Tuesday, November 5, 2019

NYC Marathon Recap 2019

I am home from New York City and while I should definitely be folding and putting away laundry, instead I'm thinking about my latest journey through The Big Apple. The best way to see the city? The NYC Marathon, of course!

I have a lot of thoughts, possibly some excuses to share with you regarding race day. I'm super proud that I got to do this, but as with every other time I've run a marathon, I feel a little regretful of my performance at times, too. I've talked a lot about marathon running as a formula that I haven't been able to figure out yet and that still rings true for me. Admittedly, I didn't feel prepared for this distance leading up to the big day. It's very hard to fit in all the training when life happens. I haven't been able to find the balance of homeschooling my kids, being a good wife/mother/friend/whatever, sickness/injury, travel, other interests, and trying to train hard for a time I'm really proud of. I run because it helps to manage my anxiety. It's difficult to decide how much emphasis I should give to this sport in light of all of that. In the very same breath, I wasn't ready this year and there's no one to blame but myself. Still, I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. I got to run a major world marathon again and that is not lost on me.
I couldn't wait to start, but I had a late start time. There was plenty of time for my nerves to build up and bubble over especially as I watched my step-dad and my husband's start times come and go.

Running by myself was the way to go, though. Part of the difficulty of this marathon is the enormous crowd. I spent so much energy attempting to weave in and out of people to keep a good pace. I'd fall in with someone a lot slower than me and not realize for awhile that I had slowed down. I'd get through the crowd for a bit and then encounter the same problem. The first mile, as usual, was the most crowded one. Runners are trying to set a good pace, others are climbing up on bridges to take in the scenery and capture a picture, and I was just trying to get my mind right. After that first mile, I settled in to a 9:15 pace. I knew I wouldn't keep that, but I wanted to be right there since that is a comfortable pace for me and I didn't want to start off too fast like I did in Napa Valley earlier this year. That plan served me well until about the half way mark. I began to get slower at mile 13 and my legs just would not go. I can't explain it. I didn't feel tired, out of breath, or have any major injuries or pain I was trying to manage. I just couldn't propel my legs. I think the lactic acid build up was a big issue for me in this race. I hardly walked at all, but my times began a downward spiral slipping into 10,11, and even a 12 minute mile. I ran to mile 16 where I thought I'd find my sister and I did. She kept me running to her because I couldn't wait to see a familiar face. I thought once or twice that I would just stop and walk back with her when I got to her. Good thing for that barrier between us when I finally did see her! I was moving, but it wasn't nearly as fast as I wanted to. I felt my mind start to drift..."This is dumb. Why do I do this to myself? No one cares if you just walk the rest of it out." So I did what any Loudon Lacer would do and I sent a Marco Polo to my running pals around mile 18. One of my friends in the group had a stroke a few months ago and it has been a long road for her to have to walk down. I had been thinking of her the whole time. I was imagining myself running for her and for others I don't even know who would love to be able to run right now and those who do run and would love an opportunity to run in this marathon. Who was I to quit?

As soon as I sent my video to my running friends, they responded with so much support. It kept me going. I imagined all of you (who were texting me telling me that I was doing great or to finish strong) were on the streets of NY that day and I couldn't stop. I felt the love all those miles away. At mile 20, you all told me I just had a 10 k left. At mile 23, you told me I just had a 5k. At mile 25, you told me I could do anything for one mile and somehow I busted out one of the fastest miles for the whole race. The finish line felt so good. Thank you all so much for cheering me on. My friends who run with me, my homeschooling group of mamas, those of you who watch my kids so I can do this thing I love, those of you who reach out in support and encouragement--you share in this race with me. It's always an incredible reminder that I'm not alone and I have good people who care deeply.
The biggest takeaway for me was this epiphany I had as ESPN cameras swarmed my face on Sunday. This was my second televised sporting event where I was competing with tens of thousands of the world's best runners. The start of the race was captured on the front of the Wall Street Journal. This marathon is a big deal and a big blessing to me. God has given me so much. I was happy to complete this race another time. I don't even mind too much that it was a minute slower than last time. Lord willing, I'll keep persevering.


Post a Comment

Designed By Poppiness Designs