Fall marathon season is in full swing and the TCS NYC Marathon is only a week and a half away. Pro runner Steph Bruce will be part of the elite women’s field on race day, tackling her 7th marathon. She shares a training update and some of the emotions that accompany a marathon training cycle.
I've run six marathons in my career, nailed two of them, got the job done at two, raced mediocre at one, and dropped out of one. I'm not sure how that measures up in sports statistics but I still have a ton to learn about the marathon. I'll be lining up Sunday November 5th for the TCS NYC Marathon for my 7th marathon. I'll be in the women's professional field among World Champions, Olympic Medalists, and World Marathon Major winners. I am excited, nervous, confident, and grateful.
Excited: I run for a living. Running is my job. I wake up every morning and I get paid to go train. It’s a luxury, a gift, a hard-earned opportunity. I get to travel all over the country and world to train and race. I’ve raced in NYC many times in the last decade, but never for the marathon. The whole family is making the trek to NYC as well. We have been reading Riley a book called Marathon Mouse and he has been saying he's “gonna run the marathon too, no actually he's gonna bike it because that's faster!” My mom is flying out, along with Ben's parents (my in-laws). My step mom and step brother/sister live in Manhattan, and my cousins on Long Island. It’s going to be a Rothstein/Bruce party…well Sunday night will be a party!
Nervous: I've only ever run one other marathon major - Boston in 2013. Similar to Boston, New York has a women's only field that starts before the rest of the world. That's right, we pave the way through the five boroughs for 50,000 runners. There are rumored to be close to 1 million spectators lining the streets of NYC. So yeah, there's a little bit of nerves coursing through my veins.
Confident: Kellyn Taylor (my NAZ Elite teammate) and I have been busting our butts, quads, and minds out in Flagstaff for the past two months. From what I've been told, NYC is a tough and gritty course. To get ready we've been logging 100-115 mile weeks, running up Mt. Elden and down (7000 to 9000 ft in 5 miles), running 20 x 1KM, 10 x 1 Mile, depletion long runs, 26-mile training runs, gym sessions, running Lake Mary Rd backwards (hilly) for a 14 and a 16-mile tempo run. We've pushed one another and pulled one another. I've consumed too many Picky Bars too count, gotten painful massages, chiro sessions, talked myself off a ledge a few times, and now it's all culminating. I feel ready.
Grateful: The past seven weeks I've run 710 miles, the most consistent streak in my career. I took four planned days off, missed no running due to injury, and one day due to a stomach bug. Quite frankly, it's been remarkable. Now I'm not saying it hasn't been without it's hiccups and ups and downs. Remember, I do live with two toddlers! Also, the emotional side of me has been a little down as my husband Ben has been dealing with some migratory symptoms that haven't allowed him to be training. That's been tough, because he is my soul running buddy and to see him not able to crush the miles, joining me for 2nd runs; there's been a void. He has stayed patient in his comeback and a lifeline in our household - cooking dinners, cleaning, and taking the boys to swim lessons when I am still out at practice. For him, I'm grateful. For getting to the starting line healthy, I'm grateful. For a fighting chance at NYC, I'm grateful.
The women’s race starts at 9:20am on Sunday, November 5th. Follow and share #FlyNYC to superfan Steph as she and thousands of others take on the streets on NYC.