Day 3 and stairs are no longer my enemy.
Day 4 and besides the healing blister on my foot I feel normal.
I guess that is what successful training is all about.
It’s funny as a runner when you run a marathon, you know recovery is a real thing. You know you have pushed your body to and past the limit, yet some how it’s annoying when you don’t just spring out of bed the next day. When I ran my first marathon, the next day I literally was wearing heals and seriously felt normal. As the years pass…… As the training is not as stellar…… As my feet begin to have issues…… As my body changes………. those days are long gone! I would have cried if I had to put on heals the next day. I switched back between my OOFAS clogs and flip flops for 3 days.
Yesterday, was the first day that I really felt normal. Getting up and down at circle time (remember I work in preschool) with ease. Bouncing up and down stairs like nothing. I only have residual tightness in my hamstrings and honestly it might be because I need to do some rolling. Really not a bad recovery.
Funny thing is that when non runners see you even in midst of recovery they are amazed. Several times I have heard things like…..
If I ran a marathon, I wouldn’t move for a month.
The fact that you are still moving amazes me.
I don’t even like walking to my car, I can’t believe you ran 26 miles.
It used to be only 1% of people have run a marathon. I recently heard that it is up to 2%. Still a small amount. Something that everyone who has ever crossed a marathon finish can take pride in. There is pride in time but there is also pride in the finish.
So I have decided to deconstruct the marathon backwards starting with the finish line…….
In the dark…. 6 hours and 3 minutes 49 seconds after crossing the start line, i crossed the finish line. Pure joy, exhaustion and triumph rolled into one.
I am thankful to the spectators who were playing Eye of the Tiger from a boom box in Central Park. They literally got me up that hill! you think you are done when you turn into the park, but there is still more for the marathon to take and for you to give.
When running a marathon, the finish line seems so far away. The longer you run, the farther it feels or maybe that is just me. For New York though, you know you are ”getting closer,” when you turn down 5th Avenue. In the past, 5th Avenue is wall to wall people cheering you on. It’s heart pumping. It is exhilarating. It is amazing. Often you will see people with their medals and ponchos in the crowd. It gets you up the Avenue into the park.
I will say starting in the the last coral of the last wave, running 5th Avenue was slightly different. Yes, there were crowds on some sections, but it was not wall to wall people. There were not people lining the entire avenue. To be honest by the time that I hit the Avenue, they were already in process of rolling up the NYRR banners. It did not have that heart pumping, energy inducing motivation to run or walk a little faster. I was at the point in the marathon where I was trying to decide if it was more painful to walk or run. So I kept on walking….
Often when people talk, think, or even run a marathon; we focus of how long did it take. The elites finish in a shorter time than most people run their half marathons. They are amazing. Then you see the times of celebrities who finish the elusive 4 hour marathon. They train for it. They earn it as much as the non celebrities we know. They are also amazing. As our the people in our circle who fly like gazelles hitting paces for mile after mile crossing the finish line in times that make our jaws drop. They are amazing! Then there are people like me, who have to answer No to people who ask, ”Did you run the whole thing?”
WE ARE ALSO AMAZING!
There is something about having the grit and determination to get to the finish line while they are rolling up the carpets so to speak. When the crowds are sparse…… When the sun is setting…….. When it is dark in the park……. When you have to be your own cheerleader……. When you have to dig in deep to find your own grit and determination because you are the reason you are there in the first place and you will be the reason that you get to the finish line. There are no massive crowds to carry you to the finish line, but those that are there know how much that you need them. I was lucky to have a friend cheering on 5th Avenue. I almost missed her but she strained your voice to scream my name loud enough that I turned to see her………. It was perfect
As was knowing that I had 2 friends who were volunteering at water station around mile 19. It is no exaggeration that I was pushing to get to them before their shift ended at 5:00 PM. I made it in time. I found them and gave them sweaty hugs stealing energy from them to keep going. Once the goal to reach them was achieved then I could tell myself that the finish line was not so far away. I like to count down the miles which doesn’t work for everyone but it works for me!
Before the water stop, my goal was to find my Sandy Hook Promise Team at 87th and 1rst Avenue. I missed them the first year that I ran for them and am thankful these last 2 times that I have not missed them. They not only give you energy but they give you a reason to keep running….. to keep pushing…… to know that giving up is not an option. They are an amazing team and while they support me during the marathon, they will always have my support running or not running.
I have never been a spectator at any marathon let alone the NYCM and I really think that would be an amazing thing to do. I think spectators underestimate how much energy they give to those running the coarse. I plan to be a spectator in the future and I know that when I do it will be the back in the pack runner that I will be saving energy to give to because we may need it more than those that are flying to the finish.
And yes…… There is more, but for today this is enough especially as I need to get to work:)
Wow, what a lovely story. A marathon is never easy, and it’s so cool that you’re sharing your story to inspire other people who want to push themselves beyond what they think is possible. Thanks for this post!
Congratulations for finishing and having the determination to do it again. I am one of those who would say it is something I could not do. But your determination gives me the strength to keep going every day when PTH hits me in the gut and says “you no go”. I go because you do. Thank you.
We got to do what we got to do… Keep moving. Keep doing what we love and know that no matter what we do or dont do, that is enough:)
The day after NYC M, I went for a 3-4 mile walk to help speed up my recovery. After my 1st NYC M, I did not do anything the day after the marathon, and recovery seemed to take forever.
One tip (if you already do not know): Try walking backwards when going down stairs. You’ll look crazy, but it (at least for me) relieves some of the stress on your front quads.
REM’s It’s the End of World as We Know it got me through the last bit in Central Park. As a matter of fact, I think I played that song 2-3 times.
Congrats on finishing!
That is a great song to run to and keep you motivated! Love it and might need to make sure it’s on my list next time. I LOVE Perfect Situation to keep me motivated