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.
This is a nested training recap and pre-race check-in — in the midst of a busy week, I took a few minutes on the subway to start writing a nervous, critical post as race day approached. But now that I have finished my shakeout run, picked up my bib, and made a race-day morning and post-finish plan, I’m a bit calmer and feeling more positive about the race. Perhaps writing through my anxiety helped prepare me for the race after all!