Because, I mean, a run isn’t complete without Jay-Z, Rhianna and Kanye.
So. This morning I ran my last training run for the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon. 2 slow and easy miles–it would have been easier if I hadn’t worn new booties yesterday. That’s another conversation. Here’s a cute pic!
What an amazing 4.5 months it has been! What a ride!
Here’s some thoughts on the last 19 weeks:
I’m not going to lie, y’all. It was hard. I gave up my first-thing-in-the-morning coffee. I gave up make up.
I pledged my life to Aquaphor, everywhere. I am still not tired of bagels. I prefer Power Gel to GU.
I found out that I could run 14 miles. I could run 16 miles. I could run 18 miles. I could run 18 miles again. I could run 20 miles–and it be the fastest miles ever. I learned it is absolutely possible to get blisters ON TOP of blisters.
It is not actually possible for you to get tired of talking about training for a marathon, not even in 18 weeks of talking about it, or posting on Facebook, or blogging about it. It is a game to figure out how quickly into a conversation you can bring up the fact that you’re training for the marathon.
My progression went from:
- 1) Fear
- 2) Doubt
- 3) Hurt + Doubt once I passed 16 miles it turned to
- 4) Acceptance of the training–I could say, “I’m training for the marathon” without irony
- 5) Once I ran 18 miles, I was still cautious
- 6) When I ran 18 miles again, I was still hesitant to say I was running the marathon.
- 7) When I ran 20 miles, my husband escorted me to the finish line of my race-anniversary (Staten Island Half) and I knew all things were possible. In fact, my motto changed to, “Anything is possible”
- 8) I now say, “I’m running the marathon Sunday”
I continue to give my allegiance to Aquaphor. And Ibuprofen. And IcyHot. My pain threshold is so much deeper than I ever thought it was, and have been running with a bum hip since August.
A marathon training plan is completed with a team. I’m a full believer. I have a full post about that, and perhaps a series of ideas around why I tried to do it on my own at first. Even though, definitely my feet had to pound the pavement, I absolutely did not have to do it alone. I want to thank my primary team: My husband. My Coach. My Nutritionist.
Facebook, and posting on Facebook and Instagram kept me accountable to myself and to the folks who followed me. I’m amazed at how many people were involved in cheering me on, giving me the motivation when I needed it, and the boosts of energy to make it this far. I’ll see someone I hadn’t seen in a while, and they would comment on how “inspiring” it is that I’m training. It brought me closer to friends, and it has stripped away some extra weight.
My folks at work have been amazing, and letting me change my schedule a bit to accommodate, and not judging how much I eat :)
When this is over I’m buying stock in the following things: barilla pasta. tomatoes (for pasta sauce). PowerGel. Brooks. Jack Rabbit. Garmin. Spibelts. SafetyPins. AQUAPHOR. ICYHOT. IBUPROFEN. NUUN.
I’m amazed at what becomes necessity when you’re training for your first marathon: fancy socks, fancy pants (THAT BASICALLY RUN FOR YOU), fancy bras, fancy jackets, special gym bags, special hats, camelbaks, etc.
I’m here. I made it 19 weeks later. These legs and feet carried me over 390 miles, 8 races, over all 5 bridges in NYC that you can run on, all 5 boroughs, 4:45AM wake-up calls, 8:40PM bed times (FOR REAL).
I think I’m starting to get emotional.
And you know, I’M RUNNING THE MARATHON, but if I for some reason couldn’t make it to Sunday, I do now understand–haven’t written this out–how the training itself is the gift. Because you realize all of these things about yourself, your resolve, your grit, your determination—YOUR STRENGTH DESPITE ALL ODDS.
And even how interesting some people can be: I can’t tell you how many times I would mention I was training for the marathon, and some green-bean-lean woman would look me up and down, and ask, “how far have you run?” Luckily, I wasn’t announcing that I was training until I got past the half-marathon distance, so I had some pretty impressive numbers to report: 14, 16, 18, 20! Then, instead of congratulating me, it would be some version of, “I need to start running!” as if if you can do it..i guess i can. And I smile and say, yep, I’m running 18 next week. And walk away. You can tell they have questions. I’m a big girl. And yep. I’m running the marathon on Sunday. The same happens on the road, a guy will come up thinking he’s catching me slipping, or some leaner person running near the back and try and pass me—-and I’m cruising, until that moment when they think that they’re going to “just pass [me]“—and my legs and heart and head come in alignment.
Speaking of, my heart. Has been so great. I’m still amazed that I can even run, honestly. And on today, on the 13th anniversary of my grandmother’s death–who died of congestive heart failure–and as I get closer to the age of my aunt Olive who died at 36 of congestive heart failure—and when I remember the week I spent in the hospital when i thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest…..GOD GOT ME HERE TODAY. HE IS GOING TO GET ME TO THE FINISH LINE SUNDAY. I’m running for all my loved ones I’ve lost, but who undoubtedly contributed to the person I found these last 19 weeks.
I can’t wait to write the post that will come after I’ve crossed that finish line. Thank YOU for following along on this journey.