So last night I was sitting in bed, minding my own business, when my phone pinged. It was an email from the New York City Road Runners Club, alerting me to the fact that next week, (actually, Wednesday at Noon to be exact), they will be announcing who got into the New York City Marathon (of which I applied to last year). In case you didn't know, the NYC Marathon is a lottery. They have so many applications every year that you can't just sign up and get in...you have to go through this unless you're aiming for the Olympics, or you've been denied three times and then you automatically get in...
For those of you that know me, I have only ever run half marathons. (Marine Corps 2010, and Baltimore Half) I've never even run a 5K... but if I get in, this will be the first race, and the first training program I'm on, where I didn't have cigarettes. This is a very big deal. I know you're thinking....what on earth is she talking about? Isn't that a good thing? And yes, of course it is...but you have to understand that training is very much about the habit of running for me. Do I love to run...yes. BUT only when training. Otherwise I feel like I'm not working towards anything.
Smoking was as much a part of my training as the actual running. On the rare occasion I'd get up for early morning runs, I would hop in my car, stash 3 cigarettes in my running gear and head out to the track. On the way there I would smoke one, and then smoke the second once I had parked the car, and then I'd save the third for after I had finished my milage. On evening runs, especially when I hit the trail, I'd just keep the pack in my car, and on the drive in and on the drive out, I would chain smoke the entire time. It was as if I believed I couldn't run without smoking first... it would...in a sense...boost my confidence. Looking back it was so f-ing stupid I can't get over it but that was what I did. And when I did stop smoking for three months, I felt like I was dying on my runs. I kept coughing and I felt like I couldn't breathe... it was really very difficult. So this time around, it will be interesting to see how my body reacts to not having the nicotine... and not having the actual physical cigarettes to rely on to get me through the training.
My dad always used to tell me, "Lindsay... the hardest part is starting." And he was right. Smoking allowed me to procrastinate. I found myself saying, "I will start this run as soon as I'm done with this cigarette." And now I will not have that. I will only have me. So far it hasn't been so bad, but.... then again, I haven't had a 26.2 mile race either :)
If I don't get in, and that's always a huge possibility,... I will look for another race. Another half. I think my first full marathon needs to be in New York.... but I'm glad I applied because the whole thing has me excited about running again. (It's way too easy to forget about it)
Anyway, keep your fingers crossed I get in, and I'll let you know as soon as I do whether its NYC or someplace else :)