SEE YOU DOWN THE SHORE

I’VE RAN A MARATHON IN EACH STATE I’VE LIVED SINCE 2013 (EXCEPT CHICAGO). I FIGURED, MAYBE IT WAS ABOUT TIME TO TACKLE ONE IN MY HOME STATE. WHILE I’M ANXIOUSLY WAITING FOR THE LOTTERY TO CLOSE FOR THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON (AND ANXIOUSLY WAITING TILL THEY ANNOUNCE THE LOTTERY WINNERS) I EXPLORED THE IDEA OF RUNNING THE NEW JERSEY MARATHON IN APRIL. IT’S FOURTEEN WEEKS AWAY AND I’VE BEEN CROSS TRAINING/RUNNING FOR THE PAST MONTH, SO I FELT IT WAS DO-ABLE. AFTER CHICAGO, I DECIDED TO TAKE A STEP BACK AND REALLY FOCUS ON THE MENTAL PART OF A MARATHON. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME I FELT PHYSICALLY READY, BUT MENTALLY I FELT LOST AT ABOUT HALF WAY THROUGH. IT WAS HEARTBREAKING AFTER ALL THE ENERGY DEVOTED TO MAKING IT THE BEST RACE IT COULD BE. I’VE DECIDED NJM WILL BE A CHANCE TO SLOW DOWN AND FOCUS ON BEING IN THE MOMENT. SOMETHING OFTEN FORGOTTEN WHEN RUNNING A MARATHON.

I’M SUPER EXCITED BECAUSE NOT ONLY DOES IT TAKE PLACE IN NEW JERSEY, BUT ALSO DOWN THE SHORE WHERE I’VE MADE SO MANY MEMORIES AS A CHILD. MY GRANDFATHER USED TO TELL US STORIES ABOUT HIS TRIPS TO THE JERSEY SHORE. TOWARDS THE END OF HIS LIFE, HE WOULD TELL US THE SAME STORY SOMETIMES TWICE IN ONE VISIT. ONE DAY AFTER HE PASSED, I WAS GOING THROUGH OLD PHOTO ALBUMS OF MY GRANDPARENTS AND CAME ACROSS THE ABOVE PHOTO. IT'S A SAFE BET IT WAS TAKEN DURING ONE OF THOSE NOTORIOUS TRIPS, THOUGH I CAN'T ASK HIM TO BE SURE. I KEPT IT, ALONG WITH SOME OTHERS I FOUND SPECIAL. THE DAY I REGISTERED FOR THE MARATHON, I STUMBLED ACROSS IT AND SMILED. I KNOW HE AND MY GRANDMOTHER ARE ALWAYS WITH ME, BUT SOMETIMES THOSE SMALL REMINDERS ARE NICE. THIS RACE IS FOR HIM.