This training cycle for NYC has been such an odd experience. From the start it was nothing like what I've done in the past, not like anything pre-coach Lloyd or since working with him. Unlike either of my first NYC marathon experiences where I was still relatively new to the long distance running scene. I've felt up, I've felt depressed, I've assessed, I've struggled, I've re-assessed, I considered running several October marathons and on the complete other end of the spectrum, nearly decided to bag a fall race altogether. Ultimately I comfortably decided to run on the streets of my city in my [adopted] hometown marathon once again. Coach has been very patient with my swings in mood and decision making and kept me moving forward. As for me, I know full well that I'm not in prime shape but also not unprepared, injured or otherwise incapacitated. And that, that knowledge right back there (<----) has been the crux of my thinking this week.
Earlier in the week I let coach know how I was feeling, responding to him: I'm feeling pretty good and eager for the race. Not surprising I'm almost as eager to cap off this cycle and start fresh again, while the lower mileage feels right for the here and now and I've struggled to remain consistent since May, it's not the best fit for me. I'm looking forward to more running and rebuilding for 2011.
Of course all that is true but there's something else in those words. It's me almost too eager to be done with this cycle, with the NYCM and ready to almost (you see it too, don't you?) erase the experience for the prospects of a better training cycle. Now maybe I'm judging myself too much but I see it and while I know what works for me and what doesn't I also seem to be missing out on an opportunity here. Not every cycle is ideal, not every cycle is perfect. I had what felt to me to be a damn near ideal cycle leading up to May 1 and it didn't yield what I wanted, what I knew I had in me. This feeling lingers and now I can't help but feel it is standing in my way of a still solid race in NYC.
Don't get me wrong, this summer, while frustrating and aimless, has left me with many great running experiences as well. I've logged some nice miles in the Palisades with LK, EG and SP not to mention miles and miles of bridges with EG, AC, ES & DN and a weekly Tuesday running date with TK. I also had the immense pleasure of accompanying Missy on her first race post-pregnancy, a thrill beyond words! Most recently I logged two LRs that covered portions of the NYCM course and wow, that was an experience I have not yet had and in itself identifies this cycle as something unique. And so I should take the sum of all these experiences and add them to my solo running and see that all is not lost and with adjusted goals, I earned the right for a solid race in NY in less than two weeks.