Happy 4th Birthday, Where’s the Finish!

Where’s the Finish turns 4 today!

I can’t remember what it was like to be 4 years old, but I’ll certainly remember this past year in running (or not running).  From my sprained/broken ankle, to the misdiagnosis, the first rehab, the correct diagnosis, the second rehab, and the final (very late) return to running, it’s been a painful year without a lot of blog posting since I didn’t have much running stuff to write about.

Central Park’s version of “Reflection Lake.”

But that’s all over now, and I’m already in the eighth (8th!?!) week of training for the NYC marathon (12 weeks to go!).  I took the last two weeks totally off from running, however, as I was on vacation in the Pacific Northwest (Washington & Oregon)!  It was an amazing trip and I throughly enjoyed myself (and all the fish & chips & Dairy Queen…) but returning to running the last couple days has been painful.  Not because of my ankle, or even my knees, but because I feel like a bloated slug full of broken marbles and quick-setting cement.

Eating all of this yesterday on a food tour also did not help.

To be honest, even though I’m incredibly grateful and thrilled to be running again, running still kinda sucks.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s much better than not running, but there are still many days when it’s really, really hard, and it’s hot outside, or it’s too cold, or it’s raining, or I’m tired, or there’s something on TV (there’s always something on TV), or I’d rather reorganize my sock drawer than go out for a run.  And even when I do get out the door, sometimes the actual running sucks, too, and I feel heavy, and slow, and I can’t breathe, and everything hurts, and I’d rather be folding socks and watching TV.

Saw this in Central Park on my run today. So prophetic…

So, yes, there is hard work ahead.  And I’m trying to keep in mind what the cute PT told me recently – this marathon is about returning to running, not about speed, not about time.  It’s about being healthy and uninjured and enjoying myself.  I can’t compare myself to where I was a year and a half ago, or play the “what if I never injured myself” game.  I can just keep slogging out the uncomfortable miles and hope the growing pains don’t last too long.


And as I do on every blog birthday, I reflect on my goals.  Even though I’ve been stuck on state #24 for a long time now, I still hope to run a marathon in all 50 states (although half marathons are so tempting… but I’m not ready to drop down to that level yet).  I still hope to improve my running speed and endurance (which should be easy at this point since I’m bargain basement).  And I hope to celebrate many more birthdays with all of you!


How do you deal when running sucks?  Is rhubarb crisp an acceptable substitute for birthday cake?  What if you put a candle in it?  Share in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Happy 4th Birthday, Where’s the Finish!

  1. Anonymous bear

    Happy birthday wtf!! I enjoy reading your blog posts and hope you’ll be able to complete your goal of a marathon in each state. Don’t think about dropping down to half marathons… You are too young for that 😀

  2. Ben


    I purchased a sunhat (http://amzn.to/2vouDEL) for the Bear Mountain 50K in May. It ended up raining the entire 9+ hours I was out there. The hat made an awesome rain hat. It’s become my every day hat for the sun and the rain. It really has made a big difference for me. Even so, I try to avoid running between 12pm-4pm. We’ve had a pretty mild summer, especially recently, which helps. Still, there have been a few Saturdays and Sundays when it’s hot outside and I can’t get myself outside. I try to run commute as often as I can, using my Blink membership to shower near wherever I go. This way running isn’t necessarily something I have to set aside time to do. It’s a means of getting from point A to point B.

    Also, I recently felt like my feet were tiring too early and were weak. I thought it might be because my Altras are too comfortable. When I started running in 2012, I used Vibrams to train myself to land on my forefoot and the strengthen my feet. It was while training for my first marathon that I switched to orthodox shoes with padding. This August I decided to dust off my Vibrams to see how my feet would feel in them. I hit 44 miles in August on August 10th and all of those miles have been in Vibrams. My feet and calves feel stronger. It might be all in my head and have nothing to do with the shoes, but I do find that I’m forced to pay attention to my form, and I like being able to feel the ground. Most importantly, I look forward to running in my Vibrams. Maybe bringing back something that worked when running didn’t suck (an article of clothing, a route, a running pal) will help?

    1. WTFinish Post author

      Wow, great advice. I’ve been listening to Audible audio books on my runs and that’s helped during boring early morning runs – I think I run a bit slower while listening but it makes the standard loop around the reservoir a lot more interesting. I stop the book when I need to speed up or when I want to just enjoy the day around me.

      I’m amazed that hat doesn’t flop around or blow off while you run! I wear a standard ball cap for running but would love something that covers my ears. I might have to check it out!

      Glad your feet have improved with the Vibrams! Look forward to running with you again in the future!

  3. Danilo

    When running sucks, I do a lot of yelling and spouting non-sensical phrases. It helps to expel excess air in the lungs and provides me psychological relief. Then I focus on each of my steps. My goal is to achieve the perfect step every time, from toe thru foot to knee to arm swing to posture. That usually takes my mind off the suck. Or I think about how I can spice up my next blog post. I really need some sort of Bachelorette-type angle in there to draw a bigger readership, I think.


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