“All for freedom and for pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world”
–Tears for Fears
Well, so it begins again… I’ve been thinking about this new blog for quite some time and I’m finally committing. If you stumbled upon this blog, welcome! If not, you’re probably wondering what happened to my old blog. Well, I really wanted to preserve the memories I had during my training for 2012 NYC Marathon (if you’re interested in reading it, let me know and I can send you a separate link), so instead of adding on, I am starting fresh. Regardless, welcome and I hope you visit often!
Ever since I declared myself a “runner” again this summer, I wondered if my newfound status would remain. When the NYC marathon (NYCM) was cancelled this year, I was upset and the thought of re-training for another marathon seemed so ridiculous. I mean, did I really want to commit myself to another 5 months of torture? So when a couple of my teammates decided to sign up to run the Miami marathon in January 2013, I jumped on the bandwagon. I needed the support to keep running. The first week of Miami training was hard; it was cold and trying to pull the willpower together to commute to NYC to run with my team was hard.
In that same week, I learned that the Philadelphia marathon opened up a lottery for 3,000 spots for NYCM runners. Why wouldn’t I enter the lottery, right? After emailing with Coach B to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind, I entered the lottery. On my birthday, I find out that I was in (of course, I later learn that there were only 1,700 entrants)! I was coming back from a run and was about to go buy lunch when I saw the email that said I was running the Philadelphia marathon on November 18, 2012. The excitement, the tears that were streaming down my face as I was staring at my iPhone – was this really coming true? After all of this, was I really going to run my first marathon in Philadelphia in a little over a week?
Fortunately, all of the logistics getting to Philadelphia and the overnight stay was easy. We had our car and my amazing childhood friend who lives in Philadelphia was supposed to visit Hoboken anyway, so our plans just swapped, except now she had to deal with a potential marathoner. The week leading up to the marathon was not easy – I was fighting a cold, strained my back somehow, and started working at my new job. However, the weekend came and I was excited. Regardless of whatever back pain I had, I was going to run this darn marathon.
|All the pain my eyes…|
The weather on marathon day was beautiful. Perfect running weather and for the most part, I felt pretty good too considering the mild pain, up until mile 23. That’s when my back told me that I was insane and refused to stop throbbing. After stopping to stretch out my back on the side of the course, I was continuing, running, not walking. There was no way I could imagine finishing my first ever marathon with any distance of walking, call it pride, call it stupidity, but if I am already in pain, another 5K would not kill me, and darn it, I am going to finish strong. That’s exactly what happened. I tried to the sprint the last 0.2 miles, but it really felt like eternity and when I finished, I couldn’t walk. My entire mid-section was in pain. The next couple of hours were probably the most pain I’ve felt in a really long time.
Thank goodness for my friend, because she is a saint. Not only did I ruin her weekend of relaxation, I was also guilty of many other things. I was picky about the menu for my pasta dinner the night before the race, made her and her husband wake up at 6AM to drive me to the start line, wait outside in the cold trying to find me along the course at multiple points, drive the car around the city trying to pick me up afterwards because I couldn’t walk, catering to my every ice and food need after the run (and oh, did I mention I ruined our brunch plans too), and through all of this being an amazing friend. The patience and hospitality that I felt that weekend is something I will forever cherish and that made my first marathon experience that much more special.
|Amazing friends and hubby! Excited to be
“allowed” to wear my NYCM marathoner shirt
So you’re probably wondering how I actually did – time wise that is. When I first started training for NYCM, all I wanted to do was finish and make it into the NYTimes spread. I had heard mixed things about whether a 4:30 or 5:00 would qualify (it depends on the number of runners for the number of pages they have allocated to the spread). So I was aiming for under 5, but towards the end of my training whenever anyone asked me what time I wanted I said 4:30, but in my head, I was aiming for 4:20. 4:20 is my half time doubled + 10. I finished Philadelphia in 4:27:18 and I really cannot complain. Through the pain, I managed to finish in under 4:30 and I am very proud of myself for that, but that just makes my time goal that much harder in all of my future races!
Speaking of future races, I haven’t been able to run again until today. The week after the marathon was horrible – I could barely walk up or down stairs, and the Monday after the race, I had to take a taxi to work. After seeing a doctor and Coach Ali, I had to force myself to realize that I needed some time off; some kind of muscle strain with a pinched nerve, ouch! I was hoping for two weeks. Two weeks later, I tried running again, no such luck. I could barely run a stride before the throbbing pain returned to my back. Three weeks of rest and I tried the treadmill, no go. More rest was clearly in order along with some barre classes, and yoga as prescribed by a doctor friend. This past week, I also went to a chiropractor and spent a bit of time on my foam roller. I decided that today was going to be the day… the day I try running again. There is still a strain on my back, but I made it two miles, and otherwise, felt strong.
It wasn’t until I wasn’t able to run when I realized how much I missed running. It had become such a big part of my life. I miss not running with my team 2-3 times a week. I miss the feeling I get when I run, I miss lacing up my sneakers, and I miss the excitement I get when I plug my watch into my laptop to record my run. Whenever, I saw people running outside or on a treadmill, I was envious of them. I’m addicted, and I want to remain a runner.
With my decision about whether or not I run in Miami – half, full, or none at all still in flux, this next month or so will be interesting (for me at least) to see how fast my recovery and training can ramp up.
I look forward to sharing many more future thoughts about running, eating, shopping, and sleeping with you in this next chapter of my running.
|A bracelet I received from a good friend last night – pretty much sums it up! I love it!|