So this happened:
Rude. The whole marathon lottery day was kind of a disaster. NYRR sent multiple emails encouraging everyone to watch via livestream the opening day ceremonies, where they promised to scroll a list of names of the people who were accepted into the race. Excited by this concept, Dan, the sports editor, and I sat at his desk for 30 minutes watching the worst opening day video ever. There were professional athletes who the hosts forced to play ping-pong. There was Ridiculously Photogenic Guy, who as far as I can tell had pretty much nothing to do with anything except it was a race photo that catapulted him to internet meme fame.
There were a bunch of bib giveaways for the people who had attended in person the opening day festivities (they all lived in New York, obviously; one guy kept his headphones in while accepting his prize). There was NOT, however, a list of names.
We were pissed. A lot of other people were pissed, too, especially as the day dragged on and the lottery results weren't released, and the NYRR website kept crashing, and the only way to know if you'd been accepted was to refresh your bank account and wait for the magical $255 deduction. Needless to say I got pretty much nothing done on Wednesday, then woke up yesterday to my official rejection letter.
I was pretty bummed. I hadn't realized until I spent eight hours stalking the Chase Bank website how much I really wanted to run New York. I gave myself about 20 minutes to mope and then I headed to active.com and officially registered for the Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon.
I'm excited. It's going to be a totally different game than Chicago. There, I ran with 35,000 other people; Raleigh caps its marathon field at 1,000. Chicago was entirely flat (except, rudely, for the last .2 miles); in the past, the Raleigh course was terrifyingly hilly, but they altered the layout this year so it's much less severe. Still, here's a snippet of the elevation chart:
Yowza. And in Chicago, there were 2 million spectators lining the route for the entire 26.2 miles. In Raleigh, I imagine there will be large stretches of the course with no spectators at all.
All that being said, I'm still pumped. I really want to do another marathon and I really want to do it properly. I feel like I now have a better sense of what marathon training entails, from the mental toughness and the dedication to just getting it done. I really want to see what I can do.
I've been running consistently for the past couple of weeks, which for me is a major victory - consistency tends to be my big problem. I'm currently having oodles of shin pain, which is weird - I am frequently injured as a result of running, but shin pain isn't something I can ever remember contending with - so I ordered some new shoes this morning and am planning to spend a lot of quality time this weekend with ice packs and ibuprofen. Hopefully that'll resolve itself soon so I can continue getting back into shape, building my base and then transition into the meat of training. I sincerely hope to whine less this time, but it would obviously (OBVIOUSLY) be irresponsible to promise that now. Consider yourselves warned.