As with every job, there are ups and downs of being a sports + fitness writer. A down: average rates haven't gone up in some obscenely long time, like 50 years. Counter that with a huge up: perks, like an offer to run the New York City Marathon through Asics, sponsor of the race. I can't pay the bills with my race number, but I realize how special the opportunity is--and am inclined to capitalize on it.
Training starts on July 18th, which gives me over a month to continue to work on my core strength and make my body parts gel as strongly as the can't-budge hairdos I see on the fifth-grade boys. (A dab of product goes a long way, fellas.) Given how my 5ks have felt this week on the tour--not perfect, but definitely better--I'm confident my gimpy left leg and I are headed in the right direction.
Still, I'm on the fence.
On the one hand: A purpose! New York City! Marathon! Post-marathon glow and pride!
And on the other: Long.training.runs. Exhaustion. No.patience.to.deal.with.whiny.kids. Potential.for.more.injury.
I put my sartorial fate in the hands of readers when deciding what to wear in the 2007 Nike Women's Marathon, and the black SkirtSports dress was an excellent choice. I'm sick of thinking about this decision, so I'm leaving this up to you too. If you've read RLAM, you can probably say yes or no without reading this post further. If you haven't, here's a short list of my NYC pros and cons:
New York City: Yay!
1. The momentum and energy I feel from the Run Like A Mother tribe, I'm confident, will carry me at least through mile 20. I've never felt as inspired and motivated in my life as I do now.
2. Plain and simple: I want to. I want the routine of a training plan, the satisfaction of putting an "x" through a workout. I haven't felt that order and crispness in almost six months and miss it.
3. I'm having baby lust, but rationally know we're not the Bradford Family: Two is Enough. Marathon training might tide me over until the craving passes.
4. I'm ready to believe in my body again. I'm ready to make it so strong and capable that even 26. 2 is possible.
5. More importantly, I'm committed to doing the work to make it bombproof. I'm already envisioning a training schedule that has me running 3 days a week, max, with some serious time on the trails and bike trainer. The bike in the basement worked pretty well for the 2007 Nike Women's Marathon: pedaling nowhere healed my stress fracture, kept my legs fresh and made my legs and lungs super strong.
6. I haven't run any other major marathon, so I can't say this unequivocally, but I'm pretty sure the crowds that line five-burough course are the best in the world. When I ran it in 1997, it poured almost the entire day, but people stood there, unfazed, sopping, cheering and high-fiveing and generally making every runner felt like they could win. No other race has made my effort feel so worth it.
7. Un-running-centric reasons, but compelling nonetheless : NYC is also home to two of my best friends and plenty of editors with whom I'd like to visit. (And maybe, ahem, discuss those plateau'd rates.) Oh, and I can also schedule some RLAM stops. Always a bonus.
New York City: Nay!
1. When I crossed the line in 2007, I promised myself never again. Those last 6 miles were beyond brutal. I'm pretty sure that was because my longest training run was 16 miles, but still. I like to think I'm the type that keeps promises.
2. Even with my best intentions to stretch, foam roll, do that library-shhhhh!-on-steriods breath of Pilates until I'm sure my innards are basically shrink-wrapped, my body still might not cooperate. That's a downward spiral--and situation--I know I can't handle.
3. I know my husband isn't up for my training if it becomes an injury-plagued grind. And I'm pretty sure my kids feel the same way.
4. I think I want to. One minute, I'm sure it's the best idea ever. The next, I'm fondly reminiscing about hitting the snooze button, which I've been doing more often than not lately, and, when I finally get a sports bra on, making up a workout on the fly.
5. Fretting about not being in bed by 9 on a Friday night, so I can get up early to run long on Saturday. The interminable wait for bedtime on Saturday, when 8 p.m. feels like midnight.
6. According to my once-a-decade schedule, I'm not slated for another 'thon until 2017.
So, what do you think? Yay or nay? What compels you to run a marathon--or take on a challenge that seems pretty freakin' massive? Are you always 100% in when you commit? Please share your honest thoughts.
Let me know, and a random winner will win, of course, a free pair of Asics. If Asics, the brand of shoes most often seen on marathoner's feet, can get me into a marathon, they can easily get you through one--or any other running adventure--too.