Sunday, September 5, 2010

Marathon Day Five weeks Away

I woke up today feeling fresh after a five mile run yesterday. I had a bit of discomfort in my left calf and right knee, but otherwise, I felt great. I thought to myself, it is one week away from the GLASA Twilight 5K in Lake Forest, Il, two weeks from the CARA Ready To Run 20 Miler, and Five weeks away from the Chicago Marathon. Really? Just five weeks away? The most miles I have ever run at one point was the Sugar Land 30K (18.6 miles) last December so the thought of twenty miles has been on my mind. The full 26.2 miles while in the back of my mind, had never fully come to the front until today. It was last November when Keri Schindler of Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association first reached out to anyone interested in running the Chicago Marathon in 2010 as a member of Team GLASA. She said we had about two months to mull it over, but I knew by the end of the email that I was going to run it. I then debated between GLASA and another charity, but ultimately stayed with my first choice knowing that I would have plenty of other chances to run for or be involved with that other cause, The Special Olympics Children's Charities. From time to time I have thought of the commitment I made to run a marathon and wonder why? Of course for a great cause. Still 26.2 miles. The dedication required to prepare is more than I have ever done in my life. Sure, in between-spring and fall semesters in college, I spent my summers dedicated to a work out routine where I was doing pushups, sit ups, bicep and triceps curls with a dumbbells, military presses and other resistance movements with a barbell, jump roping, and forms from Kajukenbo. I even tried out the Total Gym for a few months, but did not like it. Then there was my New Year's resolution to begin the 2004 year where I was going to work out five days a week performing all sorts of resistance training weight lifting exercises, pushups, sit ups, martial arts, and running. I ended up sticking to that resolution from January 2004 through June 2006 and only stopped because my autobiographical theater piece, In The Dark, went into rehearsal and production so I had to devote myself to rewriting as well as memorizing. In the first case, I was attempting to bulk up. In the second one, I was attempting to get as lean and sexy as possible. I did not have the pressures of a marathon looming. I have completed two triathlons and plan to do many more, but I am not a swimmer nor a biker. I am a runner. Yet even during my college years, I ran on a limited basis. During the two and a half years I was carving out a lean physique, I only ran about 3.1 miles a day and usually no more than sixteen miles per week. Now, I am running twenty, twenty-five, or thirty miles a week. Yet I think to myself that it is not enough. I am running more than I have ever run, but I do not feel it is enough. I do believe I will be showing up to the Twilight 5K, 20 Miler, and marathon in the best condition I have ever been for any previous race. I have been building my wind and conditioning like never before. I want to be strong. I want to run the longest race of my life knowing I have prepared the best I can. I want to feel strong down the home stretch and not find myself wondering how much better would I be doing right now if I spent more time running. Everywhere I read and everyone to whom I speak states the same thing that when it is your first marathon, the only goal should be to finish. You should never put a finishing time goal on the race. Simply cross that finish line. In my case, it would also be to remember that this marathon is not about me. It is about running for Team GLASA and on behalf of sixteen year old twins, Elizabeth and Emily Fideler, GLASA athletes who have benefited greatly from the programs and activities GLASA organizes all the time. I am running to raise awareness and money for GLASA and to tell people how their donations help Elizabeth, Emily, and others discover their self esteem and confidence. I am just worried that the physical demands will be too much and I will find myself fading the final miles. If I can keep running over the next five weeks and building leg strength with more weight lifting then maybe it will not be an issue come October 10, 2010. Five Sundays from today. I need to remain dedicated and keep pushing myself. Just five more weeks.

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