This year I opted to run the ING Hartford Marathon due to my dear friend Amy’s persuasive skills – she wanted to support her sister in law and Hartford is just a train ride away from NYC. Her sister-in- law was more than willing to host us for the weekend and I ended up partnering with the HartfordMarathon Foundation to drive awareness about the marathon. The weekend was a wonderful experience and the perfect girls weekend for me and Amy, as we’ve enjoyed girls’ running weekends together for more than 7 years.
However, there is a part of me that misses the excitement that comes with running a large marathon.
Fellow runners across the internet providing motivation and words of advice
Facebook groups and in depth race pages which provide details about every curve, feedback from people who have run it in years past and tips & tricks
The opportunity to meet fellow bloggers and readers due to the number of people congregating in the marathon city
Streets lined with people, sometimes as deep as 20 people, just wanting a chance to cheer on a friend or looking for an excuse to party and celebrate
Part of me wishes I’d signed up for a large marathon in addition to Hartford. But, it’s a good thing I didn’t as there is no way I could make another flight back to the United States. Preparing for the ING Hartford Marathon wasn’t as easy as New York City or even Philadelphia, which I signed up for last minute due to Sandy. I wasn’t able to chat with people who were familiar with the course. There was only one race recap I could find online which unfortunately was from the old course. Sure, maybe there is some benefit of showing up at a marathon with no clue what to expect. Every turn becomes a new adventure and there is no part of the race that is familiar or boring. But, I’ve found that I’m a runner who likes to know what to expect. I like training for the idiosyncrasies of a course.
At work the other day, I had the opportunity to gush about the New York City Marathon to one of our marketing directors who is running it for the first time this year. I introduced him to my Pinterest boards via email following our conversation. After my 20 mile run with Charlie , who is heading to New York City next week to conquer 26.2 miles, I sent her the link to my NYCM Pinterest board. Each time I share the link, people thank me profusely. Each recap makes their future steps and journey seem a bit more real. Reading and learning from those who ran before them helps calm the nerves. I realized this year just how much I missed that aspect of the race preparation. There was no movie to watch for inspiration. There was no book to read about each of the boroughs. There were no race recaps to study. There was a video posted on their YouTube page but that just made me nervous as it wasn’t taken on race day so all I saw were empty suburban streets.
Don’t get me wrong. The Hartford Marathon was a wonderful experience this year and due to circumstances it was the right marathon for me. It allowed me to learn about dealing with negative self talk during a marathon, boredom and loneliness. It helped me realize just how special my New York City Marathon memories are. You better believe that I’m putting my name in the lottery this year for the 2014 New York City marathon. The energy and passion that radiates from the marathon is contagious and I can’t wait to feel that again.
As I’ve realized how much these Pinterest boards help my friends and colleagues, I’ve decided to make more of them, covering more marathons, focusing first on the Fall ones. Thus far, I’ve collected race recaps for the following marathons:
But, as I’ve made these boards, I realize how much each recap inspires me. Therefore, it’s my goal to make them for most of the big marathons including some of the upcoming Spring marathons such as Boston, Cincinnati, Country Music, Big Sur, San Diego, and Vermont City.
I hope these boards help you or a friend who is preparing for their marathon. If you have a race request, just send it my way! Good luck!