Well, the Maccabiah Games are over. I’m not sure where to begin… The half marathon in Ramat Gan in Israel was one of the most difficult races I’ve ever run. The race started at 9:20 at night to beat the heat. But it was still VERY humid! Between the constant incline/decline/incline/decline of the course that trashed my quads (they changed the course a few days before the race… oh those sneaky Israelis!) and the very humid conditions that soaked my clothes, shoes, and even my Lycra underwear (yes, there’s a such thing as Lycra underwear!) within the first kilometer (they mark race courses in kilometers outside of the U.S.) and sent three runners on the U.S. masters team to the hospital for dehydration, it became more a matter of survival than a race. I and my teammates on the U.S. 40-49-year-old team must have survived the conditions better than athletes from other countries, because we won a silver medal behind the Israeli team and ahead of the South African team!
Maccabiah Games Silver Medal:
Although I’m of course happy with a silver medal, I’m disappointed that I didn’t run the race I wanted to run. I ran nearly 8 minutes slower than I had run for a half marathon in San Diego just 7 weeks prior. I wanted to be in control of the race the whole way, finishing strong like I usually do. Instead, my pace got slower as the race went on, and I found myself waiting for the finish line to come. In the second half of the race, every time I made a transition from uphill to downhill or vice versa, my quads felt like someone had beat them with a hammer. There were even a couple of times during the race that I asked God for help. I figured if I’m going to ask God for help, Israel is the place to do it. On a day when everyone ran slower than what they’re capable of, I can’t complain too much. But, boy, would I have liked to run strong.
Here’s a picture taken before the race of me and my teammates in the 40-49 age division: