I looked forward to reporting on running the marathon yesterday.
After at least 300 miles training without incident or injury, I hurt my foot last week — I don’t think anything permanent, but enough to make running impossible. I put off deciding as long as I could, but with a heavy heart and tears almost welling in my eyes on as beautiful a fall day as you could hope for, Friday I went to the Marathon registration at the Javitts Center and postponed my entry until next year. Getting into the marathon is hard, but canceling this year guarantees my entry next year.
Thank you to everyone who wished me well. The support helped. It sucks to have such a great training season and then find you can’t run during a little podunk five-mile run.
I still went yesterday with friends to cheer everyone on, fighting back secret wishes that thunder and lightning would cancel the race. It was a beautiful day for running. Cool and breezy, but sunny. The thousands of runners we saw in Central Park inspired my friends to train to run marathons themselves. It’s contagious. I hope they stick with it. Seeing all the other competitors in the race and recovering after filled me with envy.
The Philadelphia Marathon is in two weeks and has open spots. I ran my last marathon there, where I got my personal best. Either my foot will heal and I’ll put my training to use or it won’t and I’ll be gratified I chose to respect my injury and not run. Besides, running is its own reward, so all the training was worth it — it’s only that I got so skinny even my rings were falling off my fingers. Is that crazy or what?
If you’re looking for inspiration, here are four articles I liked from yesterday’s New York Times, which always covers the marathon.
- Sub-Elite Runners Chase Improvement
- 4 Wheelchair Titles in the 4 Top Marathons, about the first person to win the four major wold marathons in one year
- Japanese Civil Servant Runs Marathon for Fun, Not Profit
- Marathon Runners Build Their Sport Stride by Stride
- More coverage
300 miles, which put me slightly above 40 miles a week doesn’t qualify me as a serious runner, but I was feeling great toward the end of my training. Starting late as I did I didn’t expect to get that great a time, but by October I was enjoying running faster than before, recovering faster than I expect.
A few people asked how I’d change my beliefs to handle not getting to run. Mainly I remember that running is its own reward — it pushes you to learn more about yourself. Since mid-August I ran runs of 21 miles, 18 miles, 16 miles, 14.5 miles several times, and a bunch of 12 milers since that’s two times around Central Park. I didn’t get the millions of people cheering, but I got to run myself and the rewards that come with it.
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