By Ross Forman
I have a mix of emotions heading into the Tel Aviv Marathon on Friday morning, April 8, which will be my 11th marathon over about 3 ½ years. Let’s see:
* Excitement. Just the fact I’m traveling around the world for my next 26.2-mile journey has me super excited. It’s Lufthansa going via Frankfurt and LOT coming home via Warsaw. Sure, I’m not too thrilled with my flights, but hey, how bad can LOT’s business class truly be?! (United doesn’t fly from Chicago to Tel Aviv, or you can bet I’d be flying on United.)
* Optimism. I have a feeling that I will run a PR in Tel Aviv – that’s Personal Record to you non-runners. Just a hunch, but I’m feeling it, probably more than before any marathon. Credit goes to Shaun T and his Insanity workouts. You know, the high-intensity, seemingly-impossible workouts from the same people that produce the super-popular, always-on-TV P90X. I’ve been digging deeper with Shaun T daily in 2011. Yes, Insanity was part of my New Year’s Resolution – and I’ve stuck to it. It’s a 60-day cycle that I carried through relentlessly. My 60-days ended in early-March, yet I’m rockin’ Insanity for the next month or so en route to the starting line in Tel Aviv.
* Nervousness. Let’s face it, anytime you’re going to the Middle East, I think there are natural nerves.
* Prepared. This actually is an extension of Optimism. I’ve already run two races in 2011, and had great results in both. I set a PR at the ING Miami Half Marathon on Sunday, Jan. 30 – by more than 10 minutes over my previous best time over a 13.1-mile course. I also surpassed my rapid, pre-race goal for the 8.15-mile Great Aloha Run on Feb. 21, through the streets of Honolulu – by almost 4 minutes. Again, I’m giving credit for my running success this year to Shaun T. Losing weight, tightening up my core and a strict, healthy diet are the reasons for my running success so far in 2011. I’ve lightened the training for Tel Aviv, in terms of the number of training runs, but certainly not the amount of cardio and plyometric conditioning that I’ve done.
I will be coaching for the Team To End AIDS (T2) endurance-training program this summer, and was in St. Louis March 4-6, to attend the three-day, 22-hour USA Track & Field coaching certification course. I’m sure the training will help the T2 runners this summer – and also in case I decide to look for a job coaching the discus, pole vault, high jump, or any other track & field/cross-country activity. But I don’t see that happening. T2 training for the sold-out Bank of America Chicago Marathon (Oct. 9) kicks off April 30 – and, yes, you can still register for the Chicago Marathon through T2. I’m super excited!!
I also have joined the list of Coaches for Team Beachbody, thanks to my success with Insanity. Please check out my website, http://www.runwithross.com/ for full information. It’s great working with, and getting to know, so many other dedicated individuals through Team Beachbody, where success stories abound thanks to Insanity, P90X, Shakeology and the other motivating fitness formulas. Yes, they do work!! Give it a shot. You will be pleased; I know I am. And let me know how I can help you!
I’d love to tell you all about the Tel Aviv Marathon. In fact, I’d love to tell you, ugh, almost anything about this race beforehand. From the expected race-day weather to the course route. But that’s not going to happen. Sure, event organizers send out a regular e-newsletter, and it looks great. Problem is, it’s all in Hebrew. At least the photos look nice. Requests for an English version have not come yet. Suggestions for things to see and do in Tel Aviv?
That’s about it for now. Here’s hoping spring weather comes and stays. Bye-bye, winter!