There are seasons in every runner’s life. For the past couple of years, mine have been defined by Fall marathons. Winter: Aspirational dreaming mixed with doubt about whether I have another marathon in me and uncertainty about which race to target. Spring: Ah spring … everything seems fresh and new and full of possibility … Push “submit” on marathon race registration but race training is mostly theoretical and workouts are guided by how I feel and how my spirit moves me (or not) on any given day. Summer: The shit is getting real. What are my goals? (Do I have goals?) How am I going to train? What have I gotten myself into (again)? Summer is the pre-marathon season when all of the doubts, all of second guessing, all of the self-pep talks to find my inner badass get sorted out, until the day arrives when it is time to finally flip the switch to training mode and really commit to sweating again.Read More
If distance running was a product, it would come with the following prominently written on the label: WARNING – You WILL get injured. Every runner I know who has been at it awhile has a war story - hamstring injuries, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, knee pain. True devotees to the sport seem to spend equal parts time training and trying to keep their bodies healthy. Because of this, when I started my training for Chicago I was alert to the possibility that at some point my body might call an injury timeout. What I did not expect was that the injury would come not from running, but from a game of hopscotch.Read More
Growing up, I LOVED the countdown to the start of a new school year. It came with the emotional bundle of apprehension, optimism, excitement, and nervous anticipation. Fresh school supplies, a first day of school outfit, a finely tuned new organization plan, and a hopeful vision for what surely would be a perfect year. A little nerdy and unrealistic? Sure. But apparently not much has changed because my build up to the start of Chicago Marathon training played out much the same way.Read More
Envy. One of the seven deadly sins. Our culture promotes it, and our conscience fights against it. But there are times when envy just sucks you in, and this week the Boston Marathon was my undoing. The more I read about it, watched coverage of it, and was pinged on social media with happy pictures of it, the more I wanted a piece of Boston for myself.Read More
It has been fifty years since Bobbi Gibb became the first woman to race the Boston Marathon, unbeknownst to the race organizers who did not realize that a woman covertly made her way to the start. Soon discovered, she shed a heavy sweatshirt and openly finished the race – to the sound of cheers – in a remarkable 3 hours 21 minutes. As she tells her story, the next two years she ran again (sans bib). Sara Mae Berman picked up the baton and ran in 1969, 1970 and 1971 until the Boston Marathon officially opened its race to women in 1972.Read More
Searching for running goals to guide me through 2016 prompted some serious self-examination about what motivates me most. Especially coming off of last year, if I am going to commit to something beyond a local 10k, it needs to grab me and inspire me in a very real way. I set the bar high, looking for something I could commit to wholeheartedly and without a second thought.Read More
To most, Tuesday was just another average weekday. I, on the other hand, looked forward to Tuesday with all of the anxious anticipation of a small child counting the days until Christmas. Tuesday was the NYC Marathon lottery. I have been waiting for this day since the moment I crossed the 2015 finish line in Central Park, and by the time it finally arrived I had all but blocked out the possibility that I might not get lucky again this year. Simply, when you want something so badly, it is almost unfathomable to think that you might not get it.Read More
Saturday morning, this was the exchange in our family room:
Husband: What are you doing?
Me: Setting up the TV and DVR to watch the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
Me: Because I’m going to watch them. (Duh).
Husband: You are going to watch all of it?
Me: Yes. (Again, duh).
Husband: You are going to watch people run 26.2 miles?
Confession: I not only watched the full marathon coverage, I watched some of it twice.Read More
Today is the one-week anniversary of my inaugural NYC Marathon, and I have spent the better part of my time since trying to summon the ability to describe the race in a way that does the experience justice. Going into the race, I clearly recognized that it would be big. I watched race videos, I read the runners blogs, I visited New York in the spring and ran Central Park. But still nothing – nothing – prepared me for the tidal wave of emotion and energy that surrounded this marathon.Read More
My coach’s stated goal for Week 10 marathon training was to work on mental toughness. It is self-evident, I suppose, that a runner cannot coax her body to run 26.2 miles without it. However, as the week rolled on, my initial view of the meaning of “mental toughness” changed as both my runs and life threw challenges my way.Read More
A recent article profiled a runner who qualified for the Boston Marathon in each of the 50 states. In my imagination, I envision his buddies offhandedly asking whether he wants to run a marathon next weekend, and this runner nonchalantly replying “sure, sign me up” in the same way that I would throw in for a 5k any given day of the week. In my vision, I am sure that he does not have to prepare, because he is always prepared. Unlike that guy, my warm up to marathon day is a 16-week haul, and I am only now closing in on the halfway point.Read More
Week four of my marathon training was the week that I officially crossed over to the other side. It was the week that I transitioned to one of those crazy people who rearrange their vacation itineraries to make room for long runs. For fun.Read More
Beginning official marathon training with the NYRR coaching staff embodies everything that is fresh and good about the first week of school. I have daily running homework assignments complete with tips and detailed instructions. Once I get the job done, I use the tracking system to send the details of my workout to my coach and within a day I have email feedback (my report card) from the coaching staff. In Week One, I started to learn some of the workouts and their acronyms that, no doubt, will become rote by Week Ten. Ironically, though, the most important lesson I learned the first week had nothing to do with running at all.Read More
Me committing to run the New York City Marathon and deciding to publicly write about it was the suburban-mom equivalent of playing your first game of poker at a high stakes table in Vegas, pushing your chips into the middle, standing up and declaring with conviction that you’re all-in. Yep, I’m all-in all right, and with just over 13 weeks to go, this sh*t is getting real. Which is why I hedged my bet and hired a coach.Read More