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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

I woke up before my alarm. For anyone who has ever woken minutes before their alarm, you understand. Part of me knew I had to get up and part of me just wanted to lay there in the predawn hours.

(The calm before the storm?)

What if I was wrong and I fail at this?

(Roll over; Back to sleep.)

No, no. I started this journey. I have to see it through to its conclusion.

(Even if it ends in disaster?)

In September of 1962, President Kennedy said these are immortal words:

“...Not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.”

Or as the sign in Peter’s home said,

‘Nothing grows in your comfort zone.’

(What if I decide not to do anything?)

Canadian rock band RUSH once sang the line, “Even if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

(Sometimes, I really hate you.)

I know.

I put my feet on the ground and the difference between the floor temperature (70°) and the temperature of the souls of my feet (98.6°) woke me right up.

(Where did you learn that?)

The Gemara. Tractate of Yoma. Wanna keep someone awake? Have them walk on a cold stone floor.

I dressed, I prayed and then I started in on the lox and cream cheese sandwich my wife had made for me.

(How do you race on a belly full of lox?)

I was not going to make the same mistake of under-fueling carbohydrates that I had done on the New York City Marathon.

(But how do you eat a double portion of lox at 6 a.m.?)

Dunno. Practice?

The race was slated to start at 102 street in the center of Central Park. I was hoping for a parking spot on Central Park West and 102 street, but settled for a spot on 105.

(And we care, why?)

In classic literature no details are throwaway.

(Are you equating yourself with classic literature?)

Only to the extent that I had to read it in school. Just pay attention to the details. They become important later.

Central Park in the middle of November is a collection of barren trees and scantily clad runners under a cloud covered sky.

(Enough with the flowery language. How cold was the park?)

It was 38°, so I wrapped myself in more layers than a swaddled baby, I walked into the park following other people wearing shorts.

(Why were you wearing shorts in 38°?)

Remember my formula for the amount of heat runners generate while exercising?

(Yes, yes. Please continue.)

There, on a paved road in Central Park, 300 people gathered. A select few, who had come to challenge themselves.

(With all of the layers of clothing you guys looked like the world’s best dressed collection of homeless people.)

It was surprising how many of the 300 runners I actually knew.

(Birds of a feather...)

This race consisted of a five mile loop, followed by eight, four mile loops.

Nine loops sounded better than 37 miles, so as I lined up at the start, I focused on that. I figured that four mile loop would go by quickly.

Or so I thought...


David Roher is a USAT certified marathon and triathlon coach. He is a veteran special educator and a contributing writer for The Jewish Link. David can be reached at [email protected]