In one week, exactly, from right now (as I write this), I’ll be on the streets of New York City running my favorite marathon, the one race that I often feel defines who I am. Somehow, a long time ago, I realized that the New York City Marathon is part of me, part of who I am at my core.
I cannot wait for next week to arrive, to be there, on the streets of New York, running, struggling, laughing, pushing, persevering, high-fiving, and probably even crying, as I push over the greatest 26.2 miles there are.
I love the noise, the crowds, the energy, the passion, the people, the police and firefighters. I love the volunteers. I love the Gatorade. The love the quiet of thousands of steps and the noise of the bands and sirens and cheers.
I love all of it.
My heart is racing just thinking of next week.
I love preaching at the religious services tent before the race, inspiring others. I love the smiles and the hugs and the “best wishes.”
I love Sinatra’s “New York, New York…”
I love it all.
I just finished what will be my last hard miles outside in advance of the marathon. I did four miles in 35:20. My last mile (yes, it was mostly downhill) was a blistering fast 8:06.
As I looked at these numbers I thought to so many other numbers that helped define my training and quest to get back to the streets of the greatest city in the world.
Here are some of the numbers:
662 – That’s how many days it has been since my Achilles Surgery on January 8, 2020
318.27 – The miles I have run the last 12 weeks since ramping up my training.
26.52 – My average weekly mileage the last 12 weeks.
2 – Number of 40+ mile weeks in my training
2 – Number of 20-mile runs I did this training cycle
843.57 – The number of miles I have run in 2021
30 – The amount of pounds I have lost since December 26, 2020
21 – The number of previous marathons I have run
7 – The number of NYC Marathons I have run
2002- The year I ran my first marathon (NYC in 4:20:47)
3:25:16 – My fastest marathon (Chicago, 2006)
4:47:47 – My slowest marathon (NYC 2018, Hey, I was injured…)
12 – The number of years since I last broke 4-hours in the marathon (yikes, I used to be fast)
13 – The number of years it’ll be after this year. (I’m stronger than I’ve been in more than a decade, maybe ever, but I’m not 4-hour marathon fast…yet!)
4:26:00 (approx.) – The average time I have run for my last seven marathons (dating back to 2011)
4:30:00 – The slowest I want my 2021 NYC Marathon to be
4:20:00 – The fastest I think I can be next week if everything goes right
10:18 – That’s the mile pace I’ll have to keep to reach a 4:30:00 marathon. I think I can do this.
5 – The number of boroughs in NYC. I love them all.
1,000,000 – The number of miles and marathons I plan to run before I tire of this crazy sport
1,000,000,000 – The amount of consecutive hours I’ll be smiling after I finish the race.
371 – The number of days until the 2022 NYC Marathon!!!
Thanks to my many readers and friends for all the inspiration and positivity you’ve shared with me. Your good words and optimism help me to keep moving forward. I hope I’ve inspired you back in some ways as well.
Never stop trying to be your best.
“It’s not about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”