Encountering Farpoint

29 08 2011

“Encounter at Farpoint” was the pilot episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Farpoint Station was thought to be an outpost constucted on the planet Deneb IV by a race called the Bandi.  Instead it turned out to be an entity which they had enslaved and disguised as a starbase.  It occurred to me during my 16 MILE LONG RUN yesterday that this marathon quest is similar to the Farpoint Mission.

First the name:  quite obviously the farthest point to which I will ever have raced.  And then the more subtle facet:  this race as not just a destination or an event but an entity, one that has seemingly swallowed my summer.  And the last bit — just like the Star Trek episode was the first for a new generation of characters on the Enterprise — I will also join a new crew:  the 0.15% of Americans who have run a marathon.  But honestly, I will still be so glad when it’s over!

I have never run 16 miles before.  Having walked it a couple of times when training for the Avon 2-day walk back in 2008, I had no doubt I would get it done but I had no idea what it would feel like.  My “running” which is actually run/walk intervals, even as wimpy is it may seem to those who regularly bust out 7:00-8:00 minute miles, is still more strenuous than a walk.  It challenged me and there were times (at 5 miles and at 8 miles) that I thought, “oh screw this…..what the hell am I doing this for?” and wanted to quit.  But I didn’t.  There were moments in that last mile that I was really tired and starting to get achy and counting the steps until I was done.  But I managed to keep going.  Thinking that I still have to find a way to make it 10 EXTRA MILES beyond that 16 is just a bit daunting at the moment, but I know I’ll get there.  So I’m glad the weather and I could finally mesh our schedules to make that run possible.  It was a character-builder and a confidence-booster.  And I’m only a teeny bit sore today.  Nice.

T minus 4 weeks and counting to the Berlin Marathon.   Next goal:  a 20-miler.

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Training in the last week:

August 21:  5 miles
August 22:  off
August 23:  8.8 miles (would have been more but interrupted by a thunderstorm)
August 24:  Yoga
August 25:  3 miles
August 26:  personal training session
August 27:  off

On the training table:  less junk than usual but still not stellar

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