Simply put, this seems like a fun, creative way to express myself. And at 16 weeks to go until the TCS NYC Marathon, my 5th marathon, what better time to start than now?
It is also a motivator to push me to dig deeper into my training and fitness, which is quite scary to do on a public level. My first marathon – Philadelphia in 2012 – was my fastest – 3:44:27. Since then I’ve run the NYC Marathon in 2013 (3:46:12), 2014 (3:56:56), and 2016 (3:47:28). I’ve run consistently, but in a downward trend (2014 was an outlier as I could barely touch my toes stretching all year), and it’s time for that to change. Now you know my goal. And so that means I have to work harder. Or, maybe this blog will never pick up traction, no one will hold me accountable, and I can continue on my slow decline. But hey- let’s just go ahead and give this thing a try.
How’d I get into running anyhow?
I wasn’t even school aged when he had me lacing up my Velcro running sneakers on our way to Flushing Meadow Park where a lovely foreign couple incentivized running by giving out prizes to children who ran just 50 meters.
At 5 years old, I won my first race (even beating the boys!), the Pee Wee Run at the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point:
I continued to excel, doing hurdles with City Sports for Kids on the weekends and P.A.L. Track on weeknights. But it got to be too much for me and at age 7, I retired.
Years passed. Many weekends were spent at races as my father and brother continued on with their passion. I hung with my other brother as he collected cans for entertainment. And then, something shifted. At 14, as I was gearing up for freshman year of high school, my friend and I got the crazy idea to start running… 5 miles… at midnight. This led me to being a three season athlete and eventual captain of my school’s cross country, winter track, and spring track teams.
Here I am living out my high school glory days with my power quads:
After a lackluster winter track season with no improvements and a brief bout with mono, I became stronger than ever and peaked in the 1500m race at age 16 with a time of 5:06. But then my coach unexpectedly left, and my steam started to run out. I continued to run, but I was never again that fast.
Into college and after, I maintained my leisurely love of running – doing it when I wanted, for as long as I wanted. These were the days before GPS watches, where I’d run freely with no real certainty of the distance and [wrongly] estimating my pace to be 10 minute miles.
In 2012, I decided to get serious again. I was wrapping up graduate school after taking night classes for three years while working full time, and the relationship with my live-in boyfriend was going downhill fast. Running was just what I needed. That was the year I signed up nervously for a 6 mile race, until my friend convinced us both to sign up for a half marathon (!), and ultimately to enter the lottery for the NYC Marathon – which I got in (!!). Of course Hurricane Sandy happened, but we’ll leave that story for another time. Anyway, that is how my running renaissance began, and here I am 5 years later, ready to share it all with you.