By Ross Forman
I didn’t want to make eye-contact with anyone as I crossed the finish-line of the Tel Aviv Marathon on Friday morning, April 8.
In fact, I’ll admit that I rubbed my forehead seconds after ending the 26.2-mile run through this magical Israeli city just to hide my eyes – much how baseball players always put their glove up to their face when they talk to a teammate, so others can’t see what they’re saying.
I didn’t want anyone to see what my eyes were saying – tears of joy!
I was proud, incredibly proud. I was amazed, astonished, elated – as much as that November day in 2007, when I finished my first marathon.
This time, though, I hadn’t just finished my 11th marathon, but I did it with an exclamation!
I had multiple pre-race time goals and I didn’t surpass each, I crushed them!
I had run 10 marathons before I crossed the starting-line in Tel Aviv. When I crossed the finish-line in Tel Aviv, my time was better than any of the previous 10 marathons by an amazing 31 minutes.
Yep, I set a Personal Record (PR) in Tel Aviv my 31 frickin’ minutes!
The tears of joy were expected because I never, ever, EVER thought I’d do as well as I did.
I knew going into the Tel Aviv Marathon that I was mentally and physically ready, no doubt stronger all around than any other marathon – I just never expected to cut 31 minutes off my best time.
As many know, and I have written about it multiple times, I started the popular, high-intensity Insanity workouts in 2011 that are cardio-focused and led by Shaun T. No doubt you’ve seen Insanity featured in TV infomercials. I was, I’ll admit, skeptical of Insanity last December. But I was hooked on Insanity in January; and overjoyed with Insanity in April.
In a little more than three months of unwavering commitment, and puddles of sweat, Insanity led me to one of the greatest days of my life.
The first phone call I made from the VIP finisher’s area in Tel Aviv was to my friend Dell Brooks in Hawaii. We’ve run the Honolulu Marathon together for the past three years, and I knew he’d want to know how I did and I knew he’d be proud, and no doubt shocked. He was.
Then I called Fran Patoskie in Hawaii. She was the one who, last December, got me hooked on Insanity. As I told her by phone from Israel, if she said in mid-December that Insanity would help me cut 31 minutes off my best marathon time, I would have asked if she was insane or smoking some illegal drugs.
I then called Katie Schmid, my marathon coach, but quickly hung up the call when I realized it was about 4 a.m. back in Chicago. I didn’t think the call had actually gone through, but it had. Katie later said she thought it was some drunk calling her, so she didn’t answer, though she said she wishes she had – if she knew who and why I was calling.
Two hours after finishing, I went into the Mediterranean Sea – and boy was it cold! But it served its purpose – no need for an ice bath back at the hotel.
And the next day, I felt better than I had after any previous marathon. I truly felt I could run the day after without any problems or pain. Insanity was the reason!
I will be running two more marathons in 2011. No doubt the Honolulu Marathon in mid-December, and another in September or October. Regardless, my plan is, 10 weeks of Insanity before each, especially since Dell and I are shooting to cut 16 or 17 minutes off my Tel Aviv time and set a new PR.
Now that truly is Insanity.
PS … If you want to learn more about Insanity or P90X, which also is produced by Team Beachbody, go to my website: http://www.runwithross.com
PSS … This column of personal joy is dedicated to the deep sadness I feel over the news that a 42 year-old runner died from dehydration suffered during the Tel Aviv Marathon.