I’ve probably written this post before. The one where I throw my hands up and just want to give up on running, marathon training, my goals and my entire runner identity. #dramaqueen
I don’t feel like a runner lately.
My idea of hydrating the night before a run…
This is clearly not a runner.
I don’t feel excited for the NYC marathon like I should. I’m embarrassed to say that because there are so many people who’d do anything to run it.
While struggling through my short 5 miles this morning I dug down deep into why I am feeling this way.
Last year I had all these amazing PRs. I finished a half in March in 2:05 and then came the NJ Marathon where I finished in 4:38. I felt strong and was seeing such improvement that it stoked the fire in me to push for faster finishes and goals. I even bandied the idea of a sub 2 half marathon in my near future. And was hoping to shave another few minutes off that NJ marathon PR this year. Well I ended up injured, and injured again, and then again….ankle, knee, rotator cuff, back, hamstring, sometimes more than one issue hurting at the same time. It’s been 16 months of battling injuries and compromising of races. Dropping back from a full to a half for the San Francisco Marathon last year, and then not running a few other races at all. Getting only half the training in for this year’s NJ Marathon with a resulting 20 min slower than PR finish.
I wanted this NYC Marathon training cycle to be great! I wanted to feel so jazzed and healthy and really find that spirit and running high that I had in the past. I wanted to put these injuries behind me. And here I am struggling to keep up with training and worried I’ll have another poor performance come race day.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have no time goals for this race because of my not so stellar training but deep down I’m still so sad that my fire to get faster was snuffed by injury after injury. It has messed with my mind so much that I feel like a failure. I don’t feel like a runner anymore….more like a “shuffler”. My “good” runs are rare and that scares me.
I’m signed up for a half marathon this Saturday—the Beat the Blerch.
But I’m pretty sure I’m going to drop back to the 10k. I heard that most of the course is on trails and I’m worried about more injury. I’ll make a game-day decision.
I’m tempted to just stay home and lay on the living room floor with this guy:
But because I know my running peeps Cindi and Jane will be there I’m going. Jane has been in beast mode lately running and triathaloning and I’m hoping she’ll give me a pep-talk and some inspiration.
Tomorrow I promise I will UN-surrender because I know I’m not a quitter. And these feelings of failure and disappointment will be replaced with desire and perseverance. I’m going to actually slow down as I approach the finish line at the NYC Marathon this year. I want to take it all in. I want to savor the moment. I want to acknowledge the completion of a journey that took time and dedication. It might not be a “win” in the sense that most runners want but for me it will be a precious ending to the last chapter in my marathon book. I’m going to take a break from this distance. Not forever but for a bit. But I want to remember those seconds as I approach the finish line and realize that even through challenges I can make it. And my identity can be more than just a marathoner.
OK enough of that soapbox. I’ve agreed to start working full-time at my new(ish) gig. I’ve been freelancing with them for a few months but as of November I’ll be there 5 days and with an almost 2 hour commute each way and no marathon training I won’t have too much to talk about during the week. So I might drop back to once a week posts. I still plan to Sweat Out The Small Stuff of course =) Meanwhile, Duncan said he will guest post for me.
Hey can you teach me how to use WordPress?
He’s got plenty of time because while I’m at work there’s only so much stair resting one can really do
Question: Right now, Shut up and Dance by Walk the Moon and My Body by Young the Giant are the only two definites on my marathon playlist. Obviously 5 hours of running means I NEED MORE MUSIC!!!! Any suggestions???
I’m so excited to share with you my experience at the 2015 New Jersey Marathon. It’s all LOVE for this event. I apologize for the novel you are about to read (or scroll through).
Mr. Sweat Out The Small Stuff and I went to the expo on Friday evening.
When it comes to expos, Mr. SOTSS is more of the “run in, get race number, run out” kind of guy. He doesn’t get too excited about them. His whole running lifestyle is simple, practical and uncomplicated. But he loves how excited I get for expos that I love running so much that I love all the details that go into the race. He thinks I love preparing for a race as much as I love running them. What can I say. So the expo, the training, and all that happens from the moment I register for a race until the minute I cross the finish line (and even days after) is a big part of my life. It’s the reason I started blogging. OK sorry, I got off on a little tangent..
The expo is at the race track which is also where the race starts
The expo was fairly simple. We didn’t stay for any of the seminars that were on tap, but we got a few samples and looked at some running gear and then grabbed our race bibs and shirts. I’ll say that the only part of this year’s NJ Marathon that I wasn’t in love with was the shirt. And guess what? I have so many running shirts at this point it’s really not a big deal. Especially since I signed up for the race a year beforehand at it’s lowest registration fee.
All in all the expo was easy to get to, easy to navigate and quite empty. I’m sure Saturday was probably busier.
Since we went to the expo on Friday we had Saturday to relax without anything on the schedule.
I have run the New Jersey Marathon twice now and I’m already registered to run for the 3rd consecutive time this coming April 26, 2015.
Running the 2014 NJ Marathon
Just a few feet from the finish line of the 2013 NJ Marathon
When I signed up for the first time back in 2013 it was a total random decision but one of the best decisions I’ve ever made since becoming a runner. Out of the 5 full marathons I’ve completed to date, my 2 NJ Marathon finishes were my fastest and this year I made it the entire 26.2 without ever hitting the wall! And I also met Jane through this race back in 2013. You know Jane….she’s responsible for convincing me to run the Jersey Girl Triathalon =)
Sally and Jane: 2014 New Jersey Marathon finishers…woot woot!
The course happens to be a fast, flat one that is very BQ (Boston Marathon Qualifier) friendly. It also takes you on the iconic Jersey Shore boardwalk in two locations. Now that the repairs have been done following Superstorm Sandy’s destruction 2015 will be the first year back on the boardwalk at mile 20 in Asbury Park. And the final 1/2 mile is on the boardwalk in Long Branch. Nothing more exhilarating than the view of the ocean to your right! The medals are pretty fabulous too! And you can count on there being a unique spinner in the center of the medal each year. I can’t wait to see the 2015 medal. I hear it’s in the works!!!
The medallion in the middle spins!
Another spinner! The star spins. Let Your Star Shine!
And how sweet was this post the night before the race… OK, so let me tell you about some of the details. There are 3 races to choose from:
Half Marathon Relay (2 runners split the distance)
So basically that gives you the option to run 6.5 miles, 13.1 or 26.2. The races are held on April 26, 2015 and start in Monmouth, New Jersey at the iconic Monmouth Race Track. The weather in New Jersey in the Spring is usually great running weather. 50 degrees on average. The full marathon has a stretch from mile 16-24 that is an out and back so it’s very spectator friendly. My family waits at mile 17 and then at mile 22. There are lots of local residents who come out and cheer in front of their homes. Many blasting Bruce Springsteen! Even a few local bands set up along the course. And I’m happy to report that each year I’ve run I’ve seen so much progress in the restoration of the shore towns since Superstorm Sandy. So basically just think of the definition of the word resilient when you think of this race….resilient residents AND resilient runners. Am I getting you excited yet?Well great news! A few weeks back through social media I discovered that NJ Marathon was looking to hire some “street team members”. Basically street team members represent the NJ Marathon at vendor booths/tents at other races and race expos (Yep, I’ll be at the Philadelphia Marathon Expo in 2 weeks so if you’re running, come by the expo and say hi!). I inquired and within a day I found I had a new part-time job! How awesome? I get to share my love and knowledge of the race with other runners. And get paid for it! (Disclaimer: I’m being compensated to write this post as part of my job but all opinions and love of this race are purely my own I promise you that!)
And what does this mean for you? You can save 10% off the current race price by using the code NJM15Sally when registering. You can register here.
I really do have so much I want to share and while I will do a more in-depth recap of the San Francisco Marathon/Half Marathon itself I thought I’d share these top 10 memorable moments (and they are in no specific order).
1. Staying with Valerie and her family on their houseboat in Sausalito.
First of all Valerie and her hubby, son and cats couldn’t have been more fun and gracious to stay with. Hotels are overrated (and overpriced). Valerie spent much of the weekend being the “ferry princess” shuttling us to and from the dock to catch our boat. She baked up a batch of yummy chocolate chip-banana-almond muffins and gluten free chocolate chip cookies that were OUT OF THIS WORLD! I looked forward to a cookie and the Nespresso machine each morning. The deck of the houseboat was so peaceful and relaxing to sit out on. I enjoyed the perks of the guest quarters including her foam roller #runners. The “front yards” along the block dock were so colorful with blooms of all kinds and there was an amazing deli that I returned to for the same sandwich 2 days in a row.
Some of the neighbor’s colorful “front yards”
Gus the cool cat
high tide made the entrance to the house another HILL!