Friday, June 12, 2009

Some Running History

In October of 1992 I moved to Buffalo New York and decided to start training for the Buffalo Marathon. I had started running the year before in an effort to drop some of the 75 pounds of beer weight I had accumulated while living in the Bronx and drinking my way out of college. I was successful in losing the weight, but putting the rest of my life back together was presenting a more difficult challenge. At the time I moved to Buffalo I was 21 years old, had managed to fail out of a fairly decent college, and had no appreciable work related skills. This would have been depressing but for the fact that I was feeling great; I was healthy, having shed most of those 75 pounds in the preceding year and a half, and still new to running, so every outing was an adventure. When I signed up for the marathon I did it with the idea that that the personal satisfaction of setting what a year earlier would have seemed an impossible goal, and attaining it, would give me the fuel to set other goals, and attain them as well.

If you don’t drink Canadian beer or follow football there is very little to do in Buffalo in the dead of winter. The marathon was scheduled for May of the following year. I won’t say “spring of the following year”, because the word “spring” conjures up images of flowers, the smell of freshly cut lawns and the laughter of children. May in Buffalo you are more likely to experience a pile of lake effect snow, biting arctic winds, and the cursing of people who have to dig out their car for the 75th time since October. If you are ever considering moving to Buffalo, let me respectfully suggest that you visit the place in February before making any decisions that you’ll end up regretting later.

Training was....interesting. If you've never run 15 miles in a driving blizzard with snow up to your mid calves in the dead of night, I highly recommend it. You learn a thing or two about the concept of commitment to a goal somewhere around the 10th mile. Dodging snowplows and skidding cards is all the speedwork you need.

The Week in Training:
S: 6 tempo
M: 5 easy
T: 5 tempo
W: 5 tempo
Th: 11 LSD
F: rest
Sat: 6-speed (tomorrow)
Total: 38

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