You’re not going to believe this but once upon a time, over ten years ago now, I took a crack at the New York City Marathon, and running on an injured Achilles with a shot of cortisone to curb the pain, I broke the three hour mark on my first attempt. The NY City Marathon is, globally, one of the biggest marathon events. Fanatical road runners from across the world, those that can, anyway, flock to this event to fulfil a yearly ritual. For me, though, it just happened to be a matter of convenience.
Before I elaborate on this further, I’d just like to point out that this is not a fitness freaking post. I’m not about to preach to the unconverted about extremely tough exercise regimes and hard to follow diets which are no good for us anyway. I’ve experienced the pain of doing too much as you might have gathered from the first paragraph. All I’m about is sharing my personal experiences of the positive side of keeping fit and healthy. I’m lucky that way because since high school days, I always enjoyed sport.
I discovered road running and the marathon while still at college. I became obsessed, not so much about the fanatical drive to keep fit and stay that way but more to do with beating the clock. To that end I did succeed but had to pay a small price. My body’s alright now, by the way. The NY event was convenient because I just happened to have grown up in Brooklyn and spent most of my life here. I’m still here, by the way. But in the event, I was planning for something more nostalgic.
For those that don’t know this, the Boston Marathon is probably the most famous one of the lot. I happen to like Boston too, by the way, having spent two years there during my degree program. So, I was basically using the New York event as a trial run. It was a training run. I was going to try and break the three hour mark anyway, and by the time I reached the starting line in Boston, the target was going to be a cut of another ten minutes or so. Sadly, I never made it out of New York.
Frustrated and impatient as I was with my injury woes, I gave up running altogether. And would you believe that I even started smoking. Road running can be a compulsion if you take it that seriously, so the compulsive but utterly dangerous habit of smoking seemed to fill a gap. Fortunately, it was easy to kick that nasty killer in the butt, if you will. Several years later, I decided to have another go at the Boston. But this time I knew my limitations and, of course, I had aged and lost much of my natural born stamina.
So, from New York to Boston, I trained modestly at best and on both racing days had to swallow some pride and resign myself to jogging along with the rest of the crowd. I’m glad to say I enjoyed the elation of just finishing both marathons. I now need to end this post and can just say that exercise doesn’t need to be extreme. Just a few light sessions a week will do the job just right for you anyway.