During my mindless morning Facebook trolling, I stumbled upon a video highlighting the NYC Marathon.
In 2014, I met my 'lifetime' goal of running the NYC Marathon. The city has always held a special place in my heart; I was meant to travel the five boroughs on foot. Without any plans other than 'finish the race', I ran a personal best on that blustery, cold Sunday morning, loving every step.
My excitement for that marathon hasn't ever faded, unlike other things in my life. Although it was my 3rd marathon, it felt like more of an accomplishment to me. Running NYC was my goal since the day I first laced up my shoes back in 2008. I wanted to return to the city that fed my soul, during the times I needed it most; I wanted to feel the energy of all those people in my heart. For three long years, I submitted my name in the lottery, having never been selected. Thankfully, due to a grandfather clause, my third failed attempt guaranteed entry the following year (2014).
Yesterday, I played that video with tears of joy streaming down my face. The spirit of the marathon is still very alive in my bones. It's not about qualifying for Boston (no matter how much I spin over this), it's not about the search for the perfect race outfit (of course I'll buy something), and it's most definitely not about the shoes (Newton's suck, by the way). Rather, the spirit for me IS about the training - building on the previous week's work, it's absolutely about personal reflection on the good AND bad training sessions, and it's most definitely about the camaraderie you share with the other runners on race day, both silent and verbal communications. We all worked hard to get here; we all overcame obstacles (some minor, some heavy); and we are all there to achieve a goal, no matter how different.
I am back on the training wagon with plans to run the Rehoboth Half Marathon in early December. I'm at least 10 lbs. heavier (okay, maybe more like 15) and I continue to struggle with finding the right foods to fuel my body without reeking havoc. My pace is slow, all the way around, for both easy runs and speed work. But, regardless of the distance I'm training, I feel this spirit again. One day I hope to be back to get my New York on.
I closed that video with one thought in my head: