I’ve returned to blogging after another move (Denver to NJ – August 2017) and a new goal of doing the 2019 NYC Marathon. I want to remember the journey and note my thoughts along the way so I am picking up blogging about it.
Running a marathon is lofty goal for someone who has paid for 3 marathons without running them, completed 2 half marathons with ZERO training, and currently only runs on weekends, I know. A few things make this time different.
1. Where I run in NJ is zero elevation. I love running at the Jersey shore, along the Delaware and Raritan canal path and in Princeton. In Parker, Colorado, it was a 300′ gain just to leave the neighborhood and come back. I could drive to get to the Watchung “mountains” but I don’t! Flat is for me.
2. My team is the right match for me. I joined a free running club that uses FaceBook to schedule runs different times and locations. It’s very flexible. The group I run with matches my pace and desire to run but not win everything. They are improving and learning (as am I) but don’t want to burn out. If I want to push it, there’s a group within the group at a faster pace. All in all, this group of ladies has been really good for me.
3. Volunteered in 2018. Additionally, the group encouraged volunteering for the 2018 NYC Marathon which was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. I helped control the corrals from 6am to noon. I spoke French for the visitors that came to NY to run. It was electric. It reminded me of the Masters in golf. Everyone knew it was a major, special and an amazing day.
After my session, I yelled (cheered?) for as many runners as I could at Mile 25. I thought the crappy hill going into the finish along the park was a good spot. It was amazing the number of runners who acknowledged me by looking me in the eyes. I was affecting their race!
4. I’m putting this goal above all others. It occurred to me recently that I have prioritized my work success above everything in my life. I could win all the jobs and look back at 70 years old and realize I didn’t do everything I wanted to in life. This will be the first year since 1995 when my personal goal (then swimming) will be the main mental focus for me.
5. I hired a coach. Deb Durig, Bucknell classmate, will be my coach. She runs in honor of her father who died of leukemia and has done 75 (you read that right) half marathons and is a coach for Team in Training. As a New Yorker, she has the inside skinny too. I hired her because her enthusiasm and positivity is infectious. I feel like I can do anything with her.
6. Just Finishing. When I read about Project Finish, it sealed my commitment to do the race. The Elites and people come back to the finish line at 8pm and cheer and greet the last runners. One of the people who finished at 10pm HAD NO FEET. She did twenty-six miles on crutches. I have ability, health, and all the things that make it possible. My goal is just finishing.
7. This is for those that can’t. While the lottery hasn’t occurred yet, it is likely that I will be running for Fred’s Team, the Memorial Sloan Kettering charity. For the NY Half last year, I ran for Fred’s Team in honor of Oliver, Dolly, Kevin (in Memorium) and my Dad. Sadly, Oliver died from his glioblastoma brain cancer at 22 years old this year. The mission of Fred’s Team – imagine a world without cancer – resonates very strongly with me and will help motivate me on the challenging days.
I hope you will join me on my 11 month journey.