In about 24 hours, I will be running the Inaugural Brooklyn Marathon, 9 times around Prospect Park in Brooklyn (duh). That is 6 times the full inner loop plus 3 times the lower loop. The course sounds monotonous, especially compared to the NYC Marathon course, which touches all five boroughs. Perhaps next year, the BM will cover other areas of Brooklyn instead of just Prospect Park.
It will not be the first time I run a marathon. I actually did that about 15 years ago, in the NYC Marathon. I even did it twice. The first year I got in through the lottery. The second year I was on standby and pretty much gave up but then I actually got selected! Even though I was unemployed at the time and single, my "training" consisted of just a morning run to Astoria Park plus perhaps 3 miles around the track. I did not sign up for any races - no LSD like a 15K or Half Mary, no 20-mile run on my own before the big day. No social networks to learn from the pros or get encouragements from cyberspace friends. My finish time was 6 hours 15 minutes the first year and worse the next year. Back then the New York Times printed every finisher's name and I still have those regular newspaper somewhere in the attic. Today, I understand the NYT only list people who finish with 4 hours and change, and only some special edition has every finisher's name.
With all the training the past two years, it seems like an easy goal for me to beat my younger self. About two weeks ago I completed a 20-mile run in about 4 hours. It was a lonely pre-dawn run from home to Chinatown, over the Manhattan Bridge, then back home over the Brooklyn Bridge. Perhaps on race day, the cheering and excitement will nudge me move faster and complete the race in five hours. Even if that stretch to 5:30 I still beat my younger self.
To quote Steve Lastoe, organizer of the Brooklyn Marrathon, GOTTA RUN!!!