This was my favorite spectator sign from the 2011 NYC Marathon. There were so many great ones it was hard to pick, but this was the one. So much encouragement from so many strangers. It was incredible. It made me love NYC and it made me love the journey I’ve been on all the more.
All that said, there were some bumps along the way Sunday. It started out so well. I held back and kept my goal pace of around 10:00/mile. My knee held up great and did not hurt. I did have some pain in my other knee around mile 12. I walked a little at a couple of water stations and I was confident I could make it through to the end.
Then, after the Queensboro Bridge, heading onto First Avenue in Manhattan, all my muscles got tight and started cramping. So weird as this never happened on my long training runs. All I can figure is that I was dehydrated and did not have enough salt. I also don’t think I ate enough throughout the week leading up.
It’s been such a struggle with the eating throughout training. On one hand, who wouldn’t want to eat more! On the other hand, after losing over 100 lbs, there is part of me that doesn’t want to lose control and gain it back. This is something I’m working through and I know it contributed.
Miles 16-19 I ran two blocks then walked one. I was starting to really hurt. Around 19 someone came up beside me and began to talk (he was having stomach issues). This was a blessing as it gave me an excuse to walk further. As I got into the Bronx I kept walking as everytime I tried to run my muscles would not cooperate. I really didn’t know how I would finish. Lots goes through you mind in these kinds of moments!
Leaving the Bronx God really sent me some help. A fellow Team World Vision Runner from Australia, Kevin, came up beside me and we started talking. His knee had given out earlier and he was trying to make it through like me. He and I walked and talked through Harlem for another few miles. It seemed more like a parade for a little while :). So many encouraging people in the crowd.
As we got into the Park around mile 24 we decided to try and run and then walk when we had to. We were quite a sight I’m sure as our form was full of pain. As we neared mile 25 we just decided to go for it all the way. Kevin and I kept going through all those pains and I was sure they were moving the finish further away as we ran (another favorite sign: “There is a Finish Line”). The last .2 was TOUGH. I kept repeating the Scripture verse on my GoSport ID: “For the joy set before HIM endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2). God so clearly reminded me how powerful and important finishing is. No matter the trial, no matter how many setbacks, no matter the circumstances, FINISH.
My final time was 6:05. If you’ve read here I was originally hoping for a much better time. But I’m not ashamed. I finished. As a matter of fact, as I was praying later in the night I felt God say that if it would have been easier, if everything would have gone according to plan, I wouldn’t have learned that lesson. I wouldn’t have understood the depth and power of FINISH.
I’m so honored to have been a part of this race and this process. I can’t wait to do another marathon so I can do better — I learned so much about me. I’m so blessed to have been a part of Team World Vision and the joy of seeing 26 children’s lives forever tangibly changed.
Thank you all for your support and encouragement every step along the way. I hope I have the chance to cheer you on…SOON!