TCS NYC Marathon Part 1: Getting to the starting line

I had no intentions in running a big marathon in 2018.

In mid-May that changed when I received a Twitter message from David Monti regarding the elite field at the 2018 TCS NYC Marathon. In my mind it was a no brainer. How could I say no to an opportunity like that. I actually joked with my now husband that if Tony, my coach, didn’t agree to running NYC, it was time to find a new coach (luckily Tony was more excited than I was!).

I knew that the first weekend in November was going to be a struggle the day I committed to the race but as I grew closer to starting my training cycle at the beginning of August, my life quickly became more complicated.

July 21, 2018

Will and I got married in Wisconsin (BEST day ever but for anyone who has planned a wedding, you know it is far from stress-free)

August 13, 2018

Will accepts a job at the University of Alabama and I resign from my job

August 1322, 2018

I live out of my car / in spare bedrooms of awesome people

August 23, 2018

Move 755 miles to a state I had never been to.

In just over 4 weeks I hit almost every major life event…marriage –> new job –> moving.

Every marathon training cycle has been different and complicated for me in different ways…this one was no different. Even though I was no longer working a full-time job in Alabama, I was transitioning to a new climate, new running routes and a new life in general.

Tackling solo 10 mile tempos at 6am when it was already 80 degrees and 90% humidity was emotionally and physically taking a toll on me. In Ohio, I knew that if I survived the month of July, I was basically in the clear. But Alabama was a whole different story…

Finding the motivation to get out of bed to run was getting harder every day. Internally I was struggling and frustrated with myself. I finallyhadeverythingIwanted, or so Ithought. I was living in the same state as my husband (we lived in different states for 4 years!) and he had a job that could support us both so that I could pursue what I LOVED. This is what I wanted so how could I ever want a day off of running? How was I emotionally drained? I wanted this for so long and now I had it.

A hiccup in training caused by my foot in mid-September was exactly what I needed. It forced me to take a few days off of training and about 10 days away from any workouts. I seriously considered withdrawing from NYC during these 10 days but thankfully Tony wouldn’t let me. Emotionally I was finally letting myself rest (which I probably hadn’t done since before our wedding) and I learned the hard way that it is okay to need a day off. That day off was just as important as the 10 mile tempo.

The last 5 weeks of the cycle I was more forgiving. I let myself enjoy each workout. That doesn’t mean I didn’t get nervous but I did go into each workout with with more excitement. I would ask myself how each day could make me better for November 4th and have a small goal for each run.

Before getting on a plane to NYC, I had some reservations. I was focusing too much on those 10 days I missed rather than the 10 weeks I had been healthy. It’s funny how our brains work. Clearly the 10 weeks of solid training greatly outweigh the 10 days of sub-par training / workouts I missed but I automatically focused on the negative. Despite my reservations, I was excited to experience my first time in NYC and my first major marathon. They say getting to the starting line healthy is half the battle and this couldn’t be more true.

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