Why I Will Run the NYC Marathon Post-Sandy

I, like many runners, have been torn about whether to run the marathon. Whether we like it or not, this race is happening with or without us.

I mean no disrespect to those who are still dealing with the aftermath of Sandy. If anything, I pray for you and our city and have already sought opportunities to volunteer in the coming weeks.

While I am originally from Virginia, I consider myself a New Yorker. I always have been and always will be. I was here the weekend after 9-11 and I remember witnessing the resiliency, strength, and community that New Yorkers shared and I wanted a part. I cheered for the Yankees in the 2001 World Series because the city needed a reason to cheer (I have been rooting for the Yankees ever since). For the record, Hurricane Sandy is not 9-11; however, the people and their hearts are the same.

To quote Bart Yasso from My Life On the Runpg 184:

“We had started the journey as Russians, Germans, Canadians, French, Americans, Irish, and Inuit, but we ended as athletes. Running does that to people. It brings unlikely folks together and fosters a fellowship like no other sport.” 

That is exactly what the Marathon does. Those who are normally divided by borough, race, economic status, neighborhood, street, creed, etc. are one on Marathon Day. And isn’t that what we all need in this time of distress? A little unity. There is no other day when you’ll see a kid from the projects hi-five an old Hasidic Jew. It’s one day where people put aside their differences to support and cheer for another human being. It’s a glimpse of Heaven.

The conditions aren’t perfect and I wish the circumstances were different, but I support New York City and will run for it this Sunday.

Today I am asking friends, family, and any other good Samaritans:

-OR-

  • If you cannot donate $, please donate blood or volunteer your time to one of the many great organizations working to help families affected by Sandy.

In exchange for your donation, I will mail you a cut of my heatsheet (it’s the aluminum thing marathoners get wrapped in after a race), will etch your name on my race day shirt, and sing your praises on my LeanGirlsClub blog. For one day, we can all be marathoners and New Yorkers.

This race is not about me, never has been. It’s for New York.

 

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20

We’re 20 days away from the big race, the ING NYC Marathon, and this weekend I ran my last (successful) 20 miler. I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me talk about this one race. Every time I post something on Facebook or Twitter about how many miles I ran, I’m pretty sure someone is rolling their eyes as much as I roll my eyes after reading someone’s political rant status update. So we’re even.

This post isn’t so much about the run itself, but rather why this particular run was better than all the others. A big big big THANKS to my friends Lisa at Early Morning Run and my Cherbrale (and her boyfriend Nick who was there in spirit) for meeting me at different points along the 20 miles and not letting me walk. Having to meet them at certain points by a certain time helped me stay on track and finish under four hours. It meant a lot that these folks would spend part of their weekend, outdoors on the coldest day yet in NYC, running with me.

It’s always nice to know that friends and family support you. I know mine  support me and my goals 100% but many of them have never seen me run a race. Remember those days when your mom and dad came to your recital or game? You didn’t make a deal about them being there, but you definitely noticed when they were not. There’s something about the human spirit that is contagious. Isn’t that why we cheer for our favorite baseball team? We, the spectators, believe and know that our spirit and encouragement can sometimes lift the team out of the pits. We have faith when the athletes themselves don’t.

There are runners around you, or just people in general, who need your support and faith. Will you cheer for them?

Me? I will be fine.

Marathon Countdown: 33 Days

I realized the other day that I had 40 days ’til the ING NYC Marathon. Little did I know I miscounted and had 38 days. Now I have 33.

I ran 20 miles this weekend. Actually, I ran, came home and realized on Map My Run that I only ran 18 so I went back out and ran another two. My body hurt. Literally locked up. And while I wanted to lay on the couch, I heard my physical therapist’s voice in my head reminding me to ice my Achilles. She made me look her in the eye and promise so I got my butt up and waddled to the freezer. I pay too much money for PT twice a week for me to screw it up over some ice.

Same thing with food. While I had the urge to inhale a beer and pizza (carb loading at its best) because I “deserved” it, I knew that a pizza wasn’t going to make me feel better. I needed something to restore and repair, so I opted for some fresh fruit, fish, and leafy greens. I’m so glad I did because I seem to have recovered faster than other long runs.

These are such simple things, but they made a huge difference.  I work too hard, you too, to mess it all up with malnutrition (or not icing). Like I’m training my body to run great lengths, I’m having to train my body what to do afterward for optimal recovery and what to eat. It’s equally important. It just got serious. 33 days!