I Ran the New York City Marathon
Training: Month 3Late August
Another one of the biweekly runs. This one was billed as "five miles at a conversational pace." I figured talking was part of the assignment. As I heaved and huffed with members of the group, I decided to make idle chat with a woman next to me. She seemed close to my age, in her late 30s, and I was relieved that she didn't seem nearly as happy as "hill girl." She wasn't smiling, but rather just concentrating.
"So is this your first marathon?" I asked, stuttering on "your" as I gasped for air.
"Yeah, it is," she replied fluidly.
"How are you liking it?" I managed to say, this time trying hard not to choke on my words.
"Oh, I love it. I'm just afraid I'm becoming addicted!" she exclaimed, then picked up her pace and sped off in the distance. Addicted? To cheese and chocolate maybe, but running?
My heart sank. Will I ever get it? As I watched her gallop off in the distance I clenched my stomach and began jogging crooked. That damn doughnut I ate at lunch apparently decided to join me. I am an idiot.
The thing is, I've always had my running. It's been a crutch in my exercise life. My way to burn off the calories I consume in as short of time as possible. Just get it over with has been my motto. My frustration is that running has never come easy to me.
For purposes of full disclosure, this isn't my first marathon. But before you think me a fraud, hear me out. My first marathon was nine years ago. I had a different life and a different body. I was in my 20s and could handle the beating more. I was also newly in love and you know what that does to a person. Makes you feel like magic. My boyfriend (now husband) and I ran the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul together. I was still trying to impress him, which is probably the only reason I made it through. And afterwards? Well, I felt like I had been in a car wreck. I had to walk down my stairs backwards for a week because the pain was so excruciating in my quads. I vowed to never run one again. We eventually got married and moved to New York. The past six years I have been taken to tears watching the 38,000 people run by my block in Brooklyn. Last year I decided the NYC marathon was something I just had to check off my life list.
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