Hello. First, I wanted to thank everyone who supported me to run the NYC Marathon on behalf of Team Continuum. Thanks to all of you, money was raised to help cancer patients with gaps in supportive care. Your generosity inspired me and helped me make it through those tough last miles. I was really determined to finish this race. I wanted to make all my supporters proud and to prove that you can do anything you set your mind to. I also wanted to run in honor of and in memory of all the friends and family of my supporters who have courageously fought cancer. I kept each individual in mind as I ran.
This marathon season was a bit different than last year. I ran with a different group who had a different training style: mostly that they ran way too fast for me. I decided to train on my own but ran into motivational problems. When I finally got the kick to train, I did too much too fast and hurt my knee which could only be cured by resting the knee. I continued to train, but never was able to do very much. The week before the race I tried to run and only made it 6 miles before the sharp knee pain kicked in. I was very nervous about the marathon. My heart was racing when I was on my way to the start on the Staten Island Ferry. I had a knee brace with me, but I was wary to use it while running. They always tell you to not do anything new on race day. I had never run with the knee brace and when I would run in place it felt too restrictive. Before the race, I kept putting on and taking off the brace - constantly changing my mind as what I wanted to do. I decided not to wear it, but last minute I decided to carry it with me in my running fanny pack.
After waiting what seemed like forever, my running wave was finally called to line up. It was really bizarre because I thought we were lining up to get into corrals, like a normal race, but then next thing I knew there was no corral and we were at the start line! It was a little chaotic. I started the race with my friend Rudi but he is a running maniac. I told him to go ahead with out me. I wanted to go slow so I would have the best chance of finishing.
The first mile was fine. We were on the Verrazzano Bridge and it was gorgeous! I stopped to take a picture! Around mile 2 I suddenly got the sharp knee pain I had been having. I was stopped to stretch and got a little panicky when it didnt go away. After going about another half mile I decided to take a risk and put the knee brace back on. At first the pain was the same, but after I went a bit further it went from unbearable sharp to dull and manageable. I kept telling myself if I could only make it to the half way point running I could walk the rest and finish in the time limit. I began to calm down and enjoy the race.
The race was a lot of fun. There were bands every block. There were a TON of people on the sidelines cheering. The crowds in Brooklyn were the best. They were dancing and singing and having a block party. The neighborhoods changed from white to Mexican, Puerto Rican, Chassidic Jews, black, Dominican, Williamsburg hipsters .... you name it they were out there. It was so interesting to see so many different types of people out there. It was amazing to be in all 5 boroughs on the same day! Sometimes we would crest a hill and I could see down the race pathway and there were people for as far as you could see. There were also a ton of people out in hilarious costumes, including a guy running with an inner tube made up to look like he was riding an ostrich and a guy with a huge Eiffel Tower. (link to pictures at the end of this email). The part that was the funniest is that these guys in costumes were passing me. I couldn't stop laughing.
I normally am dependent on my ipod when running without a partner to chat with but I was having so much fun I never had to use my headphones once.
Right before the Bronx, my knee started to act up. From there on out I had to stop and walk every so often. I was at mile 19 so I wasn't nearly as nervous. I had my name on my shirt and people kept calling out cheering me on. It was really inspiring. I kept thinking of everyone who supported me and all the people who I was running in honor of. I kept asking myself "Can I stand this pain another hour and a half? Another hour? Another half hour?" and the answer was always yes. Many people had shirts on saying "Pain is temporary, pride is forever" and that was true!
When I started to come around the bend where we entered Central Park near the finish line, I thought I was going to cry. I got choked up from being so excited. I had a strong finish running the last bit. I was excited to get my medal (also a strong motivating factor). Last year (when I trained a lot) I finished the San Francisco Women's marathon in 4 hours 42 minutes. With no training and a bad knee I finished this one in 5 hours 8 minutes. Not too shabby!
Since the race I have been very sore and having to ice my knee but it was worth it. I am actually now thinking of what marathon I could do next. I guess I have caught the fever! I learned a lot and I am looking forward to continue with running to help raise funds to help those in need. I appreciate your continued support and thank you again!