Change of Plans

I had every intention of running the New York Marathon yesterday. That is, up until Monday of this past week. I’d trained for the race and declared that it was my last marathon for a year. So much of my focus went into this one race and I was mentally (and somewhat physically) ready to rock it. Not to mention, it would be the first time that my family would be there to support me.

But Sandy had other plans. When I heard about the damage in New York, I was troubled. So many of my friends and family members were affected by the storm. It just didn’t seem right to be eager about the race when others were displaced from their homes. My emotions went haywire as I questioned my plans. Many parts of me wanted to go to New York, see my family, run the marathon, and honor my grandparents. While others didn’t want to add to the chaos of the city.

Eventually my father, the most logical person in my life, helped me to make the decision. On Thursday of last week I decided to cancel my trip and defer my entry. I was upset, but I knew it was the best choice for me. Fortunately I was able to get a full refund on my flight, which eased my mind a bit. And a friend promised to take me to Big Sur for a relaxing day trip to take my mind off everything, which was a sweet gesture.

Friday rolled around and I decided to run the US Half marathon in San Francisco with a friend so that I’d at least get in a few miles on Sunday. I was still frustrated, until a friend sent me a message about the marathon. They finally made the decision to cancel it. I was shocked and (I know it is selfish to say this) relieved. I feel for all the individuals who traveled to New York only to find out it was canceled and my heart goes out to all of the New Yorkers who were affected by the storm.

Saturday was a gorgeous day. Although I ran the Big Sur marathon a few months back, I didn’t really experience the area. My friend and I drove down the coast and had a lovely brunch at Nepenthe while enjoying the beautiful view. We did some short hikes and sat on the beach. It was glorious to have such a relaxing day in a beautiful environment. If you’ve never been, I definitely suggest taking a trip there.

It was a long day and I tried to get to bed early for the half, but that didn’t happen. Getting up at 5:30am I was exhausted. I debated if it was the best decision, and then I kicked my derriere out of bed. I met up with friends at the start line and decided that we would run together for as long as we could. Starting up a hill, I realized that she may be more prepared for the elevation changes than I was. We trekked it together for four miles, up and down hills to the Golden Gate bridge. I was feeling good, but she was feeling better. We bid adieu and I trekked alone for the rest of the race. Every time I run in San Francisco I am reminded that I need to do more hill training. You can’t imagine how much my glutes were feeling it afterward…

As I came sprinting across the finish line, I realized that this was my slowest half marathon in years. Not my favorite fact, but it makes me realize that this is the distance I want to focus on for the next few months. This week I’m going back to speed training and considering smaller distances. In fact, I may even attempt a timed mile to record where I am at this point and then run another in February before my next half. (You have no idea how scared I am by this idea.)

Although I was not able to complete the run for my grandparents and the Holocaust survivors I had raised money for, I donned my Blue Card shirt with pride. It isn’t just when I run, but everyday that I am thankful for the strength, determination, and spirit of the individuals that paved the way for me. They have given me the opportunity to do anything my heart desires and I cannot thank them enough. I look forward to running in their honor  next year in New York

What are your thoughts and feelings on the situation in New York?

About Michelle

I'm an engineer living (and running) in Palo Alto, CA.

Posted on November 5, 2012, in Running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I think canceling it was the right choice, but the whole situation is just awful. I can’t imagine training for a marathon and then not being able to run it. Sounds so frustrating!

  2. I was supposed to run it too & it’s been a rough week (last week). I thought I’d go ahead with it if they said they were prepared for it, but I’m so glad we weren’t scheduled ot head to NYC until Friday afternoon. We were in the parking lot of the aiport, 30 min from getting on a plane when they finally cancelled it. I’m really relieved too- I know they thought they could pull it off & i’m just so sad for so many runners that did battle to get there. But at the end of the day, missing a marathon can’t compare to the devastation others experienced, so I hope that most runners can keep things in perspective. I’ll be back next year in NY too!

  3. So sad you didn’t get to run for Blue Card. What a wonderful cause. If you need to raise the monies again next year, you can count on my help!

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