Hell yeah, West Drive is closed. GOTTA BUILD THE MARATHON.

Marathon On My Mind

Date: October 22, 2012 at 8:48 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 44

Here’s a fun fact: Up until last week, I really wasn’t excited about running the New York City Marathon.

In fact, I wrote my “10 Reasons I’m Excited To Run The New York City Marathon” post last week in part to psych myself up.

And it worked.

Oh my God, it worked.

Because since last Tuesday, running this marathon is the only thing I can think about.

I guess I’m warmed up then…

Why the lack of excitement for so long? Well, I guess that’s a little obvious. I’m not sure I ever truly, fully believed I’d make it to the start line of this thing. Thanks to that Crohn’s flare-up, my training got off to a terrible start. Even when I could get the miles in, they were repeatedly interrupted by bathroom stops. Then, eight weeks before I was set to toe the NYCM start line in Staten Island, I was admitted to the hospital.

In the days following my hospital stay, I immediately started to feel better.

I’d been there before, though.

I’d been sick, I’d been given drugs, I’d felt better — only to find myself sick again a few days, weeks or months later.

So I never really wanted to get excited about the marathon.

Time after time this year, I’ve set lofty goals for myself, only to let my health get in the way. I’ve given up on goals, I’ve missed out on things I so desperately wanted to do, and I gradually learned to be OK with it.

I remind myself all the time now that many opportunities are not, in fact, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. If you miss out on something once, you just have to put yourself in a position where it can happen again. That doesn’t seem so impossible — especially when it comes to marathon running. I’m pretty sure these races are sticking around for a while.

Brian thinks I have “too much stuff,” but what he doesn’t understand is that I NEED 12 pairs of running shoes, all in rotation at the same time.

I made the most of the eight training weeks I got.

My speedwork wasn’t as speedy as I would have liked, and I never really got around to doing much (uh, any) hill training. But I loved every long run. I definitely loved every bathroom stop-free run.

And now, I love knowing that — barring any life-altering physical drama — I’m going to actually make it to the start of the New York City Marathon. And I’m quite confident I’ll make it through the five boroughs and across the finish line as well.

Why yes, yes I WILL finish strong. Thank you for the suggestion, chalk.

I’m one week into my taper period and I don’t have any crazy stories so far. The “I slept through my alarm and showed up late to the race and also I was naked and wearing heels” nightmares haven’t started yet, and my body seems to be responding well to my majorly scaled-down exercise schedule.

Saturday’s 14-miler went well. It’s weird to think 14 miles is “basically nothing,” but by the end of that run I really did feel like I didn’t do a whole lot.

Oh wait, I did do a whole lot.

A whole lot of stupid-grinning.

The marathon route signs are finally up in Central Park and along 1st and 5th Avenues. As soon as I turned into the park on Saturday and saw those signs, I couldn’t get that goofy grin off my face. So I went with it, and just smiled my way around the park for the next two hours.

Is that the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen? Answer: YES IT IS.

Sunday was a perfect fall day in NYC. Cool in the shade, warm in the sun, and I finally stepped on my first crunchy leaf of the season.

I would like to just live in Central Park. I’ll sleep under the trees and spend my days walking around and people-watching. Though I guess the NYPD would refer to me as “homeless,” and that’s not quite what I’m going for.

The colors are changing and being in a bad mood just seems like an awful way to spend a day like that.

You know who loves fall? Tyler loves fall. He also, apparently, loves eating his fleece hand. What a nut.

Brian asked what I wanted to do for the day, and I completely unselfishly responded: “I want to go to Central Park and walk the marathon route.”

Why wouldn’t he want to do that?

He obliged, because he’s nice, and I forced him to take 12,000 photos by every single sign that so much as mentioned the marathon.

“THE BLEACHERS ARE UP! BRIAN, TAKE MY PICTURE BY THE BLEACHERS! I WILL GIVE A THUMBS UP TO SHOW MY EXCITEMENT!”

Let me translate that for you: “See you here on Nov 4.” It’s written in the park in the exact spot where the finish line will be.

“BRIAN, I’M GOING TO PRETEND TO RUN ACROSS THE FAKE FINISH LINE! TAKE MY PIC! TAKE MY PIC! DO I HAVE A WEDGIE?”

Hell yeah, West Drive is closed. GOTTA BUILD THE MARATHON.

Walking that 2–3 mile stretch of the route in reverse didn’t quite have the same effect as running it in the correct direction, but I was excited enough that I didn’t care.

I don’t know what the weather will be like on November 4. I’m not one who obsessively checks the weather for Race Day once it’s in the 10-day forecast because I know I’m going to run the thing — and do it optimistically — regardless of the conditions.

Instead of freaking out about every possible drop of rain or tweak in my legs, knees or back, I’m embracing the taper. I’m not sneaking in extra workouts. I’m trying to get more sleep. I’ll get Remicade on Thursday to ensure my system is good to go and ready to run. And I’m watching a lot of NYCM videos on YouTube.

And, of course, in an effort to stay relaxed and stress-free in the final days leading up to the race, I’m starting the excessive “Things To Do Before NYCM” list now.

Just a couple little things to get done. NBD.

That first thing on the list?

It was the first thing to get checked off last night.

Brian and I booked a much-needed post-marathon getaway to Mexico. The plan is to run the marathon, go back to work for a few days and then skip town for a while. Facebook, Twitter and email are not invited to Mexico.

It’s been too long since we’ve taken a trip that didn’t revolve around someone’s wedding, a baby shower or a bike or running race. We won’t be bringing our bikes and I didn’t even check to see what the area has to offer for running options. I did, however, make sure the place has a swim-up bar. I think my priorities for this trip are exactly in order.

Meanwhile, I’m excited to run the New York City Marathon.

So excited, in fact, that I ordered a little something special.

Freshly delivered mango soap. Super ripe.

You know.

Just in case it goes well.

WHO ELSE IS EXCITED?! Marine Corps? NYC? Philly? CIM? Woo!

Comments (44)
 
OK LOOK. ANOTHER PHOTO YOU'VE NEVER SEEN.

10 Reasons I'm Excited To Run The New York City Marathon

Date: October 16, 2012 at 9:26 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 70

The New York City Marathon has played a small role in my life since I moved to New York City five years ago. The first time I watched the marathon was long before I was a runner myself. A coworker […]

 
Running in L.A. is so pretty. I would like to do this more often. Margot, I can move in with you, yes? I think I remember you throwing out that offer at one point during the run. No? That isn't what you said? You told me my still-wet gym clothes smelled bad? Sorry. Got confused. Nevermind.

And So I Peaked

Date: October 15, 2012 at 9:25 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 56

Last week I tried to be all profound and was like, “Hey everyone, I learned some lessons this week and this is all my knowledge. I don’t think I’m meant for semi-high mileage running.” Oh really, Ali? Really? Is that […]

 
The view from our photo shoot location. Hey Hollywood!

New York City Marathon Training Lessons

Date: October 12, 2012 at 9:19 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 31

Jet lag is a real disease, people. Side effects including being wide awake when you’d rather be sleeping, and being completely exhausted when it’s time to shine. I used to secretly judge people who complained about jet lag, particularly upon […]

 
Thanks, friendly airport sign. It's good to be here.

On Lacking Marathon Confidence

Date: October 9, 2012 at 1:05 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 46

Hey. It’s been a while, huh? In the past five days, I’ve been on two planes, I’ve set up shop in three different hotels and I’ve slept for what feels like zero hours. On Thursday, I flew to Las Vegas […]

 
The next time I flip my big desk calendar page, this is what I'll see...

One Month

Date: October 3, 2012 at 9:28 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 40

In April, I registered for the New York City Marathon. At the time, I wasn’t running on account of nasty shin and hip pain. By early May, the time I took off from running helped: My shin and hip pain […]

 
All done!

A 13.1 Mile Run Down Memory Lane: The Hamptons Half Marathon Recap

Date: October 1, 2012 at 8:39 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 74

On Saturday, I returned to the scene of the crime. “The crime,” of course, being East Hampton, NY, where I ran my first marathon one year ago. This time, I was heading back to race again, but for the Hamptons […]

 
PHOTO BOMB IN THE PHOTO BOOTH! Surpriiiiiiise!

Thankful Things Thursday: Let's Make This Quick

Date: September 27, 2012 at 9:16 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 32

In the spirit of promising not to complain about being busy (so busy — this job is great but it is killing meeee) or tired (I’d like to go to sleep from now until next Tuesday, and that still may […]

 
YOU DIDN'T EVEN KNOW BRIAN THEN! He was my mysterious "Handsome Friend" because our dating was all scandalous and stuff. Except it wasn't...at all. Turns out, no one cared. Oh well.

Returning To My Happy Place

Date: September 26, 2012 at 7:58 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 41

If you are someone who has a calendar, or if you are simply the type of person who is generally aware of the date, you know that Monday was September 24. Ah, September 24. Last year, I spent months — […]

 
On the way to Middle of Nowhere, NY: this bridge. See you again, November 4, you crazy bastard.

What Goes Through My Head During A 20-Mile Run

Date: September 24, 2012 at 8:35 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 76

The scene: Saturday, Ali and Brian’s apartment. It is dark outside. 6 AM: My alarm goes off. Apparently I hit snooze. My bad. 6:40 AM: I wake up. I realize I didn’t hit snooze but rather hit “off.” It’s fine. […]