In general I'm a pretty smart person. I'm also overly cautious and a bit of a worrier. It seems these traits extend to all areas of my life except for running. When it comes to that activity I like to throw myself at it without much thought or training but armed with lots of enthusiasm. While that method worked for me twice earlier this year, you would think I would know better than try to run a marathon, 26.2 miles, without completing a training program. You would be wrong.
Sunday morning I dragged myself out of bed at 4am and headed to Union Square to join 25,000 other people to run a shit ton. I looked surprisingly happy even though it was still dark and I was about to act on one of the stupidest decisions I have ever made.
It all started back in March when I decide after running a couple of half marathons that I was ready to go all the way. 13.1 miles seemed too easy! I was ready for marathon glory! With that I joined a running group and I stuck with it for a few months. Then four months before my scheduled marathon I dropped out of my marathon training group for a variety of reasons ranging from medical to I just didn't like it. I continued to run but definitely nothing close to the plan I was assigned and not with any kind of regularity. I lived in a bit of denial about the impending marathon and just ran whatever distance I felt like. As September came to a close I decided "eh, what the hell, let's do this marathon!"
I won't lie, this experience was equal parts amazing and awful. I felt great for about 18 miles, despite hills, misty rain, and a stranger running up and kicking me in the shin. I felt like death when I hit mile 19 and around mile 21 I actually sat down on the curb. But it all was fine again at mile 23, when I figured out that running actually felt better than walking.
When I sat down on the curb I really thought I would sit there and figure out how to direct Whitney to me so I could hop in her car and go home. I had given up. But then I took out my phone and checked my text messages and @ replies on Twitter and I was overwhelmed. The outpouring of support from everyone was so much that all of a sudden I knew I couldn't stop. It sounds so stupid but the internet believed in me and knew I could finish so I picked myself up and started moving again. Who am I to disappoint the internet?
My goal time was 6 hours which is ridiculously slow but realistic for my lack of training. I finished in 5:54:36
Thank you internet. Thank you for believing in me and pushing me across that finish line. I couldn't have done it without you. Everyone can have a turn wearing the finisher necklace as a thank you, that seems fair as I wouldn't have it without y'all.