My Mini Cooper - on loan from a very kind friend. Who just happens to be British - not that you'd ever have guessed...
If you're looking for inspiration, look no further. Read the incredible story of Dick and Rick Hoyt. To whet your appetite, here's the first paragraph:
'I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans*. Work nights to Pay for their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots. But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck. Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars -- all in the same day (doing the Ironman Triathlon). Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?'
[With thanks to James at Narragansett Rowing Club for sending me this story.]
* For non-golfers, here's the definition of a Mulligan
Me and my big mouth. If you read yesterday's blog, you'll know that last night I signed up to run a marathon with UltraMarathon Man Dean Karzanes - a rash move inspired by a fit of guilt after a particularly over-indulgent weekend in the Napa Valley. When I woke up this morning and remembered what I'd done, there was an odd mix of emotions.
It was a kind of giggly feeling - a combination of 'Waaaah, what was I thinking of?!' plus a sense of anticipation and excitement, that powerful sense of urgent purpose that I've been missing since I finished the Atlantic row. I felt like a kid waking up and realising it's their birthday.
Even if I had been thinking about wimping out, as soon as I logged on to my email I discovered that was no longer an option. There was a message, via my website, from the UltraMarathon Man himself.
"I am delighted and honored that Roz will be running a marathon with me in New Jersey. As a big fan of hers, I can hardly contain my excitement! Roz is a true inspiration and hero of mine, and I am hopeful that you can pass this message along to her from me."
No way! YOU are a huge inspiration and hero to ME!
I was given a copy of your book at the Timex stand at the Outdoor Retailer show just over a week ago. I couldn't put it down. Since the Atlantic row I've really struggled to find my motivation - seemed I'd used up all my willpower and determination for 2006 out there on the ocean. But your book gave me the impetus I needed to get going again.
I am in your part of the world at the moment - I am temporarily based in Woodside, about 25 miles south of San Francisco. I just chose the New Jersey run because:
a) it is marginally more likely that I will be in that area (briefly) at the start of November, and
b) because I need as much time as I can get to prepare, having lost a frightening amount of fitness since arriving in Antigua, and
c) I reckoned that it might be one of your slower races, before your final flourish in New York, so I might have a chance of keeping up with you!
Good luck with your final preparations for the Endurance 50. Respect!
So that's it. Even if I wanted to, there's no backing out now. For better or worse (probably worse) I'm headed for New Jersey...
You know how sometimes you have to plunge yourself into a commitment before you have a chance to think about it too much? And then tell everybody about it before you change your mind? And then it's too late and you're irrevocably committed? Oh mon dieu, what have I done?!
I have just signed up to run with Dean Karzanes on the 49th of his 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days in 50 states - I plan to run with him in New Jersey on 4th November. His website assures me that he will be aiming for a finishing time of 4:30 to 5:00. Given that my PB was 3:19, on the face of it that doesn't sound too challenging.
The big difference is; this time I am giving myself less than 3 months to prepare. I've done two marathons before - New York in 1998 and London in 2001 - but both times I gave myself at least 6 months to get ready. I have rarely felt as unfit and overweight as I do now. Have I bitten off more than I can chew?
Or maybe this is just exactly what I need to get me back on the dietary straight and narrow, and to give a much-needed fillip to my training regime.
It's going to be tough. But if Dean can do 50 marathons in 50 days, a total of 1,310 miles, surely I can find it in myself to trot out a teensy-weensy little 26.2...