Tuesday, October 9, 2012

All Aboard

I would like to clarify that the goal of this post is less self-realization and more a logical study of where an entire year of training has put me. And I’m starting to have a sneaking suspicion that it’s a lot closer to something big than I ever imagined.

The Staten Island Half Marathon was on Sunday. I went into it expecting to do decently, but not all that well because I haven’t done speed work since the summer. To my delight and utter shock, I ran a personal best of 1:47:58. It’s not even 30 seconds faster than my previous PR, but considering the speed work thing and the fact that I haven’t even raced a half marathon since Brooklyn (almost 5 months ago), I was mildly dumbfounded about the whole thing.

This got me thinking. Imagine one of those montages in an hourlong crime drama in which the protagonist (brooding detective, mystery novel writer, quirky consultant, main character of whatever your flavor of police procedural happens to be). That was like me on Sunday afternoon and yesterday. Various scenes, ideas and facts started flashing through my brain. Synapses were firing and I began to make connections and develop hypotheses. My eyebrow is sore from being so ponderously raised for such an extended period of time, but more importantly, something that should have been obvious to me a long time ago became crystal clear.

I’ve been running a volume of miles that I would never have thought myself capable of maintaining and spent the better part of the year training for an Ironman. I’m in really good shape. There’s no artificially inflated bravado here, it’s just fact. All these race results should have been telling me this from the beginning of the summer, but I’ve been writing them off as…well, I don’t know. Maybe not even writing them off, but also not extrapolating what they could mean about the future.

And now I’ll get to the point. I now hope, very legitimately, to run a sub-4 hour marathon before the year is over. Okay, fine, that’s a goal I’ve had from day 1 of this year. Let’s go one step further. I’m not sure there will ever be a point in my life when I’ve built up such a solid training foundation. If ever there was a time to seek the holy grail of marathon running, it is now. If I can run a big marathon to close out the year, I think I stand a decent chance of running an even bigger one come spring.

Months ago, I wrote that I intended to enjoy this ride, wherever it took me. I’ll do you one better, past self. Fate’s been relegated to the passenger seat and I’ll be steering from now on. This train is headed for Boston.

Amortya ran a not-too-shabby 1:50!
Yes, it's a phone screenshot. So sue me.

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