It’s here! Tomorrow is the big day. I can’t believe that tomorrow I will be waking up and running the NYC Marathon.
I remember when I first wrote down that I wanted to break 3:00 in the marathon. It was just about a week after last year’s marathon, once I had a chance to reflect and regain my ability to walk. I admitted this was a lofty goal, but attainable with hard work. I’ve now put in a full year of hard work since that point and it’s time to see if it paid off.
Goals & Positive Thinking
You all know my goal time. It’s about all I’ve focused on the past few months. Running under 3:00 has been the thought in the back of my mind during every workout and long run, pushing me to work harder and stay strong.
As the race drew closer, I started to get so caught up with the fear of failing, that I started to lose sight of why I am doing this marathon. I run because I love it. Because it’s for me. Running allows me to better myself. To focus. To constantly grow and challenge myself. I’m not saying my time doesn’t matter to me, because it does. A lot. But it’s not the only thing that matters.
As my BFF Deena Kastor says (more on this later), “A joyful runner is a faster runner.”
Do I still want to run under 2:59:59.99? You bet. But I’ve had to get my head on straight and remind myself that as long as I PR and enjoy the experience, that’s still a win! I will continually remind myself to stay positive and not let “pace noise” throw off my game. My worst fear is seeing that I’m off pace and there is no way I will break 3:00, and falling apart. I won’t let that happen. I am going to run with a smile on my face (okay, at least through mile 23…) and give everything I have to at least PR. And most importantly, I will enjoy the ride.
And if I don’t PR? Well, expect a race recap with a very different tone soon
Yesterday morning, courtesy of Emilia and Asics, Kelly, Meggie, Susan and I were invited to attend a very special breakfast at the Empire Hotel with running pros Deena Kastor (my BFF above) and Ryan Hall. Hearing the pro runners share advice really pumped me up!
I spent the rest of the day working from Starbucks and laying low, and woke up this morning to do my traditional 20 minute shakeout run. It’s what we always did the day before a race in college, and haven’t changed it up since. As I finished, I got super excited (and nervous) to think the next time I step out for a run, it’ll be over the Verrazano bridge!
I headed down to Lululemon in Union Square at 9 a.m. for a run design focus group I was invited to. A few of their product development folks came down from Canada and wanted to hear from a small group of runners what we love in our running clothes (Lululemon or not!) to help shape their designs and styles. I’ve accumulated a ton of running clothes over the past 10 years, 85% of which seems to be Nike. I like Lululemon’s clothing, but the price point is a major barrier for me when I can barely even fit my current running collection into my drawers. And I am a poor working girl.
Nonetheless, the discussion was really interesting! And, we got a gift card for our time, so I used it to buy a pair of black run: speed shorts that I will wear during the marathon tomorrow. I have these shorts in another color and gradually found myself wearing them for most long runs because they feel light as air and have pockets for my gels. It was a last minute decision to switch to these shorts as I’ve always raced in Nike spandex shorts, but I love the run: speed shorts and have a feeling they’ll be great tomorrow. They’re called the speed shorts, so that’s a good sign…right?
And now we’re here. One more sleep and I’ll be running a marathon through the greatest city in the world. Friends, I can not begin to express how much your support means to me. Last year, I didn’t really know anyone else racing and it was very much a solo experience. This year I feel like I’ll know so many familiar faces running out there with me, spectating from the sidelines, or cheering from afar.
THANK YOU for every last comment, tweet, Facebook post, email, story, call, fro-yo trip, drink, EVERYTHING that we’ve shared over the last few months. I will think of all of you rooting for me to draw in positive energy and strength, especially in those final miles. If tomorrow is my day to break 3:00, I will feel on top of the world. And if it’s not, I’ll be back here and working hard until I do!
To track me, log onto http://ingnycmarathon.com tomorrow or download the app and track me via Bib#287. If you’re watching, here’s what I’m wearing!
Good luck to all the other runners out there. Catch ya after 26.2!