Inspiration for Race Day

Inspiration. It’s not so much where it comes from as when it comes … and it always seems to be at the right time. For me, inspiration for perhaps my biggest athletic challenge in a decade comes from a friend I haven’t spoken to in two decades.

As you might have guessed by now, I have training the last two months for Sunday’s Pittsburgh Marathon  ( for me, it will be the half-marathon because I have only lost half my senses preparing for this ). Thanks to some inspiration from a friend of mine, I started running two months ago … which says something because I had never ran more than 5K in my entire life. Now, I am up to 10 miles.

However, I still have my doubts about Sunday. As I said, I have been running 10 not 13.1 and recently my calves have started to tighten up when I run.   Also, there is the mental challenge when you are sharing the road with 10,000 of your closest friends. All that being said, I do have some doubts.

That’s when inspiration stepped in.

I got a message on my LinkedIN account from one of my best friends from high school. His name is Ken and now works for a company in San Francisco. I had not seen him at any of the reunions and probably haven’t talked to him since graduation. In high  school, we were both athletes but while football was my game he was the captain of the cross-country team. The man could run.

He sent me a message saying he saw that I had an account and just wanted to say hi and see what I was up to. Ken’s life has certainly gone onward and upward. He’s not an exec at a financial services company in California and has a wife and two kids. He also is training for a triathlon. Looking at his picture, its obvious time has taken nothing away from his athletic look. 

He also wished me luck on Sunday. I really thought that was nice. I mean here I am worried about a half marathon and he’s about to take on the most grueling physical challenge known to man. It kind of puts what I am doing in perspective .. and motivates me as well. I mean, if he can do a triathlon then I can do a lousy half marathon.

Here’s to everyone getting ready to hit the streets and welcome back the Pittsburgh Marathon. Let’s just hope its cool Sunday morning. 51 would be perfect for me.

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