I know the title of this post is misleading. There was no race called the Nonexistent Race. This isn’t an actual race recap– rather this is a recap of why I didn’t run the New Jersey Marathon.
If you had asked me in January about the NJ Marathon, I would’ve been so excited. I was doing track workouts twice a week and strength three times a week and a “medium” long run once a week and a long long run once a week. I was in great shape. Even though I was working out by myself, in the dark, usually on ice-covered tracks and snowy roads– I was getting back into shape. I was determined and ready to crush my second marathon.
And then March happened.
Nothing in particular happened that made me stop training so suddenly. I didn’t get injured or lose a close friend. I just got so tired. I was working full time, studying for the LSAT, interviewing for new jobs, and taking care of my dog (she’s pretty high maintenance for such a tiny thing). And training for a marathon. I had a lot going on.
I struggled through some training runs and stopped doing hard workouts in favour of easy runs in order to refresh my legs. But then even the “easy” runs got too exhausting. Two weeks before the marathon, I really struggled through a half marathon. I ran the Women’s Shape 1/2 in Central Park in order to give myself a confidence booster– maybe despite everything my fitness from January was still lurking somewhere inside?
But it wasn’t. Even though the course was just two loops around Central Park, it was hilly as helllllll. By mile 9 I felt like I was trudging through a swamp. This isn’t how you’re supposed to feel two weeks before a marathon; you’re not supposed to be unable to get your legs moving more than 13.1 miles. This was wrong.
And the entire week following the half, I was just so tired. It took me three days to recover from the half marathon. I tried running 5 miles the Saturday after and had to stop and walk home.
I knew then that I couldn’t run New Jersey.
It might have been fear (of not finishing). It might have been pride (I’d rather not run than have a bad time or DNF next to my name). All I knew was that mentally, I couldn’t do it.
I don’t know what’s going on with me. Whether I’m anemic or a wimp or what. All I know is I’m slowly getting back into running– only 3x a week now– and hoping that I build up enough physical and mental strength to pull together a good marathon in the fall.