Today I created the possibility for running in the Snickers Mardi Gras Festival Marathon in 2011. This marathon is held each year in Albany, Georgia on March 5, 2011. I have completed my hiatus from running. My long break from running came when I completed a 62 mile trail run in January 2009. I had to stop running because I could not afford to buy running shoes due to my immense credit card debt. I have since paid off all of my credit cards, started a new job in a new city, so I started running again this month.
Starting to run again allowed me to break a barrier that I have been through before. Even though I am nowhere near to the physical condition I was in when I ran 100k in 16 hours, my mental state is unstoppable. I know that I can train myself back to the level so that I can run 26 miles on the road. I had great coaching when I was taking running classes in Austin Texas. I am starting off slow and I will gradually build up my running distance and speed through patience and balanced workouts.
Albany Georgia does not have a huge network of trails or high end running stores like Austin Texas. There are a lot of things that do not exist in Albany. The closest Whole Foods is three hours away in Atlanta. I cannot remember when the last time that I say any aircraft in the sky over Albany. There is a regional airport, but I never see anything flying over Albany, no helicopters or single engine planes.
So instead of lamenting about what is not in Albany, Georgia I am cherishing what is in this city. I work at Albany State University (ASU). The ASU campus is right in the Flint River. There is a paved river trail that goes from downtown 2.4 miles to a lake created by a dam. Having access to a track and an earth dike at the ASU campus gives me a place to do some hill work and some speed work right next to my office.
I do have a renewed confidence in how I run. When I first started running (again) in 2001, I had never run for more than 10k. I had stopped running way beck in my mid 30’s. I ran 100k when I was 56, and I loved every minute of the run. Now after completing 4.5 miles today, my longest walk run in Albany, I do not have to wonder if I can run any further, I know I can. Being in the present and knowing that you are unstoppable in your goals is powerful.