10 months and 3 days ago, I made a New Year’s resolution.
To run a marathon this year.
There is a marathon in October in Connecticut; I figured I’d do that one.
But why start (relatively) small? Why not really go for it?
You know, go big or go home.
Soooooo… New York City it was.
And all I can say is… Holy cow.
UN. BE. LIEVABLE.
What a day. And what an experience.
Just coming out of Grand Central the day before, you can feel the excitement.
You walk around checking out everyone’s shoes.
Is she running in the marathon?
Is he running in the marathon?
Look at those sneakers.
She is definitely running the marathon.
The whole event actually starts the day(s) before. You need to pick up your race bib the Thursday, Friday or Saturday before the race at the Expo held in the Jacob Javits Center. The building alone is impressive.
Once you get your number, it’s official. You are all set for the race.
Race day starts early.
I was dressed and ready to go at 5 a.m.
I didn’t have any of those cool arm warmer things that people wear, so I took a pair of Number 5’s tights and cut the feet off.
Cooler than the arm warmers if you ask me. And free.
At 6 a.m. I took a bus with Team in Training to the start in Staten Island. For those of you who don’t know the city, (which includes me, even though I’ve been there a hundred times), here’s a map of the course.
Staten Island is down at the bottom of that map. You have to get there really early because the bridge closes at 7 a.m. My wave didn’t go until 10:30 a.m., so there would be a lot of waiting.
A lot of waiting.
Because of the bombing at the Boston Marathon, there is tremendous security. There were cops everywhere. Many of them carrying big-ass guns. It was a little scary.
Once you get through security, you find the color of your village. I was in the blue village.
You find a spot on the ground.
And you wait.
And you wait.
You wear 4 thousand layers of clothes that you don’t mind donating.
When your wave is called, you head to the bridge.
You take off the clothes you don’t need.
There are thousands and thousands and thousands of articles of clothing lining the side of the walkway leading to the start.
When you get there, there is a huge stage. Someone sings God Bless America.
Yesterday, it was Miss New York.
During her song I dropped my phone and shattered the camera lens. So my pictures from that point kind of suck.
Once the song is over, the starter gives you a warning, and then a cannon explodes.
And you are off.
New York New York is blasting over a loudspeaker as you start running across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.
You hear Frank Sinatra at twelve thousand decibels and the pounding of tens of thousands of feet.
So the race takes you from Staten Island, to Brooklyn, then Queens, then the Bronx, and finally, to Manhattan.
Brooklyn is crazy.
Thousands of people on either side of the road, and a different band playing about every quarter mile.
There are spectators holding signs everywhere.
“22 more miles until beer”
“You trained for this longer than Kim Kardashian was married”
“You are running better than the Obamacare website”
You run through the Hasidic Jewish neighborhood of Brooklyn where it is eerily silent.
You run over the Queensboro Bridge. No music. Just the pounding of footsteps.
You run down 1st Avenue which is in. sane.
So many people.
And if you write your name on the front of your shirt, people cheer for you.
Around mile 20 is when you read about “hitting the wall.”
But no wall came.
At mile 23 there’s a steady incline as you head toward Central Park.
That part sucked.
Until CCB surprised me and came running out of nowhere.
She had said she wouldn’t be able to make it to the city.
She ran with me for about a half mile.
I took a marathon selfie with CCB.
And then, back to business.
I ran the race smart.
Not fast, but I felt good.
I never hit a wall.
I never walked.
And I sprinted across the finish line, to the moment I had been envisioning for months…
Getting one of those post-race, foil blankets.
Four hours and thirty seven minutes.
Four hours and thirty seven awesome minutes.
After the race, I met up with my husband and CCB.
We went to a pub to get some beers and food.
Along the way CCB bumped into one of her friends, who asked if my husband and I were her parents.
That question hurt way more than any part of the marathon 😉
I had 3 Blue Moons and many more laughs with two of the most important people in my life.
It was a great way to end the day.
Today, I’m still riding that high.
I feel like a bad ass right now.
I can do anything.
It feels good.
Really, REALLY good.
I still can’t believe I did it.
And I can’t wait to do it all over again next year.
Maybe you should do it with me, because you can do it too.
The one who just pshawed and said, “Yeah, right.”
If I can do it, so can you.
You can do anything too.
Let me know when you do whatever that thing is you think you can’t do.
I want to celebrate your moment with you.
Then we can be bad asses together.
LADIES. Stop neglecting yourself during the holidays.