Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pounding the pavement

My knees and calves are still a bit sore from running 26.2 miles through the streets of Houston on Sunday - but it's a good kind of sore. It reminds me that I'm still able to lace up a pair of running shoes and do something that most folks can't do. It reminds me that running a marathon isn't about coping with aches and pains and exhaustion; it's about coping with your own mind. It's not that hard if you break it down -- just put one foot in front of the other and repeat...over and over and over...

Here are a couple of pictures to let you get a sense of what it's like just before the race. Both of these pictures were taken about 6am Sunday - the first is outside the convention center and the second is inside the convention center.

I wish I had some in-race photos to share with y'all but, since I refuse to run with anything I don't need, I don't. The most stunning sight continues to be the sea of runners crossing I-10 on the Elysian viaduct in the first mile of the race. My favorite sight will always be seeing my wife and girls along the course.

With the threat of thunderstorms on Sunday morning, the organizers did an awesome job of keeping everyone informed as to what would happen in the event of violent weather in the area. As it turned out, it was wet but the thunderstorms stayed away. Thanks to all of the volunteers along the course - without your hard work this race wouldn't be possible. I get up at 4:45 a.m. and run in the cold and wet because that's what I do for fun, the race volunteers do it so I can have my fun. And thanks to the quarter million folks who turn out on the streets during the day to cheer us on. There are times during the race that I feel I'm running out onto the Cotton Bowl field to do battle with the evil Sooners.

I realize that I'm fortunate to be able to run a marathon. I'm fortunate that I live in a city like Houston that hosts a marathon. After 23 marathons, my best marathon running days are behind me but I keep pressing on because I know that one day I won't be able to.

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