This has been a really weird year for me. I started running at the end of 2010 and have been tackling new distances, goals and mostly, PRs, along the way. I usually train for races because I want to PR – or in the case of the marathon for the last couple of years, to BQ. I don’t know how to feel about this marathon because it’s been so long since I have run a marathon without attempting some lofty goal (I tried to break 3:50 during my second marathon and then tried to BQ for my 3rd, 4th and 5th marathons). Being pregnant was odd because I knew I was not running to get faster – if anything, I was running to get slower. This year has been even more odd because now I’m running to just get as fast as I used to be. I haven’t put a lot of pressure on myself to perform this year – I’ve set goals for the races I’ve run but there wasn’t much on the line.
With less running to do these last couple of weeks I’ve done a little more reflecting on what I think New York will be like. I’m getting really, really excited for the race itself. I’m reading the book “A Race Like No Other” which is really helping me envision the course and the crowds. I can’t wait to run through all five boroughs and I’m really excited for the crowds. I get a lot of my energy from crowds in races and I am really looking forward to just watching and soaking it all in!
During my peak training, I decided that I thought I could run a 3:50 marathon. It was kind of a goal for a few weeks and now honestly, I just don’t want a goal. I guess if I’m honest I’ll be disappointed with anything over 4 hours, but in the end, I’ll just be proud I finished. I really do enjoy pushing myself to my limits and seeing what I have in me – so if on race day I’m feeling that, I will push. If I’m not and am perfectly happy just enjoying the crowds and trying to get through the race, that’s fine too.
As you know, I signed up for the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon (end of May) with the intention of qualifying for Boston. That’ll be my chance to push myself to my limits and see what I have in me. New York isn’t meant for that. New York is my bucket list race – the one that I would never have signed up for if I was still seeking that BQ since it’s not an easy course and requires cross country travel. I want to enjoy a drink on Friday (and maybe even Saturday night) without worrying about how it’ll impact my race. I want to not think too much about how much time I’m spending on my feet. I want to enjoy the city and the experience and soak it all in. I have only been to New York two other times in my life – when I was 10 years old and when I was 23 years old, two totally different times in my life. I can’t wait to see it from a new perspective – as a runner, a mother and a wife.
So do I think I could possibly run a 3:50 marathon? Yes. Do I care if I do or not? Not really. I’ve got plenty of other races to worry about what my Garmin is telling me. There’s a good chance that the feeling of “racing” will inspire me to push to my limits, because honestly that is my version of fun. We’ll see how race day goes!
That being said, I have a few strategies I’d like to employ for the race:
- Don’t walk. I’ve noticed that in training when I let myself walk once (something I never used to do in training until I was pregnant), then I justify doing it over and over!
- Run the first half easy, no matter what the pace. I’d like to enjoy as much of this race as possible and starting off easy will help those final miles feel better.
- HAVE FUN! Smile, cheer, laugh, and enjoy this race!
See you soon, New York!
Anyone else running New York? Any tips for me? Do you have a hard time running races “for fun” too?