My last blog post was in July, which seems like a lifetime ago. Much has transpired since then which has led to my self-induced hiatus from writing on a regular basis. I’ve missed it, and it’s time to dust off the keyboard and get back at it. Rather than give you a recap of the last few months, I’ll save those highlights and lowlights for others posts. Today, I’m here to pour out my angst about what goes down next Sunday. Me and 49,999 of my closest non-friends have the privilege of running our way through the boroughs of New York City and finishing up in Central Park after 26.2 miles. The countdown is on for TCS New York City marathon mania.
I started training in late May, about the time I took a job in Vancouver, and we made the decision that our family would pick up and relocate after spending the last 11 years in Seattle. Some days I wonder what we were thinking, but other days it feels right. Either way, there’s no going back, at least for now.
Starting in June, I stayed in Vancouver and worked during the week, and drove home to Seattle Friday nights, only to drag myself into my car before sunrise and head back to work on Monday and do it all over again. While doing that, I began my regimented running schedule. It worked out, since I had limited commitments during the week except to run, and squeezed in the long run while home on the weekends.
Then came the family move in August and things got complicated. My running regimen I’d settled into was no longer. The paths and routes I’d been taking were now across town where I’d been staying, and I once again was forced to find new routes and trails. I like some routine when it comes to my runs, and I had none at this juncture.
Then came the Hood to Coast relay, which I looked forward to because I was in better shape than I’d been in the past. So, I volunteered for one of the tougher legs. All would have been great, until they made a course change and lengthened my middle-of-the-night run from 5 to 8.1 on gravel, mostly uphill. Without going into detail about coughing up dirt for a couple of days, the worst result which didn’t present itself until four days later, was a majorly strained Achilles.
Weeks of Achilles rehab put me behind in training and mileage, but I was still determined to run the NYC marathon. I’d tried for three years to get chosen in the lottery, and this was my year. Period. But, the running gods, warriors or whatever is out there messing in the universe, is testing me. On my first long run after getting the Achilles to an almost pain-free place, I strained my hip flexor, or something that really messes with my gait. I’m sure age is a factor in all this, but I downright hate to admit that.
I’ve been back rehabbing, doing an excessive amount of bike, elliptical and other non-running things that I could puke, and not because I’m exhausted, but because I’m so damn bored by these mind-numbing machines I want to puke, scream or do anything besides spending another hour in their f*@king presence.
I have a plan, thanks to my awesome online coach, Kyle Kranz. My goal is to pace myself with the slower pokes, follow a pacing group, and bring it on home, slow and steady. To put things in context, only .5 percent of people in the U.S. ever run a marathon, and I’ve already done one so I’m feeling okay with where I sit with that stat. And, the median finish time for women in 4:45. And, that just happens to be my goal. So, come next Sunday I will be there, not in the shape I had hoped, and not at the pace I had planned, but thankful to be a part of a day that will prove to be memorable and amazing for me and my family, even if I crawl across the finish line.
If you’d like to follow along, and track my snail’s pace, there’s an app for that!