Monday, April 16, Dr. David Albert was not counseling at the University, but was instead in Boston, Massachusetts running the Boston Marathon in the 90 degree weather.
“I’ve been an avid runner since I was 16. I’m 43 now,” Albert said via email.
After 27 years of running Albert finds himself lucky to have had a high school coach, named Sally Knight, who believed in her runners, and never let them “burn out.”
Much to the misfortune of Albert, the Boston Marathon did not necessarily end the way he had anticipated.
Instead of crossing the finish line, he found himself in the medical tent suffering from dehydration.
“That’s one of the challenges of marathon running: your training is largely in your hands, but the weather is out of your control.”
This was Albert’s third Boston Marathon.
But Albert did not give up in Boston. As a runner he strives to get out on the road every day.
He is now married with two children so squeezing in runs is not as easy as it may have once been.
“Running has been a constant for me and I am certainly healthier, happier, and more productive as a result,” he said
This means that he may not run the times he used to, but he still makes that extra effort to fit a run into his schedule.
He has to get up early and run in the mornings, which means cold, dark runs in the winter, but the time to have to himself is worth the extra effort.
“I do my best thinking while I run,” Albert said.
He does not listen to music, this way it is just him and the open road. Albert runs almost every day. If his body needs a break, he will take a day or two off.
“I increase my mileage as a marathon approaches, with a long run every other week culminating in two or three runs over 20 miles. Then I taper off a bit before the race. After the race I take a few days off and take it easy for a while – until it is time to start the cycle again,” he said.
Albert generally runs two or three marathons per year.
He has run the Hartford ING Marathon three times and last year he ran the 26.2 mile course in 3:00:02. As well as the Hartford Marathon, Albert ran himself ragged running in the New York Marathon a mere two weeks after the Hartford Marathon.
Albert said, “Your body needs more time to recover and I won’t be trying that again any time too soon.”
He said that he is more or less always training for a marathon.
The reason is that he has a love for running, more than the races themselves. It is a time to stay healthy, while doing what he loves.
He does not necessarily pay attention to his diet, but when he is increasing his mileage he knows to eat enough to make up for all of the calories he is burning.
The training gives him a reason to be on the road.
“My kids enjoy watching me race. I hope I’m setting a good example for them,” Albert said.
Albert’s advice for beginners is that running takes time. One cannot feel good unless he or she is in shape.
Albert said, “Be patient and if you don’t enjoy running – you will. It’s a truism that you always feel better after a run. I’ve been at it for nearly 30 years and I still find that to be the case…you don’t have to run a marathon – but you could if you set your mind to it.”