Yes, I am finally breaking my silence and writing a little blog. Shortly after my last post following the Green Bay Marathon, I became injured. First a hamstring tendonitis, then something in the ball of my foot, then back to my hamstring and the opposing hip. As soon as one thing seemed to be on the mend, something else would rear it’s ugly head and I was back to cross training. I shouldn’t complain, as I managed to dodge injury while racing pretty frequently for 4 years. Still, it was frustrating. Believe me I did plenty of whining and beating myself up and banging my head against the wall, but I decided to reserve that for my “lucky” close friends rather than blog about it. Things finally (knock on wood) seem to be keeping relatively quiet and I am back into the full swing of things in my training. With the recent local press highlighting my participation in the upcoming New York City Marathon, I thought it seemed appropriate to come out of hiding.
I am so incredibly grateful and excited for the opportunity to run NYC Marathon! It has always been on my marathoning bucket list. Everyone I talk to who has run it before has a unique memory. Two common things I hear are that the crowds, and that the diversity of cultures you will encounter are unlike anything you will experience at any other marathon in the world. Normally when I am competing in a race of this caliber, I get in such a zone that I only remember bits and pieces of the surroundings I pass by. While I have every intention of running with that same focus in New York, I hope that I can at least remember to look around a little bit, and take some mental photographs of the 5 Burroughs and what makes each one unique. I have been asked a few things repeatedly about the race and what I plan/expect to do, so I feel that those things are worth answering here.
Question #1: “How much will you make if you win??”
Answer: Uh….the winner will make $160,000….and will run something in the low 2:20s. My personal best is a 2:37:26…I love when I say this and people respond with “oh well that’s not very far off!!”….um, when you are talking about dropping from 6:01 miles to 5:30s….yeah, it’s actually pretty far off. I try to explain this so that I won’t run into a scenario like I did with the Trials, where a lot of people thought I was disappointed to have not made the Olympic Team. I know the statistics, and while it is true that anything can happen on race day, slashing 10-15 minutes off my best time (and running essentially my 10k PR pace for a marathon) is not likely. If I come home having run a fast and successful time for myself, that will be a “win” for me….but chances of me coming home with $160k in my bank are slim to none. In fact, I already wagered a friend that if I win I will buy him a new car.
Question #2: “Do you have a specific time goal you are shooting for?”
Answer: Simply put, no. Before Little Rock Marathon, a lot of people asked me this, and while deep down I knew I wanted to break 2:40, I wouldn’t discuss it. It felt like I might jinx my race or something. That is not the case here, there are just a ton of variables. NYC is not known for being a particularly fast course, and my training has been a bit different going in to this because of having to adapt it to my injuries, so I am not 100% sure what to expect. I have had to be sensitive to the amount of speed work I have been able to do, so as to not flare something up, so I have a lot of nerves about that. But, I have been running the highest mileage of my life, and believe that I am the strongest I have ever been. So….I’m really excited to get out there and just see what I can do. I tend to feel better the longer I run lately, so that could bode well for a marathon.
Question #3: How many women will be in the elite field?”
Answer: My understanding is there are approximately 50. I don’t think this is a set number they adhere to year after year, but that is how many there are this year. Watching video of last year’s start (the women’s elite start goes 20 minutes before everyone else) it appears to me that the field was a bit smaller than that last year. This year, the race has added a separate prize purse for American women, and the race is going to be televised on ESPN2 for the first time for 3.5 full hours. Because of these two factors, I think they beefed up the field a bit more than normal. But that is me speculating, not facts that I have been told. The New York Roadrunners set themselves apart with this field in that they try to get a representation of top marathoners from all over the world rather than just bringing in runners from one place or another (typically East Africans when this happens). The 50 women this year will include around 30 from different countries and 21 Americans. Amongst the Americans are 2012 Olympic 10,000 meter finalists Amy Hastings and Janet Bawcom, and Olympic 5,000 meter finalist Julie Culley (running her marathon debut!). The Olympic gold medalist in the marathon, Tiki Gelana, will also be running. And that is just to name a few! I could go on and on with the accolades of the field. So….to say I will be in talented company would be an understatement.
Just 3 short weeks from now, it will all be done…. and I promise to not wait 5 months to report on it. Until then….gotta run!!