Monday, March 12, 2012

The Marathon Diaries, Part 1

I warned you that I'd be talking about the marathon a lot in my blog this year, so get ready, it's starting! I decided to start writing some diary entries because I literally think about the marathon everyday. This way I can share what I think about as I prepare for one of the most exciting events in my life! 

It's so significant to me that I want to enjoy and remember not only that day, but everything leading up to it, which is why I want to write about it now, as I'm thinking about it. It will be interesting to compare those things with what actually happens on the day of the event. And I think it will be especially interesting to see how my thoughts evolve over time and I think it'll be even more fun to re-read them after I actually run it.

Dear Diary,

I was thinking about last year, when I had announced I was qualifying for the marathon. When people would ask about my marathon training I usually laughed, explaining that I was currently in the "thinking" phase of training. It was true. I didn't have a plan. I wasn't learning about running better. I wasn't even trying to run a lot of miles; I was merely coming to terms with the fact that I was going to run the NYC Marathon in 2012. My main focus was completing the 9 runs I needed to qualify. And I did that.

I knew this year, 2012, would be the real year for training, with long runs - longer than I've ever run before. The whole idea of actually training for a marathon terrified me at first. Running, to me, was always the ultimate athletic event. I didn't (and told myself I couldn't) run for years. Up until I was 38 years old, the few times I ever ran were so unpleasant that I didn't ever think I'd do it willingly. I never would have believed I'd even consider running 26.2 miles.

But here I am. Getting ready for the 2012 NYC Marathon.

Now that 2012 is here I think about the marathon every single day. At least one aspect of it. It varies from day to day. Sometimes I think of it in random flashes: Starting line. Trixie. 59th St Bridge. Crowds in Central Park. Melanie. Halfway point on the Pulaski. Mrs Kim (my "Chinese Mom" who is actually Korean). Water Stations. Bedford Ave. Dad. Musicians. Photographers. Maureen. Finish Line. Medal.

Sometimes I think about it more in-depth: How am I getting to Staten Island that morning, anyway? What am I going to wear? Sometimes I worry about things that are out of my control: What if it's too hot? What bib number will I get? And then I think about the day itself: What am I going to feel like, physically? How am I going to fuel for it before and during? What will the bathroom waits be like along the route? (it always comes back to the bathroom for me!)

But mostly, I think about the awesomeness - seeing people I know who came out to cheer for me, running through so many NYC neighborhoods, hearing strangers cheer and shout out my name in support, reaching every mile marker, the emotional run I will have through my beloved Greenpoint, crossing the bridges, and of course, very often, I think about the final few miles in Central Park and crossing that finish line.

Every time I think about it, I get choked up. Even now, 236 days prior to the event, while writing this. I know how emotional I am and I'm not afraid to show it. I expect to cry many times along the way. In fact, I probably shouldn't wear eyelashes that day, now that I think about it. But no matter what it takes, I'm going to do it. Even if I have to crawl over that finish line, it's going to happen. And it's going to be amazing.

Thumbs up
on a great run last month (before my tendonitis stopped me from running for a month) and wearing a 2011 Marathon T-Shirt


  1. I am so excited for you! I'm glad that you'll be blogging about it!!!!

  2. I love love love this post. I can't wait read more of your marathon diary posts. I wish I would have done this for my first marathon but I didn't have a blog back then. I wish I would have had it so I could look back thru when I need that extra motivation to run.

  3. You'll be wonderful Sheryl !

    I can't wait to hear all about your preparation for the marathon!

    You're going to rock it !

  4. I'm so excited to follow along! Thank you for giving a peek in when you do all of these amazing things that you do in your life!


  5. Share more of these marathons! :D

  6. Great post!!! You will do great!!!!

  7. I just ran my first half marathon a few weeks ago and it was awesome! Everyone says I'm going to want to run a full now, but I don't see how. The training commitment is too great and conflicts with my other schedules. But I will participate in a full marathon vicariously through you!

    It's all about the miles. Run several days a week, slowly building your mileage. And try out energy gels (I like Accel and Honey Stinger). I only use them on runs longer than six miles, but they really work to help fuel during a run. You'll figure out when to take them (me, I took one at 4.5, 7.5 and 10.5 during my half marathon).

    Run, Sheryl! Run!

  8. I have a half marathon coming up in 12 days, and man, do I get choked up just thinking about it and all that I have overcome. Good luck with your training!!

  9. I'm so excited to read about your marathon training, especially as I go through mine! Hope you'll be able to post details of what you're doing (especially those foam rollers exercises) Congratulations on your cover shot. You look beautiful Sheryl!

    <3 Natasha
    Girl w the curls

  10. So cool. Very excited to read about your journey

  11. This is awesome!! you are so beautiful by the way!

  12. OMG. I am way too psyched for something so far away!

    Just so you know, I've already booked Mikey, our own personal photographer to capture our finish line moments. Although he will be financially much cheaper than Brightroom, his patented "uncomfortably long awkward hug" could add a considerable amount of time to our festivities.

  13. You had me tearing up with this post! You are gonna rock the marathon.

  14. You'll always remember your first (fill in the blank). What an exciting and absolutely wonderful way to document this experience in your life.

    You are an inspiration and may you run many more (if that's what you wish)!

  15. I'm so excited for you! I wish I'd done something similar for my first. If you do your long training runs with a group (which I'd HIGHLY recommend), you'll have plenty of time to get your questions answered -- finding out what works for you, getting tips from others, practicing water stops, etc. So, so, so excited for you! NY was one of my faves and I've never even lived there!

  16. I've been reading your blog off and on now for a couple of years....I never even commented before. Now I want to say I'm so proud of you and how far you've come, you inspire me. I just got back on Tuesday from a trip to NYC and I swear I saw you on your bike headed maybe towards the pier? I recognized the pink bike of course! I too have lost weight (27lbs) and made a lifestyle change. I started running last summer and did my first 5k last Sept, I'm climbing the CN Tower in Toronto in April and signed up for a 10k in May. My next goal will be a half marathon, maybe next year!

    1. I was on my bike on Tuesday. Not sure if it was me but I was in Greenpoint Williamsburg, Grand Central, Midtown East (Park Ave) and the East Village/Lower East Side. Welcome back and you can definitely get to a 1/2 by next year!

  17. Shoot, I'm getting emotional for you just thinking about it. It truly is an emotional journey...especially reading about where you were and what you've done to get here. I look forward to the continuation of your diaries!


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