Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Final Twenty

I can't believe that today is here already. I remember starting training back on August it seemed like November was so far away. But not anymore.

Saturday was my final 20 mile training run. I definitely finished much stronger than my first one, but I seemed a million times more sore on this run than I was on my 18.5 mile run a few weeks ago. And for some reason, on this run I had a complete mental meltdown between miles 10-14. My legs and feet just got extremely sore, and I was running into this very cold wind. I started my run at 6:40 am before the sun had come up, and by the time I got to mile 14 mentally I was done. I was supposed to meet up with some friends, but that never happened so with the exception of a quick "Hey!" as Sharon passed me up on 116th this run was on my own. I just wanted a hot shower. I just wanted to be done running for the day. At one point I looked up and still saw the moon in the sky and thought that was weird, considering it must have been noon. I looked at my watch and it was 9:15am.

I knew there was no way I could just stop, so I bargained with myself and told myself I could run back down to 72nd st (for the second time this day) and run back in Central Park, where there was a lot less wind, and it was a lot warmer. Just as I was entering the park, I saw Sharon leaving, after finishing up her 10 mile run with the group I was supposed to meet up with! We said hello, I told her I still had 4.5 miles to go, and she gave me a big hug and some of her signature pep talk. It was exactly what I needed at that moment to help me get through those final miles, and every time I've run with her she has been so amazingly supportive. It really makes you appreciate all the friends you've had through your training that have motivated and pushed you.

I can't only imagine how painful that last 6.2 miles is going to be on the 21st. And honestly, I'm trying not to think about it. I'm going to try my hardest not to let any self doubt creep into my mind during the dreaded taper. I HAVE worked hard. I've run the hardest I've ever run in my life, and I think I've trained smart. I know on race day I will not give up on myself, and I will cross the finish line, hopefully with some sort of smile on my face.

Just thinking about the finish line, two weeks away, is getting me all teary eyed and choked up. I hope I don't start crying while watching all my friends reach their goals of finishing the NYCM this year, but let's be honest, I probably will. For many of them it's their very first marathon, and the least I could do is be there for them the way they've been there for me.

It's so hard to believe that this journey is almost over. I had no idea what to expect out of myself when I first signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon in April. I've been amazed with how quickly my body adapted to the demands I made of it, and I know that as long as I never tell myself "I can't", I can do anything.


  1. Sam, you are an inspiration!!! You're going to kick major ass in Philly. You've done so many double digit runs by now that you could do a 10k in your sleep...and you can definitely follow up 20 miles with it. You've trained so hard, and all of the hard work and dedication you've put in will show on race day! I'm so excited for you!!!

  2. That's a good point, instead of thinking how hard it'll be, I'll have to keep reminding myself how easy it'll be ;)

  3. Samantha... you are going to rock it in Philly. I know it. You never cease to amaze me with your dedication here.

  4. Hi Sam,

    Good to meet you on your run! Always great to put twitter names and blogs to faces.
    At the end of our run, across the finish line in CP, Sharon started poking me and I got all teary seeing the bleachers.
    We are turning dreams into reality! Challenging out bodies and minds- going into uncharted territory! It's heavy stuff!

  5. I agree! It's so nice to put names/faces with online personalities ;)

  6. I ran across you on Twitter today - congratulations on your commitment - I can't wait to read your post-marathon entry! Good luck to you! Best - Pamela