Friday, October 21, 2011

Houston Half Marathon

I am very excited that in January 2012, I will travel to Houston to participate in the Houston Marathon. I was given the option of either the half or the full distance. I decided to use the Chicago Marathon to gage whether I would want to run 26.2 miles once more in three months or whether I would rather ease up and only run 13.1 miles. The mere fact that I would consider 13.1 as easier may on some level be obvious as it is half the distance. However, I view it from the point of view of where I was mentally just three years ago. I reached out to the C Different Foundation by speaking to CDF founder, triathlete, model, actor, film producer, roofer, Matt Miller about joining his organization. After seeing Lokelani McMichael's story of being the youngest person to complete the Ironman Triathlon, I wanted to compete in triathlons. I did not know how to swim. I did not know if race organizers would even let me race, but when I found C Different on the internet, I asked Matt Miller. He immediately welcomed me to his CDF family and expressed his excitement to work with me. I believe his interest level grew when he learned of my interest and involvement in theater, film, and writing. He too had a love for using film to tell stories. Matt invited me to fly to Fort Lauderdale to run in the AIA Half Marathon. It was six weeks away and I was not sure I would be ready. Looking back on it, of course, that was more than enough time. I did not properly train for the event. I spent more time worrying about how I would complete the distance than actually going out and preparing for it. In my youth when I had my sight, I was a sprinter. I was not big, strong, or talented, but I had desire. If I wanted to go faster, I simply made up my mind I wanted to and I did. I never practiced. I just tensed up my face and moved my legs faster. I would race short distances. I do not think I ever ran one complete mile. I probably ran half a mile in gym class. I was by no means a distance runner. I went to see Matt and run in the AIA event. Brian Pearlman guided me. My longest run prior to the event was 4.7 miles at a ten minute per mile pace. My only goals were to run the entire distance and to in fact, go the distance. If I had any energy left, I would close the show with a great sprint. As it turned out, I was able to run the entire distance, go the 13.1, and still have enough to close the show. Brian and I ended up having our finish line sprint photo appear on the front page of the local newspaper. At the end of the day, it took me almost three hours to run 13.1 miles. A year later I was able to improve my 13.1 personal best by thirty-three minutes in a Chicago Half Marathon event. With each ten mile, half marathon, or full marathon, I get stronger and faster. It is clear that as long as I continue improving, I will be able to break two hours very soon. In fact, I believe that I can get to the point where in my next event I will cross the finish line one hour and ten minutes faster than I did at the AIA. I am starting to believe in my abilities. Matt has always believed in me. I appreciate Matt's high standards for me. I often feel, I have disappointed him for not reaching my potential as we both know I can. I know that I have disappointed myself because if I were to dedicate myself more during training then I would be achieving greater results. Each race and new friend I make in the athletic world teaches me how to go about becoming greater. I believe that in 2012 the friendships I have made over the last three years will pay off because I have a network of talented athletes who have achieved on a national and international stage in front of television audiences. If I truly have learned from them, now is the time to display it. Three years ago, 13.1 seemed like such a mountain. Now I believe I can prove to myself how much talent and heart I truly do have within this sexy physique. That is why I decided on the half. I will race as a member of the CDF team. I will also use the event in Houston as my jumping off point to embrace myself. I will run for myself. I will begin to believe in Israel. I am facing this next phase of training as a way to prepare for greatness. I hope that does not come off as arrogant. I simply want to reclaim the kind of swagger I use to have in my youth. The confidence which motivated and pushed me to be better. In many respects, the fear of failure drove me to success after losing my sight. In the coming year, I will have higher standards for Israel. I will begin to train and race with a purpose. I will begin my quest in January!

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