With just 4 days between me and the marathon, I thought it might be fun to give you an insider’s look at what’s going on in my crazy brain right about now…
First, I’ve been thinking that 16 weeks is a long damn time. Like 4 months long! I guess you could say I’ve been interested in running the NYC Marathon since I was a kid watching my dad do it. Although my mom likes to remind me that when she told me he was coming (pre-runner tracking days), my response was “I don’t care! I’m cold.” What that bratty little girl didn’t know back then is what a huge deal it was that daddy was making his way into Central Park! My dad was running the freaking NYC Marathon! And it only took me 20 years to follow in his footsteps. And 4 long months to train for it. You can read all about my training here, but basically I couldn’t have asked for a better training cycle. No major injuries, some pretty great long runs and a new found love for CrossFit.
And speaking of CrossFit…I can’t wait to get back. I miss lifting weights and feeling super uncomfortable all the time and pushing my body and mind to their limits. I miss feeling myself becoming stronger.
Speaking of not feeling strong, are my hips really tight and weak feeling, or is this that taper crazy you all talk about?! I’ve been struggling with hip tightness (it’s real, I swear) and I’m begging the running gods to make it go away before Sunday. I laid my hip flexor directly on the little green ball of terror yesterday and had a pain-free run last night, soooo maybe it’s better? Or I made it up. Who knows, really.
Another thing my taper brain has been harping on is the WHY. I’m working on my mental game for the marathon and everything I read says that during the tough times you need to go back to WHY you run. Wait, why do I run? I don’t know. So many people (including incredible friends and colleagues of mine) run for charities. They run for lost loved ones. They run because it helped them lose weight or it has taken the place of a negative outlet like drinking or drugs. They have a REASON. I mean, there are reasons I like to run, but none of them are earth shattering. And most of them feel selfish. I haven’t lost anyone (thank goodness!!!). I donate to as many charities as I can afford to and have fundraised for a few smaller races, but have never committed to a MARATHON for a charity organization. I run because it makes me a better me. It makes me feel good and clears my mind. Running washes away my tough days and reminds me that I’m lucky to be alive. It has introduced me to some of the greatest people in the world. People who do have a WHY. Which makes me think, maybe they’re my why! (This is getting a little crazy, but bear with me…)
I’m beyond thankful for everyone who has inspired, encouraged and supported me along the way. They push me to be better, to be stronger, to feel happier, whether they realize it or not. I’m thankful for Leticia, a girl whose smile and positive energy lights up my world. Seriously, I think she smiled through the entire 26.2 miles of the 2013 NYC marathon, pain and all. I’m thankful for Kristin (and Henry & Lamby) for offering up advice and encouragement along the way. I will forever be grateful for my buddy Kara, who was the first person to make me cry over this marathon experience. Not easy to do! I owe a gigantic thank you to my coach, who has pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me dream bigger. I’ll also thank her in advance and apologize for any rage she encounters as she runs with me on Sunday. Last but not least, I definitely would not have survived this training cycle without my running buddy, Beth. She was/is always the voice in my head telling me to not think and just run. And to believe in myself.
While we’re at it, I’m so incredibly thankful for my dad. He was my first running inspiration, even if I wasn’t the greatest cheerleader back then. When I struggle with that WHY, he is always the first person to pop into my head. If I’m fighting through a tough run, I imagine him out for his run, head down, shoulders shrugged up. Sometimes I pretend he’s running with me. Other times I just use the image to bust out of my own funk–if he can do it, I can do it. He did run NYC in 1995 and 1996 and in 2014, I will run it too. This time, he’ll be cheering ME on. And I know he won’t care how cold he is.
And since this apparently has turned into a big giant thank you post (which I sort of feel like is a jinx), I can’t forget to thank the person who has endured more crazy during this training than anyone else. Boyfriend has been the one who makes me get out of bed on the days I don’t feel like running. He has gone out to get me bags of ice when I text him that I’m 2 miles away and need an ice bath, STAT! He biked beside me for 20 freakin miles! He has watched me apply Body Glide to pretty much every area of my body…so sexy! He has picked up my spirits when I get down on myself and literally picked me up on the side of the road after a run gone bad. He deserves a medal after all of this. Unfortunately, I get the medal. But he gets my endless appreciation and love, which is sort of nice too.
Now moving on from the thanking portion of the post, let’s get to how excited I am. I’m excited to finally accomplish my goal of running a marathon and ultimately, the NYC marathon. I always said I didn’t want NYC to be my first marathon and looking back I think that was stupid to say. I was just scared to take on the greatest marathon in the world. And #allthebridges. Now I’m no longer scared, but thrilled to be chasing my dream through 26.2 miles of MY city. With so many of my friends and family there to cheer me on. I. AM. SO. EXCITED.
More than that…I’m ready. Despite reading every race recap I can find and watching every video about the NYC Marathon, there is only so much I can do to prepare myself now. I’ve put in the work and am finished training. I’ve picked all of my favorite runners brains about everything from what to wear while waiting on Staten Island to what restaurant to eat at post-race. I put my name on my race shirt.
But there is no way I can predict how I’m going to feel on Sunday until I’m there and running. I could have a freakin amazing race, or I could ride the struggle bus for hours. I’m preparing for option 1. But I’ll still finish if option 2 shows up instead. In just 4 days, I’ll become a marathoner. You only get one first marathon. Mine just happens to be my victory lap around New York.
Any last minute advice for me? Will you be out there cheering? TELL ME WHERE AND I WILL FIND YOU. Oh, and don’t forget to
stalk track me! Bib #46448.