Monday, November 07, 2005

The end of a long run, 1 week to go...

From seat 12B, at 30,000 feet between Pittsburgh and Phoenix.

As I set out on a long journey this morning for a conference in Palm Springs, CA, the long journey to November 13 and the Harrisburg Marathon is nearing its close.

When the idea hatched in the winter, it was a little bit of a lark, something you say to yourself that you might do but usually don't. The first step toward commitment was entry into the lottery for the New York Marathon, which took place yesterday.

As winter turned into spring, I reasoned that I should be at least in shape to train should I happen to get in. I can remember those early weeks at 10 to 12 miles when getting to the 20 mile per week base seemed as if it would be a challenge.

Tracking progress strengthened commitment. I was in for the long haul. The NY drawing came and went - I needed a backup. I could have switched to another "mega marathon" but this was a challenge for me, not a way to run in a huge crowd with tons of spectators.

As I got into the rhythym of the running I felt better and better physically. I lost weight rapidly, despite eating in restaurants on the road with an increased appetite.

It felt a little lonely and a little selfish, and that's how the Stride Against Stroke campaign was born. Tapping into the people and things that I cared about, I learned about stroke and the lives of people I know. Together, we've raised thousands of dollars for stroke care programs at Gaylord Hospital, the rehabillitation hospital in Connecticut that treated my grandfather following his stroke.

Now with 6 days to go, most of the miles on this project are past, 640 of them to be exact. I've run in Pittsburgh, Ohio, MD, along the mall in DC, an industrial park in Houston, Las Vegas, Montreal and CA. In about 40 miles (including 26.2 on Sunday), I'll be done.

I have a lot of people to watch for more posts. In the mean time, I wish there was something I could do about being crammed into this middle seat.


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