NYC Marathon is here!

Posted by on October 31, 2014 in Training

This Sunday is my second NYC Marathon, and I am really unprepared.  I mean, I’m prepared, but such preparation didn’t go that well and I’m fearing having a bad day.  Most people seem to think that if you think positive, good things will happen… and I too subscribe to that theory… generally… but there’s something to be said for zeroing in on honesty and using reality as the true barometer.  Here’s what I mean:  If I believe in myself, and I buy into the really supportive comments made from fellow athletes, friends, family, etc., and then on race day, my beliefs are dashed by the body’s failure to perform at a certain level, I’ll feel emotionally bereft and pillars of disappointment will surround this memory for a long time.  Conversely, if I only think negative things, then maybe I’ll make that my reality and never perform to a level that I could have and I’ll still be saddled with a poisoned memory.  So, there’s the middle ground where I say to myself, “Self, you were conscientious, you put in the work as best you could, and you clearly remember your past successes and failures, so just go out there and be aware that you may not have any control of what happens on race day.  You may feel great and push too hard, only to really hit the wall in the back half of the race, or you might feel great and find a good, sustainable rhythm… or you could feel like shit right out of the gate, and those feelings won’t dissipate much with time thus making it a many-hour shit-fest.”

I cannot control some of these variables and while I am mostly type A, I have learned to be comfortable not being in control.  Being married to a type A certainly helps to grow this ability, but I think that I am in a good place.  I don’t have any lofty expectations and just finishing will be a major honor.  Yes, I did it before (in 2007), but I remember how horrible an experience it was by having hope of breaking four hours and coming in at 4:37.  I remember feeling embarrassed talking about how badly I did, and to some extent, I still harbor resentment… towards myself!  I’ve done a very good job, a purposeful effort, to not advertise my participation to the bulk of my friends because I hate how badly the latter part of this running season went for me, but there is a solace to be found in running the event with no real goals.  I will run, I’ll probably walk a little here and there (or maybe more than a little if it gets really tough), but I will finish, and I will cherish the memory.  I get to do something that few people get to do but many marvel at.  I’ll get to run past my friends and say hi; I’ll get to look at all the interesting people around me from so many cultures and countries; I’ll get to run past my home and kiss my amazing wife; and I’ll get to cross that amazing threshold in Central Park and get my medal.  Then, I’ll get to tell all the stories of things I saw, and of the feelings I experienced, and I’ll probably take a couple of weeks off to eat freely (e.g. badly) and imbibe with reckless abandon… but then the memory and aura will fade, and life will take over.  This is therefore a rite of passage in a sense, and a life memory no matter the time on the watch.  So, I guess I am ready.


2007 NYC Marathon


2014 NYC Marathon Registration


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