A photo of Arnold Schwarzenegger with his arms outstretched and the word CONQUER overlaid his body, is pasted to a composition notebook outlining my marathon training plan. On the back is an image of me racing in the NYC 10K on a rainy Saturday last October – a tired smile plastered across my face. Taped to the inside cover is a table listing out my scheduled mileage, cross-training days, and recovery sessions – a bible of sorts. I have carried around this journal with me everywhere the past 17 weeks and written out the details to every run, workout, and physical therapy appointments to date. It is a constant physical reminder of a race I’ve had my eyes set on for quite some time now – the Marine Corps Marathon.
I began my training in Mid-June, as I wrapped up my 9+1 qualification for the 2017 NYC Marathon. My runs started off short and fast and over the past couple months evolved into longer, slower runs throughout Hoboken. On some of the hotter days, I thought to myself training would never end and I couldn’t wait for October. But then today, I woke up and as I scrolled through my Facebook feed I came across this post from the Marine Corps Marathon Facebook page and began to casually freak out.
How are we already down to NINE DAYS before the Marine Corps Marathon? I feel like it was only yesterday when I was struggling to complete my six-mile “long run” in the blazing heat and humidity. Even though I’ve been diligently training and focused on my goal of completing CRUSHING this marathon over the course of the last six months, I could not feel more anxious (and tapering isn’t helping).
I will, however, be the first to admit that the nerves I am feeling are ~good nerves~ they’re proof that running this race is important to me. I know deep down that the only reason I’m nervous is because I’ve never done this before – it’s exciting and nerve-racking at the same time.
I just need to embrace the butterflies and get them flying into formation on Sunday morning.
I haven’t always loved running. To be completely frank, I used to dread the thought of a running, but I think it’d be safe to say that I’ve fallen in love with lacing up my running shoes and escaping for an hour (or two). Last March, I ran my first half marathon with my Mom and became instantly hooked to races. Not only do I love running races because I’m side by side (commiserating) with thousands of other runners, but because the electricity of the crowds really gets me going. My roommates, however, will say my favorite part is the medal at the end – I guess I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love the bling at the end, too. Since that first half, I’ve run two more half marathons and four other smaller races.
As part of my 2016 New Year’s Resolutions, I made it my goal to qualify for the 2017 NYC Marathon via the 9+1 program. This program is a great way for NYRR Members to qualify for the race because it not only promotes the smaller NYRR races (9 races), but also encourages people to give back to the running community by volunteering (+1). With this goal in my mind, I knew that 2016 was all about getting into optimum marathon shape and staying injury-free. I had no intentions of running a marathon this year, but when one of my closest childhood friends texts me asking if I wanted to run the Marine Corps Marathon, I had to say “YES”.
Part of the reason I immediately said “YES” to running this marathon was due in part to the fact both my parents ran the Marine Corps Marathon 15 years ago. My parents started training for the 2001 MCM with a group of their close friend and eight year-old Meg would bike alongside them on their long runs, haul water, and cheer them from the sidewalk. This really sparked an insatiable passion for the sport at an early age. It would be an understatement to say that I’m so excited to make a “return” to the MCM and run in my parents footsteps.
2016 is all about pushing my limits and running the Marine Corps Marathon is the perfect challenge. Here’s to running my first 26.2, crushing my goals, and many ooh-rahs along the way.