Empire State of Mind

First let me apologize for having abandoned this blog for a few months. But I didn’t have much to say or at least nothing different from my earlier posts.  This is all that you missed in July and August… I ran.  It was hot.  I sweated like a whore in church.  I swore like one too.  But I finished each run.  That’s all you really missed.  But now that October is less than 12 hours away and most of my truly hot running is now behind me, I feel I should touch base and let you know how things are going.

As you know, this was my first attempt at training for a fall marathon, which means it was my first time training in summer.  It was also my first time training without a training group.  Usually I train with a training group that is 200-400 people strong for all of my long, Saturday training runs.  Before I started this training I knew not having a large group to run with would be challenging.  But even scarier to me was the thought of not even having my husband to train alongside of me.  He had qualified for the Olympic National Championship Triathlon in Vermont (yay, him!) that was held in mid-August.  So he spent his summer training for his own race independent of me and my efforts.

Since I’m typing this post, you probably guessed that I survived training solo, in the heat.  And not only did I survive, I did quite well.  I’m actually really, really proud of myself.  I’m a girl who has overheated and hyperventilated in 55 degree weather so the heat was a concern but I trained really smartly.  I got up early to beat the heat, drank early and often and tried to use shade and wind to my benefit when possible.  But what probably surprised me the most was how I was able to handle running solo.  In the past, I absolutely DID NOT ever want to be alone with my thoughts.  I needed other people to help get me “out of my head”.  But, I actually relished the time alone this summer.  Perhaps it was because I have a lot of stuff going on in my life (most of it is work related – don’t ask!) and it gave me a lot of time to think.  While in the past I didn’t want time to think because it would just depress me, this time I think it helped me gain perspective.  It also gave me plenty of time to myself to realize what really matters in life – and it’s not work.  When you see horses frolicking in their pens as you run past or listen to the birds squawking noisily before the rest of the world wakes up or you see the mini-waterfall push the twigs down the creek as you try to out run the current… you can’t help but say “fuck it” to all things that don’t matter.  While I may have done my fair share of crying this summer because of all the “stuff” that’s been going on, I didn’t stab anyone.  And I believe everyone around me has my running to thank for that.  Running really helped me clear my head.  When I couldn’t control things at work, I could control whether or not I went for a run.  I could control how far I went or how many hills I conquered.  It gave me back a bit of the power I felt I was losing elsewhere in my life.  And that, my friends, is priceless.

So, I have two more long runs, 16 and 22 miles, before I start to taper leading into my marathon.  And I’m happy to announce that the marathon I’ve been training for all this time is the NEW YORK MOTHER FUCKING MARATHON!!!!  I did not get confirmation that I had been accepted into the marathon until August 30th.  I was sweating the details on this one, let me tell you.  I had a Plan B marathon in the event I didn’t get into NY, but I always had my sights set on NY and that’s the one I wanted.  And I’m in (and my hubby too)!  And I can’t even truly convey how freaking ecstatic I am.  There really isn’t a bigger marathon in the states (maybe Boston) than NY from a prestige and energy perspective.  And because entry into the race is a lottery system, it makes a slot that much more coveted.  Just the other day I went to a local running store to buy some supplies and the guy working asked me what I was training for and when I said “NY”, I smiled ear to ear with pride.  And the look of awe and the subsequent verbal recognition from him was simply the best.  I loved, for that split second, being the envy of that total stranger.  I kind of want to go around to all the running stores and keep telling random clerks or fellow shoppers which race I’m training for just so I can see the jealously on their faces.  I know it’s petty, but I love it!

October will be a big month and I have a feeling it will go quickly.  Next weekend we are heading across the border to visit my sister.  That means we have to find a way to do 16 miles near her home.  That too will be a first for me.  I don’t normally do training runs out-of-town.  But since this training season has been full of firsts, I thought… why not.  The week after will be my longest run of the season, 22 miles.  Then we start to taper.  But my 12-10 mile taper run will be done as part of a “support crew”.  My friend is running the Fall 50 as a solo runner.  For those that aren’t familiar with the Fall 50, it’s a 50 mile run in beautiful Door County.  It’s intended as a relay event but some people do it solo.  I had a good friend run it solo in 2010 and now another one is attempting it this year.  We will be a part of his support crew.  Which means we run with him to keep him company, we follow him in a van to give him food/beverages, etc. and in general we try to occupy his time so he makes it through the 5o miles with as little discomfort as possible.  I love this event.  The amount of motivation it gives someone watching or helping is just incredible.  I have to say the Fall 50 is definitely on my bucket list.  It scares the crap out of me but that’s why I want to attempt it.  If you don’t do things that scare you or challenge you how will you ever know what you’re capable of doing?  But I’m not going to try that for a while.  Baby steps.  First, I needed to train on my own and train in summer.  That was step one and I did that this year.  Yippie.  Next year, I want to train and run a 50K ultra.  That would be a 30 mile endurance run.  That is the second step.  If I cross that off of my list, then I can seriously think about attempting the Fall 50 in 2014.  But that’s still so far away, and I still have so many things to do before then and I have so many fun things to do, like run the ING NY MARATHON~!!

So, that’s the recap.  Sorry it was so long since my last post.  But you should be caught up on my training and I will try to post a few more times before the marathon.  If I don’t find time to post before NY (11/4), you can guaran-damn-tee that I’ll be doing a post-mortem on the marathon itself and I will post plenty of pictures.

Until next time… gotta run.

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