Okay, I'm pretty well aware of the fact that you will either love me or not love me so much after reading this post... Let's just say this last week gave me enough time to reflect on my running. This post is going to be brutally honest...
1. There is no such thing as a magic pill that will fix an injury within minutes - apparently there actually are things that money can't buy;
2. Battling an injury turns me into an evil witch, and a cranky one too. I'm not even mentioning how frustrated and depressed I'm feeling at the moment. Thank the running gods for the gift that's called a limoncello/prosecco cocktail;
3. Start running last January + no prior running experience + running your second marathon this year + aiming to BQ on your first road marathon + your first marathon ever being a 6.300 ft elevation mountain marathon = my body doesn't like me. Not to mention that the BQ-attempt isn't a really realistic time goal for the first road marathon...especially since you haven't even celebrated your first year of running-aniversary yet.
4. Battling a knee injury and still being able to run 50% of your total mileage in the last week - painfree - (my PT told me I could give it a try) isn't bad - it's not bad at all. So you shouldn't feel bad for pulling the plug on a 20-miler after 9 miles. It was the wise thing to do!
5. Stop focussing on mileage and time goals and put the fun back into running! That's so much more important than constantly pushing it and not being able to enjoy the scenery. Running is a gift!
6. This one is important! Stop comparing yourself to others and stop caring about what others might think of your running! If others are running more miles a week, who cares! Being able to battle 48 mile / 77K -weeks in your first year of running, when others are battling 50 mile/80K-60 mile/96K weeks with years and years of experience, is not something to make you feel bad about yourself. At all! And who cares if others are faster...if (and that's a big 'if') they truly believe that you're slow and not to be considered a runner for not running a 3:30 marathon (or faster) they are probably not worthy of your time and energy.
7. This is your first year of running! Hello! Stop comparing your times and mileage to runners that have years and years of experience and dozens of marathons under the belt. Stop feeling bad about yourself!
8. You're not a guy (I'm pretty sure...I just checked to be certain), so don't expect your finishing times to be the same as the time it would take an equally trained guy to finish the same distance. And if you really want to compare your times...stick to your own gender (and age group).
9. You're not a speedster. You love the distance and want to focus on ultra-marathons, and more specific: mountain marathons. So stop trying to be a speedster and a long distance runner at the same time. Stick to those mountains - you love the mountains!
10. Being able to run the New York Marathon is a true gift. A true true gift. So...slow down and enjoy the ride. There's no point in racing through that city, being in pain and pushing yourself to the point where you might want to puke. Stick to a somewhat slower pace - go find the sub 4-hour pace group and hang around. Take some pictures. Listen to the Gospel choirs. Hand out some high fives. Finish (if my body doesn't decide to pull the plug on me) with tired legs, but not tired to a point where you won't be able to enjoy and walk around New York City in the week after the marathon.
So, here I go, I surrender. I will NOT give that BQ a try on my first road marathon. I won't. My knee pointed out to me - and made it pretty clear - that I should not do that. So, on to Plan B.
(i) Enjoy the New York City Marathon;
(ii) Listen to my body;
(iii) Rest my body in the next 4 weeks;
A big Thank You to all the wonderful runners-bloggers I've met in the last couple of months. You make my running journey so much more special!