Posted tagged ‘New York City Marathon’


November 7, 2016

that is all.


seems like there is something I’m supposed to do today

November 6, 2016

I’m sure it will come to me.

change of plans

November 2, 2016

So, I have this thing on Sunday, and I am suitably, obsessively anxious about it. There is the lead up, and there is the aftermath. And there is the thing itself. That’s the part that has me the most worried.

I’ve been watching the weather forecast for weeks — as far back as the long-range forecast began. For Sunday in this little town the weather doesn’t look ideal. Unless it will be. Maybe. The earliest forecast I saw was a high for the day of 48 degrees. That’s a little brisk for wearing skimpy plastic clothing for long hours. The closer the day came, the more reliable I thought the weather forecast could be. And so earlier in the week it had changed to a high of 46 degrees and a chance of rain. Less ideal. The rain chance seemed to be for the afternoon, which would normally be fine except that my wave begins at 11:00. Wet is not so bad. Wet and cold is.

There are, of course, ways to deal with these kinds of challenges. I have some throw-away gear that I’ll pack and bring with me to the start to keep warm and dry-ish. The difficulty is in deciding when to throw away the jacket and then the extra shirt and then maybe the knit cap and then finally the gloves. How long to carry the extra weight traded with how soon to feel cold and wet? In my running experience, most of the anguish is inside my head. I am aware of the weather outside of my body, but I don’t much care about it. Still.

The latest forecast I saw bumped the high into the fifties and removed the rain. (Of course it depends on which weather service I looked at.) I am cautiously less anxious now. Still.

And then Monday evening, as I am standing, my left knee suddenly buckles with deep pain. Where did this come from? I had no injury. No strain on the weight machine. My last run was good and didn’t offer any knee problems. I hadn’t been on my feet any more than normal that day. I think it is just a caprice of the running gods, to keep me humble (they should know I don’t need any help with that!) and give me something fresh to be anxious about.

I’ve been cautious, and while there are occasional twinges in my knee (when I am standing, oddly), the deep pain has not returned. I think the “problem” is half actual problem and half me focusing too much on it. When I begin my runs, I will sometimes get a pain in a lower joint that I’m certain means I need to turn around and limp home. But I always manage to run through it, and by the end of the run, I often can’t even recall which ankle it was that hurt. I’m hoping the same will be the case with this unbidden knee pain. I’ll be able to run through it.

Update 04NOV16 – Couple of things. The weather report has improved for Sunday. Sunny and a high of 55. Just about ideal for running, though in the concrete canyons of NYC, I suppose it will be cooler in the shadows. Also, I remembered that I had an unfilled second prescription for a cortico-steroid from last summer. When I took it then (for a muscle ache), I found that my knees and ankles felt great. (Didn’t do anything for the muscle ache though.) So when my left knee started acting up on Monday, I remembered that and had the second prescription filled. I’m three days into the regimen, and my knees feel great again. I should do this for every marathon, though I don’t suppose any doctor would knowingly do this for me.

bits and pieces

March 9, 2016

So I’m having a slow start on the last Fathers and Sons story, “Little Gray Birds.” It’s not a bad start. Just a slow one. I don’t want to push it and get frustrated should it go in the wrong direction, but I would like to get it moving. I blame the good weather, which had me out at my little Ozark cabin on mornings when I might otherwise have been writing. Also, the fact that so much must come together in this story, and I haven’t quite figured out how to do that. It will come. And then it will be revised. And then I’ll have to go back over all of the stories and muscle them into some kind of final form. And then, well, that will deserve some thought.

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I’m still picking away at the book Roth Unbound. It’s fascinating to me since I love Roth’s writing so much. Each chapter (and I strive to read a chapter each night and sometimes even achieve that) takes up one of his novels (though the most recent chapter squeezed three shorter, related works into one) and gives background into the sources of the stories, much of which came directly out of Roth’s personal life. But I must confess that I don’t altogether like peeking behind the curtain. Learning how much of The Ghost Writer, for example, was a transcription of actual events in Roth’s life (okay, not the Anne Frank part of the story) de-mythologizes the story a bit for me. I’ve read that novel more than thirty times, and I’ll go on reading it, but knowing that it isn’t all some fabulous creation new to the world makes me a tiny bit sad.

*   *   *

Two years ago, my daughter (who lives in NYC) gave me a book titled A Race Like No Other, by Liz Robbins. It’s a mile-by-mile account of the New York City Marathon. The book has been sitting on my to-be-read shelf since then. I’ve meant to pick it up and read it, but other books always got in the way. Now the time has come to read it, to study it, to scrutinize it. The reason is that by some random bit of chance, I won the lottery and am now going to be running in the New York City Marathon in 2016! I’m thrilled and terrified. This will be my fourth marathon — I’ve run two: Portland and Kansas City, and I have St. Louis coming up in a month — so I hope I’ll have some lessons learned and good training figured out to make this one more than a festival of grinding pain.