Training Starts Now

May 13, 2012
My calves do this odd thing when I get done with a long run.  The muscle bundles fire off  randomly,  making an entertaining display of twitches.  Several hours later, the twitches are nearly gone,  and my legs are almost back to normal.  This is how it starts.  Another marathon training season underway.
I’m fifty-eight years old, and a member of the South Jersey Athletic Club, a running club based in Haddonfield, but with members from all over South Jersey and Philadelphia.  I have run five marathons, four in Philadelphia, one Boston.  My Boston experience, in 2011, was pretty miserable.  I was doing okay until about mile fourteen, when I developed severe cramps of my quads and hamstrings, and wound up walking, stretching, and hobbling a good part of the second half of the race.  I managed to cross the finish line a little under five hours after starting, and thinking how crazy it is to want to submit myself willingly to the pain and torture.  But, as a ski guide once told me in Austria, at the top of a long, treacherous climb, “Tomorrow you’ll forget all about the pain and only remember the good stuff”.
Three of my friends in the club, Tony, Brian and Steve, and I are training together to run  the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, Pennsylvania, October 7, 2012.  Our goal is to qualify for Boston.  For me, this means running better than 3 hrs. 40 min., and then carrying it through to a successful run in Boston in 2014.   I am writing this journal in order to share our experience, but also to keep me on track with the training.  The other guys will be offering their observations and experiences, too, so there will be different points of view along the way.
Oh, today, we ran 13 miles at an average pace of 8:50. Twenty-one weeks until the race.

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