The NYC marathon is this Sunday, November 6th. The weather is forecasted to be perfect for a 26.2 mile run — cool, dry. Over 45,000 people are running this year. I think it’s the largest marathon in the world. I know it’s one of the largest.
This is why I am not running the NYC marathon on Sunday:
1. It’s 26.2 miles. That’s pretty far.
2. It’s one of the biggest marathons in the world and I am claustrophic. The last time I ran NYC (two years ago) I think there were 10,000 fewer runners, and I couldn’t deal with the crowds even then.
3. I don’t like to be cold, and waiting over on Staten Island for hours and hours before the race is always very unpleasant for me because I am always freezing. What other people consider “ideal” running weather is arctic to me. I need to wear ear coverings when it dips below 60 degrees.
4. I don’t like port-a-potties. Runner’s port-a-potties are particularly disgusting. If you are a racer you will know exactly what I mean. I will not elaborate any further.
5. Lack of training. When I run a marathon I train for almost six months. Right now I would be lucky to finish a half marathon.
6. I don’t want to faint. I have fainted after the marathon and almost fainted before it. The past few months have been faint-free, since I was diagnosed with vasovagal syncope. Not fainting is a good thing for me and running very long distances increases my chances of losing consciousness.
7. My husband didn’t want to do it. This is kind of a lame excuse because he didn’t want to do it two years ago either and ended up running a lot better than I did on race day. His lack of enthusiasm enabled me to blow it off easily though;
8. I’m old. Fifty to be exact. Actually, maybe that’s a better reason to run than not to run but it sounds good. “I’m too old.” If my son wants to run a marathon though I have promised that I would run his first with him. “Your first and my last,” I have told him for years;
9. Boredom. I am tired of running up and down the Hudson River for two or three hours a day, week after week. I need some new scenary. If I lived in L.A., now that might be a different story. Even with my updated music supply I can only bear the same sights for so long.
10. I have other things to fill my time now. When I started training for marathons eleven years ago there was a big void in my life. My marriage was dissolving, my children were eventually spending time away from me with their dad, I was not in a relationship. Running became a very good focus for me — a healthy outlet. Right now I’m busy with my children, my new husband, friends, family and work. An hour a day of exercise is enough for me right now.
Okay, okay. I have said I am done with marathons but that may not be true. It’s never too late to train again, right? At the moment I am enjoying short runs, working out with my trainer, the occasional yoga class, and a lot of time at the gym. The truth is that I like to race, and I like the discipline and rigor that comes with the training. Over the past few years my marathon times were slowing down rather than speeding up and I was feeling discouraged, but, you never know… maybe as an over -50 runner I will start racing again more frequently and rank better again in my age category (you always have the edge at the beginning of the decade!) and perhaps I will be encouraged to train again. And again. And again.
Or maybe not.