I am now on the last day of my 7th week of Marathon training for the New Jersey Marathon, scheduled May 5th this year. Boy, it is not easy!
But then again, despite knowing so little about John Bingham, I only have his words– okay, not “only” but some— to look back on, look into, look forward even on my sh@ttest day of training: The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I even had the courage to start.
It is one tough ordeal.
Approaching my 8th week tomorrow, I am quite yearning for the elusive 18th week when I can already stop what I am doing. At least, for 2 weeks, until I start on, possibly, another marathon training. By stopping I mean having all my nights free for me to do whatever, besides graduate school. By stopping all these mean not having to run to my locker after work and putting on the sneakers and heading to Central Park, while some of my colleagues mock me for running at night when you hear stories of mugging and flashing (by the way, a note: Central Park is safe at night, unless you are some dumb@ss, who takes inner roads, outside the Loop).
Stopping all these would include just heading home after work and picking up my 7-year old from the babysitter and have her tucked in bed by 2130, at the latest. Finishing the training would mean, giving my daughter the sleep she deserves because I couldn’t get her home on time.
Sigh. I do miss my life.
I miss just having to sleep and nap and Facebook on my days-off. I long for those days when I would, on a whim, take off and drive to the mall. I even miss those times when grad school requirements did not have to squabble with the need to run at a certain time, before the little girl finishes school and had to be rushed to piano lessons or Cathecism class (is Cathecism a class? Do I just say Cathecism or Cathecism class? Whatever that is.)
I miss it. So terribly sometimes, too many times.
I miss moments when I do not sore. When I couldn’t care less about Epsom Salt. When my money went to Neiman Marcus rather than Running Warehouse.
Eleven more weeks. Yes, eleven more grueling weeks of intensive training. Eleven more when and I will have my priceless 2 weeks of no-running or so, according to the Hansons brothers and Luke.
But then again, looking ahead. What comes after the 11th week? It will be D-day. New Jersey Marathon. That, in itself, is the biggest hurdle. The meaning of all things I had to sacrifice and give up. 18 weeks and a dream translated into 26.2 miles of excitement, pain, and hopefully, joy and satisfaction of knowing I made the ultimate sacrifice for the love of this new life I found called running.
It is, in fact, 11 weeks more. Or only 11 weeks more. However way you want to look at it; half-empty, half-full. For now, I will have to linger and drown in the pool of physical pain. The somatization of everything else mental in what lies ahead in the 26.2-mile stretch of the suburb, parallel to the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.
It is painful. It is not easy. 11 more weeks. I’m heading that way. Will I finish? I will finish. But then again, that is besides the point. It is a miracle, by itself, that I even had the courage to start. And sacrifice. A lot. For now, that is all that matters.
Central Park from the 9th floor of the hospital where I work. On inclement weathers, I would either go out or climb up to check road conditions.