Have you heard the story about the guy who planned to do the New York Marathon, then a pandemic happened, and he forgot to train for a year until he officially got into the race? Well, the star of this story is yours truly.
Last week I got an email that I had been waiting for, but also terrified would actually come. It was my invitation to register for the New York Marathon. I made the goal last year to run the marathon this year before turning 40 next year. As if I don’t have enough to do, you know with a full-time job, pretending to be amazing and important (fake it until you make it, right?), and launching my first book, marathon training is like adding another part-time job to the already full plate. If I was going to do it, it had to be this year though.
The reason I picked this year specifically is because I had run my first full marathon as I entered my 30s and kind of shit the bed. My IT band gave out around mile 20 and I had to walk the last six miles – or as I lovingly refer to it, the worst Walk of Shame known to man. I finished, but I was almost in tears by the time I crossed the finish line. So, it’s kind of a redemption thing before I enter my next decade.
With roughly 18 weeks to go, I need to – quite literally – get my ass into gear and start training. The problem that I am running into is that it’s hot out and I am really good at procrastinating. Like, really, really good at it. Case in point: I got the idea to write my book in October 2019, but it took me until April of 2020 to actually sit down and do anything with it. I was going to eventually get to it, I just had other things to get to.
The plus side is that with this marathon, my running coach/friend Ross and my cousin Jessie are both running it. While we are all different paces, I will at least have them at the starting line to help with nerves and to pass the time. Maybe we will be able to meet up afterwards for celebratory drinks. Also, so far, some of my friends have agreed to come cheer me on. Between family, friends, and people I know through the other two, there should be plenty of people along the course cheering me on. Hopefully, they will have sweet Gatorade (Red or Yellow, I’m putting my request in now if you are reading. Please and Thank You.)
Plus, from what I understand the course remains open longer than many other races. So, if I can get a good pace going doing intervals of running with some walk breaks, then I shouldn’t have any fears about getting kicked off of the course. Let’s be honest, I’m not getting any younger or thinner; this is a very real concern that I have for some of the races I do. As much as I fear it, in the last 11 years, I have been racing I have yet to be kicked off of a course. Granted, I probably just jinxed myself. In the sake of transparency, however, it should be noted, that for the triathlon that I did in 2012 I didn’t get kicked off of the course, but my overall ranking was third to last out of everyone who completed. At the end of the day, all that matters is that I finished it and wasn’t kicked off the course.
Running has never come easy for me; it isn’t something that helps me clear my mind like other people. I end up thinking more and sometimes focusing on how much is left to run. But I am staying positive. Positive thinking and also, with the hope that whatever hotel I stay at has a really good breakfast buffet for the morning after the race. If anyone has any recommendations, please let me know! I’m getting champagne drunk that night and eating a really good breakfast… all while wearing my race medal. Because I’m that guy.
Padraic Maroney hails from upstate New York, suffering from middle child syndrome. His writing career began after moving to the Philadelphia suburbs while in high school. He wrote for The Bucks County Courier Times’ Reality section, written by local teenagers, and has the distinction of writing a weekly gossip column for a college newspaper at a school he didn’t even attend! His love of pop culture led him to intern at Teen People, where he met Janis Gaudelli, and realized he could turn being a millennial into a career. Since then he’s alternated between writing and marketing, but always focused on Millennials and everything they bring to the table. Padraic is a lover of shenanigans, 80s music, and the movie “Scream.”
You can follow his additional adventures on Instagram: @padraicjacob