It all began with friends and family asking.
Are you running the NYC Marathon this year?
I’d laugh with reckless abandon. Absolutely not! Yes, I have run a half. Yes I do love running now but a marathon?! I can’t even conceive such a distance.
Or can I?
Feelings of maybe I can, got stifled very quickly. 26.1 miles on such a large stage? What?! Who am I kidding?
Then in the weeks prior to the 2014 TCS Marathon I watched (read?) obsessively in the BLACK GIRLS RUN! group the stories of the training and excitement for the race. Night after night, week after week I’d scroll through the posts completely inspired by the increased mileage reports. Then I would reflect on my own half training and how 13.1 seemed just as impossible 3 months ago. Could I do it? Could I really do it?
I casually brought up the possibility of running the 2015 NYC Marathon to my husband over dinner. Without hesitation he told me to “DO IT.” I quickly explained the insane amount of time it would take to train over the summer, hours and hours on the road logging miles and likely traveling to train with a charity group. He didn’t hesitate to tell me that he loved me and supported this decision.
So now I have solid inspiration, the support of my husband… What was left? Oh yeah. The belief in myself.
I decided I would try to ignore all of the marathon hype around me… Even though I realized my boss was running and would ask him all about it every time I had the chance… I decided to attend the expo to see if this would be something I would want to do or was I just in over my head?
When I stepped foot in that expo I was overwhelmed with excitement. So many runners taking pics, picking up bibs, chatting and adding to the overall feeling of euphoria in the room. The amount of people in the room, the multiple languages, the laughter, the thick feeling in the air that something major was about to happen was enough to grab this newbie runner and hold her hostage.
Finally, it was time to watch the marathon on TV. I have watched for years but this year was considerably different. I now wanted to run this race. Sure the professional coverage was fun, but what I paid attention to were the “regular” runners getting interviewed. What time did the last wave start? What are they wearing? Are they okay?
I followed the hashing closer that I have ever followed any hashtag. I tweeted random strangers congratulations. I followed fellow BGR! sisters that I have never met and cheered when they got 5k closer to the finish. I could have gone on the course and cheered but I didn’t want the insanity of the route to cloud my judgement. 5 minutes out there and I would have handed over my mortgage payment to enter the race.
My husband took the kids and allowed me to watch the marathon with no interruption. I cried with Kara Goucher. I studied the route, took mental notes of where I may struggle the most. I took notes on where I could I strategically put my friends and family, because I would need them to carry me through as they do with everything else in my life.
Late Sunday night, as I continually read tweets of people still crossing the finish line 8 hours later. My heart ached with want. I believe I can do it. 100%.I’ve already scouted out some marathon training plans that are actually a bit easier than what I put myself through for the half.
Certain events and commitments will have to be put on hold and I will have to trust the training as much as I can. I’ve already inquired for a spot on the Ronald McDonald team and I will be fundraising for my favorite charity on the planet which will make the marathon even more special. Especially because I know first hand the amazing work they do and raising money for this organization as their blog ambassador would be an honor.