That Time I Kicked As(Phalt)…Again

A little more than one year ago, I ran my first marathon. When I crossed that finish line, I was not immediately sure I wanted to do another full 26.2 mile race. And then less than a week later, I wrote a post clearly defining my intentions: “Yes, I’ll Have Another.”

Well, that another came rather quickly, and this past Sunday I ran my second marathon, again at the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. Continue reading

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A Runner in the Rain: a RNR DC Recap

I think it’s pretty official now that I am a runner.

On Saturday, a couple of major things occurred that exemplify my official status as a runner. Whereas I once thought that the accumulation of miles and having a mild obsession with sneaker shopping was sufficient, this weekend’s experiences taught me that there is so much more to running than long distances and aesthetics.

My alarm went off at 5:45 am on the first morning of the weekend. Even before it forced me out of bed, I knew what I was waking up to as it had kept me up part of the night: rain. When I undid the sheets and layered on my clothes, I could hear the drizzle of the raindrops outside my window. As I left shortly after 6 am, I walked to the bus stop with an umbrella. Out of fear of becoming too wet and too cold prior to the start, that umbrella stayed with me until the official race clock started. But it didn’t really matter staying dry; I was soaked before I saw the first mile marker. Continue reading

A Little Dose of Rejection

Rejection hurts. You can’t help but take it personally. It encourages all these negatives thoughts and doubts about what you might have done wrong and what you could have done better. Even yesterday when I experienced a rejection along with nearly 65,000 other people, it still stung.

I can’t even exactly call it rejection, yet the resonating effects are similar. Yesterday, I found out that I did not get accepted into the New York City Marathon. My first marathon entry of the year, New York represented the chance to run with 50,000 people through the city’s boroughs and along the Brooklyn Bridge. Reliving the days of college acceptances, when any email alert made me nervous, I spent yesterday wondering when I would hear confirmation of my acceptance. My finger seemed to live on the F5 button on my keyboard as I refreshed the New York Road Runners page to see if a change had been made in my account’s “Upcoming Races” box. Never can I remember a time when I was so anxious to see money charged to my credit card account. In spite of good news that 18 percent of lottery registrants would be selected, up from 12 percent in the previous year, my entry was not among the lucky percentage.

Like an ex boyfriend trying to explain “it’s not you, it’s me,” the New York Marathon email attempted to lessen the heartache of the rejection with apologetic language. “We’re very sorry, but you were not selected through our entry drawing.” I appreciate the apology, but it still hurts to be told you are being passed along. 

So with all rejections, you need to have a few days to be angry and reflective, and then it’s time to move on and remember the important lesson I wear on a charm bracelet around my wrist: “Everything happens for a reason.” While running the largest marathon in the U.S. remains on my running bucket list, it actually was not my top choice for my second marathon. The Chicago Marathon, set for mid-October, remains my number one pick. Since the NY lottery went live first, I entered my name into the ring, but perhaps my rejection is a sign of bigger and better things to come.

But even before notices about entry into Chicago are sent out, I still have the opportunity to run the Marine Corps Marathon for a second time. Though my preference is for new course in a new city, MCM has home field advantage since I can train on the course and have the benefit of a cheering squad already in the area ready to see me run past them.

Each of these marathons are among the biggest in the country, so they rely on lotteries to fill their running classes. As a result, there is no guarantee for participation (unless one commits to fundraising on behalf on a charity). Fortunately, even if my luck runs thin, I still have the chance to run nearby and beloved races, including the Baltimore and Richmond marathons.

In spite of the disappointment from not getting into New York, the waiting game reinforced my passion and commitment to running another marathon. Though I don’t know where that might be yet, I will run 26.2 miles somewhere in 2015.

How Runners Do Math

IMG_2375I have always been good at math. Despite what former Harvard President Larry Summers said about girls not being good at math, I outdid the boys and won my high school’s senior math award.

Like Cady Herron in Mean Girls, I’ve always liked math. Not so much because it’s the same in every country, but rather because I love that feeling of accomplishment when you come up with a solution to a difficult problem. You always know there will be answer, it’s just your job to figure out the best way to solve for it. Granted, I have not taken a math class since my freshman year at Georgetown, which was nothing like the challenge of 12th grade calculus, but I still enjoy channeling my nerd self with a good math problem.  Continue reading

Think Spring.

IMG_1293If I learned something from studying a couple of months for the LSAT it was the logic of sufficiency vs. necessity.

For example, it is not necessary that the feel-like temperatures be in the negative degrees for me to cancel my runs outdoors, but it is sufficient.

It is necessary that I do all my training runs, but it is not necessary that I do them all outside. If I run on the treadmill, then I have completed part of my training. Outdoor training isn’t a necessity of a running program, but it does make things a hell of a lot more interesting than running inside on a machine that only provides a good view depending on who is working out nearby.  Continue reading

One Foot Forward

IMG_2042Saturday’s run was difficult.

Mentally, I wasn’t in it and I let that consume me from the beginning.

It is hard to explain, but I never felt into the long run this past weekend. I woke up, did my normal routine and headed out the door, yet I couldn’t shake this feeling.

Despite almost balmy 30-degree temperatures and a new-to-me route on the schedule, my typical enthusiasm lacked. With each passing mile, I felt myself counting down how many more I had left, how much faster I could go until I finished back at the store. Two bigs hills, one around mile four and a half and then a final climb to the end point, did not ease my anxiety. Yet, when I reached the top, amid hard breathing and that tingle up my legs that told me how hard they worked to push upwards, I felt that sense of reward in getting past the discomfort. Continue reading