Saturday, July 25, 2015

In the Back Streets of Dirty Jersey

The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.-- Vince Lombardi

It felt good being back north in New Jersey today. Amazingly, I never thought that I would say, much less feel anything even remotely close to that emotion to miss New Jersey. That said, it was good to have less humidity and less heat. The route I took today had just as many hills, I believe, as some of the routes I've discovered in Atlanta but there was a slight breeze and the humidity did t bother me at all. It had to have been 50% or less. 

The best part was that I ran on a familiar route across the George Washington Bridge. In the past, when I ran that bridge, I ran it from my home, which was five miles away. I always did that route when I did over 13 miles in training. Psychologically, that path gave me some anxiety of a super hilly course and usually a twelve mile jaunt through New York and New Jersey. To only run a portion was oddly enjoyable. I never take more than a week off but I did this course multiple times during my marathon training. 



Much of training for the New Jersey Marathon was during January, February, and March. Those are very cold months. I would return with frost bitten fingers and exhaustion from those runs. I signed up for NJ with about Seven weeks to go so I had to ramp up immediately. I ended up suffering through a roughed-up Achilles because of the increase in mileage and intensity. I did lots of running before work so I never stretched before or after properly. I achieved my goal of being prepared to PR that day. I was fit and well-conditioned for that race but the load that I imposed on my body took me into that day with a weak body. 

Because of the bad memories from training, it felt great to run that course with no pressure and little to no regard for time. I ran an easy six and the base I'm building for the Callaway Gardens Marathon on January 30th was added to today. I ran from the door to New York and saw some beautiful views in the process. I also felt momentarily what I think is referred to as "flow". It's that feeling when your body takes over and everything feels as it should. It didn't last forever but my legs were just going and whether or not it was an uphill or downhill, people in front of me or behind me, my legs carried me to my destination with very little incidence or thought to what I was doing, I didn't look at my watch nor did I care how far away I was from completion. 

Sometimes routes bring good memories and sometimes bad ones. It's a beautiful thing when your commitment to accomplish a goal is married to your passion and pleasure in doing something. 

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