Which means that NYC Marathon = 10, then…
Late last year, before I’d even run a half marathon, much less a full marathon, I decided that maybe, just maybe, I’d want to run the NYC Marathon. It was probably after watching my amazing friend Laurel qualify for Boston at the 2009 NYC Marathon.
At the time, it seemed like it was a goal that’d be really far out of reach. I was approaching my goal weight, and I’d already given up so many nights out (or cut them short) so that I could wake up to work out with Joel. Did I really want to do that for 9 races and volunteer at one race? And even after I did that, did I really want to run a marathon? Did I really think I could do it? I don’t know if I blogged about doing the 9+1 program until I thought achieving both the 9+1 goal and the marathon goal were possible.
BUT TODAY. TODAY! I finished my ninth race (technically 8th—one race was double credit), and—HOLY SHIT!—I will be running the 2011 NYC Marathon.
Per usual, I overslept a bit and was running late. I got up to 102nd and 5th, at the start, around 7:30. My plan was to pick up my packet, check my bag with my coat (I don’t usually bring a coat or check a bag, but I was freezing after this race last year, so I brought a coat today), use the bathroom and then run the damn thing.
Well! Somehow I missed on the website that packet pickup was actually at the NYRR headquarters, 13 blocks from the start, so I had to hustle down there to pick up my packet. Walking down, I thought “well maybe this won’t be so bad. Maybe I can use the bathroom there, and I’ll be so much smarter than everyone else using the Port-a-Potties…” Well, NYRR wasn’t letting runners use the bathrooms at their HQ. (Lame.)
So, after hustling 13 blocks back up to the start area, I checked my bag with my coat. I was about to use the Port-a-Potty, but they were closing the corral, and I didn’t want to get stuck behind everyone. I jumped into my corral and started mentally preparing for the race and looking around for Rebecca. I don’t know when I realized that I was missing my D-tag (the timing chip), but it was before the race started, so back I went to my coat to get it.
Great. This is going to be an awesome race, I thought, very sarcastically. I don’t usually run with music or headphones, but I really just wanted to zone out and not think about how I really didn’t want to be running and how things had not gone well…already…and the race hadn’t even started.
Like any other race, the first mile sucked. I usually find my groove somewhere between mile 2 or 3 for races longer than a 5k. Today, I didn’t find it until at least mile 4, when I took a Gu. I couldn’t get the negativity out of my head—the “why the hell am I running this?” My muscles were really tight the entire time. After mile 4, things got a little easier, but they were never easy. Each mile marker I saw, I thought “I’m only at 5? I’m only at 6?”
Running in Central Park is hilly, and I usually don’t mind the hills too much, but today I COULD NOT WAIT for the inevitable downhills. Last year, I ran this race in 1:43, and I’ve gotten a lot faster since then, so I knew I’d PR, basically just by showing up, unless something went terribly wrong. I took things really easy the first 6 or 7 miles, and then finally ran much harder from mile 8-9, and sprinted out 9.0-9.3, to finish in 1:37. I had originally been hoping for under 1:30. Had I been trained as well as I train for most races, that wouldn’t have been a problem.
I regret not preparing more for this race, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
Here’s the recaps of the races that got me here:
February 2010 (double credit!): Race for Haiti (4M)
March 2010: NYC Half-Marathon (13.1)
May 2010: Healthy Kidney 10K (6.2)
June 2010: Mini 10K (6.2)
September 2010: NYRR Marathon Tune-Up (18!!)
November 2010: Race to Deliver (6.2)
I didn’t post about it last week, because I was so mentally and physically drained afterwards, but I volunteered in the Bronx last weekend. In the freezing rain. While I was sick. The day after I moved. Thinking the entire time “I really want to run that marathon this badly?”
The answer was, and still is, yes.
Tomorrow starts my NYC Half training. I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I will be writing about my sub-2:00 half-marathon in a few months.