Wednesday, October 19, 2011

8 months and 10 days

It has been almost eight months to the day of when I last posted, as well as when I started training for my first big race; the Brooklyn half-marathon. At this point in February, I had never run more than 4 miles at a time, and I believed I was actually going to fulfill my New Year’s Resolution of running a half-marathon. And now I am 10 days away from running a full marathon.

Woo! A sweaty Keith and Kate after the Brooklyn Half
This year has been so chock-full of running, that it is hard to believe I had never run more than 4 miles only eight months ago. Running has become a cathartic hobby, my form of meditation, and the topic of conversation most likely to make me act like a gossipping middle-school girl. There is this amazing connection between fellow-runners that is unlike anything else I have ever experienced. When you meet one, the questions are endless.

What are you training for?
What mileage are you up to?
What do you eat before a long run?
Do you run in the morning?
What is your favorite flavor of gu? (none)
Do you listen to Harry Potter on your ipod like I do? (probably not)

One of my favorite takeaways from training for a marathon is how I have been able to change the perception of my reality. Nothing builds confidence like hitting a new mileage every single week. Now that I have run an 18 miler, and I consider 8 miles to be “easy,” I try to apply this to other parts of my life. I have tried to eliminate the phrase “I can’t” from my vocabulary, and catch myself when I think about situations in a negative way. Instead of “I can’t” run in the rain, I now find that my best runs happen when it’s raining. This change in positivity and perception has truly made me a more confident, self-assured person.

I am running the Cape Cod Marathon on October 30th, and I could not be more excited. Last weekend, I ran my last 18 miler before the marathon, and then began my taper. The last few weeks of my training, I felt I had to dig deep. I had an IT band injury that made me skip a long run, my plantar fasciitis (I will never know how to spell that) was at its worse, and I was exhausted most of the time. I forgot why I signed up, and questioned sometimes how I was ever going to do the full thing. Luckily, a few good runs later, coupled with the taper that is enabling some of my injuries to heal, I am back to my super-excited self. I only have FIVE MORE RUNS until the marathon. That is insanity.

My 12 mile run was one of the worst in training, but also one of the most scenic.
I ran on Summer Streets up Park Ave through Grand Central!
*Note how roller bladers have been substituted for taxis.
I am so grateful for all of the support my friends and family have given me, as I will keep all the kind words with me as I cross the finish line. Let's not forget Keith’s endless support as I ranted on about running, being injured, being tired, etc. over the past four months. He has been the most amazing cheerleader I could hope for!

In the final stretch before the marathon, I am repeating my positive thoughts, trying to stay relaxed, and making sure to carbo-load. I can’t wait for this experience, as I’m sure it will be one of the most amazing things I ever do.

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