AKA The worst day at the NYC Marathon is still pretty darn great...
After an okay night sleep, up for brekkie of bagel and cream cheese and a luna bar. Felt nervous but great. Get to the start around 7:30, meet up with my friend Cindy. We are so bundled up from the cold that we're unrecognizable (I'll post pix when I'm home - it's hysterical). We also find my friend Joe. And out of 40000 people, I see John, one of my RWOL forum buddies. SMALL WORLD. :-)
Line up for the wave 3 start, gun goes off at 10:20, and I'm over the start by about 10:30. Beautiful run over the bridge, and I see some friends around mile 4. I take my first pack of sport beans around this time.
By about mile 5, I'm starting to have stomach upset. By about mile 6, I'm about to puke, so I drop it to a walk and my stomach calms down. So I start to run again, my stomach revolts again, and I drop it to a walk. I'm able to do the running/walking for a while, but finally give it up around mile 8 and stick with walking. So, I accept that I'm on a walking tour of NYC and walk through the rest of Brooklyn, walk through Queens.
I arrive at the 59th Street Bridge and start powering up the hill. As we arrive at the top of the bridge, I'm behind an Achilles runner wearing a t-shirt that he's a heart transplant recipient. He turns around right then, and tells those of us walking near him that his guide is the brother of his heart donor. I promptly burst into tears and blurt out something to the effect of "that is the most beautiful thing I've heard all day." Gosh, I was a blubbering mess, but it really put the day in perspective for me. The NYC Marathon may be a competitive physical event for some people, but it's also the most amazing exhibit of personal spirit that you'll ever find.
So, I carry on. Down the bridge, into Manhattan. I run by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, for whom I was fundraising - give high-fives to the patients, docs and nurses who come down to cheer on the Fred's Team runners (and walkers, in my case). See friends at 74th, and then on to 92nd/1st where my DBF and sis and friends are waiting. Hugs, kisses, and on my way.
Up to the Bronx, back to Manhattan. By about mile 23, I'm exhausted and also starving, but still nauseous beyond words. I haven't been able to stomach anything but water all day, and have been taking salt packets to keep my salt okay.
But my DBF, Sis and friends are waiting for me at 92nd and 5th, so I keep trucking on. Into Central Park, past mile 24, past mile 25, onto Central Park South, back into Central Park at Columbus Circle, then finally the finish line.
Anyways, that's it - a long day, actually my personal WORST. I'm guessing I lost about 20 minutes to the portolets, which is always a fun time (rolling my eyes here), but it really doesn't matter.
I had a great day, covered 26.2 miles on foot, talked to folks from all over the world, high-fived kids in every neighborhood along the course, and had a truly amazing moment with the Achilles athlete.
I'm in New Orleans now with Sis#1, and we're doing Habitat for Humanity this week. The benefit to this is that I get so sore from the hard labor LOL that I lose focus on how my legs feel!