I finished Liz Robbin’s A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York on Saturday — the day before the 40th running of the New York City Marathon. Her book details the 2007 running of the marathon, focusing on the front of the pack and a lot of people in between.
The book is organized per mile, and laces the race’s history through the runner stories. It’s no small race, either — it’s run by over 40,000 people a year.
The book is good, but not perfect. At times, the narrative wobbles, and Robbins repeats herself. But it’s fascinating for a runner. I never gave much though to a race game plan before reading this book. Who knew I could create a run strategy, just like a basketball play? The book’s also pricked up my interested in this year’s race. I ran a 10k on Sunday, and kept checking Twitter for marathon updates at the post-race breakfast.
I’ve been toying with the idea of running a marathon for some time now, and I might finally be ready. Could I go out and run one? Probably, albeit it slowly with walking. But if I’m going to run one, I want to RUN it and at least try to be competitive.
I’m already race ready for a half marathon (I’m running the Philadelphia Half Marathon on November 22) and could continue on that base to reach marathon level. We’ll see how I feel after the Philly Half. If I manage to run that race in under 1:37, I automatically qualify for the New York City marathon, and I’ll take it as a sign to run it. But I doubt that’s going to happen unless Jesus himself pushes me. More likely, I’ll put my name in the lottery and pick a spring marathon.
So we’ll see. That Sunday 10k took a lot out of me, as you can see below. A full 26.2? It’s a little scary.