasn’t when I went to a football game in January. But I wasn’t moving. Moving should help the chill. I’ll want to run to keep my blood flowing. But that won’t make it any less comfortable.
The wind is my worst fear. I’ve always done my test runs over the Ben Franklin Bridge when the winds are calm. Though 99 percent of my mind is certain a gust will not, in fact, blow me off the structure and into the chilly river below, the remaining one percent of me is still 6 years old, and remembers the nightmares I had of falling from the sky. And the time I turned blue on a flight from Philly to Denver. Seriously. It happened. So did the time I registered a pulse of 170 on the flight back. I imagine it was even higher when I was blue.
I don’t do heights well. This week, I’m not sure I’ve run well. And by my own admission, I’m not the most confident person. Will I step out? Never. Mind over matter can be a powerful thing when push comes to shove. It’s how I ran 11 miles in all last week. It’s how I endured through the throbbing blisters resulting from the stupid mistake of buying new shoes midway through my training. And your kind words and donations certainly have helped, too.
I took on this challenge to help others, and also to help myself with something new and different. I wholly intend to complete this challenge on Sunday, and give you a status report on how it went shortly after. It’s not too late to donate–just click the image on the right, or click right here. I hope you’ll consider supporting my run, and the good I’m trying to do for the children and faculty of the Larc School in New Jersey. I know it’s not a gaming marathon–Hell, only this week did I realize I’m doing this the same morning as the New York City Marathon–but maybe it can be a small step, or two, or many thousands toward something bigger and better.