Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Strategy is Set.

I have decided upon a course of action. In the past I have recommended to everyone alive, never to do anything different at the last minute when racing. Having said that, my course of
action will indeed be different.

I have run the New York City Marathon 6 times.

In 1984, I was 19. The Challenge? To Finish A Marathon. I ran it in 79 degree heat. One person died on the Queensboro Bridge. He was from France. 300 people were rushed to the hospital. I finished my first ever marathon in 4:31:03.
Mission Accomplished.

In 1985, I had trained even harder. The Challenge? Run an entire marathon nonstop without having to stop to walk. I finished that race in 4:09:47. Mission Accomplished. Record Pace to Date.

In 1986, After getting married to Lorraine, I let it all go to waste. June 28th was my last day of training. 4 months later, and with all the hoopla of the race (TV commercials, bus and subway ads, radio shows, etc), I decided to run it. The Challenge? Be able to finish a marathon after not having run 1 time in 4 months. I was miserable. The pain and anguish began at Mile 4. But my will kept me going. I fought and I finished that race in 5:21:57. Mission Accomplished.

In 2005, after not having run a full marathon in 19 years, I came back to the lore of running. I wanted to see what my old 187 pound frame could do. I trained for six odd months, and nearly broke my first marathon time from when I was 19 back in 1984. I finished that run in 4:34:14. Mission Accomplished.

In 2006, I trained even harder. I wanted so badly to break that 4:30 mark along with that 1984 time 20 years before. With one month left, I attempted a 20 mile long run with new sneakers that were barely used. It did not bode well. I tore my right calf muscle about an inch long. My orthopedist told me to skip the marathon. I went for a second opinion. The second orthopedist told me that if I ran the marathon, that I would risk tearing my calf to the point that he said I would never be able to run again. Challenge: To Finish A Marathon While Injured.
I ran. 4:47:47. Mission Accomplished.

In 2007, I trained even harder than that. I lowered my body weight to 149 at one point. And ran nearly 1250 miles by the time the Marathon came around. The Challenge? To Break Four Hours. I finished it in 4:20:11. I did not break 4 hours, but I did post my 2nd best time ever and eclipsed that first marathon I ran in when I was 19. At the age of 42, no less. How about that?

Now for this year.
I have already run over 1500 miles. And have broken several of my own records to include my best ever half-marathon of 1:42:52 in Philadelphia. I have minor aches, and have slowed down my running to nearly a halt over the past week or so. My goal was to shatter my personal record of 4:08:47, but I don't want this anymore. I don't want the stress and aggravation of putting it all on the line to try by trying to knock off an entire 12 minutes in order to achieve my objective. It's not what I want.

What I want is to break 4 hours.

The strategy has been up for debate for quite awhile. Last year, I followed all of the running experts who mentioned about staying pace the whole way. Well, I did, but it did not help, and I still cramped up and perished in the Bronx. Again.

Well I am sick of perishing.

I have two legs that are in good shape. I have the intensity of a ferocious creature, and the heart of a lion. And fuck my cramps. I will hop the last 6 miles, if need be, at a 9 minute flat pace. I am not slowing down at any point. I am going for broke. Will I do it? You fucking damn right I will.

And if I don't, and my speed kills me from even finishing the race, let alone finishing well, then no big deal. I will walk across the finish line. I've already accomplished finishing the NYC Marathon, and have done it 6 times. I have nothing left to prove. There is no reason left for me to run this race just to finish. I need a new challenge, a new goal. My dad said it best, and so have others too. Why am I running then? I am running to challenge myself. I am running to prove that I can be better. That I can win.

While the execution is dangerous, the logic is flawless. Finishing is no longer the objective. Winning is the objective. Breaking 4 hours is winning. I am not quitting and I am going for broke.

Let me repeat what I am saying here, because this is war now. I am going for broke.
Sub-4 or Death.


Anonymous said...

Wah..sub 4 is my dream target too.

Sure you can fullfill your dream and target..cause this is a war for u now !!


p/s:u need to invite pmtey as u friend,u will able to view after I accept u invite,tks.

My site is focus on running race photos.


DGA said...

Glad to be known as "THE MIND ENFORCER"