My 2014 NYC Marathon Goal

Somehow, lots and lots of time has passed since I first started marathon training back in May because it’s now NYC Marathon weekend!

I was already registered for the Bellingham Bay Marathon when the opportunity to run the NYC Marathon for American Cancer Society’s Team DetermiNation popped up. I had no interest in running a second marathon this year, but I couldn’t resist. It would be a chance to really experience a marathon that I didn’t get to enjoy because I was so sick the last time I ran it. And more importantly, it would be a way to remember my Aunt Dale, who died from kidney cancer more than two years ago – and who always supported my running.

On Saturday night, I am attending my charity team’s pasta dinner. We were encouraged to send photos of who we were running for, along with a story about why.  These photos and stories will be shared at the dinner, so we can all be reminded of why we worked so hard to raise over $1 million (AMAZING!) this year for the American Cancer Society.

Here’s what I submitted (I apologize for spacing issues – copy/paste trouble, no time to work on it, have to get to work!):

I am running for my Aunt Dale (far right in photo, I am on the left). She who died two years ago from kidney cancer.
Me, my grandma and my Aunt Dale

Me, my grandma and my Aunt Dale

Throughout her six years fighting cancer, my aunt‘s positivity is what sticks with me. There were times that the trial she was on was working — one even bought her a few more years — and times she felt so completely sick. But she always had hope. She always was positive.

A memory that stays with me is from one morning, about a year before she died, when I was heading home after my workout class. It was around 7:30 am, and I was a few blocks into my walk. You might imagine my surprise when I see, coming towards me on First Avenue, my Aunt Dale with her husband, my Uncle Steve – who lived in New Jersey!

While they were in my neighborhood for a cancer-related appointment during a very difficult time, running into my aunt like that was such an amazing surprise. I always think – what are the chances? Seeing her brightened my day and I hope that despite the reason she was in the city, I helped brighten hers as well.

Aunt Dale always cheered on my running, and her positivity motivates and inspires me in everything I do. I am grateful to the generous donations I received in her name. Aunt Dale would have loved this! I am honored to run this race for her.

I also wrote about the upcoming NYC Marathon for the Oiselle blog, part of a roundup of Oiselle team members who are running. By the way, in a group email about the race, the team coordinator saidDori and Kara G. are our second timers!”

Kara G? That is elite runner Kara Goucher. Just lumped in there with me. NBD.We all had three questions to answer in the roundup. Here’s what I said:Goal?To have the best time! I already ran my goal race this season, so I want to put 100% of my energy into just enjoying this experience. I’m even going Garmin-less! This particular race also has special meaning for me; I raised over $4,200 for the American Cancer Society in memory of my Aunt Dale who died from kidney cancer in 2012, and I will wear a ribbon with her name attached to my shirt while I run. She was a huge supporter of my interest in running and would have loved to watch me on this course.How many times have you raced NYC?
This is my second time participating in the NYC Marathon, but hopefully it will be my first time finishing it! I got sick at mile 9 last time and remember very little until I left the race at mile 18. I can’t wait to get the real NYC Marathon experience!

Favorite workout in this training cycle?
I remember one workout especially well so it must have been my favorite! It was 2 x 2 miles with a 5 minute active recovery in between, along with a 2 mile warm-up and 2 mile cool-down. I felt so strong during the 2 x 2 miles and even though it was tough, I stayed right on pace with my goal time. I ran the second half faster than the first and felt especially accomplished after.

Ah yes, the goal talk. I wanted to touch on that for a minute.

As you might know, I did not achieve my goal in Bellingham in September. A few people have hinted to me on Twitter that they think I’m going to try to run a sub-4 marathon at NYCM. And I’m sure many of you don’t believe me, but trust me when I say – I AM NOT TRYING TO ATTAIN MY FORMER GOAL AT THIS RACE.

There was a time right after Bellingham that I definitely thought about that idea. That I thought, even though Coach Abby told me not to, “well maaaaaaaaybe if I happen to start fast with the excitement, the adrenaline will keep me going!”

Yeah, no.

Not only would it be dumb timing-wise, but it would also likely ruin my day, destroy my fun and prevent me from finishing. My right hip flexor hasn’t recovered from that day. I resumed training after, and it started out OK, but after a very long run it was clear my hips weren’t doing well. I had an amazing sports massage, I rested, I heated. This seems to have resolved any trouble in my left hip flexor, but not my right.

I tried running again last weekend after a couple weeks off and my right hip hurt. I haven’t run since. I don’t want to make it worse.

My goal is to have a REALLY fun time at the marathon, and to finish.

I don’t want to do anything to destroy my chances at finishing, and I don’t want to painfully, miserably slog through. I want my smiles to be real, not put on for photographers. I raised a lot of money (THANK YOU for your generosity!) to honor my aunt, and being dumb and dropping out isn’t exactly an honor.

If I start too fast or try to achieve any sort of time goal, I won’t finish. I know this. As much as I am hoping my hip cooperates and the adrenaline suppresses any pain, I do expect it to hurt. I just don’t want to do anything on my end that will make it worse. I don’t want to beat myself up after for running too fast and ruining the day for myself. 

I’m not wearing my Garmin. I don’t care about my time. I just want to enjoy the course, take in the cheers, see for real why everyone loves this marathon so fucking much. I want to cross the finish line, where my husband will be watching from the bleachers, and feel ecstatic to have finally done it.

The last time I ran NYCM – right before things got bad.

One more thing – go ahead and track me if you like, my number is 35418. Somehow, I managed to randomly get a meaningful number!

35 – my husband Andy’s favorite number. He uses it for EVERYTHING. His email, his Twitter, his Instagram. Everything.

418 – Andy’s birthday.


My mom and friends will be around mile 15 on the Queens side, and Andy will be at the finish line bleachers. I know I’ll see Danielle and Coach Abby along the course. And lots and lots of awesome strangers! Everyone will get to see me in my royal blue ACS Team DetermiNation singlet, with a ribbon attached with my aunt’s name on it.

This race has meaning.

Will you be cheering? Tell me where so I can try and look out for you! 

8 comments on My 2014 NYC Marathon Goal

  1. Jenn
    October 31, 2014 at 9:04 am (3 years ago)

    I’ll be on 96th and 1st! Have fun!!

  2. Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat
    October 31, 2014 at 11:46 am (3 years ago)

    I will be running with you :)

    Best of luck, my goal is to enjoy the race as well (just ran a totally shitty Chicago) last year was AMAZING so all I want to do is recreate that magical experience. And I was sick for it and it was STILL so awesome.
    Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat´s last blog post ..It’s Marathon Week…Again

  3. Leana
    October 31, 2014 at 3:04 pm (3 years ago)

    Best of luck this weekend Dori! Have a great time out there!
    Leana´s last blog post ..Becoming a Runner

  4. Lauren @ Beautiful Plant-Based Life
    October 31, 2014 at 4:56 pm (3 years ago)

    It makes me happy to know you’re running NYC again. I’m in the Central Park every day and find the marathon prep bittersweet, since the race was cancelled in 2012 (when I was ready to run)! You deserve to LOVE every mile. I’m out of town this weekend, but will be thinking of you!
    Lauren @ Beautiful Plant-Based Life´s last blog post ..Vegan Diet vs. Vegan Lifestyle

  5. Moses Chukwu
    January 3, 2015 at 4:45 am (3 years ago)

    So interesting. Best of luck

  6. NO2 Shred
    June 7, 2016 at 7:40 am (2 years ago)

    Hoping that you had a great run. Thanks for sharing your experience to us. Hoping that you will not stop running, it gives us inspiration. Wishing you the best of luck.

  7. TestX Core
    October 29, 2016 at 1:56 am (1 year ago)

    Running with a purpose is a great determination to run. It helps you make your run worthwhile. We want to see you run more often.


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