I’ve been holding onto something for weeks that I haven’t been able to admit to myself.
There’s really no other option at this point, I need to face up to my reality.
On November 5th, for the first time in 10 years, I will not line up at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island and participate in the 26.2 mile party that ends at Tavern on the Green in Central Park.
I hate it, but I am not running the 2017 TCS NYC Marathon.
And it’s not just the back issue I’ve been dealing with since February . . . okay, part of it is. But despite the injury, I think I was on track to actually make it happen.
So What Happened?
What happened is that life just got in the way. I’d like to blame it on my day job, but that’s only part of the problem. In late August, the organization I work for made the deliberate decision to go to Houston and run animal rescues and transports for pets that were caught up or affected by Hurricane Harvey. And I being the director of PR for said organization, headed down to Texas for two weeks to be the public information officer for our efforts.
Easy peasy, you’d think, right? Well, you’d be wrong. It was 14 endless days that started before dawn and lasted way past midnight. Two weeks was about all I and my family could take and we started rotating my crazy talented team through one week hitches on site. Anyway, long story longer, working all those hours meant no running. At the most crucial time for marathon training. Add to the fact that it didn’t slow down for me when I got home – I just had the added benefit of taking care of my family as well.
So, between work, my back, lack of training . . . the math is pretty clear.
Why Is This A Problem
It’s just another race, right? I mean, why would not running your hometown marathon be such a big deal? Well, I’ll tell you.
See, back in August of 2006 I made a huge change in my life. I stopped drinking and doing drugs, stopped eating poorly and started becoming the person I always wanted to be but was never able to be because of what I was doing to myself. By December I quit smoking cigarettes and got on the bike – which I hadn’t really been on since I rode it across Alaska back in 2001 (which is another story entirely).
So after being on the bike for a while, I found running and really fell in love. And I started to define myself by running. Like, if I wasn’t a runner, what was I?
And that’s where I’m struggling now.
If I’m not running the race, does that mean I’m reverting back to the person I was prior to August of 2006? The rational answer to that is a firm no. One day at a time, I will not become the person below again (and no, it’s not just that the camera caught me with my eyes closed, that’s what I looked like 24/7).
But, somewhere in the recesses of my brain is that little voice that seems to be so loud, it’s the only one I hear.
And what of my website? And my videos? How can I be an authentic voice of running if I’m not, well, running?
I need to keep reminding myself that an injury or a set back doesn’t mean that I’m never going to participate in a race again.
So What Now?
I’m still going to be handing out bibs at the Expo on Friday and running the 5K the day before the big dance. And I have some ideas for a video to make on race day. And of course, I’ll be on the sidelines cheering my brains out all day.
My plan is to get my body healthy, train my a$$ off.
And make some serious noise in 2018.