June 18, 2012

On Marathons and Self-Surprises

When I first started running again last summer in Mali--escaping the heat and the cabin fever in my neighbor Patrick's air-conditioned apartment by pounding the miles out on his treadmill--I never thought I'd start racing.

And when I started racing last November--when Andrea and I ran the Dash to the Finish Line 5k on the NYC Marathon course--I never thought I'd take it seriously.

But six races later--including the NYC Half Marathon we ran in March--I think I'm hooked.

New York Road Runners has the 9+1 system, where if you run 9 races in a calendar year and volunteer for 1, you automatically qualify for the following year's NYC Marathon.

This year I applied to the 2012 NYC Marathon, but my time wasn't fast enough to qualify and I didn't make the regular lottery system. So I decided to do the 9+1 in 2012 to qualify for the 2013 NYC Marathon.

So far this year I've run 4 races (a half marathon, a 10k, a 5k, and a 5 mile) and I just registered for 5 more (a 10k, a 5k, a 4 mile, a 5k and a half marathon) between now and the end of the year.

This Saturday I'm volunteering a few hours at a race I'm not running, and after that I should be all set to qualify for the 2013 NYC Marathon.

I guess I'd better start planning out my year-long training schedule.

If you had told me a year ago that I'd not only be doing this, but I'd be excited about it--and paying a tidy sum for the privilege (racing ain't free, yo)--I probably would have laughed in your face while I poured myself another glass of wine.

But here I am. 

I guess people change?

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