My last post was my travel re-cap, and since I learned about my big news during my time in Malaysia, I could have included it – but it’s, like, too exciting to tuck into that piece!
My big news – I am (planning on) running in the New York City Marathon in November!!
I have been wanting this so much, and I feel like all along I knew I was going to make the lottery. I read so much of the press coverage of the 2015 race and started getting really excited for the possibility, so the day after the race ended, I went to the website to find out when to sign up for the 2016 lottery. I knew it was a long shot because so many people want to get in – but I secretly suspect that my slow pace is my golden ticket. When you apply, you write in normal details (name/contact info/etc), but you ALSO estimate your completion time. My guess is that the algorithm factors in these times and spits out an acceptance list with various paces, and since most people are faster than I am, I had less competition!
Regardless if I’m right, all I know is that I knew I’d find out about the lottery when I was in Kuala Lumpur. I had it marked on my calendar and kept refreshing my NY Road Runners page to see if it had been updated (this is after adjusting for the time difference – I had to wait a LONG time before anything happened!!). It was really late in KL (so, like, mid-day in NYC) when I saw that my “status” box had changed from being empty to saying “NYC 2016” – and I knew that was a good sign! Then I looked at my bank account and saw my card had been charged the full entry fee – and I knew. But it wasn’t until I got the email – which I read in the terminal of the KL airport – that I whooped out loud and promptly updated my Facebook status!
This race will mean a lot to me because New York means a lot to me. My family is from there, for one thing, and I spent some of my best moments growing up in the city. I think it’s my love of New York that gave me my love of Chicago – the first time I came here, I said it was like a less bustling version of the city. I am so excited to run through streets that will feel like home, even though I’ve never actually run in NYC one step!
So all this means…training will begin anew in July! I’m not sure if I’m going to do it solo or use a virtual training program, but I have time to figure that out. Right now I need to focus on slowly and safely rebuilding my miles. Since my half marathon in January, I’ve deliberately cut back to let my hamstring heal, but it’s time to start coming back. I’ve consistently run at least two days a week, usually incorporating some sort of HIIT treadmill run one day and a long run on the weekend, so now I’ll just ramp it up to 3. Nothing crazy, everything controlled (as best as I can).
Last Friday I think I discovered a game-changer: podcasts. Yes, everyone on the planet has been listening to podcasts for what seems like decades, but I didn’t get into them until Friday. It really was just because I was sick of listening to my regular music on my way to work and my NPR app has been weird, so I decided to search around for good podcasts for runners and I downloaded the first one I saw recommended. I LOVED it! So far I’ve listened to a few from Runners Connect, the official Runner’s World one, and some other running-centric ones, plus a few diet/nutrition pieces and some self esteem ones. And one about the ancient kings of Egypt, but that’s because I love history and has nothing to do with this. 🙂
I was always leery of running with a podcast because I really depend on music to keep me motivated, but on Saturday I headed out and had a GREAT experience! I listened to an interview with one of Meb’s coaches and it was really interesting and made me feel like I was just overhearing a great conversation right next to me. I ran this morning with a podcast as well, this time with another coach who emphasized the importance of varying running workouts – again, really interesting and definitely held my interest. The one thing that I noticed was that my timing was much slower when I listened to podcasts vice music. But interestingly, during my long run on Saturday, I did 5 miles with the podcast and finished the remaining 4 with music, and my speed actually increased for the final miles. This makes me wonder if I should deliberately conduct my long runs with a slow, steady, podcast-based front half and wrap it up with a faster finish – something to experiment with for sure!
So that’s my excitement – just keep your fingers crossed that this hamstring situation calms down (it’s not painful per se…but it’s definitely tight) and that I can follow through with my training. I feel like my blog name will still be accurate…because Lani will still be running IN Chicago, just not FOR the Chicago marathon this time around! 🙂