I’ve been wanting to write about the NYC Marathon since I got home from the race, but I keep getting intimidated by it. To express how I felt that day seems almost impossible. And, thanks to our digital world, I’ve already shared a lot of pictures, my race time, and other details about the race online in several formats (so sorry for the overkill!).
But, during this week of thanks, I have to express how thankful I am for running and especially for the opportunity to run the NYC Marathon. I finished the race in 3 hours 57 minutes and 3 seconds – exceeding my goal of 4 hours and 15 minutes by so much more than I expected.
Throughout the race my legs hurt, my left arm went numb and my feet ached, but the energy of the crowds and the excitement of running through the burroughs of New York kept me going. Also, a little prayer for special people in my life at the start of the hardest miles helped immensely.
When I hit mile 22, I knew I had a chance of finishing under four hours. And it was then that I started to really break down mentally and physically. But, lucky for me, that’s also when I hit Central Park.
Literally thousands of people lined the streets with motivational signs and whistles, clapping, and loud cheers. On my left side, buildings reached up to the perfectly blue sky. And on my right, the golden leaves of hundreds of trees in Central Park sparkled.
When I saw the ’1/2 Mile To Go!’ sign, I was passed by the 4-hour pacer and I became panic-stricken that I was going to miss my newly formed sub-4 goal. So, I kicked it into another gear … and pain shot through my knee.
At that moment, I realized I was literally giving every last piece of myself to get across the finish line. I put the pacer out of my head, confident in my timing, and gave all that I had to cross the finish. And, once I crossed, I cried.
Never in my life have I tried as hard as I did that day. Which, truth be told, may not be a good thing. But, it was certainly life changing. To know what could be accomplished and to understand what it feels like to fully give my all made me realize that I can do just about anything. If I try that hard in other aspects of life, there’s no telling what could happen.
Today I am thankful for running the best marathon and best race of my life. Running gives me peace, relieves stress, and keeps me sane. I’m thankful to have found a passion that compliments the rest of my life so well. Thanks for listening to me talk about the race one more time … I’ll stop now. :)
Happy Thankful Wednesday! What are you thankful for today?