…is the new, “Whatever, I’m getting cheese-fries.”
This weekend was supposed to be the doozy of all the doozies. I had a half-marathon + extension, short shake-out run and barre class all on deck. It was going to fill me with confidence and energy and all positive vibes to last me straight through the next two weeks.
Alas, that’s not what happened at all.
Totally prepped and ready for our half marathon, my bestie and partner in crime, set out to jog out to the starting line. The conditions were very *severe*. Strong winds, cold temps and brutal headwind. The roads were slippery because of the falling foliage and the visibility was non-existent because of aforementioned wind and rain. We quickly hid under an awning and stood there (shivering) going through the pro’s and con’s of ditching the race.
The race was an out and back loop of Shore Road Park in Brooklyn. It’s absolutely beautiful and peaceful if the weather is obliging, but in rough conditions, the combination of the monotony and cold water breeze doesn’t add up to a very good experience. Also, these courses are usually scarce on the support — porta-potties, nutrition, hydration. We were getting cold and stiff from the weather, and just decided that the risk of slipping, getting sick or getting injured for a local half marathon was too great than the reward of knocking 13 miles on our plans. We promised each other we’d get those miles in the next day and a deal was a deal.
Sunday morning (read: 10:30AM) I woke up with the dark cloud (though it was bright and sunny out) that I had to pound out at least 15 solid miles that morning. Flipping through Instagram I saw that many of my comrades had already completed their run. Not to mention, I was one of the few still going through peak week – many prepping for the New York City Marathon were already in taper mode.
I mentally knew the course I was going to take – three 5.3 loops on the water, with the option to extend down to a park if I felt great.
My mind was off. I just didn’t have that spring in my step, that positive attitude. I just really didn’t want to be doing what I was doing. The fact that I started so late and wouldn’t be done till so much later was daunting me. I kept thinking of my nutrition and how I probably wasn’t energized enough for the challenge. Not to mention I was definitely under-hydrated. These excuses just kept piling on and on until SWISHHH out of nowhere, a biker zoomed past me, and my spaghetti legs crossed and down I went.
Because the ground was still wet from the rain the day before, when I landed on my hand slid, cutting it up playground-style, and as I was making my initial descent onto the gravel I could hear the unmistakable sound of a rolling ankle.
Without any hesitation I started bawling. The biggest, juiciest tears were rolling down my face like a cartoon, and I was gasping for air like a toddler crying about not getting enough string cheese.
I made my way onto a bench and my first instinct was to call everyone I knew to tell them I was a big loser. My training was over.
Two pep talks later, I got myself off the bench, wiped my tears and walked back home.
On my walk home, I called my grandma (not to tell her about the fall, she would be mortified to know that I was running at all) who told me all about her new nightgown and robe set that made her feel like the “Queen of England”. If that wasn’t going to put a smile on my face, I don’t know what would.
By the time I made it the 2 miles back, I was greeted by a big hug and a big stack of pancakes. I ate pancakes, napped, iced and cried. And then I got over myself.
Injuries happen, and I’m thankful that this is just a fender bender of running injuries and I’ll be back on my ankle just fine for the big race. Also, training is hard and it’s a science — and when it doesn’t go as planned it can ripple effect. Sure, I could’ve been better. I could’ve NOT saved this run for the last possible week I could acceptably do it. That’s on me. But I reserve the right to say, life happened.
Since being accepted into the New York Marathon I left a job, started a job, took time to travel across the country and across the ocean, I’ve dealt with everything from family emergencies, to sinks full of dishes, to double-booked birthday parties, to starting a site, to hangovers, to sore muscles, to weird stomach pains, to migraines, to missed hair appointments, to missed Classpass classes, to MOVING and everything in between.
A lot can happen in those 16 weeks. A lot, a lot of life. It’s very easy for me to go hard on myself for failing this weekend, but I know that if I want to commit to this sport, I need to commit to getting up when I fall.
I am team of one. I am the coach, the athlete, the manager and the cheer squad. If I quit at one part of that, all else will quit too.
For the next 13 (!!!!!!!!!) days my main focus is to get my head in the best place possible.
Running New York City is an accomplishment and thrill of a lifetime, and my training will get me there the best way it knows how. And if you missed a training run (small or short, fast or tempo or LSD), join me in believing that we’re going to just FINE on November 6th. Please, please, please join me so I’m not alone.
Peace, love, NYC.