NYC: It’s been waiting for me

It’s been a wild and weird 2015.  I began the year with a solid performance at the Houston Marathon, but in the months afterwards struggled with ankle mobility issues and plantar fasciitis that hampered my ability to train and race at a high level.  In between the irregular training blocks was a half marathon win in Costa Rica and I made my first US National Team, where I went on to finish 5th place at the Pan Am Games Marathon.  But honestly, running has not been all that fun this year because of the pain in my foot.  Each time I thought things were turning the corner for the better, my symptoms would randomly revert back to how things were in February.  I was beginning to think that maybe the pain I felt in my right foot and ankle was the new normal.  Until recently.

Back in early October I came down with a pretty nasty cold that caused me to miss several days of training, along with the US 10 mile Championships in Minneapolis.  The timing was terrible; I hate to miss training days during marathon blocks and the 10M champs was to be my last tuneup prior to the New York City Marathon.  However, those days off allowed the swelling and soreness that was still lingering in my foot to finally subside.  For the first time in 8 months, I was running and training pain-free!  The enjoyment to run and train was rekindled and I began attacking workouts again, something I hadn’t been able to do for most of the year.

In 2010, I traveled to New York to watch the marathon.  Having only completed 2 marathons, I was a newbie to this whole marathoning world.  I wanted to experience what a big city marathon was like.  After that weekend, I left New York with two goals:

  1. I wanted to become fast enough that one day NYRR would invite me to be a part of their professional marathon field
  2. I wouldn’t run the NYC Marathon unless I felt like I was good enough to compete with the top pros and strong enough to handle the challenging course.

I stood at mile 24 in Central Park that day and watched some of my running idols struggle to the finish, humbled by the hills and bridges of New York.  It scared me.  If this is what NYC does to the best runners in the world, what would it do to me?

Five years later, and hardened by 12 career marathons, I am in a different place.  Bring on Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan.  Bring on those bridges and the hills of Central Park.  It’s been years of preparation and I’m ready for the challenge that awaits tomorrow.

It’s New York City Marathon eve and I feel nothing but optimism.  My body is rejuvenated and functioning at 100%.  My spirit to compete is re-energized by a city, and race, that make you believe in endless possibilities.  My heart is at peace, grateful for these opportunities and experiences.

Happy Halloween!

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Quick Facts and links:

Start time: 9:50am EST

Live updates from NYC: @cleonrun

Bib Number: 16

How to watch: ESPN2: 9:00am – 12:30pm EST (more info here)

Athlete tracking info

TCS NYC Marathon homepage

Comments (4)

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    Louise Hartwig

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    Wish the best in all your goals.

    Reply

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    Jon Rhoades

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    Go for it all. God be with you and have a great race.

    Reply

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    Ty Mcclain

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    Awesome job !!! It is so refreshing to see something great come out of VW.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Teresa Glossett

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    CRAIG CONGRATS on your finish in New York!!! VERY PROUD OF YOU! You make a “Mother” PROUD! Take care.

    Reply

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