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April 29th, 2012
09:20 AM ET

Letters to the President #1196: 'Running again'

Reporter's Note: I don’t often get letters anymore. Seems like no one likes to write them. Or maybe they just don’t write them to me. Meanwhile, I write to President Obama each and every day.

Dear Mr. President,

You will be shocked to hear that I am, as you read this, once again out running a marathon.

This is the second year for the Gettysburg Marathon, and I enjoyed it so much last year during its inaugural running that I just had to go back. It starts out on the edge of town and near the edge of the battlefield, winds around through those beautiful Pennsylvania hills, and ends up back where it started.

Having just completed the 50-mile Bull Run Run two weeks ago, I am not entirely sure how my legs are going to hold up. They feel remarkably good, a lot better than they ought to under the circumstances, but you never know. I could get out there, crank off 5 or 10 miles and find my whole system falling apart; knees aching, lungs burning, stomach churning.

But at least for the moment, I have faith that this will not be the case. I’ve trained so much over the past year-and-a-half, that this should not really be much more than a nice jaunt in the countryside. I have no intention of trying to run fast, since I have slowly learned the invaluable lesson that in distance running the real goal is a steady pace. If I can simply keep gliding along smoothly and hit 15 or 20 miles feeling fresh, then the rest should be a piece of crumb cake.

Ummm... Crumb cake. That sounds good. One of the lovely asides of all the mileage I’ve been cranking is that I can eat an awful lot of delicious things with no apparent side effects. Oh, I still try to watch my cholesterol a bit, and that sort of thing... it’s not like I’ll be gnawing on a stick of butter as I run... but I can enjoy many treats that previously would have once had me swelling up like a Macy’s balloon.

As always, if you happen to read this really early I suppose you could come out and I might be able to finagle an entry into the race for you. I’ve exchanged e-mails with the race director, so maybe he could make it happen. If not, you can tour the battlefield while I run and we’ll snag a burger afterward. Otherwise, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Hope your weekend is progressing nicely.

Regards,

Tom