Thursday, 19 January 2012



Prior to recently getting back into the whole running thing I had not done any serious training since the run-up to the Santa Barbara International Marathon in December 2009. Then I committed to this year's inaugural Rock and Roll New Orleans, got new shoes, recharged the Garmin 305, re-subscribed to a couple of running podcasts, put them on the iPod, and plunged back in.

One thing I'd forgotten was how amazing it is to run before the sun comes up. Totally different, for me, than running after it goes down. For the past two non-running years I, on numerous occasions, looked out my kitchen window, watching others run by at 4:30am...and just didn't get it. I get it again. I know you night owls will not. That's too bad.

I had also forgotten the joy of running into the rain until I did that again. Until yesterday the last time I'd done that was Napa Valley Marathon...oh so many years ago. During that race I experienced cold like never before, drenched and shivering with serious nipple bleeding...and miles upon miles to go. Vaseline is a beautiful thing...when it's just what you need. Yesterday, I did a longest run since before Santa Barbara. At 7.5 I went into a Starbucks for a quick shot of espresso...and within that five minutes, the rain began.

It only let up as I approached my front door. When you've been drenched, and pressed on, there's nothing like the dry delivered by a big, fluffy, warm towel...and a cup of tea.

Job loss can wreak havoc with even the most well-constructed travel plans. I lost a 12-year gig in 2009 and had to cancel marathon adventures in Trieste, Prague and Athens that year. Since then I had not had the high of scoring really cheap airfare til last week. It's perhaps silly to think that in those moments I've pulled one over on the airlines...but it almost feels that good. I got crazy-cheap tickets to New Orleans, by waiting til just the right moment. Little victories?

Since Santa Barbara I have gripped the world of marathon goings-on by the thread of those of you who kept going. I'm glad to have shared in your ups and downs in some small way through your blogs, postings on Daily Mile and Just Finish, and in conversation. I'm glad for not losing interest in all you were doing. Your stories made me jealous. I'm hoping to have some new tales of my own to tell.

In just about five weeks I'll be lining up on the NORNR start line...having guzzled a quick cup of coffee, bagel and a banana. Butterflies have caused me to lose those breakfasts on a number of occasions. If that happens in the Big Easy...I'll know I'm back to stay.

Gotta run!


Rachel said...

i'm so happy to hear these things michael! that's the great thing about's always there waiting for you : )

RoadBunner said...

Sounds like you have squarely found your runner mojo again :) Once a runner, always a runner.