Tomorrow, I will be doing something crazy. I will be waking up early, putting on some spandex, taking the subway to the Staten Island Ferry and then running for 26.2 miles. For the first time ever, I will be running the NYC Marathon.
Running a marathon has been a bucket list item for me since I was a child, but it was one of those things I never actually thought I would do. You see, I actually hate running. But, growing up in Boston, the marathon was always a huge deal. I knew people who ran it every year, who raised money for charity, who trained all year for Heartbreak Hill. We had the day off from school and would pile out on to Comm Ave to watch the marathoners run by. I always dreamed it would someday be me, but at the back of my mind, I didn’t really believe it would ever happen.
Yet, here I am. I moved to New York, got a job and started dating a great guy who is now my husband. When he started running seriously, I said what the heck, might as well try. And after a couple years of regular racing, we qualified for the marathon by running 9 qualifying races and volunteering for 1 event. Now the moment is here and I’m excited, nervous and most of all, hungry.
There is a certain energy surrounding any marathon. People find out you are running and they want to hear about your training and your predicted time. You hear “I could never do that” so many times it becomes meaningless – because you know that, really, anyone can do it. It just takes some planning, training and grit. We’ve been talking about this event for months. Last night, we went to the marathon expo to pick up our bibs and race materials. The place was mobbed with svelte people in warm-ups and sneakers. There were DJs playing pump-up music and free give-aways of Gatorade and PowerBars. You could buy any kind of athletic gear you wanted, all personalized with NYC 2013.
Tomorrow, much of the city will be closed down and people will pour forth to watch us run past. They will cheer and ring cow bells and shout our names (which we have written in large letters on the front of our t-shirts for that express purpose). The whole city will be united behind this one event that disrupts traffic patterns and raises spirits. And I will be there in the thick of it, knees aching, covered in sweat. Here’s to hoping I can enjoy it.
Wish me luck!