Thursday, October 27, 2011

1 Year & What I'm Running For

Forecast for this Sunday:

High of 51, Low of 42 Degress. Sunny. Wind: 4 mph. Humidity: low.

Conditions for Marathon racing: CLOSE TO long as the roads aren't wet!

Good thing the Marathon isn't Saturday-good grief it might even snow that day(which dear god hopefully it doesn't stick) will feel more like late November the way the weather looks right now. I'm thinking arm warmers and gloves...I can always throw them off during the race. But I have a feeling I will need at least a pair of gloves out there.

I am super pumped and ready to go. On Wednesday I did a dress rehearsal 3 miles on the track at goal pace. All I can say is if what I did on the track is my goal pace I'm in for one serious race. I will go out conservative though in the early miles. My goal is to run as evenly as possible and just run down anyone in front of me those last 10 miles. I believe I have a solid chance of getting on the podium(top 3) in this race. Of course it depends on who shows up. I did beat a guy in Philly last month who was 3rd in MCM last year. I am in the shape of my life and have had the best running year of my life...PRing in everything between 1 mile and 13.1 miles...

The first part of this race is just a run-seriously. I must relax and stay calm and NOT GO OUT TOO FAST. This is critical for me since statistically the marathon is where I have failed the most of all my races. I have run badly at my last 3 marathons: MCM in 2009, Shamrock 2010, and Chicago 2010. I have learned to master any other distance...but the 26.2 is certainly my challenge-it is my match. And I will give it a damn good fight this time around.

But in addition to running for personal goals and personal glory, I will run it for someone as well. That someone is my cousin Jeff Klein, who took his own life almost exactly a year from this coming Sunday's Marine Corps Marathon. He was 23 1/2.

Jeff and I shared many precious memories together, and his competitive spirit combined with a wonderful sense of humor made us 2 of a kind. We always pushed eachother past our own limits-I remember when we went on and on trying to break ping pong records. We would find a way to break records by playing videogames. And of course, we made eachother laugh until we couldn't stop crying. Jeff was also a really great basketball player, and unlike him, I was never any good at I just loved watching him play while I attempted to play 1/1000 of what he could play. His brothers take after him as well. When I was young though I was never really into American sports...I was like a European only focused on soccer...and then got into running. Jeff's whole family has a passion for all American sports, and though I got into college football once I went to VaTech, I have found I have grown to watching other sports Jeff loved more and more often because it reminds me of Jeff. I feel joy when I watch anything(particularly comedies LOL) that reminds me of him though, or when we get together with family and I think of the favorite foods Jeff and I loved to eat together(and jokes!).

I have found ways in which Jeff lives on in many areas of my life, and that includes my running. His competitiveness and joy for life lives on in me and I enjoy my running more, and enjoy racing more! I thank you, Jeff-for this new joy I have found. Sometimes I sense he would be very happy for me now...because I am happy. And that's what he would've wanted. Jeff wanted everyone to be happy. And he knows that there's no place better for me a year from his passing than running 26.2 miles out on the streets of DC this Sunday. Sunday will be a day where I will celebrate Jeff's life and what a positive effect he's had on mine.

If in position, I will run to win and run with all my heart those last 6.2 miles. I will leave nothing left out there. Not one single step. And Jeff will be there with me every step of the way. Jeff always loved cheering on the underdog in sports, and I leave this video as a symbol of his inspiration for EVERYONE running Sunday: Good luck to all the runners I've coached this Sunday-I'll be thinking of you all as I tackle the course with you!

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