Sunday, November 11, 2012

NYC Marathon Recap

So. It's been a while. In case you live under a rock: The NYC Marathon did not happen. While I won't go into the sordid details, Erica Sara and Epicurious Runner shared their experiences about the backlash that we as runners faced before the marathon was canceled. I myself was called "disgraceful" for running, as well as experienced a few instances of backlash in public. I don't want to reflect on that time any longer, a time where I felt completely and emotionally torn. I've wanted to write something since last Friday, but I've had too much going on in my mind and in my life. The experiences on this blog are mine alone, and I send out well wishes to all who suffered and are still suffering from Sandy. This is a runner's journey through the high's and low's of a canceled race.

On April 25, 2012, I found out: I'm In. Maybe it was a fluke, but it was seemingly meant to be. I was in. AGAIN. I was part of the 8%. I didn't really want to run the marathon this year, I simply wanted another year done in the lottery system, hoping to get in year three or four. Nope. Year two, lottery winner. Thus continued the training course  I was on. You see, marathon training isn't "Oh, I should start running now." Once you begin a training cycle, you should have MANY miles under your belt already. Essentially, training began in January.

Summer: LONG. HOT. RUNS. Despite rising at 5am on a Saturday for long runs, it was already oppressive by 7am. Staying in most Friday nights. Waking up for early track workouts. Arranging runs throughout vacation. Training training training. There is a commitment. There is a training schedule. There is a sacrifice. 

Fall: Training demands increase. This was peak time, where long runs got REAL long. Work is crazy. Training is crazy. There is still a commitment. There is still a training schedule. There is still a sacrifice. 

Sunday, October 28: Sandy gets closer, prognosis is not good. 

Tuesday, October 30: Sandy has wreaked havoc on NYC and the surrounding boroughs. 

Wednesday, October 31: We start our first volunteer efforts.  We brought food and supplies to a housing community in Gramercy with no power, whose residents could not afford or get to stores that offer supplies.

Thursday, November 1: Visit the expo. Mixed emotions. Bought a pint glass, a cowbell, and a new Sparkly Soul band to match my shoes and name. Feeling excited at the prospect racing, yet still feeling the pressure of negative opinions seeping into the media, social media, etc.

Friday, November 2: Marathon is canceled. I had said over and over again, "I won't care if it is canceled." Well, I was wrong. I cared. The emotional turmoil of seeing destruction and devastation in my area, while I'm supposed to be excited about an event that I had trained almost the entire year for, finally took it's toll. There were tears. There was wine. There were more tears and wine.

Saturday, November 3: More volunteering. This is when I decided that maybe, just maybe, I would consider running the Philly Marathon on November 18. Speaking with a non-runner friend helped put some things in perspective. I ran around the city, doing errands. This was a 4-5 mile run, where I wore no watch, didn't time myself, just listened and observed the city. It was where I entered the acceptance of not running 26.2 miles the next day.

Sunday, November 4: MORE volunteering. This is what got my through my heartbreak. I was surrounded by my fabulous friends, serving food to those in need. Marathon Sunday. My day became everyone else's day. 

I did not run on marathon Sunday. I feared I would break down. I feared I would go back to my sadness. I watched thousands of runners as I drove past Central Park and wished them well.

This week has been insanely busy. Although my mind occasionally moved to "I wonder how I'd be feeling if I had run a marathon this week!", I was generally positive. I don't think my mind has fully wrapped itself around the fact that I'm running the Philly Marathon in a week, but it's starting to. 

Throughout this ordeal, I have learned a new level of patience, graciousness, and steadfastness. Patience to sit, think, and reflect on what is right in a situation.  Graciousness for others who ignorantly throw angry opinions toward me. Steadfastness to muster my will to say "Just two more weeks of training." I call this the Super Taper. We'll see how effective it is.

What's a Super Taper without a belated birthday party/post marathon party? Yes. It's true. My birthday was October 25, but as I did last year, I waited to celebrate until after the marathon. Sigh. So Friday night was my 80's birthday party/I didn't run a marathon yet party. It was the kind of fun I needed after two weeks of highs and low lows. Things are only looking up from here, folks. It's time to get rad and get cracking, I have a marathon to run in a week!!!

My sisters and I! I'm an 80's shirt says "NYC Marathon 1984" 

Mr. Miller, the 80's rock star. I'll save other costumes for Glad Game Monday!

How about you? Have you ever faced a racing disappointment? Have you ever been to an 80's themed  party? Did you choose a replacement race for the NYC Marathon? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

6 Days until the Philly Marathon!!!
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