As the dreaded taper week is rapidly coming to a close, I have been left with some extra time on my hands to reflect back upon my training for this epic race. I can’t believe the race is almost here! It literally feels like I have been on fast forward since the Boston Marathon, still riding high from that perfect day and race experience. This is what I imagine Mario feels like when he scores one of those sweet flashy stars.
Boston stole my heart but the world on the street is NYC is even better. I’m not sure how that is even remotely possible but I’m willing to take on the challenge and decide for myself. Mr. Mollyberries, the die-hard Yankees fan that he is would probably re-propose to me if I told him NYC was greater than Boston. Seriously, this guy hates all things Boston, to the point he won’t even drink Samuel Adams beer, and he loves him some suds!
Since April I took a couple of weeks off and then ramped up my training again. I was lucky enough to stay healthy all of these months and was able to partake in multiple races including 5 K’s, 10 K’s, 13.1’s, my first marathon relay and walked a 10K with my mom. I also did some things I’ve never had the pleasure of doing before, I paced my brother in his first 13.1, and ran the last half of the Columbus Marathon with a first-time marathoner and great friend, Kimi!
This being my ninth marathon attempt, I’ve learned a lot over the years about myself and each race and experience always sets me up for some sort of lesson or epiphany.
This training plan took me to weeks of the highest mileage I’ve ever completed, I survived, walked away uninjured and loved every mile of it. I know I can dig deeper than I ever thought possible and my training this time is a sure-fire indicator of that.
I’ve learned to do some races just for ‘fun’. Now running as hard as I can is insanely fun for me. I love a great sweat session and pushing myself harder than the previous race. But I’ve also been given the opportunity to help others reach their goals. Helping my brother travel that 13.1 distance, and getting Kimi to the final 0.2 of the marathon gave me a different perspective on distance running and racing, and it was still fun! But not THAT different of a perspective, actually it was more of a reminder. See, I was once in their shoes. I seriously was looking at a version of myself dead in the face on those mornings, albeit a version 7 years younger. When I first tested my legs at the 13.1 an 26.2 distance I was nowhere near running the times I am running now. I had dreams of qualifying for Boston but after my first failed attempt I seriously questioned my sanity and if I ever wanted to run a marathon again. Running with Sean and Kimi were both humbling and confidence-boosting experiences at the exact same time. I felt like I was literally reliving experiences from a previous chapter in my life and it was so, so, so amazing. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you run a 2:XX:XX marathon or a 8:XX:XX marathon or anything in between. Everyone out there has a different story, motivation and victory to celebrate once they cross the finish line and get that medal draped around their neck.
I’ve realized how truly blessed I am. I have a supportive husband who understands what it’s like to be an athlete with goals and the hours devoted towards reaching those goals.
I have a fabulous mother who is the world’s greatest cheerleader. She is coming with me to the Big Apple and is going to send me off with a good luck kiss and give me the greatest congratulatory hug once I find her after the finish.
My family, though they may not always understand my marathon madness, completely support me and will be cheering for me from afar.
And fantastic friends, some who have sipped the marathon kool-aid, others who have not, love me all the same and have always put up with me prioritizing my long runs over nights of debauchery.
I’m healthy, happy and injury free.
I have a job that I love that aligns perfectly with the time needed to feed into my athletic endeavors and provides me with enough monetary compensation so I am able to travel to and partake in epic races.
I finally feel like I have found the perfect balance in my life between being social, professional and athletic and marathoning fits in seamlessly with all that I have in my life. I’m a pretty lucky gal, agreed?
So on Sunday morning when I toe the line in Staten Island, I hope to take some time to reflect and show gratitude for all that I have in my life. For the ability to lace up my shoes another day and the opportunity to race in such an amazing event. I have time goals in mind, but in the end I just want to know I finished that race having gave it my all, and had a blast doing so.
4 days until the NEW YORK CITY MARATHON!!!!