The marathon that wasn't.

To catch y'all up to speed...

As many of you probably know by now, the New York City marathon was cancelled last weekend.  Actually, it was cancelled at about 5:30pm on Friday evening, as Brian and I were driving our packed car to meet my family in Connecticut for my pre-marathon celebration dinner.

Without getting too entirely into it, I had felt very conflicted about what was going on with the race.  Early in the week, Mayor Bloomberg said that the race was on and would serve as a "Come Together" sentiment for New Yorkers.  As excited as I was, I couldn't shake an incredibly guilty feeling in the back of my mind: How can I run this race and truly enjoy the experience while knowing that there are people five minutes away from Runners Village who have lost everything and have nowhere to go?  As the week went on and the severity of the disaster became so much more apparent, I grew more and more unsure of what was going to happen.  My family flew in Thursday afternoon and when I started packing my bag that evening, I let myself believe we were going to run, that I was going to finish my first marathon.

Fast forward to Friday.  We have the car loaded down for The Big Race Weekend and are about halfway to my uncle's house in Greenwich to meet up with my parents and have a big pasta dinner.  And then the news breaks.  

As much as I had tried to prepare myself in the days before that this might happen, there was no way to hear the news and not be devastated.  I cried, a lot.  When you dedicate so much of your time and focus to something and then have absolutely no control of not finishing what you started... it just felt like the rug was pulled out from under me.  We drove and I cried and called my parents and my friend who was also running and we all gradually realized that it wasn't going to happen.  

Later that evening, after a glass (or three) of wine, I realized that the cancellation was for the best and that holding the race wouldn't have been fair.  It wasn't fair to the people who were still struggling so deeply to recover from the disaster.  It wasn't fair to the runners safety and well-being.

The most frustrating and infuriating part of the entire situation was that the race wasn't cancelled earlier in the week.  Had that been the case, I would have been able to cancel hotel rooms in the allotted amount of time to get a full refund on the room hold.  Had that been the case, I wouldn't have had to miss two days of work to get everything done and to get us where we needed to be on time.  

I'm definitely still battling the marathon demon.  I trained for 18 weeks to run a marathon, and I want to run my marathon.  I'm going to run my marathon.  But in all honesty, I was so excited to run because afterwards I could just RELAX.  I could workout however I wanted, for however long I wanted, whenever I wanted.  I wouldn't have to follow a training schedule until my next race was on the calendar... and the thought of that was blissful.  

And now I'm stuck.  If I don't keep up my mileage, I'll lose my readiness quickly.  If I do keep up my mileage but don't have a race picked out... I'll lose my mind.  I'm on the lookout for a marathon in Texas in February/March because I am BOUND and DETERMINED for my parents to see me run my first.  It's getting chilly here but I'm also on the hunt for a half marathon somewhere in New England to do in the next couple of weeks.  The marathon craziness got me to a mental running point of knowing that as long as I get a few long runs back in, I can definitely complete a half, and ASAP.

So there's that.  It puts my heart at ease that so much money wasn't spent on putting the race on literally in front of the people who lost everything... but it's a catch-22 to know that so many runners had to sacrifice so much as well.  It's a hard thing to discuss.  Lots of people have lots of opinions, and now that it's in the past, it is what it is.

Don't think the marathon madness has worn off though.  I've been bitten by the distance running bug.  Just give me a few days to fall back in love with training and we'll all be good.

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking about you when I heard the marathon was canceled. That has to be a tough decision all around. I hope you figure it all out!