It's really just a coincidence that it's been exactly a year since I've written anything here. A year. And all the "time flies" and "where does it go" later, but I know exactly where it goes.
I watched the NYC Marathon on my iPad in the kitchen of our house in Madison. It didn't feel strange to be away from it. I didn't really even miss it. I enjoyed the training cycle and loved getting to run with so many committed athletes through the summer. So I sat with my coffee in my warm kitchen and watched the feed on ESPN, tracked my friends in the app from timing mat to timing mat and hoped they didn't slow too much (as I almost always have) as they came back into Manhattan, hit the 5th Avenue climb, and the rolling pain that—for me—has always been a part of the final miles in Central Park. I watched my friends meet or miss their expectations. Felt the joy and anguish of both. Sent my congratulations. And mostly let it go.
I trained pretty effectively for a fall marathon this year. Started up in the late spring and was consistent and focused throughout the summer. But I didn't have a fall marathon to run and I didn't really want one. I ran each week without any of the obligation I used to feel from all this. The pressure that comes from knowing what early November feels like and how quickly it seems to arrive. For years now, I chose over and over not to run another marathon and wondered if I would ever do it again.
I was running up in Van Cortlandt yesterday. A nice 9 mile loop up to Tibbett's Brook Park along the OCA and back down the Putnam. It was a course that often featured in my marathon training and I thought that maybe I should do it again. I don't especially need to do NYC again right now—nor do I have a qualifying time to get me into 2018—but perhaps I will return to Sacramento next December.