I’ve talked a lot about how this trip felt, but here’s some photos of the highlights.
Okay, let’s talk about marathon morning. Well, maybe it’s better if I show you.
The incredible energy began the moment we entered the hotel lobby. Groups were cheering and chanting, and it was NUTS! The energy was contagious, and I couldn’t help but still feel excited. I met my team in the lobby and we headed down to Central Park where there must have been thousands of runners who all decided to run anyway, and for the first time, I felt like a real runner. Race or no race, we were all out there together purely because we love running. Sometimes I wonder if I actually love it, or why it is I do this crazy thing, but I really really do love it. Not at every second, and not even every run, but running has changed my life. It has changed the way I view food, and aided so much of my food related anxieties. It has brought me friends, and even a second mom 😉
I ran through the park with tears streaming down my cheeks, and the dopiest grin on my face. Suddenly, it all made sense. I will get to run a marathon someday (soon), and I will even get to run the NYC Marathon someday, but only those of us that were here on this very day will ever get to experience this display of passion and perseverance by thousands of runners.
Everything happens for a reason, and I needed this moment in my journey. I needed it to inspire me, to reaffirm what I deep down already knew, and to make me feel like I belonged in this community. It would be so easy to say “My marathon was canceled” and give up, but that is not who I am. I wasn’t planning to make this my last marathon, and now my first will just be that much more special.
After a week of so much negativity, this morning was exactly what I needed. People still came out to cheer. They held signs, they had cow bells, and some were even passing out water. I tried to thank every single person on those side lines, I got plenty of high 5s and you better believe I accepted the water from a stranger. I wasn’t even thirsty, I was just so thrilled that they were spending their morning passing it out!
There were teams from all different countries. Brazil was pretty loud, so I distinctly remember them. We ran a loop of the park, then down to the hudson river for a total of 10.6 miles for the morning. It was exactly what I needed, and I’m so grateful I got to be a part of it.
Disclaimer: Please don’t take this as insensitivity to those affected by Sandy. I am simply explaining my experience.