Vancouver Marathon Training: Week 3

Week 3 is on the books! The general sentiment around the interwebs seems to be something to the effect of “screw winter,” and I can’t say I disagree. Yesterday, I ran outside for the first time in almost 2 weeks, and I had to bring the last third of my run inside because I wanted to maintain use of my fingers. Remind me of this when I think I want to move back to Michigan again.

I own you. You will move only when I say you will move.

I own you. You will move only when I say you will move.

This week went really well, and although it pains me to say it, I think it’s because I cut out my beloved HIIT workouts. I’ve come to love strength training and even look forward to it, but I was noticing my legs felt much heavier than they should on my speed days. My coach and I talked it through, and I decided to dial back on the HIIT and see what happened. Worked like a charm!

Instead, I’ve made friends with the arc trainer, which seems to be like a stairclimber/elliptical hybrid. I have no interest in the stair climber, and the elliptical makes my feet go numb, so it’s a fair compromise. I’m also taking at least 15 minutes to do core work and hip bridges on my cross training days. Plus, my regular PT appointments have me doing glute strengthening exercises. I know I need to do these more than once a week at my appointments. I KNOW! Baby steps.

Monday
What I was supposed to do: 6 miles @8:40-9:05
What actually happened: 6 miles @8:50 on the treadmill
The treadmill is terribly boring, but the gym was quiet, so I put on the Today Show, set the treadmill to whatever pace 8:50 equates to, and just zoned out. Done and done.

Tuesday
What I was supposed to do: 
XT or rest
What I actually did: 45 minutes arc trainer; 15 minutes core work
I have zero recollection of this workout, but if Daily Mile says this is what I did, this is what I did.

Wednesday
What I was supposed to do:
Tempo run–7 miles total; warm up; 4 miles @7:25-7:32; cool down
What I actually did: 7 miles total–1.5 mile warm up; 5 miles @7:24; 0.5 mile cool down + PT!!!
I really love running fast, and this tempo work was no exception. Ramping down the HIIT seemed to do the trick, and I cruised through the 4 miles so easily that I decided to tack on an extra one. Leg felt fast and loose, just what I wanted!
I also went to PT, where he fixed me right up. My left glute and hamstring were tight and knotted per the usual, so he dry needled and scraped them, which helped a lot. He also stretched my hip flexors and IT bands, and he wound up needling those, too, which I desperately needed. Then I did: hip bridges on the balance ball, single leg deadlifts, squats with a band, standing clamshells (this is not the technical term, just what I call them), lateral dips, walk outs on the pulley, and probably something else I’m forgetting.
My legs were pretty tired by the time I got there (l usually run first thing in the morning and go to PT in the evening). But, as my smarty pants therapist pointed out, it’s good to work the glutes on tired legs so that I teach them to fire even when they’re tired. Sort of like what they’re supposed to do during the marathon.

Thursday
What I was supposed to do: 
4 miles easy recovery run no faster than 9:05
What I actually did: 4 miles easy recovery run @9:01; 15 minutes core work
I swear I did run my miles easy–I set the treadmill at 9:05 and only messed with the incline so I wouldn’t go any faster! But I did sprint the last 0.1 mile juuuuuust for fun ;) Then I did HIIT work just for my core on the mat, incorporating some hip bridges and side pedestals with a leg lift, which are for the glutes. I was having a bad day and didn’t run in the morning like I usually do, so I needed this big time. Anyone else feel healed by a good workout?

Friday
What I was supposed to do:
XT or REST
What I actually did: REST and lots of foam rolling and lacrosse balling of the hip flexors and obnoxious left glute/hamstring
I wanted to workout (winter makes me stir-crazy), but I also knew that saving my legs for Saturday’s long run was a good idea. I was definitely glad I did.

Saturday
What I was supposed to do: 14 miles total–first 9 miles easy (target pace 8:25), cut down on the last 5 miles, running the last 5K @7:45 or better; run controlled.
What actually happened: 14 miles total–first 9 miles easy (8:29, 8:25, 8:22, 8:26, 8:27, 8:18, 8:09, 8:19, 8:32); last 5 miles cut down (8:04, 7:50, 7:35, 7:35, 7:30); finished with .1 @6:31
After last week’s terrible long run on the treadmill, I needed this to go well. Thankfully, it did! I headed out early Saturday with Roo, planning to do the first 9 miles with her. It was about 15* when I started, but I was bundled up and so was she, plus I had hand warmers, so I thought I’d be ok. I sort of forgot about the whole wind factor, and the first 4.5 miles or so into the wind were tough. Between trying not to slip on icy spots, making sure the dog didn’t trip me, and trying to focus on controlling my pace, I was a little stressed. The second 4.5 weren’t much better, and running the 9th mile uphill and into the wind was easily the toughest part of the run.
When I came home to drop Roo off and get myself a Gu, I realized my fingers were completely numb and useless. I could barely open a Gu or get her leash and coat off. Not good. So I quickly changed and zipped over to the gym to finish the last 5 on the treadmill. It felt GREAT, and I was so relieved to have it go well after feeling like I wanted to quit last weekend. I felt fast and loose and strong. If I can feel that way for most of my race, I’ll be thrilled!

Sunday
What I was supposed to do: REST or XT
What actually happened: nothing yet. I might make it to the gym for a little arc training. Then again, we’re having freezing rain today, and it is Nasty (yes, with a capital ‘N’) out there. I might be happy to hang out on the couch with Roo and get some things done around the house. It will depend on how much I want to avoid cleaning my apartment and doing laundry. The lesser of 2 evils and all that ;)

Week 3 Vancouver

Last but not least, despite the fact that I’ve been craving protein, meat is most definitely not the answer for me. After 3 days of adding it back in, all I wanted were veggies. And I was already eating veggies with my meat! Instead, I’m going to stick to beans, nuts, and egg whites (which I’ve eaten all along), plus some cheese here and there. It doesn’t bother my stomach in small doses, and I need the extra protein right now! I also remembered that I have a bunch of protein powder that I need to use more often. I’m so used to making it into smoothies, that I’d forgotten it can be a simple shake that’s a great snack after a run. Now I just have to remember that.

eat everything

Vancouver Marathon Training: Week 2

This was an interesting week on the training front. I started out the week feeling ok, but bad weather and freezing temps drove me inside, and I wound up feeling more frustrated than anything else. I’m hoping a trip to a very muddy dog park and a little easy elliptical or arc trainer work will help me reset today. We both need the mental relief after being cooped up all week!

Hibernation mode

Hibernation mode

Monday
What I was supposed to do: 5 miles easy
What actually happened: 5 miles @8:13 (8:15, 8:09, 8:14, 7:58, 8:28)
Let the record show that it was in the teens with a windchill closer to 10 degrees. Not for the faint of heart, and certainly not something I’ll be repeating anytime soon. The last mile was uphill and into the wind because it’s a cruel, cruel world. I think my fingers were in the first stages of frostbite when I got home. Getting the feeling back was so painful that I actually thought I might throw up. All treadmill, all the time until it’s over 30 degrees.

Tuesday
What I was supposed to do: XT or rest
What actually happened: 60 minute HIIT workout
I love HIIT training. Felt great during this workout. Even though it was challenging, it just feels so good to push myself in a different way. Always focusing on getting my core, hips, and glutes strong during these workouts motivates me. I think about how it will benefit me during my race and training runs. Also helps that I do these in my living room, and in a rare crafting moment, I made this and hung it on my wall where I can see it when I workout.

we can do hard things

Wednesday
What I was supposed to do: 
Speedwork! 6 miles total — warm up; 1 K repeats @6:51 – 6:55 pace – jog 50-75% of repeat for recovery; cool down
What actually happened: 
6 miles total — warm up; 1 K repeats @6:53 – jog 50-75% of repeat for recovery; cool down
I did what I was supposed to! Yay for me! So, for those of us who operate in miles, 1 kilometer is about 0.62 miles. I did the K repeats with 0.38 recovery jogs to make them even miles because my brain likes those :)
Honestly, these weren’t super tough physically, but mentally, I really had to talk myself through them. For each one, I imagined I was on an actual track and thought about where in the lap I’d be, focused on driving my arms, and tried to just stay in the interval. I also like to yell at myself when I’m tired. As in, “If you want to quit, then quit!” My head is a fun place to be.

Thursday
What I was supposed to do:
4 miles no faster than 10:15 pace
What actually happened: 
4 miles @8:34
Four easy recovery miles on the treadmill. My legs felt great, and I actually enjoyed a nice, relaxed run. My only complaint on this day was the abominably smelly dude who hopped on the treadmill next to mine. It was bad enough that I considered moving treadmills. I think I though I was trying to be nice/not offend him in not moving? In hindsight, I should have saved myself. Always save yourself!

Friday
What I was supposed to do:
 XT or rest
What actually happened: REST
That’s all I have to say about that.

Saturday
What I was supposed to do: 
13 miles @8:25-8:35
What actually happened: 13 miles of hell on the treadmill @8:42 average pace
I wasn’t dreading this run beforehand, but maybe I should have been. For the first 7ish miles (until the treadmill stopped itself after an hour–annoying), I felt ok. Not great mentally, but not awful. I followed these Tips on How to Run Long on the Treadmill Without Losing Your Mind from Runners World–not exactly, but enough to give me some variety. I couldn’t get Netflix to load on my iPad to re-watch season 1 of Scandal (WHY DON’T I REMEMBER STEPHEN?!?!), so I just put on a favorite playlist and tried to relax and enjoy. It wasn’t happening.

I tried out a new pair of shoes (just a new pair of the Brooks PureFlow 2s I’ve been wearing for over a year), and that was mistake #1. I should’ve worn an older pair and broken those in. Silly me. I wound up with a very sore right foot and uncomfortable form for the last 6 miles.

Why have you foresaken me?!

Why have you foresaken me?!

The run was so bad that around miles 9, 10, 11, 12, and 12.5, I considered quitting. When I’m out for a run outside, I never want to quit. I can always push through. I even walked for a bit around mile 11. I just did.not.want.it. And then I felt off for the rest of the day. Just unsettled. Not at all accomplished. Frustrated.

Sunday (today)
What I was supposed to do: XT or rest
What actually happened: Planning on 30-45 minutes on some kind of workout machine at the gym. Elliptical? Arc Trainer? And some core work.

vancouver marathon training week 2

Now I’m wondering how to incorporate strength training while not exhausting myself so much that I struggle through speedwork and long runs. My XT days are always the days before tough workouts, so I don’t want to exhaust myself, but I do want keep up the strength. I’m emailing my coaches today to see what they say, so hopefully I’ll have more to say about this next week.

I’ve also noticed that I am craving protein like crazy, which isn’t surprising at all. I’ve been pretty committed to a mostly vegan diet for over 2 years, but I’ve been craving meat lately. I’m going to try to reintroduce some meats to my diet this week and see how my stomach does with them. Although, I have homemade chicken noodle soup on the stove right now, and the smell is making me nauseous, so there you go. <sigh>

Vancouver Marathon Training: Week 1

I’m not quite as good at blogging as I used to be–i.e., I don’t have the time (or inclination) to post every day–but I’m aiming for at least an update a week. So, here we go!

Week 1 of Vancouver Marathon training is done! Before I get into the specifics of my actual runs, a couple of things:

  1. My coaches have me doing this lunge matrix before I run. It takes less than 2 minutes, and I’ve been surprised at how well it stretches out my hips before my runs. It turns out my left gluteus maximus isn’t firing when I run, so I’m compensating by driving forward with my right hip flexor and TFL (my PT has taught me so much!). The result is seriously tight hips, especially on that right side, as well as a painfully tight glute medius on the right. The matrix seems to be helping some. Plus, it gets my legs moving a little before I ask them to run, which is probably a nice courtesy to extend.
  2. There’s also a whole set of post-run exercises they have me doing. What’s interesting to me is that they’re all dynamic stretches. (In the world where I actually stretch before I run) I’m used to doing dynamic stretches before the run, rather than after. I’m going to ask them about that so I can better understand the philosophy behind this approach!
  3. The last addition to my routine is a series of hip raises and bridges. These are good for both core and glute strength, which I definitely need. The one thing I noticed this week was that my hip flexors were feeling really tight and I could really feel these in my hamstrings. My PT corrected me on these by recommending 2 changes:
    1. Squeeze my glutes before I bridge my hips up. This activates the glute and ensures I won’t rely on my hamstrings.
    2. On the single leg hip raises, he said to bring my raised leg in and put a ball there so I’m not holding that single leg up and unintentionally activating those already tight hip flexors. Since you probably have no idea what I’m trying to say here, here’s a (very apologetic) picture of me to demonstrate:
      Yes, my form is off here, but you get the idea. Also, my ball in this case is a dog toy. Whatever works.

      Yes, my form is off here, but you get the idea. Also, my ball in this case is a dog toy. Whatever works.

      God, that is mortifying.

Onto the training portion of the program!

Monday
What I was supposed to do:
Easy 4 miles @8:40-9:05
What actually happened: Easy 4 miles @8:16 (8:42, 8:26, 8:02, 7:53), outside
Started off ok, but then got carried away. Moral of the story, I suck at pacing.

Tuesday
What I was supposed to do:
Rest or Cross Train
What actually happened: 48 minutes HIIT – workouts 36 and 38-40; mostly upper body and core work
This felt really good. My core was sore that day and the day after, but it didn’t seem to affect my run the next day at all, which is what I was hoping for.

Wednesday
What I was supposed to do:
Speed Fartlek – 6 miles total. Warm up, then 3 miles of 2 minutes on (7:10-7:15 pace), 1 minute off; cool down.
What actually happened: 6.25 miles total on the TREADMILL. 1 mile warm up at 8ish pace, then  4.25 miles of 3 minutes on (7:08 pace), 1 minute off (8:06 pace); 1 mile cool down
Total fail on knowing the workout before I started. I thought I knew what I was supposed to do, but apparently not. Still, the 3 minute intervals felt manageable. I pushed myself, but definitely wasn’t dying. I forgot to do the lunge matrix beforehand, but I did it after along with some static stretches. I don’t love what the treadmill does to my form since I tend to over stride and heel strike when I’m on it, but it’s been too cold to get outside every day.

Thursday
What I was supposed to do:
Recovery run – 4 miles no faster than 9:05
What actually happened: Recovery run – 4 miles at 8:46 (8:59, 8:36, 8:33, 8:57)
I was ready for an easy day by Thursday, and I took it. I did my speedwork in the evening on Wednesday, and then ran these miles Thursday morning, so my legs were fairly dead. Good, though, because I needed to take it easier.

Friday
What I was supposed to do: 
Rest or Cross Train
What actually happened: 24 minutes of HIIT – upper body and core again, just an abbreviated version of Tuesday’s workout; PHYSICAL THERAPY
I really want to keep up with strength training, so I’m trying to incorporate it wherever I can fit it in. This was a quick workout, just enough to (hopefully) help me get strong. I haven’t been doing leg work to keep my legs fresh for running.

I also had PT on Friday, and he dry needled my TFL and hip flexor, plus the crazy knotted spot I have on my left gluteal/hamstring area. It helped loosen things up a lot. I also did lateral dips, side steps, hip bridges, and a few other things that I can’t remember. Oops.

Saturday
What I was supposed to do: Easy long run – 10 miles @8:25-8:35
What actually happened: 10 miles @8:21 (8:29, 8:17, 8:29, 8:12, 8:12, 8:31, 8:19, 8:25, 8:17, 8:17)
As long runs go, this wasn’t awful, but wasn’t great, either. It was pretty cold (around 28* with a windchill in the upper teens), and while my legs felt ok, it still felt like a struggle. Not much to say about this except that I was glad when it was over.

Vancouver Marathon Training Week 1

Sunday (today!)
What I’m supposed to do:
Rest or cross train
What I’m actually doing: REST!
A nap on the couch, catching up on the DVR, and some stretching and foam rolling.

***

As far as this blog goes, if there’s anything you’re curious about or want me to talk more about, let me know in the comments! Otherwise, I’m just glad you’re here :)

Don’t Get Too Excited.

Oh hey. Long time no talk! If you still follow me on twitter or Instagram, first of all, awwww, thanks :) And secondly, you may or may not know that I finally succeeded in running a marathon. Actually, I’ve run two in the last year and had some success with it, which comes as a slight shock. But, more on that (maybe?) later.

Anyway, I’ve decided to chase 26.2 again, this time in Vancouver on May 3. Rather than simply following the Smart Coach plans I have in the past, I’ve decided to hire a coach. I figure, if I’m able to run a 3:24:51 without any coaching, I’d love to see what I can do with professional guidance!

IMG_3535

I feel like this is kind of a noteworthy thing in my life, so I want to have a record of it, hence the “out of retirement” thing. Don’t get too excited.

Here’s the very condensed Reader’s Digest version of what’s been going on in my running life since we last talked. I’ll give you bullet points because we really do not have all day here.

  • I began seeing a physical therapist in the Fall of 2013 and had some success there. She helped get my back and glutes stronger, and by February 2014, I was pretty much pain free. Party.
  • In January 2014, I ran the Celebration Marathon with Paula and Michelle, and it was painful. I hadn’t trained and that damn Florida humidity tried to kill me. Also, my old knee pain came back around mile 9 and was fairly excruciating. So that was fun. I finished in around 1:45 or so and could barely walk.1533781_10151954777251902_766654416_n
  • Because that race went so well, I figured I’d go ahead and train for double that distance. #logic I ran the Rock n’ Roll Marathon in DC last March on 6 weeks of training and finished in 3:38:06. It was basically my most favoritest race ever, and I was stupid happy the whole time. Well, maybe not the last 4 miles which consisted of rolling hills and heard me yelling (literally) obscenities as I crested each one and saw a new one approaching. Still. Loved it.race1
  • Continued running a bit for the next few months and decided to register for Chicago 2014. As I worked on building my base for that, the old back/glute pain came back, so I started going to a new PT closer to my apartment (because of course I moved yet again). He’s done wonders for me. Maybe I’ll write about that at some point, too.
  • I trained for Chicago through the end of summer and early fall, and it was fantastic. I just felt great all the time, was fueling well, strength training, and generally in top shape. Had an amazing race. Again, stupid happy. Apparently, this is my default state when I race the marathon.10979702_1547137235537930_1846208414_n
  • And, finally, I can’t recap the last almost 2 years without mentioning that I got a blister during Chicago which then got infected which then caused me to go into septic shock and spend 6 days in the hospital. They stored me in the oncology ward since apparently infectious diseases doesn’t get its own area. After I was released, I realized there’s a 60% mortality rate for what I had. Close call.

I’m sure I’m glossing over lots, but I guess we’re all up to speed now!

That Time I Didn’t Run a Marathon

It seems like there have been several times in the last year that I could’ve written a post with this title.

After all, since January, I’ve signed up for—and not run—3 marathons. Yep, 3. First, it was my demon back injury that sidelined me from the Carmel Marathon last spring. Then, Hurricane Sandy stunned everyone, and in the most random, unexpected way, caused the NYC Marathon to be cancelled.

And finally, on Saturday, I attempted the Richmond Marathon. I have to say attempted because, unfortunately, I didn’t quite make it to the finish.

I could detail it for you mile by mile, but that seems unnecessarily harsh, mostly for me, because I’m not all that interested in reliving it. But here’s the less excruciating Reader’s Digest version:

I started the race feeling good. I stuck right with the 3:30 pace group for the first 6 miles. I felt loose, relaxed, and comfortable. Around the 10K mark, I felt a little twinge in my left knee. I tried to ignore it and just kept plugging away. When the twinge turned into a pang, and then my right knee joined the party around mile 7, I knew I needed to slow my pace if I was going to make it to the finish. I eased up a bit to around an 8:30 pace, but it wasn’t enough. No matter how I tried to talk myself out of it, my knees were in serious pain. I stopped at mile 8 to stretch, hoping that would help, then continued, slowing way down to around a 10 minute pace.

For the next 12 miles, I struggled, running a little, walking a lot, hoping that the pain would ease up, telling myself I would make it to mile 13, then 16, then 18. At each milestone, I figured I could regroup and make a decision as to whether or not I could keep going. By mile 18, I was walking more than I was running. Actually, walking is inaccurate; I was hobbling, unable to bend my right leg without pain. Still, I kept going—walking a lot, running a little, and hoping hoping hoping that somehow I would make it to the finish. But just before mile 20, I realized I was being really stupid. What was the point of trying to finish just for the sake of finishing? I didn’t want a 6 hour finish time just to say that I “ran” a marathon. That’s not what I trained for. It wasn’t the race I wanted to run.

And so I stopped. Yes, there were tears, as much as for the pain in my knees (that was now radiating up my quads and into my hips and back) as for the disappointment of training off and on for almost a year only to have to drop out because of an injury that literally hasn’t bothered me in 2 years. That’s right—the knee thing? This is an old injury. Ten years ago, I was told that I had worn all of the cartilage out of my knees and wouldn’t be able to run again. So I suppose the fact that I made it this far is a victory in and of itself. But I was surprised that my knees were the thing to get in the way of this race. I had nearly forgotten that they were even an issue until they came screaming at me on Saturday morning. It was kind of a shock, to tell you the truth.

Surprisingly, though, I feel ok. I’m not destroyed by this. I’m not even disappointed in myself. I know I gave it my very best shot, and there was nothing I could’ve done differently that would’ve prevented my knees from hurting on this particular day. Sometimes these things just happen.

I think the bigger lesson here is that I realize I’ve developed resilience. If this had happened a year ago, I would’ve been devastated—especially after the double whammy of NY being canceled and then having to drop out of this race. But, no. I actually feel at peace with the whole situation. For whatever reason, this just isn’t my year to run a marathon.

So now, I’ll take a break, rest up my body, and then decide what my next move is. If a marathon isn’t meant for me, then it isn’t. Honestly, I don’t believe that—in fact, I know that if NY had gone on as scheduled, I would have finished that race. But right now? I don’t feel anxious to get out there and try again.

I am a runner. I will always be a runner. And part of being a runner is that sometimes you have a bad race. Sometimes you’re injured. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense.

And sometimes it makes so much sense that you can’t fathom how anyone could not understand it.

I had a bad race, but it doesn’t mean I’m weak or that I didn’t work hard or that I didn’t deserve to make it. It simply means that I had a bad race. But as someone very wise once told me, you have to have the bad races because they make the good races so much more rewarding. And I know that there are more rewarding races in my future.

Giving Thanks

**To Amanda who won the Health Warrior giveaway–Could you please re-send your info to hungryhealthymj@gmail.com? Thank you!!!**

After such a crazy weekend in NYC, I’m feeling back to normal. I needed a minute to be upset about it, took that minute, and now I’m moving past it. Onto Richmond this weekend! I’m actually really excited about running there since I’ve run the half there the last 2 years and know the course fairly well. It’s incredibly flat, ridiculously friendly, and finishes downhill. I can’t wait!

The only thing I’m bummed about at this point is that I won’t have any supporters of my own there. My whole family flew out to NYC for the marathon, including my cousin from Seattle and my little sis, who was willing to spend her entire 21st birthday cheering on her crazy runner sister in her first marathon.

No family resemblance there at all.

They also had t-shirts made–PINK! even for the boys–that they were planning to wear on the course. These people are the greatest.

Even though I won’t have them there in person, I know they’re with me in spirit, which counts for a lot! And sweet Katherine from Neon Blonde Runner has offered not only to let me stay with her, but also to cheer me on and run part of the race with me! I swear, blog friends are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my sweet friend, Erica, who put me and my cousin up in her tiny Upper West Side apartment at the last minute when our AirBnB didn’t have power.

She is impossibly cute, is she not?

And how could I forget Corey, who made me a sign of support all the way from Trinidad and called to check on me (a ridiculously expensive overseas call!). I am one lucky chick.

Last but not least, thank YOU, sweet readers, for your support. I know there was no good answer in NYC for this year’s marathon, but I appreciate your kind words and your encouragement. I’m feeling ready to rock it in Richmond on Saturday. If you’re in the area and want to meet up, let me know!

Thoughts on the NY Marathon

After Mayor Bloomberg assured everyone on Wednesday that the NYC Marathon would go on as scheduled on Sunday, he realized he’d made the wrong call and canceled the marathon Friday night at 5:30 PM. Honestly, I think it was the right thing to do all along. The city needs the resources of its fire and medical personnel to be dedicated to helping those in need right now.

However, it was disappointing that so many people in NY were mad at the runners for coming to their city once the initial decision had been made. The ugly things they wrote on marathon message boards made me concerned that I would be booed or tripped or even spit on for coming to their city to run a race that I’ve been anticipating for a year and training for for nearly 4 months. Was it selfish to want to run in the wake of so many people losing their homes and in some cases, even their lives? Maybe. But did I still want to run? Of course. 

Had they announced the cancelation on Wednesday, I would’ve been fine with it. I wouldn’t have gotten myself excited. I wouldn’t have gone to the expo and felt the great energy and gone through all of the pre-race anticipation. And neither would 47,000+ other runners from around the world. 

But, no. I had to hear via text from friends and family late on Friday that the NY Times had broken the news. No official word ever came from the New York Road Runners, although they did sent a special communication on Thursday morning that the race was still on. I’m still incensed about that. It’s just bad business. 

That, and the fact that the same people threatening to harass the marathon runners wanted us to help with the recovery efforts as soon as the race was canceled. Why on Earth would I want to help people who didn’t want me here to begin with? I really believe that those threats are the actual reason the race was canceled. The city worried that the crazies would assault the runners and open up the possibility of major lawsuits against the race and the city. But honestly? If I donate my money or time to suffering people, it’s going to Africa or somewhere where the affected aren’t entitled. I was absolutely disgusted by the hypocrisy.

Yes, this is a first-world problem. In the scheme of tragedy and suffering around the world, it’s not such a big deal. But it is a big deal to me. I have devoted every waking moment of the last 4 months of my life to this race. So am I disappointed? That’s a big fat YES. Disheartened? You bet. In fact, right now I have zero desire to run at all. This whole thing has left such a bad taste in my mouth that I just need some distance. 

I do plan on running in Richmond next weekend so my training doesn’t go to waste, but after that–and my half in St. Petersburg the following weekend–my shoes are going on hiatus.