At 3:00 AM this morning I awoke and made some coffee. It was time to make my final decision, even though it really was made for me two weeks ago. I had been able to wear a sneaker all week at work, albeit a size larger than my normal size, but a sneaker it was. I took the boot off and got my foot into the sneaker and it was quite comfortable to walk in with lots of room for my swollen foot. The femoral stress fracture hasn’t been giving me too much pain since I stopped running, which is a great sign the healing process has begun. Of course, I knew what had to be done, but I still clung to the hope that I could show up on Sunday and just pull 26.2 miles out of my body.
The terror attack in New York City really put everything in perspective. There truly are so many others who have it far worse than a broken toe and missed marathon run. My heart is broken for our city and I pray for healing for the victims’ families. My husband has been bothering me all week to push the defer button for Sunday. He reminded me that in the grand scheme of my life, running this marathon does not define me. It does not take away all that I have learned from this long training cycle, nor does it erase how much I have gained from this experience. So, it was with a heavy heart that I pushed the red button to defer my entry to 2018.
Today, I’d like to celebrate my journey to run the 2017 New York City Marathon and reflect on my personal successes along the way. This day will close the chapter on my 2017 bid and begin my next journey toward running in the 2018 New York City Marathon.
Throughout this journey, I learned that I am capable of far more than I ever thought possible. Having suffered two (now three) major injuries, I am amazed at my body’s ability to recover and restart over again. There is really nothing I feel I can’t accomplish if I work hard and believe in myself. Yes, the end result may not be what I envisioned, or wanted, but in the end I still have accomplished a personal victory because I put in the work. When I started this training cycle back in the early spring, I was struggling to even be able to run three miles. I wondered if I could pull out another comeback and began to mentally question how I thought I would run 26.2 when I couldn’t even run 3 anymore. I kept going out there and working and modifying as best I could. Soon three miles felt easy again and I began to find the joy in running again. I felt my determination returning and knew I would rebuild and get it done.
When I trained for the half marathon I ran last year, I remember thinking that 13.1 miles was so far and that I would never want to run that distance again. I decided then that 10K was my distance and I would be perfectly content to just run that. One and done on the half marathon distance and I certainly never would run a full. After that very hilly race through Pennsylvania, in the shadows of the steel stacks, it took me about a week to feel like I could walk without soreness in my legs. In this training cycle, 13.1 was a shorter long run and one that really isn’t so hard anymore. I could run 13.1 on a Sunday and have no soreness or recovery issues. I could continue my normal running schedule and not need a week off to recover from fatigue. These days, I think the half marathon may be my distance and I will be perfectly content to just run that.
I put in a lot of miles, many early morning wake ups before dawn, to get in my workouts. I stayed on schedule even on vacations and days I would have preferred to roll over and stay in bed. Every Saturday I got up at dawn and traveled by bus or ferry to Manhattan to run with my running club and/or trainer. All of those Saturdays, I traveled two hours alone on buses, trains and boats and some days ran alone in Central Park. I’m proud that I stayed consistent with that and feel I learned and grew so much from my connections with these runners. I’ve made friendships that will last beyond this training cycle and found encouragement and support when I needed it most. Sometimes, your running friends are the only ones who get it.
I inspired some dear friends to sign up to run this marathon and I’m so proud and happy that they are going to realize their dream tomorrow. I hope they all feel me in their hearts as I will be cheering and yelling loudly for them. I hope they enjoy every minute of the long run through our beautiful city. I look forward to celebrating their victory and hugging them when I see them next. Secretly, I hope they decide to go back and do it all again with me next year!
Special shout out to my childhood friend, maid of honor at my wedding and lifelong running buddy – Helen. We’ve literally been through a lifetime together. We’ve had so many adventures, but these have been the most fun. I’m so happy you are making it to the starting line, despite your injury. I’ll be tracking you every step of the way. Call me if you need some encouragement on the course – YOU GOT THIS!!
To my work friend and running partner Flo, loving known as Patty Peppermints, we’ve logged so many miles, run many races, shared many laughs along the way. I am so proud of you! YOU ARE STRONG AND YOU GOT THIS!
To my newest running friend Erika, who I can’t wait to run miles with over the winter, you amaze me with your strength and resilience. Not even cancer can keep you down girl! Despite recent chemo treatments and surgery this week you are toeing the line. I hoped against hope to do this journey by your side. It is my hope now that you are with me next year and we will run like gazelles through the course. YOU ARE A WARRIOR! GO GET IT.
To my Sub30 club and the Galloway club you are such great groups of people who I have enjoyed logging those long miles with. I’ll be looking for the shirts on course and tracking you all on the app. Can’t wait to start again with you guys in the spring.
Finally, to my friend Nancy. You are running for many of us who can’t be there. You have come so far on your journey and I can’t wait to run some miles over the winter. I’m ready to go in December and there’s a ton of adventures to be had. Keep working with Jessica and getting stronger. We can double up on a session soon!! RUN PAIN FREE GIRL.
For everyone else going out there tomorrow to run the NYC Marathon, remember you’ve already run and experienced way more than 26.2 miles. This is the beginning of your celebration and victory lap. Enjoy the run and course. See you out there next year!
Want to join me on the journey to 2018? Contact me below and let’s chat. I’d love to hear about your journey.
In need of a functional movement assessment? Contact Jessica Leggio and receive a free consultation when you mention this blog, or my name – Laura Hess Kump. Let her guide your journey to NYC2018.