I’ve been dithering about what to write about lately. First post of the new year and all that, you know. Thinking the topic needs to be new and shiny. Something clever and yet also at least a tiny bit profound.
Let’s see…. everyone does resolutions, or reviews the year that just passed. Those avenues seem well travelled; I want something different. The more I pondered, the more of a wall I built. Nothing seemed good enough to put in the top spot of the year.
You see Reader, I hold you in such
esteem. Thus I decided you
would much prefer my pure, genuine
enthusiasm, even if on the
“lite” side, over pretentious ramblings.
As I went on a afternoon stroll, I let my thoughts wander as I asked myself what is on my mind, what is making me think and hope for fun and good outcomes in 2016? Not surprisingly, an image of the calendar year pops into my mind. It’s my race calendar, with the races I’ve registered for in ink and the ‘maybes’ penciled in while I decide.
The feeling is akin to the excitement I would feel at the beginning of each semester in college. You have your new courses, your books and syllabus, and the sense of embarking on a new adventure. Each teacher is going to be brilliant and entertaining, the readings will intrigue and the term papers will flow from your pen.
Inevitably, disappointment would creep in and expectations would diminish. The beauty of my race calendar is that this doesn’t happen. I’ve got the first marathon of 2016 behind me and it was great!
Last year, I was signed up for the Jacksonville Marathon but had to drop to the half due to a major ankle injury. I just barely made it through the half. The Jacksonville course is the same for the first 8 miles of the race, then the marathoners turn right at a large sign. I remember the regret at having to stay on the half course and vowed I’d be back.
Delayed gratification is a good thing. Standing at the start, I was ready to go the distance. Additionally, we are having our first real break in the weather here in Florida, meaning the temperature was finally good for running, in the low 50s and clouds with light rain. I’d been waiting over a year for this one, and conditions cooperated.
This is the 33rd year of this marathon; the organizers know what they are doing. The course is well marked, there are plenty of aid stations and the police enforce the traffic restrictions so we’re safe. To add to the buzz at the start, over 40 young, elite runners were there running the half, trying to earn a last minute spot at the Olympic Marathon Trials set for next month. (Men need a 1:05, women a 1:15).
Jax was an excellent start to the year. My time was respectable, 3:39:39, which gave me an age group win. It’s a time I think I can best in the year ahead but I’m very happy with it. Sometimes finishing what you started in the past year is a satisfying way to launch the new one.