Last night, I finally faced the facts and did this.
It sucked, but I've known for a while that I wouldn't be running NYCM this weekend. I made the decision while on a camping trip this summer. Robert, our friend Matt, and I were hiking up a steep mountain on that Saturday and I remember thinking "Crap, my legs are going to be sore. Tomorrow's long run is going to suck. I shouldn't be hiking"... followed by... "Screw it. I'm in love and I'm having fun & want to spend my time focusing on my relationship and doing what I love to do, not training." That evening, on a romantic walk to the campground bathrooms, I told Robert my decision and felt at ease with it. It was good.
I followed along as my friends trained and every once in a while the idea of just going for it crept into my stubborn brain. This would be the third time I trained for NYCM but didn't cross the finish line. In 2011, a hamstring injury took me out of the game about a month before the race. Last year, well you know the story. I thought the third time would be a charm and I would finally run the race that turned my hobby into a passion and has always been my ultimate goal.
When folks ask why I'm not running, I say that life just got in the way. It's the truth, but it's not a bad thing. Life got in the way in a beautiful fantastic happy way. I met my soul mate, decided to move to Pennsylvania, put my energy into my relationship and searching for our home. We bought a house, several huge Erica Sara Designs opportunities came my way and took up lots of my time, Robert proposed and I started to plan a wedding... all wonderful stuff. There are those who believe that there's always time to train and good for them. I'm not one of those people. My new mantra has become "I can do anything but not everything." I work my ass off and my body deserves the sleep it craves after a busy day. I want to spend my energy nourishing my relationship and those extra hours I've gotten with Robert, instead of being out on long runs, have created some beautiful memories. So when the sadness that I'm not running NYCM hits, I remind myself all of this and once again, I'm at ease.
I started training for long distance races during a difficult time in my life to prove to myself that I was strong enough to handle anything. Years later, I'm happier, healthier and more in tune with who I am than I've ever been. I no longer need to prove anything to myself. I look around my home and my office, I think of the friends and new relationships I've developed and I realize that I'm stronger than I ever thought possible.
This doesn't mean I'll stop running or stop training. I love a good run and there's nothing like working your ass off during a race to cross the finish line, knowing you gave it everything you had. But I'm going to cut myself some slack and I'm going to do it the right away. Lack of training has definitely had an impact on my body. My legs are pretty weak and during the RW Half a few weekends ago, both of my knees gave out by the middle of the race. It was the wake up call I needed. It reminded me of how much I love racing, but the experience told me it was time to get serious about getting back in shape. My next race will be the Maui Oceanfront Half Marathon in January and I've put together a manageable training schedule. Robert & I will have our wedding on the beach there a few days later so I want this race to be a good experience for me. I want to remember it as my wedding half :)
So that's all... I finally wrote the post I've wanted to write. I'm back in NYC for the weekend and I'm ready to cheer on my friends! Best of luck to everyone racing this weekend. May it be the ultimate 26.2 miles and may you cross the finish line knowing you gave it everything you had. Looking forward to congratulating you all when you're done!
I'll leave you with these simple yet wise words ;)