First, I am an artist. I make my living with my artwork and this year I was reminded of what all the years of hard work were for. Now, was my running a healthy pastime or a career distraction? I boxed through much of my early career so running is just my new thinking time away from the easel. The second thing I had to get past is the annoyance of aging. I began running at 40 in earnest. For males at 40, the pace per mile averages decline each year. Despite the training and diet, I am running against a biological reality that I despise. My times for most of the year were all slower than previous years. In recent weeks as my legs healed a bit, my times are faster again. Still, father time seems to be ruthless.
So, what is interesting to me is running knowing that times will decline as time moves on. 2009 was a year of long runs. I started half marathons in February and ran one in Austin and then made sure every weekend to get one in. All through training since June I’ve run more miles than previous years. I guess it’s my way of thumbing my nose at aging. If my times are going to not improve then I won’t help them by letting up on the training.
I walk around with multiple ice packs on my legs after races but don’t take painkillers. I want to feel if anything is wrong. This training period there was knee tenderness, an Achilles that ached a ton, and shin splints. This week I have a sore groin muscle. I try to keep calm and trust that on Sunday I’ll be just fine. The weather seems iffy so this one may be the year I run in the rain, so I’m looking forward to that. (Eyes roll)
Still, I love this. It’s a really amazing experience and it’s hard and at times painful but no other race compares to it.
The night before I eat a ton of pasta and bread and a sweet potato. Salt on everything. I drink water all day. At night, I TRY to sleep but most marathon nights it’s hard to fall asleep. 4 hours for me is common. I wake at 5 and put on all my gear and go to Staten Island to sit at Fort Wadsworth from about 6- 9:15. At 9:40 I start off.
I don’t know what my time will be this year but I have a cheering section at 5th and 93rd street and I should be running by around 1 to 1:15 pm.
On the artistic side of this post, I just completed an important painting that I’m really into, and will post it here after the race. I think I needed to do it to show myself that I could also pour my passion into my artwork.
Anyway, wish me luck.
I’m looking forward to beer again.