"...it seems to me, when I hear you talk Marc, that you came upon great circumstances to either become an alcoholic or a long-distance runner", said my good friend Tim in October, when I told him about my challenges and endured hardship over the transition of moving to a tiny little redneck town in North Florida.
I responded, half-way agreeing on what he said and half-way in a sarcastically over done way, because I knew that was the ugly truth."Thank you, my friend! Good thing I just signed up for the 3rd annual Clearwater Halfathon in January."
To set a goal, one that'll get me out the of the house and stop whining about....eh sort of everything, proofed to be a great, almost life-saving idea for the past 3,5 month period.
Continous training was hard. Although merely to the fact that my melancholy and pityesque self somehow really found it hard to drag the rest of me, meaning my body, out on the streets to get those miles/kilometers down on the warm and often times humid Florida roads.
It was only my second Half-Marathon and when I signed up I wanted to at least tie the 2:02:45 of my premiere Halfathon in Fuerth, Bavaria from last June.
As I arrived in Tampa Bay to stay with an old buddy of mine from my Hardcore Heydays in Germany I didn't feel the confidence to achieve that goal. So I accepted my challenge - and what challenge it was; unseasonably cold temperatures (46F/7C), strong northerly winds, multiple ascents over high bridges, and obviously the significant distance of 13.1 mi/ 21.1 km - and make the best of it. No rush, just make it to the finish line, I thought to myself.
Eventually, after a daunting and formidable home strait (I must have looked like a beaten, whipped jack-ass) I improved my personal best to 1:58:58! Ha!
(Hey Tim, I was under 2 hours! Yay! You were and are my role model!)
"For all of you who dragged yourselves from the comfort of your warm beds to push your own limits, you are all awesome winners!" - the "Initial post-race report" stated. I sure feel like one.