Wow. Five days out from New York City Marathon. The time has flown and never have I wished I had more time to train for a race like I do for this one. Since day 1 in this training cycle, I had questions about whether I would be ready. Of course, I trusted Coach, but I started with such a low base that I felt like I had a long way to go. And just as I really started to gain confidence in my fitness level, BAM! Injury.
I consider myself very lucky that I was back to running 100% only 2.5 weeks after I strained my calf, but the injury definitely came at a less than ideal time. Since it happened just as I was peaking and I had to step back once I returned, I never got in a 20-miler. In fact, I only ran one 18-miler and a handful of 15’s. As a result, I have never toed the line at a marathon feeling so unprepared.
Yet, I am not worried (well, maaaaybe a little). I am not scared. And I am excited to run 26.2 miles on Sunday.
1. No pressure. After Bayshore, there seemed to be this tremendous pressure lifted off my shoulders. After that race, I felt like I could actually have fun with the marathon. Sure I will always want to work hard and chase PR’s but the internal pressure I was putting on myself was finally gone.
2. I feel fit. Bourbon Chase was a huge confidence boost for me. To be able to comfortably run paces on hilly routes that I would like to run in the marathon made me feel like I might just be a bit more ready than I thought. The big question will be…is the endurance there? I am guessing NO, but hopefully I will run a smart race and be mentally tough enough to push through.
3. Cross training. After I got hurt, I took 3 full days of rest (and drank a lot of wine), but after that we decided that I would cross-train my way through the injury and the rest of the cycle. I did long workouts on the elliptical and piggy-backed my longer runs with biking, to simulate (from a cardio standpoint) true long runs. As a triathlete, I definitely believe cross-training helps my running and I am hoping that as a result, I have more of an endurance base than I think.
4. It’s NEW YORK. How could I not be stoked to run the streets of one of the greatest cities, in one of the greatest marathons in the world? The crowds will be amazing and the atmosphere will be like no other.
5. Boston. The timing of learning that I was accepted into Boston 2014 couldn’t have been better. I am beyond excited to train for and race Boston and I know if NYC isn’t the race that I originally hoped it would be, I will have another amazing experience waiting for me on April 21st.
So, what are my goals? Ahhh…tough question. I would love to PR. That would mean basically anything in the 3:29:xx range or below. It would be an unexpected amazing outcome. B goal? To re-qualify for Boston (sub-3:35). C goal? To run my second fastest marathon ever…which would be anything under a 3:43:59.
But as I said going into Bayshore (after the Eugene disaster), I really just want to run the race I trained for. Did I train for a PR? No. I don’t believe I have earned a PR in this race. Not for lack of effort, desire or willingness to work hard, but just because that’s the way things worked out. I want to run a race I can be proud of, I want to represent Coach and Granato Racing in the best way possible and I want to enjoy every minute of running the streets of New York City.