Saturday, November 19, 2011

Winter Blahs

Today is the first cold day of fall, just a reminder that my least favorite time of year is around the corner. Winter can be long in Nebraska. So how do you fight the winter blues. Train for a West Coast Marathon. I have entered Surf City on February 4th in Huntington Beach. That should keep me motivated. That and the fact that Coach Jill will expect execution of her weekly training schedules. Jill is the best coach ever.

I originally had signed up for the Half Marathon at Surf City. However a very poor NYC Marathon led to an upgrade to the full Marathon. I know I can run a 3:40 at Surf City. Okay I have stated it, now the pressure is on to go do it. I had a bout with the flu for NYC and had to get my first ever IV following the finish of my 8th Marathon. My slowest, but the best Marathon in my opinion I have ever participated in. I have run 2 Bostons, Chicago, Lincoln, Blue Angel in Pensacola, FL, Rocket City in Huntsville, AL, and a Warner Robbins, GA and now NYC. The crowd was great and the tour of the city was the best ever!

I saw some cool sights in New York. The 9-11 Memorial Water Falls and the Tent City protests to name a few.

NYC Marathon action shot
9-11 Memorial Water Fall
Tent city, the week before they were cleared out.

I was duct taped to a light pole to raise money for St Jude Heroes. I was able to raise $4,200 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in NYC Marathon.

I had a fun time in New York. But I am really bummed with my effort, a 4:19 finish. I have PR of 3:05 in 1980 and again in 1998. I know I am aging. I will be 55 on December 2nd. But I know there is a 3:40 left   in this body.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
I have gone out to fast the last 2 Marathons and I will fix that in February. I also think the Pacific Ocean will be a comforting sight and I intend to enjoy the view! I am not as concerned with overall time as I once was, but I know I can run faster!

A couple last random thoughts as I close the NYC saga. I was touched and moved by the 9-11 Memorial. But even more emotional was the return flight. As I was heading to my gate to depart Laguardia a group of people were gathered with American Flags at the next gate. I asked what was going on and I was invited to welcome home 6 wounded soldiers from Afghanistan. One with no legs, another badly burned, all six I would guess with nightmares I could never fathom. I felt shame for complaining about a bad Marathon. Life has a funny way of putting things in perspective!

Then I boarded my plane. I sat next to a lady that asked me if I thought Prison could rehabilitate a person. I said yes, I had worked for 15 years with adjudicated youth and if people couldn't change then my life was a waste. I shared of a young man who was in my wife and I's Group Home that is now a successful Lawyer and Father. She thanked me and said she was returning home to Texas after serving 8 years of an 18 year sentence. We visited all the way to Dallas. When we parted she thanked me for my kindness. I wished her well and as I walked off I once again realized how blessed I am. My life is not so bad. I have it pretty darn good. One bad Marathon doesn't change that! I have 8 in the bank and number 9 coming up in February.
Life is good...............