The wait is finally over. On Wednesday, through a very poorly managed “announcement” on the part of NYRR, I found out I got accepted for the NYC Marathon!!! As I am certainly not fast enough to qualify for guaranteed entry, I was stuck entering the lottery, and crossing my fingers. I heard this year’s entrants had a 6% of getting selected. I still can’t believe I was lucky enough to get a spot. But as I got closer to the announcement, I couldn’t help but think how badly I wanted to run this race, this year. Being part of a huge city race is a completely different feeling from any other marathon. And New York is the biggest and baddest of them all. While watching the live Marathon Opening Day webcast (which was supposed to be the announcement of lottery winners but ended up being an hour of fluff and interviews), I learned this race draws 2.5 million spectators! Nearly 50,000 runners will complete it this year, which is 20,000 larger than any race I’ve run. It’s the world’s largest single-day sporting event. I get chills just thinking about running through those streets in that huge of an event.
But this is more than just another race for me. If I hadn’t gotten in, I would’ve signed up for a smaller local race instead. And life would have proceeded as normal. But NYC is a game changer in my motivation. I had my first Physical Therapy appointment this week, and the therapist told me I’m allowed to start running again as long as I’m not experiencing any pain. So this is my first week back at it, and it’s tough. Taking two months off for an injury put me back at square one. It’s going to be a huge challenge to get myself back into fighting shape. But this just upped the ante. The idea of running this race in particular has me amped up to run it smarter, better, and harder than I’ve ever run another race before. I definitely want to PR this, and am looking to come in under 10:00 miles. It’s totally doable if I keep at my training. And having this race looming over my head will definitely keep me on track.
I have a new plan of attack this time around. I definitely need to focus on speed work more often. And I need to start my long runs with a leaner and more muscular frame. I can’t have my quads feel like they’re going to burst into flames around mile 23 like they did in Philly. Broad Street race is next week. It’s going to be difficult to run 10 miles when I’ve had two weeks to train, but I can push through it even if it’s slower than I’d like. After that, I am taking May, and maybe a bit of June to focus on losing a few more pounds and building up some more muscle tone. Long runs will start this summer. Even though I am much busier these days and it will be hard to find the time to run as much, I think having so many friends that are also long-distance runners will make a difference. Last year, I did this on my own. I didn’t meet Jen until close to the race. And I am sure I annoyed the crap out of all of my non-runner friends talking about it non-stop. This time around, I have a whole slew of runner friends. And Matt is signed up for the Philly marathon, which is just a few weeks after NY. That works out very nicely as we’ll have similar training and sleep schedules, and be on the same diet for the most part. Having so much support might make it all a little more fun and a little less grueling.
I really can’t wait to get back on track and start upping my miles again. I know I am beyond lucky to have gotten the opportunity to run NYC, and I don’t want to waste it. 190 days and counting!!