13.1 x 2

Push yourself. Because no one is going to do it for you. 

About a year ago, I ran a half marathon with my ex-boyfriend. We had become good friends so the ex-boyfriend part wasn’t that big of a deal. The running 13.1 miles was.

It’s pretty amazing how accomplished you can feel after running that many miles with your own two feet. That high you feel at the end of it all is unbeatable. So when it’s done, it kind of feels like, “What now?”

My answer to that, which is what most people predicted would happen to me, was to run another half marathon. Many of my friends’ answer to that was to run a full marathon. I said “(hell) no” to the latter idea. That’s insane.

Earlier this year, my ex/friend and I decided that we’d run a half in Chicago, where he lives, since we did the last one in Brooklyn, where I live. Only fair. He told me not to rush to sign up for the race since it doesn’t ever fill up. So I didn’t rush. At all.

I began to train for a couple of months. And by train, I mean I ran once or twice a week. And by run, I mean I jogged between one to three miles each time. As the race got closer, I realized I should sign up so that I could get serious about the upcoming 13.1 miles.

I texted Ex/Friend:

Me: Ok. I’m signing up. 

Ex/Friend: Wait!!! Talk this afternoon?

Me: Sure. But gonna do it anyway. 😉

But, something wasn’t right. I looked at flights and hotels and the timing and couldn’t justify any of it. We won’t delve into why I couldn’t — let’s save that for later because I don’t know at the moment.

We didn’t talk that afternoon. I didn’t sign up for the race in Chicago. Instead, I signed up for the Airbnb Brooklyn Half, which was taking place that same weekend.

The Brooklyn Half  was actually full. It’s the largest half marathon in the United States and sells out in less than an hour. And by this point, it was just a month away. The only way I could be guaranteed entry was if I agreed to raise $400 on behalf of Team for Kids. And because I signed up so late, I would have a mere two weeks to do this.

Yes. I’m in.

Not sure why I made this last minute switcharoo. Maybe because the starting line is right outside my front door. Maybe because I ran this race with a sinus infection last year and wanted a redo. Maybe because it was more cost-effective. Maybe because I’d be doing it for a good cause.

Two days later, I received an e-mail confirmation that I had signed up for the Airbnb Brooklyn Half:

Thank you for joining New York Runners Team for Kids and supporting NYRR Youth Programs! We’re so excited to have you on our team and we’re also excited to help you meet and exceed your Team for Kids fundraising pledge. Your fundraising dollars will add meaning to your miles and make a significant impact on the health of our nation! 

By signing up with Team for Kids, you are guaranteed entry to the Airbnb Brooklyn Half. Please remember that you have made a commitment to fundraise or personally donate $400 by 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Right after this e-mail, I received another:

(Same intro as the previous note…but then…) 

By signing up with Team for Kids, you are guaranteed entry to the TCS New York City Marathon. Please remember that you have made a commitment to fundraise or personally donate $2,620 by 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 4, 2017

What? Huh? I didn’t intend to sign up for the marathon, as well. How does that even happen?

I panicked. I began to feel light headed. My stomach was in knots. What.Do.I.Do.

Corey: Just do it. You’ve already done half. 

Rob: Better get to running!

Laura: Can you give it to someone else?

Lauren: You’ll be great!

Ian: Do it!!!

I wanted to run and hide. How does someone accidentally sign up for a marathon? (Note: It’s hands down something I’d do. But that’s beside the point.) Was this a sign?

About two hours later, I received another e-mail:

Dear Fiana,

Thank you again for signing up to run the 2017 Airbnb Brooklyn Half with Team for Kids! 

Earlier this afternoon, you were mistakenly sent welcome information intended for 2017 TCS New York City Marathon Team for Kids runners. We apologize for any confusion. Please disregard the earlier email and refer to your welcome information for the half marathon, below and attached.

All the best,

Team for Kids

Oh…okay…so I’m not running 26.2 miles in November. Just half of that in May. Okay…hmmm…I felt disappointed. Ugh.

I went to the Team for Kids Web site to see if I could still sign up for the marathon. Yes. I could still do it. There was still space. I’d be guaranteed entry if I agreed to raise $2,620 by October 4.

What if…this is the challenge I need…

Was my shift from Chicago to Brooklyn a way for me to receive that accidental e-mail and push me into running 13.1 x 2?

Should I double down on this whole running thing this year? Is it time?

Oh no…Is this a yes moment? Sh!t.

To be continued…

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