I’m In! Lessons Learned from A Marathon Qualifying Race

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been silent. While I’m talkative and outgoing, I’m very silent when things get hectic in my life. It helps me process and handle the chaos. I’ve been on the road traveling for work this month and things have finally settled down after this week.

Saturday I qualified for my second NYC Marathon by completing the nine races required.  Woohoo! But it didn’t come easy. Not just because it was a 15k. Let me back up a bit.

After spending  two weeks following an artist around the country promoting an album, I flew to LA for a few important meetings. I flew in Thursday morning from NYC and flew out Friday night, landing in NYC at 6 am on Saturday morning. That’s right. Yours truly took a red-eye and then headed straight to the Ted Corbitt 15k (about 9+ miles) race to qualify for the 2012 NYC Marathon.

Everyone and their mother told me I was crazy.  While I automatically responded that I’d be fine, I was wrong. I WAS crazy. I lacked sleep, had no fuel, and my legs were killing me from being on a plane for six hours. I went to Central Park lacking the confidence to run the 9+ miles and almost gave up on my marathon dream. But instead, I sucked it up convinced myself that I’d at least try. If I ran three miles and really felt like I couldn’t finish, then I would allow myself to go home. But I finished. The race absolutely sucked and my time reflects it, but I finished. But having been so painful, I will carry these lessons learned with me for the rest of my life:

1. Don’t wait ’til the last minute. I had to do this race because there were very few qualifiers left in 2011. Sure, I could have run another race, but the last qualifier is NYE night at midnight in Central Park. :/ I have a tendency to procrastinate in all that do. It’s probably because I’ve always made it work somehow. But as I get older, I’m learning that procrastinating has its own unique consequences. Whether in life or wellness, never prolong what can be done now. It may be too late!

 

2. Fuel properly. I had oatmeal for breakfast. That’s what I always eat. But eating the same oatmeal before a 15k was probably not smart. Why would I think that eating the same amount of food would carry me through an almost-half-marathon?

 

3. Lower the bar…a bit. The idea of running 15k Saturday morning was daunting. But telling myself to run three miles and having an exit strategy ready, put my mind at ease. So the next time you don’t feel like working out, tell yourself to go to the gym for 20 minutes. Chances are once you’re there, you’ll want to do more. If you don’t, then it’s probably your body telling you that it needs rest.

 

4. Love what you do. My boyfriend asked me if I enjoy getting up early to run races? The answer is hell no. I am a sleeper. I fear becoming a parent not because of the huge responsibilities, but rather the lack of sleep that follows. I may not love waking up before the sun rises, but I love WHY I do. Waking up early is a circumstance  of wanting to qualify for a marathon. Racing makes me feel good. It empowers me. I love the strangers who surround me. We all have to do crappy things in life, but make sure there’s a “love” reason for enduring them. Otherwise, it’s not worth it.

 

5. Believe in yourself, always. Plain and simple. Everyone else thought I was crazy. Sure, I was but I didn’t let others get to me. I knew I could do it. Had I doubted myself from the beginning, I probably would’ve gone home that morning.

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4 thoughts on “I’m In! Lessons Learned from A Marathon Qualifying Race

  1. Congrats, Grace! Now rest…you deserve it!
    I hope to run with you in 2012 as we both prepare our bodies for the NYC Marathon!

  2. Oh my gosh. I had no idea all you went through to run that race! I hope you recovered okay and took time to relax afterwards. At least you have a week off from work now and can enjoy the downtime. I am so excited and proud of you for accomplishing your goal of qualifying for your 2nd marathon. You’ll do so great next November and I can’t wait to cheer for you!

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