Well, I’ve won the lottery. Not Powerball or Mega Millions. Nope, I’m not suddenly rich, I’m not going to start spending money on cars and boats and homes and end up on Lottery Changed My Life. Instead, I’ve won the lottery for entrance into the 2014 TCS NYC Marathon! I submitted my lottery entry ($11 just to enter!) back in January and found out in March.
A lottery just to enter a marathon? Yup. NYC is one of the biggest marathons in the world, and is probably either the first or second most well-known marathons, along with Boston Marathon. If they tried to do a first come, first served registration process, I think the internet would die. Heck, Chicago and Marine Corps marathons also have switched to lotteries. You pay your money, and a few months later hope you get an email and an automatic charge to your credit card. Damage for NYC: $255 + $11 lottery fee.
This is actually my second marathon. My first was in October 2013, when I ran the Marine Corps Marathon. I’m still working on that race report (I know, just a few months late!), but this one will be very different. The goal for MCM was just to finish, and pace R to make sure she crossed the two checkpoints to make the cut-off time. My final time was 5:19, which is no way representative of my normal pace. We took it extremely easy, with frequent walk breaks at all aid stations and not worrying about too much else. Just enjoyed the experience. I can tell you this: finishing a marathon alone is a huge accomplishment, and the sense of pride we had when we finished was amazing. It was the highest I’ve ever felt in my life.
My goal this time is more ambitious. I won’t be pacing her, though she will be running as well (what are the odds we BOTH got in via the lottery? Only 11% of lottery entrants actually get selected). I’m aiming to get around a 4:30, which represents a nearly 50 minute improvement. For those who don’t know, that is an ENORMOUS jump. Basically I’m going from a 12 minute mile to ten minutes. It’s big, but I’m perfectly capable. In March of this year, I did the Germantown half marathon in 2:01, which is a 9:15/mile pace. The McMillan Calculator says I should be right in line with my goal time. If I can maintain 10:00/mile throughout the stifling Memphis summer, I should be fine.
Training officially begins next week, though I’ve been pre-training all year, essentially. I’m over 300 miles run so far this year. I haven’t been as consistent as I’d like, missing a week here and there. Like last week: I ran on Tuesday, but then flew home for a long weekend and missed my Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday runs. This week I’ll get in three runs, but I’ll miss my Saturday long run because I’m getting my wisdom teeth out on Friday. Not looking forward to either of those: missing my run OR surgery. I’m a baby when it comes to my mouth!
Anyways, I’ll be posting updates on my training progress here, along with some other stuff, both related and unrelated. Let the journey begin!