When I was a little girl, I had a huge poster of the New York City skyline hanging across my bedroom wall. I loathed my canopy bed (so much so, I once disassembled it and left at the top of my driveway, as trash) as well as the pastel flower wallpaper that surrounded me. All of this hideous decor was chosen by my mother. The poster was something I chose, and one thing I was allowed to have, to show the room belonged to me.

I used to lay in bed and look at that poster and dream of living in the city someday. My dad would often take me out of school and into the city with him when he had meetings there. Those days were some of the best of my childhood.

NEWYORKCITYMARATHON

The funny thing is I never once dreamed I would be running though the city streets as part of the New York City Marathon. I thought only crazy people did that. I was kind of right…

My level of excitement for this race has been building for weeks months, and I think I my burst when I enter the city limits today.

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I was already this excited at 5 days out. Send help.

After a long talk with my coach – that was exasperating for her – we came to these conclusions and strategies for the big, bad, amazing, inspiring, crazy race:

BE SMART

My thoughts: I’m of course worried about going out too fast and have heard it’s easy to do on this course. I thought I should hold back and stay below the pace I want to hold, at least for the first several miles.

Coach’s thoughts: Instead of holding back, she encouraged me to roll with the miles, as long as I have a steady effort. She wants my focus to be on effort and not pace, something a certain elite told me on an epic half marathon not too long ago.

The plan: Take advantage of some easy fast miles in the beginning, as long as I’m not overexerting myself. I’m not going to look at my watch until a few miles in and just ease into the race, keeping a consistent effort and knowing I have many, many fast miles ahead.

My mantra for the first half will be "patience."

My mantra for the first half will be “patience.”

BE BRAVE

My thoughts; I can hold a consistent 7:50 pace for a 3:25 finish. I’m worried I haven’t completed enough long runs at pace and may crash into the wall in the last 4-6 miles as I did in New Jersey last spring.

Basically I was saying I wanted to run conservatively because I’m scared and coach called bullshit.

Coach’s thoughts: She knows I’m a total head case and I think she wanted to jump through the phone and shake me. She reminded to to think of all the things I have accomplished and forget about what was left undone. She thinks I’m giving the long runs too much emphasis and not realizing what it took to run the Maine half marathon in 1:32 and all 26.2 miles of the Runner’s World racing weekend.

The plan: I need to go for it. It will be hard and it will hurt and I will want to give up but I need to at least try. I need to set a big, scary goal and see what I can do.

These are the notes from our conversation. Yes, I took notes.

These are the notes from our conversation. Yes, I took notes.

BELIEVE

My thoughts: I know I can run a super fast half-marathon and, based on my half PR (1:28) I should be able to run a much faster marathon then I have. BUT, I feel like I need much more training, long runs and time. I’m good with any PR at this point…or not…I just want to enjoy the race because it’s the New York City marathon.

Coach’s thoughts: I told her my bib number and start time and she asked how I managed to get in such a high corral. I told her it was based on my NYC Half Marathon time of 1:29 and they actually have my predicted finish time as 3:15. And then I laughed. She did not.

She went on to say she had that same time written down and she thinks I’m capable of it.

Well shit.

The plan: It doesn’t matter if CRS or the NYRR think I can finish in 3:15 if I don’t. I need to believe I can do it.

I believe.

[Tweet “What do you need to PR the @NYCMarathon? Smarts. Courage. Belief. #LetsDoThis #TCSNYCMarathon”]

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You have no idea how ridiculously nervous this makes me, but I’m being brave and believing in myself and all that crap, so here is my race day tracking information:

BIB #8054

Blue Wave 1 Corral D | 9:50am start time

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend and I will see you on the other side…

Any last words of advice for me?

When is the last time you did something that scared you?

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