i remember the day i found out i got into the NYC marathon by lottery. i literally cried because i was SO beyond excited. this is one of my top five dream races && it was becoming a reality. training for this race was tough but i was determined to push through no matter what it took. i had a time goal in mind (of course) so i trained to push towards it. after LOTS of blood, sweat, && tears, marathon weekend was upon me before i knew it.
my mama came up from NC to see me run this race which meant the world to me! on saturday, my hubby, mama, && i headed into the city. we parked the car, checked in to the hotel, && waited for the shuttle to the expo. we were SO lucky to find out about the expo shuttle because we were thinking of takings taxis which would have cost a fortune! the expo was AMAZING!
as soon as i got to the packet pick up area it really hit me. like WOW, this is it, this is THE NYC MARATHON! i was beyond excited. it all seemed so surreal. after grabbing my packet, i went to look at ALL the goodies! i tried to limit myself otherwise i could have gone crazy buying stuff! after leaving the expo mama was tired so she stayed behind at the hotel while michael && i went to tiffany’s to pick up my NYC marathon necklace! to me it is like a reminder that i can carry around with me every day. like a medal i can always wear! we went to my favorite macaroon spot as well && then had dinner.
it was off to bed early && my nerves were keeping me awake. when i finally fell asleep i was so restless. before i knew it, my alarm was going off && i was getting ready! luckily i was catching a bus to the start from the NYC library which was super close to our hotel. michael walked with me && waited until i got on the bus && then it was off to staten island.
it seemed like FOREVER but when i finally got off the bus && through security, i waited for a port-a-potty. i literally stood in line for a good 45 minutes && was at the point where i was in pain. i got out of line && walked over to my corral hoping i could use one there. corrals weren’t open, of course, so i ended up waiting in line for these gross random port-a-potties. after all that FUN, i just waited super impatiently for my corral to open. it really started to hit me as i walked toward the verrazano bridge. like this is it && i am going to crush this race!
before i knew it, the cannon went off && we were running. it was crazy that thousands of us were running over this bridge && no one said a word. then all of the sudden this woman near me yelled, “this is so awesome,” && everyone started cheering. my miles were kind of all over the place to start because of getting up && over the bridge but i was able to settle into a pretty good pace.
running NYC was unlike anything i have ever experienced. there were spectators cheering for us EVERYWHERE! the only place you had quiet time was going over the bridges. it is AMAZING when complete strangers yell out to you or high five you. it gave me a sense of empowerment && i just kept pushing. i felt pretty good for about 12-13 miles && then my wall started coming up. by the time i made it into manhattan && saw my family i was HURTING! my hubby, mama, && sister were waiting for me so i ran over to them real quick. i reached out to my mama && held her hands tight. she knew i was hurting && asked if i wanted to stop. there was NO WAY i was stopping, i was over 16 miles in at that point && i was going to continue to push. they all reminded me that i could do this && i took off knowing the next time i’d see them would be at the finish line!
i struggled for miles && miles. running, jogging, walking, just doing whatever i could to keep moving. my IBS flared up VERY badly around mile 20-21 && when i finally made it to the bronx && saw an open port-a-potty i was SO thankful! after telling myself i COULD do this, that i was SO close, i just kept pushing.
my sister called me (i am able to answer calls on my headphones) && asked me how i was doing. i told her i was going to meet my time goal && push myself. she said to back off if i was hurting but i just couldn’t. i picked up my pace && pushed. just before the finish around mile 25 i saw them again && was ready to push it to the finish line!
as i got up to the finish line && saw it right there in front of me i took off && sprinted it in. that was when something went very wrong. i crossed the line && looked around, all out of sorts. the pain crushed me && i struggled to put sentences together. it was all a blur as the medical support got me into a wheelchair && wheeled me down to medical. i struggled to get in && out of the wheelchair so they had to help me && i just didn’t know what to do. as far as my family knew, i had crossed the finish line && was in the finish chute.
they kept checking my vitals, giving me fluids, && talking to me to see if i was getting any more coherent. i explained to them that i had fibromyalgia as well as POTS && that i had my medication on me. thank god for that because as soon as they identified the meds i was able to take them which kept me from having to be hooked up to fluids. my husband started panicking && calling. when i finally answered && explained to him what was going on all he could do was wait for them to release me. they don’t allow family in the medical tent. after about an hour i was finally released.
my biggest focus was getting my medal! i was put in a wheelchair before even getting my medal so once i had that around my neck i just smiled. i finally got to michael && we had not too far of a walk to my mama who was waiting with the car. jen had to catch a train so i called her && filled her in on all that had happened. it was so crazy && my one regret was not taking pictures when i finished. i was so out of it, it just never came to my mind. when i finally got home, that was when i thought to myself wow, i don’t even have a picture of myself with my medal.
the NYC marathon was an absolutely amazing experience despite my finish. i would do it again if i could && next time maybe take it all in a bit more && not worry so much about my time. i have LOTS of plans for the new year with races.. starting with my biggest challenge yet, the dopey challenge. i will be kicking off the new year by running 48.6 magical miles over the course of four days! i am nervous, anxious, && totally excited.. stay tuned!!