Going the Distance

The Advocate's new resident marathoner shares the intricacies and the joys of training for the Los Angeles Marathon (his fourth!) as an HIV positive man.




I run for
endurance, not time. I do it for the challenge and
take a psychological approach to training. When I
run, I let my body relax. My upper body is
stress-free. My arms are bent without tension and my hands
and fingers are not clenched. I breathe normally. I do not
work or flex my leg muscles. I simply let my legs do
the work for me. I imagine a bungee cord suspending me
from my head and that I am bouncing up and down
without my feet touching the ground. I find this technique
immensely helpful.

In training, I
run with a pace group of ten participants. We average a
pace of 13:30 per mile. Running with such a friendly and
motivated group helps me stay on track. It’s a
morale booster.

So stay on the
lookout for me over the next few months here on
Advocate.com. I’ll let you into my world as an
HIV-positive man defying the so-called impossible to
finish my fourth 26-mile race. I will share my
obstacles and triumphs. I’ll examine my diet,
sleeping patterns, and my life in general as the big
day, March 2, comes closer and closer.

Thomas Carlyle
once said, “Endurance is patience
concentrated.” If anyone can attest to that,
it’s me.

Tags: Sports