Monday, September 05, 2005

Sweat and Glory

The official results haven't been posted yet, but according to my stopwatch I finished the 20 km New Haven Road Race in 1:40:19. That's about 14 minutes faster than the last time I ran this race, in 2003, and 3 minutes faster than my 34 year old legs did it in 2002! It's about 8 minutes slower than my first time running New Haven four years ago, but I have a lot more grey hair now, so I'll take it.

I also picked up my pace from the Iron Horse Half Marathon that I ran in June - only about 7 seconds per mile faster (by way of this cool pace calculator), but over 12.43 miles that adds up to a sweet 90 seconds gain. My average was 8:04 minutes per mile, so I'm getting close to the magic 8 minute miles that I'd like to see for at least the first half of the Hartford Marathon next month (though I doubt I'll ever again see the 7:24 splits from my younger days).

Now I've got about 35 days to get ready to double the distance of these races. Last week I ran a 14.4, and I'd like to bump that up by about a mile per run, running twice a week. If I can put myself through 20 miles about a week before Hartford, the marathon itself will be in sight.

Why go through all the pain? Well, in part because the pain is pleasurable. In part because being in shape increases the odds of living longer, and having a better quality of life during those extra years. In part because running a marathon is a challenge, a goal that passes from impossibility to reality only through constant effort. In part because married life and multiple jobs have put 25 pounds on my belly since my last marathon 4 years ago - now that my regular training run is 13 miles or more, I can drop a half pound every time I lace up my shoes.

And in part because the project that I started 10 years ago is about to run out of funding, and I really need raise funds to keep it afloat. The project gets better and better, and is headed toward being the tool that anybody on earth can use to learn any other language (in the long run - right now we're still perfecting the platform that will make the larger ambition possible). By running the Hartford Marathon I hope to raise the $14,550 that is necessary to meet the requirements for matching funds for a grant to which we recently applied, which will really push the project toward fulfilling multi-lingual dreams. I'm putting my body on the line in the hopes that people will sponsor my run and thereby raise the funds the project needs. If you haven't sponsored me, please please please click on my Marathon page and chip in what you can. Every little bit really does help, and the long term benefit of a free, high-quality educational resource is, I hope and believe, worthy of your support. So thanks in advance!

I won't use much more of this blog space to ramble on about running - but while my heart was still pumping from the race, I thought I'd digress from my usual rants. For now, though, it is definitely past time for a shower...


Blogger Pen Ultimate said...

The official New Haven Road Race results are in. Finishing time was 1:40:09 - pretty much middle of the pack, and a little low for my age group. Three more years and I'll move to the next age bracket, but it looks like I'll still be a solid middle, unless I move to Iten, Kenya and work out with the big boys.

8:49 PM  

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