Every year, I register for the lottery to run the New York City Marathon. Even though 50,000 runners run through the boroughs on the first Sunday in November, only 2% of lottery applicants are accepted. So the odds are not in your favor that signing up for the lottery affords you acceptance. Each year, I look at my chances like fate; if I am meant to run another formal marathon, I will be selected. And each year, I check my credit card throughout the day, relieved and disappointed that the coveted charge from NYRR never appears. (NYRR tells people to do this as the confirmation emails are sent at the end of the day.)
This year, announcement day fell on a day I was home with Covid. This time, Covid hit me hard- fever, chills, low oxygen, the works. I had forgotten it was lottery day until someone posted about it. I checked my credit card statement. Nothing. I checked a few hours later. Nothing. I had begun to think I had again missed selection when I checked my card one more time. There was the pending charge, just two transactions above my $35 purchase at Crumbl Cookies.
Over the past few years, I have not been anything close to what I would consider a “real runner.” Will I ever really feel like one? Covid and injuries took their toll on my running mojo. However, I’ve had the running bug. My foot has healed completely; I need to find my motivation and run. I’ve had the itch to work towards another marathon and considered signing up for a virtual one. It’s not that I was against an in-person event. I was nervous about completing it alone, taking too long, and being swept.
Every year, when I sign up for the NYC Marathon lottery, I explain that fate tells me when to run a marathon. This is my year! My only goal for this year is to finish – preferably before the busses running the sweep come to offer me a ride to the finish line.
I am also aware that I am alone while training for this marathon. When I signed up for Philly, I signed up with a friend and promised we would tackle a lot of training together. No promises exist this time. I know that the mental portion of this round of training will be challenging, especially as I create a training schedule around Michael’s AAU baseball schedule.
The solo round will be different, But as I over plan for the weekend, book my hotel, and debate the important decision about getting to Staten Island via the very early bus or the ferry, I am nervously excited to embark on another round of marathon training!