Last Friday, I received one of the most exciting emails. It was from NYRR (New York Road Runners) and it was letting me know that my application to run the 2012 ING NYC Marathon had been “accepted”.
I was overjoyed.
And then I really started to think about it.
The New York City Marathon has always been on the top of my “dream list” of marathons. I love New York, and thought it would be amazing to run through this city.
For those of you who don’t know about the process to get into this race, it is a little complicated. The NYC Marathon is a “lottery” marathon because so many people want to run it. You submit an application to run, and then you’re notified whether or not you were accepted.
There are a few ways to get around the lottery, one of these is guaranteed acceptance using a half marathon or marathon time within the last year.
Based on the above chart, I needed to run under a 1:37 half, or 3:23 full to get automatic acceptance into the race. 2012 will be the last year that a 1:37 & 3:23 will be accepted for women, then the times drop a TON (seriously…the new times are insane).
I knew when I applied that my 1:37 half I ran in October 2011 should get me in, but I was still nervous. I waited to apply, and I feared that this would have a negative impact on my application.
Well, it didn’t. I found out one day after I applied that I was “accepted” into the race.
This is when I had my major “aha” moment.
If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I ran the St. Louis Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in October 2011. And if you read this recap blog post, you know that I was quite the cry baby over my performance in the race.
I wanted to PR that race, and run under a 1:34. But I didn’t. I ran a 1:36:37.
The day I ran that race, I wasn’t feeling it. I felt like crap the entire race, and my legs killed the entire time. It was everything in me to keep going and finish the thing as strong as possible. And it required pep talk after pep talk to myself.
At many points I thought about turning around and finishing with a friend I knew was a couple minutes behind me. But I didn’t. And not doing that ended up making quite an impact in my life.
Had I let myself slow down during this half marathon, I would not have made it onto the “guaranteed acceptance” list for the NYC Marathon. And quite possibly not made it into the race at all this year. I would not have received good news when I really needed some in my life. And I would not have been given a boost of motivation that I desperately needed as well.
Upon reflection of these things, it was confirmed to me that there truly are reasons why things happen. There was a reason why a voice inside my head was so strong the day of my half marathon, telling me “keep going”. And there was a reason why I did not give up and run 23 seconds slower.
I never would have thought this half marathon would have such an impact on my life. I used to look back on that race and cringe. Now I look back on that race and smile. That race got me into my dream marathon, and brought me good news when I really needed it.
After this, I will always remember that things are happening for a reason, and there is ALWAYS a reason to keep going and finished what you started.