So the Empire State ½ marathon is 12 days away…and I am kindoftotallysortof freaking out.
As usual, I don’t feel as prepared as I should be. But with that being said I am not completely under-trained. Since April/May I have been running consistently but that’s usually just 3-4 miles. I am certainly more trained for 5K’s or 10K’s. But like everything I do in life…go big or go home!!
I signed up for this race exactly 10 days after I quit drinking. I normally do not do anything longer than a 10K in my area because I find them boring, as I see this scenery all of the time. Especially at the park where this race is because it’s the same place I go to almost every time I go out for a run. I like to run longer distances in places that are new to me to help distract my mind. It’s easier to run 13 or 26 miles when I’m going “oohh, what’s that?!” instead of “holy hell I am only to here?!”
But this race is on my birthday this year. That immediately drew my attention because I have always thought it would be fun to run a race on my birthday, because ya know, after racing comes the celebratory beers. I was only 10 days into my sobriety and at that moment I was still not fully admitting that I was indeed an alcoholic and that sobriety would be a lifelong battle. At the time I thought “I wonder if I can make it to my birthday and after the race I can have a celebratory beer!” LOL!! Obviously, being almost 8 months sober now and fully admitting that I had become an alcoholic, I have a different perspective. Now I just hope to NOT have a celebratory alcoholic drink.
So instead of spending my birthday in a bar like I normally would have I will be spending my birthday with a couple thousand people pounding the pavement.
This will also mark my first time getting behind a starting line since the 2012 Utica Boilermaker, which was a pathetic attempt of me pretending I was still an active runner when in reality all I spent my time doing was drinking, eating, and drinking some more. I would sign up for many races between then and now but I would drop out of every single one of them.
I’m not dropping out this time!! While I may not be as physically prepared as I should be I know that I can pull this one out. I have lost over 50 lbs so while yes this will be the heaviest weight I have ever raced at (well mine maybe the first 5K I ever did) I am certainly much better off than I was when I signed up. Sure, the farthest distance I have ran since getting moving again has been 7 miles but it was a decent, strong 7 miles. Remember when I ran my marathon and my longest run before that had only been 13.2 miles???? Yeah…again…training plans + me just don’t get along.
I know I have the drive, the will, the craving, the desire, the strength inside me to run those 13.1 miles. I know that I have ran 13.1 miles many times before. I know the excitement of being in a race again will start some adrenaline to course through my veins. I know that having some friends out on the course will be motivating me (and also know that if I drop dead and they run by that they can at least identify my body). I know that having my husband…yes, this will be the first time that I can say that my husband, not my boyfriend, is at the finish line, will be waiting for me at the finish line will keep me moving forward.
I’m not doing this race to prove anything to anybody but myself. I know that I will not come even close to any previous ½ marathon times I've hit, and I am OK with that. I am not going out there to try and set any PR’s (but to be completely honest, knowing where my pace is right now & my fitness, I would like to finish at or under a time of 3:30). I am going out there to cross a starting line and a finish line. I don’t care if I stop and walk a bit, because I know that I will. I don’t care if some of my friends finish the marathon in almost the same time (or less) than the ½ because I’m not competing with anyone…but myself. I am here to prove that I can do this again. I am here to prove to myself that I didn't just sign up on a fluke and that I am a runner again. I am here to prove that I do not give up on myself.
The only thing I am worried about mostly is my knee. As many of you know I have had issues with my left knee and got diagnosed with Patellar Tendonitis. I took the rest and medication as the doctor ordered (which was another setback in getting properly prepared for this race) and will take my first running steps today. I don’t plan on running a whole lot between now and race day. Let’s be honest, what’s done is done as far being prepared for the race. All I can hope for at this point is for my knee to hold up and for no further damage to be created.
My girl Dani has a saying that keeps her going…finish what you started…and that is exactly what I plan to do.