I have been debating in my head since Sunday how I wanted to write this post. I’ve been struggling with this for quite a few days now. So instead of trying to come up with something clever and witty, I decided to just share and see what happens!! I want you to experience the emotion I felt on race day – not so much what I DID, but how I FELT.
Saturday night I slept well until about 2:00 AM on Sunday morning then it was on and off for hours. I Struggled with fear and anticipation…..
I read Read the book of Philippians…. Reminded how God loves me…and in every situation He is with me.
English Standard Version (ESV)
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Luckily I was staying with dear friend Pam Geil she got me up and off we went hand in hand to face the race…. We took 4 trains, a bus and a boat….her steady clam that day and the day before Kept me grounded. I had been on the verge of tears since the first step into the expo to pick up bib and race packet.
As we start towards the villages. I was pretty quiet as we walked…..I kept thinking about how the heck did I get my self into this……where was I suppose to be? I’m green? Pam is orange? Where are the others I know running??? What to do???
By this time the crowd was thick and Pam and I got spilt upon a bathroom stop and bib color difference and a hope to find Suzanne….. I was all alone and started to panic a bit!!! In a panic I am panning the crowd for Pam or my amazing friend Suzanne who was running on the same Joint Council Team…. About to lose it and then by the Grace of God I see her!!! SUZANNE!!!! God is sooo good to me!! I love this woman and her most beautiful heart. Her hug instantly calmed my raging nerves!!!
The start came much quicker than I expected it would and I kind of walked through the corral in a fog. I shed my throw away clothes, and then it was TIME. God Bless America started playing and we were running across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge! I felt great, the weather was cool and the scenery was amazing….. And I was with my girl Suzanne. All was good….
It was around mile 4 we came up on my girl Pam and I was feeling great!!! The crowds were AMAZING!! And I love her!!! Suzanne had pressed on and Pam was struggling with some injuries and she pushed me on…..so there I go….. Little bird out on her own!!!
Felt pretty good Suzanne and I passed each other a few times….
Waving at each other in potty lines…….
And then I hit mile 13. The Pulaski Bridge.
Two things happened on that bridge:
1. It was cold and the wind picked up ( I was wet from the drizzle of Rain Earlier) and 2. I was starting to feel a little tired…. ALREADY??I had no idea…it was here I had some GU energy gel and it was good! But I was feeling it so instead of being stupid and powering through the hills, I decided to walk them. I’m not sure if this was a smart decision or not. I’m able to walk today so I’m going to say it was.
Miles 15 to 16 were the Queensboro bridge. HOLY MOLEY!!! This bridge was killer. Long and monotonous and boring. My least favorite part of the race. Thank fully in a rough spot I saw some home town love, Hanna jumped out at me and I got my Mama T hug!!!! I think was also my slowest mile of the race!! But home town love picked me up!!! NOW, I knew we were headed towards First Avenue, which was supposed to be the mecca of crowd supporters.
I took my headphones out at this point because there was supposed to be this “wall of sound” when you reach the bottom of the bridge of the crowd cheering…..but I was slow, there were people but nothing like I had envisioned….so Lucky for me…. Jackson Carter jumped out of nowhere and surprised me in a huge way!!!! I got a burst of energy and his one hug was greater than a million cheers!! His energy and encouragement gave me a second wind!!! And at mile 17 he pointed down the road a said finish this…. I ran off renewed believing I was almost done…. Finishing!!!
Miles 19 and 20 I was feeling icky a very upset stomach I was now making myself drink some water at water stations. I was still wet from the sprinkles of rain and did I say it was WINDY!!! I was extremely Cold and tired. I knew my goal of a 6 hour finish was out of reach and I couldn’t get that out of my head. So, I dug deep and started praying::
DO NOT be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Please let me finish!!!
Then I hit the Bronx and Harlem. It was like a big party that everyone was invited to! There were rappers free styling, bands and lots of people high fiving the runners I especially loved the kids I tried to get my love from them they reminded me of why I was running in the first place THE ORPHAN children. I can surely do this they endure so much every day! I’m so thankful for the those that stayed around for us slower runners! It was because of them that things changed for me. I WAS going to finish. I didn’t care about my time anymore, and I was PROUD of what I was accomplishing.
Somewhere around mile 22 I was so cold had been given one of those foil wraps so I would stop shivering and the sun was starting to go down. They were taking down the course YES taking down the course…. While I was running I was getting VERY discouraged. I was crabby, I was tired. My legs were hurting and there were lots of rolling hills as I entered Central Park.
My stomach was still revolting so I just continued to make myself drink water at every mile and tried not to think about it.
Next thing I knew I was coming up to the 25 mile marker. SO CLOSE. I just kept my legs moving forward and ran with this stupid grin on my face. Thinking I will FINISH!! This was it…. I CAN!!! I only cared about crossing that finish line. I heard these words running in my heart from Philippians 1:6(ESV)
And I am SURE of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion……
HE IS NOT FINISHED WITH ME YET!!!!
And as I approached mile 26 I could hear the announcer say “This is your finish! COME AND GET IT” and I immediately got choked up. It was so emotional! The tears came as soon and I crossed that line!! I immediately called my husband and faced times with my kids!!
You can pretty much see the happiness on my face in the picture at finish!
I accomplished something I always thought was IMPOSSIBLE. I had ALWAYS SAID ” I will never NEVER run a marathon” you see it was almost exactly a year ago that Ali Sweeney told us we were running a 5k for the show and I thought I may die…it was my first “run” and now in a years time have completed a marathon!!!!!! (8 5ks in a row!). I am so PROUD of myself. I deserve this medal!!
Some things you DREAM…. Other things you just LIVE!!!
It was truly an experience of a lifetime. And something I will never, ever forget.
Thanks so much for all the love and support.
A huge thank you to JOINT COUNCIL!! It was more than an honor to run for the babies of the world that you all fight so hard to protect, take care of and find Forever Families for!! I am humbled by what you do. This is only the beginning!!!
A special thanks to my Mom who watched closely all day, cheered and kept everyone up to date all day!! I love you Mom!