The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, January 05, 2009

Never Say Never Again: Marathon Version

Back around 1982, I worked on the financing for a James Bond film called Never Say Never Again. The title was an "in joke" since the movie starred Sean Connery as Agent 007, this after he had sworn never to do another Bond film.

The reason I bring this up is that I just committed to run the 2009 New York Marathon on behalf of Ohel. In 1995, upon finishing the New York Marathon and realizing how stupid it was to do a second marathon, I promised MHW that I would never do one again. I wonder if I have to do hatoras nedarim?

After finishing my fifth Alyn Ride and knowing that I wouldn't be going back next year, I decided that I didn't want to give up the approximately $25,000 that I've been able to raise each year for tzedakah. I figured that I could raise a like amount of money if I did the marathon and made the mistake of expressing that thought to the hanhalah at Ohel. The next thing you know, I'm in.

Since I still prefer riding my bike to running and have no intention of giving it up, I will be training in a wholly unconventional way. My plan is to run during the week and do very long rides on weekends. I will, of course, throw in an occasional half-marathon to train for the full marathon but I have no plans to do the kind of long runs that one is supposed to do before a marathon. I believe that if I can ride hard for seven hours, I can run at a 9 mile pace for four.

Anyway, that's my position and I'm sticking to it.

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  • At 5:08 PM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    Just curious. Why are you no longer doing the Alyn ride?

    You covered the first couple of days of your last ride, will you be writing more?

  • At 6:10 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    Hi Steve

    I will be posting the rest of the summaries over time.

    I'm not going mainly because it's hard to leave MHW alone with the little one for ten days (and often more because I combine the ride with a business trip). and, after five rides, there's not much more to ride in Israel that I haven't done. Finally, although I managed to keep up with the challenge ride, it was crazy intense and I'm not sure I want to do that again. On the other hand, for sure I don't want to do the regular ride.

  • At 8:19 PM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    Good luck in your training. Put me on your Ohel mailing list. Remember, you are 14 yrs older. DO NOT underestimate the toll running a marathon will take on your aged joints.

    Do you swim? Why now go for the whole ball of wax and become IronMoc!

    I do remember you once saying that you'd like to continue doing Alyn until you're to old to do it! That being said, I don't know if you recall the cathartic moment near the base of Har Tavor where I "swore" I'd never do this again. Looks like my oldest daughter will be doing a year of sherut le'umi at Alyn next year. She wants to repeat the ride and 2 of her siblings are expressing interest also. I may wind up doing the "Never Say Never Again: Alyn Version"

  • At 9:07 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    I am perhaps the worst swimmer in the entire world. It is more accurate to call me a sinker. Tri's are out of the question although I may do some duathlons.

    Although I am 14 years older, I am at least ten pounds lighter and much smarter about stretching and nutrition. And, I DON'T underestimate the toll a marathon takes; that's why I'm going to do a lot of my training on the bike.

    And, just remember to keep an eye on the mechanics when it comes to your daughter if you know what I mean. :-)


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