Dry Martini: I Am Happy and Sad for Me (Spoiler: It Involves the 2016 New York City Marathon)

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Just like 82,000+ runners, I spent most of Tuesday cringing every time I checked my in-box. Just like roughly 77 percent of those runners who entered the lottery for the 2016 New York City Marathon, I didn’t get in.

Which is OK, I guess. There was an initial bit of severe disappointment; followed quickly by relief, which was then followed quickly by “… but maybe a charity slot?,” which was then followed by a prudent decision to wait until 2017 because this summer/fall will be a busy one, which was then followed by a series of emails this morning that made me reconsider, sort of.

So, in short: if you’re looking for a solid “I'm not running this in 2016,” I can give you 98 percent of one. Unless I’ve changed my mind again by the time you read this. Which is not unlikely.

Just so we’re clear, though: I have zero desire to run a marathon. I have all of the desire to run the NYC marathon. What can I say? I’m a puzzle.

Just added an Austin race picture to the windowsill at my day job. I can't help but smile when I see these.

Speaking of inconsistent things, we’ve reached the point in the year where spring feels like it is gingerly sticking its snout around the corner to see if it’s time to really burst forth. It’s warmer, yes, and brighter. Soon the Spring peepers will be getting squished on local roads. One sure sign is that the sap has started to run, which is such a New England-y thing to say I expect to be whisked away by flannel-wearing socialists driving a Subaru but that doesn’t make it less true.

We’re still not quite on the other side yet, though. It was in the 20s when I set out for my Sunday long run and the wind was just on this side of gale force. Still, when Coach says run for 7-8 miles easy, I run for 7-8 miles easy. It was 7.6 miles exactly, according to Herr Garmin, who remains my stalwart companion no matter the weather.

I picked the long route that I only do when there isn’t snow. It’s been long enough  since I’d run it that I’d forgotten what 400 feet of uphill feels like, which is to say, like more uphill than ought to be allowed under the Geneva conventions. There was a woman in a lavender jacket who was about 800 feet in front of me the whole time. I kept trying to catch her when she slowed to a walk on the uphills but then I’d hit that same uphill, which meant that she was over the hill and speeding up while I power walked. I played this little game for three miles and never did catch up. Well done, lavender jacket lady. Well done.

I promise you that lavender jacket lady is in this picture.

The whole run was like that, really. I couldn’t quite get my act together. The zipper on my aging blue fleece kept sliding down. I couldn’t co-ordinate the hydrating and the breathing. My right shoe kept untying itself, even with a double knot. My nose wouldn’t stop running, which seems to be an unintended consequence of being hydrated.

Speaking of, let me state the blindingly obvious again: this whole hydration thing holds water.


Look, Coach, I'm hydrating! And, yes, that is a frozen lake behind me.

I finished my long run feeling tired but good. While some of that is simple experience — I’ve run a few 7 - 8 milers at this point — a lot of it can likely be chalked up to having enough fluid in my body for the whole run. Turns out those experts might know something. Yes, it irks me, too.

What also irks me is core work and intervals. Yeah, I know I need to do both. And, yeah, I resent the heck out of ‘em. But I’ve been making a point of hauling my aging keister through a series of planks, crunches, and bridges at least twice a week because I can be a grown-up and stuff. Not sure if abs of steel will ever be in my grasp; still, I have been sitting up straighter so I’ll count it as a win.

I honestly don’t mind intervals nearly as much as core work and can generally approach it with, if not gusto, then at least a sense of adventure. It’s fun in a sick sort of way to push your limits over a very limited length of time. Even if six two-minute intervals feel like torture, like they did on Tuesday, there’s comfort in knowing the hard workout will end once enough time has passed. Some days, that has to be enough to get you through, even when you are starting to feel like the air doesn’t have nearly enough oxygen.

And now for the audience participation portion of this week's column:

In just a few short weeks -- March 20 -24 -- I'll be heading back to Texas for conference in San Antonio related to my actual job. I'll mostly be booked with conversations about alumni magazines (and, yes, I do find that incredibly interesting) but am wondering if anyone wants to go for a run near the Mission Trail on Wednesday afternoon/early evening? Runner requirements: not a murderer, can bring sunscreen, and has a good selfie game. If this sounds like you, comment below.

Next up on my racing docket is the local Cider Mill 5/10K, which rewards you at the end with a glass of the hard stuff. Then off to my beloved Pittsburgh, where I’ll be womaning the AMR booth with BAMR Heather. I might need a recruit or two to lend us a hand, however. Anyone free for a few hours on April 29 or 30? Maybe by then I’ll have made up my mind about NYC….

25 responses to “Dry Martini: I Am Happy and Sad for Me (Spoiler: It Involves the 2016 New York City Marathon)

  1. Let me know if you need someone in PGH. I’m not running but can visit my daughter that weekend. She just moved so it will be a new home I visit but still in PGH.

  2. I’ll be there in Pittsburgh Friday through Sunday for marathon weekend. This will be my 3rd year running participating. I would love to help out at the expo in any way that I can!

  3. You’re really going to be at the expo in the ‘burgh? I’ll be there on Friday for pick-up and will DEFINITELY look for the booth. Last year I wore my t-shirt (I am Stronger Than I Thought) and got a TON of comments, so I’ll be sure to wear it again. (This is assuming I can find it – it’s not part of my winter wardrobe…)

  4. I now the all too confusing lottery thing. Put your name in..excitement + dread if you do and then if you don’t get in …well disappointment yet relief. I did my first full last year. I loved the first 20 miles and then things got rough. I want to run another but the time investment just doesn’t seem feasible for me this year. Maybe next year…

  5. I registered for the NYC lottery in 2011, freaked out that I might get in & hadn’t done a marathon yet, so did my first in May, 2011. Never got in to NYC, but just registered for #5 (Mount Desert Island in Maine.) Honestly, after doing Marine Corps last year I’m not sure I could handle the crowds of NYC, but that’s me and my personal space issues 😉
    Always other times and other races….

  6. I also get the Marathon confusion! I want to do one, and only one as I am very happy at half and below, and decided it needed to be a big one. Threw my name into the NYC lottery this year, and YIKES I got in !!!! So with my running friends at home and this community, NYC here i come! AND PS I LOVE your blogs!!! ANd look forward to their appearance in my email every time!

  7. I live in San Antonio and would LOVE to run with you and other BAMRs (Angi!!!) along the Mission Trail. My selfie game isn’t that strong but I will give it a good try. 5pm or later works best for me.

    I understand your thoughts on NYC / running 26.2 in general. I felt the same about the longer distance for years, but finally ran my first in 2015. Had hoped that NYC would be my second marathon, but sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. Am going to try the lottery for MCM….optimistically hoping that I don’t need a plan C.

  8. Re: Pittsburgh. I am running the 5k on the 30th but can help out afterwards (if you don’t mind sweaty girl). I am volunteering at the Elite suite on 29th but may be able to assist. Let me know.

    Also, we need to get a list of BAMRs running so I can make signs.

  9. I feel EXACTLY the same way about marathons and NYC marathon!! I would be so scared to actually get picked and then have to actually do the thing! But then I WOULD get to do the thing!

  10. We used to run a hilly eight mile loop here in summer in Tucson and we never used to carry any water/food and completed it in a little over an hour….

  11. Adrienne, thank you for putting into words my unspoken feelings about core and intervals. 🙂 And yes, the spirit of adventure does make the intervals easier—what does the core work really have as its appeal? Sitting up straighter. Yep , you’re right I’ve been doing that more. Ok. Will trudge on doing them both.

  12. Yes I am SO confused by your statement about wanting to run NYC and then having no desire to run a marathon…I thought desire fueled the fire to train and race a marathon. At least that’s what motivated me to run the 13 that I have completed and did a PB of 3:40 one year when I decided to “bandit” a race a friend was doing up in Phoenix. I clearly have no idea what running a marathon is all about anymore…it used to be about the sport of it and running it fast (and training for it ) and getting one’s 10K and half-mary times within a certain time in order to run one’s fastest time in a full 26.2….how the mindset has shifted over the last twenty+ years. But, good luck with your decision!

  13. I didn’t get into NYC marathon…. and for me, it’s a bucket list one for sure…. I was going to give it a couple more years before committing to charity… and then I thought, I should sign up and do it with charity this year. Life is short. I don’t know what will happen in 2-3 years… I know I can run this fall…. So I joined Team for Kids… I completely understand when you say you have no desire to run a marathon, but want to run the nyc marathon!

  14. I am with you! I have run several marathons and have no desire to do another one unless it is New York. But not this year for me either. I am happy to do half marathons. I am near Pittsburgh and it would be great to do a get together. I am not running the Pitt half but it would be fun to go to expo and do a fun run.

  15. Oh, Adrienne, I, too, am sad and happy for you. Well maybe not “happy”, “relieved” would be a better word as I know training for the NYCM will be more of a challenge with all you have going on. The past two days have been interesting for for me. I’ve been really sad for those who didn’t get in and a bit envious of those who did. Which is crazy to feel envious as, though I never say never, I do not see training/running a Marathon in my future unless I want/need a divorce from my sometimes-supportive husband. He’s a GREAT guy and all (REALLY, PROMISE), but in truth I was starting to figure out how I could put in extra training time, miles, and bodyaches (and race fees) without his knowledge so that I could maybe be a part of your NYCM2017 posse. I KNOW! I fear I may have found the start of that slippery slope! No matter, come next year, you’ll be better, stronger, faster and batter able to handle all those extra miles. All will be well. For hydrating on the run, I take a big deep breath, hold it, then sip, sip, sip or drink, drink, drink. I make sure I swallow again before I breathe. At least this is what works for me. It probably slows me down a bit, but I’m ok with that, rather slower for a few seconds then stopped from dehydration. Well, I could write to you forever, but it seems I have some miles to run and some core stuff to do as well. I call this part “torture” but am fully believeing that it will make me a better, stronger, faster runner. Oh, I’d LOVE to help out at the EXPO, but work seems to be getting in the way, again. Sigh. Have a great week!

  16. I’m in San Antonio and run that part of the Riverwalk quite often! I would love to meet up asumming I can get there in time. I can bring sun screen but can’t promise the selfie skills! 😉

  17. Sorry to hear about NYC. If you do decide to run for charity I highly suggest the Semper Fi Fund. I ran that same race for them in 2014. They have one of the lower qualifying donation requirements and they are all about the military and those that are serving our country. It was super easy to get donations because of the cause. Plus the swag they sent wasn’t too shabby either. I have connections if you want on their team. Just let me know.

  18. Sorry to hear you didn’t get in to NYC 🙁

    I would do that Fly Creek race just for the opportunity to pick up their apple cider donuts 🙂 I still think you should do the Cooperstown BASE race.

  19. I love your water bottle. And I put that same race photo in my office the other day. =) helping to woman the BAMR booth sounds like fun. I would love to see if I could swing it. What day do you have the biggest need?

  20. Shit…..if you don’t get any takers, I am sure I could be there one of the days. I was supposed to go to the ‘burgh a week or two earlier, but I could change plans if necessary!

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