I’m considering making a monumental decision that will overhaul my lifestyle, change my eating/sleeping habits and have a major physical impact on my body for the next nine months.
No, I’m not talking about having a baby. (Sorry Mom and Dad. Your granddoodle is going to have to hold down the fort for the time being.)
I’m talking about running the New York City marathon.
Last year at this time, I was all gung-ho about the prospect of running this iconic five-borough road race a second time. After crossing that finish line in 2013, I pledged to run nine local races and volunteer at one in 2014 to gain my guaranteed spot in the 2015 event — and I did it. By clocking those 4M, 5M and 10Ks all year long, I gained myself a coveted lottery-free golden ticket into this year’s November event.
But now that it’s actually time to fill out that (not cheap) registration form, I’m starting to get cold feet. Do I really want to dedicate 30-40 hours a week to marathon training again this summer? Can I mentally withstand another season of pre-dawn workouts? Do I want to subject myself to the pain and torture that is the 59th Street bridge incline? Is it better to take a year off big races and focus on the shorter distances I know and love?
A big part of me says yes, but part of me is brimming with all sorts of different questions as well.
Will the crowds be deep and deafening again this year? Will the view from the Verrazzano Bridge take my breath away? Will a goal this big encourage me to get back in shape? Will Meb be running in the same exact road race? Will I treat myself to a giant BLT platter after I cross that finish line?
I only have until Feb. 15 to decide, and I could use your input. My head is leaning in one direction, but my heart is leaning in another. Maybe I just need to listen to my gut — which has certainly expanded in the months since I ended my last marathon cycle.
In the edited words of my favorite Alderaan princess: help me [blog readers], you’re my only hope!