In the last week I've been trying to come to terms with the simple fact that the New York City Marathon won't be happening in November. In order for me to make it work I need to start an aggressive training program this week. Unlike a normal marathon training program where I've run a few half marathons in a year, my fitness level has taken a beating. I have run two half marathons this year, but in the interim I've had two abdominal surgeries and a blood clot. Yesterday I tried to go for a run, and it was an abysmal failure. I "ran" a mile, and it was painful. I still have abdominal pain when I'm not even moving, so trying to run was not cool. I have to accept that I'm just not ready, and pushing myself will not bode well for my health.
The good news is that I can defer my entry to the NYC Marathon and run it in 2015. I will run New York even if it's delayed by a year. It's just that I'm not good at accepting my limits. Call it a character flaw (I call it part of what makes me awesome), but I'm so wildly disappointed to not be running New York this year. I was looking forward to the expo and seeing all of the elite runners. I had mapped out a restaurant tour featuring all of our favorite judges on the Food Network's Chopped: Butter (featuring amazing Executive Chef Alex Guarnaschelli), Landmarc (owned by Marc Murphy) and The Stanton Social (owned by Chris Santos). I get it - I can do all of these things next year. And I'll be healthier, and all around it's a better plan.That doesn't stop me from feeling defeated.
I've been taking it slowly and letting my body heal. "Slow" is not my preferred speed. I actually didn't even know until this situation that slow was a speed at which I could operate. It's been a serious challenge. Mentally I'm feeling stronger and ready to run hard again. My body is not yet cooperating. I'm still about 15 pounds lighter than I was at the beginning of July, and my body hasn't entirely decided it likes eating again. Trying to train and gain weight back would be a huge challenge, and I think I need to get back to a stronger weight before tackling training for a 26.2 mile jaunt through the streets of New York.
Taking it slow means I'm registered for a few 10k races this fall, and I'm hoping to do a half marathon after the first of the year. I'm going to be back in the pool in hopes of another triathlon next spring/summer, and slow will have to be a speed that works for me for now. If I want to fully and appropriately recover, it's the only option.
The general rule is that it takes 4-8 weeks to recover from abdominal surgery, and this week marks 4 weeks since my second surgery (you know...of the two surgeries I had in one week). I know that "recover" probably means get back to some semblance of normal life - not marathon training. My surgeon said I could "jog" this week, but I conveniently left out that I needed to run at least five miles this weekend if I am planning to start training. I'm quite sure he wouldn't approve.
Thus far 2014 has been an amazing running year with some of my fastest times and accomplishing some of my greatest challenges. In 2015 I will run the NYC Marathon strong, healthy and fast. For now I'll struggle my version of slow and work to get back to my best running shape. Operation Weight Gain tops the list. Anyone want to join me for a milkshake?