Save the Date

I’ve always been a planner. When I was in grade school, I’d spend all day Friday planning my evening TGIF snack. (Let it be known that my nuclear family may have singlehandedly kept Klondike Bars in business from 1990 through 1996).

When I was in six grade, I’d spend entire school weeks planning my Friday free-dress-day outfit. (Let it be known that when you’re a 5’10”+ 11-year-old, pretty much anything you select is destined to be comically awkward.)

When I was five, I’d spend contemplative afternoons planning my dream wedding to Michelangelo of mutant turtle fame, which – oh yeah – actually transpired with a stuffed animal version of my betrothed in spring 1991 before a number of camera-bearing witnesses.

The blushing bride. Really though – where did I get a wedding dress in 1991?

(Let it be known that we’ve never technically filed for divorce, so sorry boys and/or Rafael: I guess I’m off the market.)

But while forward thinking has always been a part of my life, I’ve never before planned out a major life event a full 16+ months in advance. That is, until now.

I may be in my fourth week of training for the Marine Corps Marathon in October, but my sights are actually set on another race even further in the distance: the ING New York City Marathon.

But isn’t the NYC Marathon the weekend directly after the MCM? How are your aching legs ever going to survive two back-to-back 26.2 milers? And why are you pretending to write from your readers’ point of view? Is this some kind of lame literary device? Stop it. You aren’t Jim Gaffigan.

Let me clarify. The big race on my radar is the ING New York City Marathon – in 2013.

The idea of devising a race plan more than a full year in advance may sound like crazy talk, but to any other resident New York runner, the concept is a familiar one: run nine NYRR-scored races and volunteer at one during the course of a calendar year and gain automatic entry into the NYC Marathon the following year. The 9+1 program is a staple in most New York runners’ bag of tricks.

I’ve already completed my nine races for the year (show off), and on Saturday, I woke up at 6 a.m. to volunteer at the Central Park Conservancy Run for Central Park 4-miler. My friend Leigh-Ann serendipitously happened to be in the same volunteer group, and we happen to look killer in neon orange vests, making it a successful morning all around.

But more importantly, as of Saturday morning, I’ve fulfilled my 9+1 requirements. That’s right, folks. That means:

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