On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Good, good, good

In order to qualify for guaranteed entry into the New York Marathon (I'm sorry, the "ING New York Marathon"), one must either run a qualify, aka superfast, time or run 9 of the New York Road Runners qualifying races in the year prior. Naturally I went with the second option, being as the first wasn't a realistic choice. (I mean, come on: they want you to run like a 90 minute half or something physically nearly impossible.)

Today was my 9th race.

I woke up in a foul mood about it. I haven't been running enough and my times have been getting consistently worse, not better, over the past year. I've registered optimistically for a bunch of races that I've ended up not doing and I'm totally burnt out on racing. The races are meaningless - they're often even on the same course in Central Park, and it just doesn't excite me. So I was bitter to begin with and frustrated and I left a little late so I had to race to get there and everything was conspiring for me to be having a crummy day.


I started talking with this woman at the start, and before we knew it we'd flown through the course (well, flying sort of like turkeys or penguins, but hey). I missed setting a post-illnees PR at the 4m distance by 2 seconds. And I had a great time! Apples have never tasted so delicious as the one at the end of that course.

When I started, I was texting a friend about how I think I'm over these races and I'll take my chances on whether or not I even want to do the marathon in 2011. But now... well, I've already (tentatively) added a half-marathon to my schedule for January.

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