So that marathon, how’d it go? It went great, actually. I broke 4 hours, which was my goal, and after the race, took a long bath with a Bloody Mary and a Vicodin. I don’t think I’ve ever been higher in my life.
A time that was low for me was about 90 minutes into the race, when I realized that after running for 10 miles, I still had 16 more to go. The next 6 miles were both depressing and slow, until I realized that if I were going to break 4 hours, I had to hustle. The next ten miles were difficult, but I picked up the pace and finished at 3:57.
(Also, people looking to PR on a marathon, may I recommend Ocean Drive? It’s a flat course with no crowds after the first mile.)
I’m a mediocre athlete by genetics—either the best of the worst or the worst of the best—but I put a lot into this race. Actual blood (from chaffing), sweat (duh) and tears (there was a small breakdown after a long run I couldn’t finish) went into this marathon, and they all came from me. That I broke four hours might have had something to do with the course being flat, but nothing to do with anyone else. I’ve never been more unequivocally proud of myself as I was when I crossed the finished line.
A week after the race, I banged my knee on a table and I haven’t been able to run since. This is frustrating for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is that spring, along with fall, is really the only time running in New York is blatantly pleasant. Otherwise, it’s too hot or too cold. In the summer and winter, I can only do my best to stay hydrated or wear the proper layers, and try to find some joy in running through the thick heat or cold winds.
Since my injury, I’ve been swimming, putting off seeing a doctor, and going for walks in Prospect Park. The spring in the park happens at a maddening pace—if you miss one day of it, you will miss whole trees coming to bloom. And on my walks, I see people who haven’t run all winter who probably thought 20 minutes earlier, “It’s such a nice day, I should go for a jog,” and a jealousy flows through me that I am not so proud of.