October 2009 Archives

First Marathon

I turned 40 this year. I didn't buy a sports car. Instead, I ran my first marathon. The race was yesterday. We ran across bridges and borders and through the streets of Detroit cheered on by great friends and perfect strangers. I'm happy with my results. At 3:08:53, I qualified for Boston and showed all those young whippersnappers that us old folks still got game.

Ambassador Bridge

So, before the experience fades into memory, I'd like to record a few insights. First, the marathon challenges the mind, not just the body. And, I'm not talking only about grit, determination, and pacing strategy. Selecting a training program is critical. I found the run less, run faster system of FIRST (and my Forerunner 305) to be a perfect fit. Diet also counts, and in this I adhered to the mantra: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

Second, the marathon is emotional. An injury or mishap at any moment during training or in the race can end the quest. Fear and loneliness coexist with hope and exhilaration. But, if you're lucky, you're not alone. I am truly humbled by the unexpected outpouring of support I received from friends and family.

Along the way, I also drew strength from several sources of inspiration:

I'm not sure if I'll run another. Right now, I'm ready to shift focus: less jogging, more blogging. But, I'm so happy that I had the chance to do it once. Thanks to everyone who made the Detroit Marathon such an amazing experience!

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