Friday, November 14, 2008


The New York marathon is now behind me. It's been two weeks almost, and I still don't feel comfortable writing about how I felt running it and how I feel now. I am surprised at my own confusion and the need to sensor my own thoughts.

My first emotion crossing that finish line in Central Park was pride. I couldn't believe I actually ran the bloody thing -- the whole 26.2miles. Believe me, I thought about quitting every minute of the race after about mile 18. And I can't remember what kept me going in the end. I could pretend, and say cliche things like it was dedication, the heart, the endurance, the hard-hardheadedness that runs in the male part of my family.

I really can't decide on this: am I running these ridiculously long distances to prove something, above all to myself. Or am I running to catch up with the other me, and leave this me behind. Either way it seems that running is somehow related to me, to my psyche. It's certainly not for the health benefit that I'm kicking my ass every day. Doctors recommend 2.5 hours of exercise per week.

In New York I finished the race, but there were problems along the way. My stomach was off and it started to bother me at mile 13, and I had to make a shit-stop. At mile 24 I vomited. OK, I kept on running, but I wasn't enjoying it after my physical condition, which was all-mighty at the start of the race with Frank Sinatra's New York, New York blasting on the speakers, began to deteriorate.

I am a rather muscular guy for a runner. My bigger-than-usual body frame is from rugby. On top of it, rugby is a high-energy short-interval sport. The physical is allowed to dominate the mental. But marathoning is about attaining steady performance over time; the mind should be in charge.

So I already found the next fix-up: Beirut, November 30. My target this time is very different from what I did in New York. I don't want to run Beirut for time. I want to run it for balance, to the point where I feel the same (mentally) at mile 22 as i did at mile 2 -- just enjoying the run.

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