Here, right now …




4:22 pm

Thursday, February 19, 2009
Meters rowed: 5,000
Time: 23:00
Pace: 2:15-16
Total Meters Rowed * : 343,178

So, here we are, 160 days since this all began. A final 5,000 meters and I finish up at 343,178 total meters rowed. That’s 213¼ miles (!) for those of you scoring at home. Honestly, I’m usually not one to get caught up in the mathematics of all this — the numbers, the times, the stats. Really, I’m not; I find they can too easily distract from the larger point, the getting out there, the doing of it. But for getting to the C.R.A.S.H.-B.’s it seemed an appropriate exercise to maintain. Still, geez: 213¼ miles! Glad I waited until now to make the conversion. From our house in York, Pennsylvania, to our place in Brooklyn, New York, followed by a circling of most of the 24-mile island of Manhattan.

It was windy on the Woodspring today.  I considered keeping the garage door closed, but no, I couldn’t. Not today, this final workout day before the C.R.A.S.H.-B.’s. The wind made it feel cold, though it real wasn’t, as the breeze swirled stray pieces of paper and a few leaves around in a circle on the middle of the floor. In truth, there was nothing at all remarkable about today’s pull, just another 5,000 easy-does-it meters on my faithful Concept2. Except that this was the last one before, before … you know.

I don’t need to do the C.R.A.S.H.-B.’s. Not really. Because I have accomplished all my goals I put to myself when I got started back on September 12. I wanted to get to the C.R.A.S.H.-B.’s as prepared as I could be while still living in the real world. Put in as many meters as I could. Do as much sprint training as I could. Get my long rows as far out there as I could. And I did. Could I have done more? Sure. I could have signed on with a coach. I could have added in some weight training. Maybe I should have. But you can do something for the first time only once. The way I did this first C.R.A.S.H.-B.’s was EXACTLY the way I wanted to do it. And there within is my accomplishment.

These past few days I have found myself thinking of the marathon I ran, back in September 1982, the Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks, Alaska. I had made those 26.2 mountainous miles my target probably 15 months before, not long after I had been hiking north of Fairbanks and found myself sucking wind as my heart pounded and the sweat ran of the tip of my nose. I was the guy who had watched his father die of a heart attack, who had promised himself he would always be in shape. Unable to complete that hike I realized that the occasional game of hoops wasn’t going to cut it, fitness wise. I was 28 — which suddenly seemed very close to 30. The next day I was out the door running, and a month or two later I made the Equinox my goal. Thus was the beginning of a beautiful relationship with being in shape that has led me to here, right now, three days to the C.R.A.S.H.-B.’s.

I remember now what I was thinking back then with the Equinox only days away. That I didn’t need to run it. No. The running of those 26.2 miles isn’t what mattered. It was the preparing for them. It was knowing that I had got myself ready, that I would be able to do it. There is wonderful satisfaction in that; indeed, a great victory.

Of course, I then did still run that Equinox.  Next up: the C.R.A.S.H.-B.’s.

* As of September 12, 2008