This week’s blog is going to be short. It’s not that I don’t like writing; I actually love it. It’s just that I’ve caught my son’s cold and I feel like crap. My throat feels like someone set fire to it, and my body can’t decide if it should sweat or shiver. My daughter made me some tea in the Tigger mug she got for me when we were in Disney World a couple of years ago (yes, I love Tigger. Because the wonderful thing about Tiggers – is Tiggers are wonderful things! Got a problem with that? I didn’t think so). The problem is that I don’t think she rinsed the cup out from my coffee this morning (yes, I use my Tigger mug all the time. Hey, your kid spends her allowance to buy you a mug, you use the mug for the rest of your life. Besides, the wonderful thing about Tiggers – is Tiggers are wonderful things!), and the water is tepid at best, so this cup of tea is awful (and let’s keep that between just us).
OK, back to my blog. Last year I ran the Brooklyn Marathon two weeks after I finished the New York Marathon. I did it for a few reasons: 1) I’m a little bit crazy (evidence: grown woman admitting she loves Tigger), 2) I felt like months of training for one race was a waste, so this way I could use the same training and get two races out of it, and 3) a reason that I couldn’t explain, but I knew I had to run it. So, I did it. Last year I ran two marathons two weeks apart.
|NY Marathon Finish, 2013|
This year, the Brooklyn Marathon is again 2 weeks after the NY Marathon. Now, they are very different races. At the NY Marathon you’re running with 40,000 of your closest friends, with about a million more of your friends cheering you on. It’s epic. The Brooklyn Marathon – not so much. It caps at 500 people, so it’s tiny. I think I counted about 27 spectators, and they all left when it started to rain in the middle of the race. The NY Marathon runs through all 5 boroughs (though Staten Island and the Bronx don’t get a whole lot of love there), so you get to see the character of all different neighborhoods, and all the different characters that live in them. With the Brooklyn Marathon, you have to run 6 big and 3 small loops in Prospect Park, so the only thing you pass are mile markers that you haven’t gotten to and that just makes you sad.
At the same time, though, running 2 marathons in 2 weeks is a pretty cool accomplishment. And yes, you really don’t have to train for the second one. It’s like getting a buy one get one sale at your favorite store. Also, you can just take the subway down there, making it pretty easy to get to.
This year, the Brooklyn Marathon has been on my radar, but I couldn’t commit to it. Not yet. But as the months to the NY Marathon has dwindled to days (14!), the decision of whether or not I want to run Brooklyn two weeks later is looming over me. And usually I’m a pretty decisive person, but this time I cannot make up my mind.
I’ve asked a few people their opinions on it. I’ve gotten great reasons to do it (it really is a big accomplishment, I really have already trained for it, the medals they give out are really cool), and great reasons not to (I already defeated that white whale last year, I might get injured, running around the same park 9 times is really freaking boring).
|Brooklyn Marathon Finish, 2013|
This morning I was riding my bike on a bike trainer in my basement (speaking of really freaking boring), and I thought about the Brooklyn Marathon again. Why do I want to do it, and why don’t I? The reasons why I don’t popped up first. This training season has been more tiring than season’s past, and I kind of just want it to end. Being 1/100th the size of the NY Marathon, it’s also about 1/100th as interesting.
Then I thought about why I wanted to do it, and something dawned on me. Remember how I said that I had a third reason for wanting to run it last year, but I wasn’t sure what it was? Well, I finally figured it out. I was afraid of quitting. As of right now, the NY Marathon is the last one on what was a relatively light race schedule, and I likely won’t race again until March. I know my body needs some time to rest and recover, but I’m worried that rest and recovery will turn into inertia. If I don’t have something to train for, I’m worried that I’ll just stop.
This isn’t an outrageously ridiculous thought. I’ve finished the peak of my marathon training, and my body is tired. Yesterday I ran a 15 mile long run, and slept half the day afterwards (though it may have been this damned cold coming on). I’m on my 3 week taper, and any runner will tell you that tapering is really hard. You’re used to doing so much, and now you’re doing a fraction of what you did before, so it almost feels like you’re standing still. Also, we can’t forget about that Fat Girl that used to live in my body (if you’re curious, she liked Tigger, too). That girl took inertia to a whole new level.
Although I’ve had this epiphany, I still haven’t decided on the Brooklyn Marathon. Per the race organizers, it’s close to selling out so I really do need to make a decision. At least now, though, I figured out what it was that drove me to do it last year. I have to remind myself that I’ve gotten through several winters with no races and no visits from Fat Girl. Doing one marathon instead of two isn’t going to push me off the cliff of inertia and right into a Key Lime pie or a vat of gelato. I can stay healthy and fit regardless of if I sign up for this second marathon or not.
Sorry to leave this blog on a cliffhanger. Maybe next week I’ll write about the decision I made and we can all decide together if it was brilliant or just plain stupid. But for now I'm going to curl up on the couch and drink my tepid tea that tastes like this morning's coffee.