Alison’s Blog: “My favorite part of the marathon was…”

Alison_marathon_2011_finish

The fact that someone can say they have a favorite part of a marathon is amazing in itself.  Alison shares hers below.  A while back we talked about goals in one of our coaching session.  Specifically,  ”Where are you going?”  ”How will you get there?”  Read to learn why answering those questions will change your life.

Alison:

Everyone has been asking me my favorite parts of the New York Marathon that I ran last week. Was it the crowds? The medal? The signs I read along the way? The amazing feeling of accomplishment? No, it was none of those (though I still giggle to myself every time I think of my favorite sign I saw: “It’s 26.2 miles, because 26.3 is just crazy!”). My favorite part was that there was an actual course to follow.

Let me explain. When I was lined up with over 50,000 of my closest friends in Staten Island, I knew exactly where I had to go: over the bridge into Brooklyn, then Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and back to Manhattan. Just follow the crowd until you get to the finish line. Piece of cake.

Well, I did it. Granted, it wasn’t a piece of cake, but I followed the crowds and got the job done. I couldn’t walk down the stairs of my own house like a grown up for days, and every time I had to get out of a chair and stand up I think I died a little bit inside, but I did it. My problem, though, has been since the race.

I trained for that race for months. Starting in July, I meticulously followed a training plan, even running in 114 degree temperatures in Arizona in August to make sure I stayed on track. I ran in a pool when my foot was injured and I couldn’t run on land, I carried my asthma inhaler with me when I contracted bronchitis in the week before the marathon. I didn’t let anything get in my way, including having a tree fall on my house and having my foot in a cast for a week. Peter K always says that to accomplish your goal you need to know where you’re going, and what your plans are to get there. But now, I feel like a woman without a map or a compass.

The marathon is over. My training plan is done. I’m even done recovering (read: I can get up from chairs pain free, and I’ve stopped feeling the need to eat everything that isn’t moving). So, now what? Where do I go from here?

I do have a few ideas. One is to run all 7 of the half marathons that NY Road Runners offers each year. The problem with that goal is that the first one is in mid-January. I don’t mind running 13.1 miles in about 13.1 degree temperature. My problem is waiting around for that race to start for what will feel like 13.1 hours in the freezing cold. My second idea is to run another marathon – really. I’ve been looking at both the New Jersey marathon or the Long Island marathon. Both are in early May, actually on the same day. This makes my husband quite happy, as it means that then I will definitely only do one of them. My third idea is the NY marathon in November of 2012. And my fourth idea is – all of the above. Yes, I really am contemplating running 7 half marathons and 2 full marathons in 2012 – along with about 4 or 5 triathlons in the summer. If I do them all, I’ll need to write out more training plans and schedule everything – just the way I like it.

Ah, I think I just found my compass.

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