I did not want to jinx myself or disappoint anyone, but I wanted to find out what this 47 year old had left in his tank.
In the '90s my goal was to break 4 hours in the Marathon. Read about it here. Since March of 2000 I have run the NYC Marathon every year. I did it just to finish, just to be part of the great parade.
Just finishing was getting harder. This pissed me off. There are plenty of people who are older than me who were faster than me. So I got a check up. My doctor told me I was getting fat. With my family history of morbid obesity I need to start loosing weight fast. Not just that but my cholesterol was too high. My doctor gave me 6 months to deal with it my self. I lost 13 pounds and dropped 20 cholesterol points.
I did not do this alone, I sought the advice of a nutritionist . I don't know why, but sometimes you have to sit with a professional to start doing some obvious things. I started eating breakfast, and more veggies and less meat. Not brain surgery, and also none of these dietary changes ruined my day.
Today I the Run for the Red, it was my fastest marathon in 11 years. I did not want to beat my 2000 time of 3:58, but my 2001 time of 4:39. I ran a 4:31.
I was not just more fit and prepared for this race, but I ran it focused. First I was not distracted by organizing my track clubs activities regarding the event, nor was I distracted by running with "45,000 of my closest friends". I did not take my camera or even my cell phone. I did not stop to chat with my friends and family cheering for me on the course, not did I stop to pick up MetroCards. (Although I never saw so much road kill up close and personal in my life.)
The weather was also perfect. It rained heavily till about 10 minutes before the start. Then there was a light mist and fog for the first 20 miles. The rain kept me cool, but my shoes never became waterlogged. The scenery along the course was breathtaking. 90% of it was through country roads in the woods or past houses that were basically in the woods. Sometimes we would be on a strait road and runners just disappeared into the fog. Sometimes we were on a curvy road and I just did not see any other runners.
Yesterday I posted the course map. It looks like it was all down hill. Not so much. The course had a net decrease of over 1,500 feet, but there were plenty of ups.
I forgot to put some salt packets in my pocket before the race. I figured that I would be able to run into a fast food restaurant along the course. There were none. In fact we did not run past stores at all till we ran the last mile in East Stroudsburg.
and it was really nice to hear my name called out as I finished on a track. My Olympic moment.
Tune in tomorrow for photos of East Stroudsburg. I gotta get some sleep.