By Ross Forman
It’s the home stretch for the 2007 Florence Marathon, set for Nov. 25 in Italy … and I feel ready.
The last major training run as part of the National AIDS Marathon Training Program (NAMTP) was Nov. 3, along the lakefront in Chicago. Some ran 26 miles, while I ran my scheduled 24 miles.
Actually, we all ran the extra .2 miles as well, naturally.
After finishing the 24 miles, I looked a little further north and spotted a balloon arch and heard the NAMTP coaches, organizers, volunteers and other runners cheering for me, by name, no less. What a cool feeling, so I ran the last .2, with cheers and ultimately hugs all around. Coach Katie hung the NAMTP medal around my neck … that was a special moment I’ll never forget.
Never in my wildest imagination did I think I’d run 24 miles. But, through the NAMTP’s training regimen, which is based on a run-walk theory, I know I’m ready for the 26.2 miles that I’ll run in Italy. No problem with that, and no worries.
After the training run, we relaxed, stretched, ate bananas, bagels, peanut butter, Rice Krispie treats and, well, just about anything and everything around. Including some Oreo cookies, my favorites.
And that was just for an appetizer. I went with fellow runners Richard and Brad, and volunteer Andrea, to Moody’s, where we all devoured cheeseburgers and fries, and a pitcher of beer. Boy did that burger taste good, and I never thought once about the countless calories and enormous amounts of grease and fat I was putting into my body.
The last major training run also was a downer of sorts. Fellow runner Rob, who is one of the top runners in the NAMTP, had to stop after 21 of his 26 miles due to a knee injury. Hopefully he’ll on the path in Florence.
I’m always asked how I feel after the long runs and, well, I feel fine. Credit the training method, or whatever, but I truly felt fine. After lunch, I drove home and just continued my day as normal with no lingering after-affects of four-plus hours of running.
All of the running and training is done to raise funds for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. I’d be grateful if you’d consider sponsoring me and, in the process, helping AIDS Foundation of Chicago. So, please go to my website (www.firstgiving.com/rossruns) and help the AIDS Foundation of Chicago while I runto Florence. Thanks,
Ross Forman (pictured in the middle above, in case you were unsure) can be reached at: Rossco814@aol.com