After weeks of stalling and procrastinating, I’ve finally cancelled my entry in the 2019 New York City Marathon. I’m heartbroken, and have been since I started thinking seriously about deferring my entry to next year. I’m sad I’m going to miss the race, and all the power and ambition and fun that it brings along, and I’m sad because dropping out of the marathon feels like giving up on myself.
When I told another runner that I had a terrible time racing the Popular Brooklyn Half this year, and started talking about “going to a really dark place around mile eight” he interrupted me. “When you go to a dark place,” he asked, “do you have a tough time running? Or are you talking about something bigger? Are you actually feeling so messed up you’re —I don’t know— about to quit your job?”
A month before the North Face Endurance Challenge, I signed up up for the Half Marathon event on a whim. I knew about this series of trail races but had never been able to fit one into my schedule — when a trail runner I know asked if I’d ever participated, and I realized this year I was free to race that weekend, I signed up without too much thought.
Just over a week after running the TCS NYC Marathon I’m starting to feel normal again: walking without pain, not constantly re-evaluating my race day, and even starting to get excited to run another race. I ran a 4:08:50 marathon last week, which is a far cry from the time I aimed for — but even during marathon itself, I realized that while it wasn’t the time I wanted, it was the race I was trained for and the race I deserved.