Anyone else watch the NYC Marathon this past Sunday? It was pretty incredible, with course records being smashed right and left. It made me want to go out there and do it again…
Running the NYC Marathon was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Just to be clear with everyone, I wasn’t always a runner. Actually, up until residency, I basically despised running. I remember moaning and complaining about having to do a one mile run in gym class in high school.
However, during my residency time was short and stress levels were high. Running provided the best bang for my buck for fitness and stress relief. I started running during my intern year, but I can’t say I enjoyed it.
During my second year, 9/11 happened. My experience with that is a post for another day. I will tell you this, watching the NY marathon two months after that was amazing and powerful, and I vowed that I would run that marathon one day. I stated running on a more regular basis and I joined the NY Road Runners. I ran my first race (a 10K) that January, and racked up enough races over the next few months to guarantee an entry into the 2003 marathon.
Training for a marathon during residency is…interesting. I was basically working seven days a week, with several overnights a month. Marathon training requires a minimum of 40 miles of running a week. I remember some days getting up at 3 AM so I could complete a 20 mile training run and make it to the hospital in time for 7:30 AM rounds. And yes, Mom and Dad, I’ll tell you now that I ran in the dark in NYC by myself!!!! And lived to tell the tale. Looking back, it sounds a bit…nuts. However, I’ve always been pretty determined (my family has been known to call it stubborn). It was all worth it on marathon day. Running into Central Park, with the crowds cheering, knowing that I had just run 26.2 miles…it was amazing. However, the real reward was knowing that I could truly do anything I set my mind to, and that I had found an activity that I loved.
I’ve continued to run since then, but I haven’t done another marathon since the Disney Marathon in 2005. Pregnancy and motherhood have gotten in the way a bit. Right now, time with my boys is so precious that I don’t want to spend four hours on a weekend running when I could be playing with them. In the future, though…there are plenty of races left to do. I look forward to getting out there again, sometime soon!