Two weeks to go to the New Jersey Marathon…dealing with the unexpected

Just a week ago in Boston we were reminded that there are things beyond our control. As runners we follow a plan, we train, we practice our race day efforts (pacing, hydration, fueling strategy, clothing) but for all our planning and rehearsing both physical and mental we have to understand there are things we cannot control.

A colleague once said to me during a difficult project that you can only worry about the things you can control, you cannot worry yourself about the things you can’t.

I am now two weeks out from the New Jersey Marathon. I have trained hard for this. Again using Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1 plan, early cold winter mornings (remind me not to sign up for too many Spring marathons unless I move to Florida) and I am now enjoying(?) the taper down to race day. I may be over-carbing a little too much but I have two weeks to work on that.

New Jersey Marathon 2013

New Jersey Marathon 2013

When I signed up for this I thought it would be great to show support to the folks in New Jersey following the devastation that occurred as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Although I live just outside of Philadelphia I work very close to the Jersey Shore in Holmdel, NJ. Indeed we were impacted by the storm and the surrounding areas were hit hard. We as a Company stood up to challenges it faced and have very much embraced the ‘Restore the Shore’ initiatives. Take a look at this article which captures how the Company I work for faced the impact of the storm for our community.

Before I headed down to Walt Disney World for the 2013 Goofy Challenge I floated the idea with my Company that we should get a team of runners together for either the New Jersey Half or Full Marathon to represent our Company and it’s ‘Restore the Shore’ initiative. I am pleased to say that we will be sending a few folks along (me included) as well as sending some race volunteers.

New Jersey Marathon 2013

New Jersey Marathon 2013

I sent my original email before the tragedy at Sandy Hook in Connecticut last December. It was this tragedy that the Boston Athletic Association was honoring last week with a special mile marker at mile 26 to remember each of the victims of that terrible event. Little did anyone know that we would again be witnessing another tragedy on the day of the Marathon. Indeed many of the runners were not able to reach the 26 mile marker on that day.

Over the last week we have seen an outpouring of support from runners all over America and the World in support of Boston. The City of Boston has set up the ‘One Fund Boston’ site where people can contribute to support the victims of the tragedy. You can visit the site here.

One Fund Boston

One Fund Boston

A sign seen at the 2013 London Marathon - April 21, 2013

A sign seen at the 2013 London Marathon – April 21, 2013

Last week the New Jersey Marathon Race Director asked that we run to support Boston by wearing the yellow and blue colors of the Boston Athletic Association. Many vendors have produced such gear with net proceeds from the sale of items being contributed to the One Fund Boston organization. Indeed the official partner of the Boston Marathon, Adidas, is selling a race shirt with all proceeds going to this fund.

Boston Commemorative Shirt by Adidas

Boston Commemorative Shirt by Adidas

So, with two weeks to go I have many more reasons to run. I started out with thoughts of supporting the victims of Hurricane Sandy, now we run to finish for those in Boston and to complete the honor of commemorating the 26 victims from Sandy Hook whose mile marker was to be seen by all the finishers.

With all those things to run for it puts all my negative thoughts, moans and groans about achy this and that, and all the whining about early mornings and cold starts into perspective.

With my new race day gear (I’m planning on wearing whichever commemorative shirt arrives in time and also a pair of red Zensah compression sleeves to represent the ‘Red Sox’ – don’t worry I’m still a Phillies fan) I am running not just for myself on May 5th but for all these other reasons.

I’ll leave the Disney runs for all my charity fundraising but I hope the rest of my year and future years are to run for health and enjoyment and for all the positive things in life.

(If you want to follow me during the New Jersey Marathon my Bib number is #2492)

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