Last update, I met up with my big brother, Spurgeon, who agreed to run with me from about 22-25–the critical miles of the marathon. My last 12 mile run, I decided to run the last 12 miles of the marathon (a common thing to do if you’re training for NYC marathon in NYC), and I also wanted to test out my pre-race fueling because I wouldn’t start running until 11:00am, but had to wake up at 6something am.
I wanted absolutely nothing to do with that run, if you’ll recall. Once I finally got on the road, I still wanted nothing to do with the run, and contemplated turning back as soon as I got off of Queensboro Bridge. Well, you know that I finally made it, and made it to the Bronx, just like I did on race day, but, coming from the Bronx into the park was a whole new level of hard for me, and I don’t know if it was because my fueling was off during the training run or what. But I dragged my feet then.
When I got home, I immediately texted Spurgeon, and said, “no matter what happens on Marathon Sunday during the portion of the run you’re with me, I love you.” LOL. Just prepping him.
I write this to tell you that it was THE EXACT OPPOSITE for me, especially once Spurgeon jumped in. I was still feeling good. He had a pumpkin munchkin that I stuffed in my face, and then tried to wash down with water—it is so hard to find enough saliva after you’ve been running 22.5 miles in a headwind, LOL.
Anyways, I felt my legs getting heavier, but nothing crazy. Spurgeon’s energy was soo contagious, I couldn’t help but smile. He said I looked good, and HE COULDN’T BELIEVE I’M A MARATHONER! And I’m like, whoa there, buddy. We still got 3 miles to go! :)
I asked Spurgeon to basically make me run and to tell me stories. That I was no longer really capable of thinking for myself. Honestly, if I was by msyelf–and I told him that–I would have walked more than I needed to, and still I think I convinced him to let me walk more than I needed to, but whatever. We finished Harlem, and made it to Central Park North and 5th Avenue aka HEART ATTACK HILL :) but somehow, we kept running. I knew Amy’s smily face was coming up at 103rd Street, and I was over due for a hug! Plus she would have some food :)
That’s me running to my hug on 103rd street! With Spurgeon!
I also packed for Amy a few extra snacks so that I could have choices for the later miles. I told her, no matter what, give me the banana at 14.5 but everything else could be negotiable. She had: salted swedish fish, granola bar, salted apple slices, and orange slices.
When 103rd came (and it’s on the hill, if you’ll remember), I wanted the apples–they were THE BEST APPLES I’D EVER TASTED! And I told Spurgeon so. I got my hug and apples from Amy and we kept going.
But my high was short lived. My legs were getting a little heavier, and mentally….I was about to say the words, “I think this is my wall” RIGHT as my Coach was running up to us! :)
It was actually the first time we met in person (I left my phone at home at the Bronx 10 miler–a race we were both running, where we would meet up), and it was the boost I needed right at the right moment. Of course I didn’t want to look weak (even though, I was approaching mile 24!) in front of my coach! So, we chatted and jogged for a little bit, and–if you’ll remember–the police sirens were still behind us, getting closer, which also meant I was slowing down, LOL. We were finishing up the hill, and made it into the park, finally!! The sirens and its announcement stopped, but they were still creeping behind. My goal was to stay in front!
Once I got into the park, it was auto drive, for real, in a way I had never really experienced auto drive. My legs knew every twist and turn, and I knew that I could catch up some time on the downhill (Cat Hill), and just made my way towards it. I picked up my pace, and that was when I started passing people. Spurgeon and Abby were surprised, and Abby said, “It looks like you could have pushed a little harder earlier!” and it was probably true, but you know, I did what I could, so that I could start passing people in this moment, right now.
And it felt good.
We got to the top of the downhill, and I kicked it into gear. My legs felt strong, and at one point, I asked, “What is happening? Am I sprinting at mile 24+?!” And they said YES!!
Abby gave me a hug and congratulated me and dropped me off around 72nd Street transverse. I still had a little more time with Spurgeon to talk about how I was REALLY GOING TO FINISH THE MARATHON! I WAS GOING TO DO IT!
I WAS LESS THAN 2 MILES FROM FINISHING THE MARATHON.
Spurgeon said he would drop me off at 25 and let me take myself in to the finish line. We had a little bit of a downhill exiting the park, and I was scheduled to meet Amy at 59th Street.
I had told Amy to always meet on runner’s right, at each spot, but when I saw the gates up, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to see her, so I decided not to look for her and just kept running/walking.
Central Park South has a sneaky uphill, yall.
BUT I WAS FINISHING. I WAS FINISHING THE MARATHON, UP RIGHT, AND I WASN’T CRAWLING (remember when I said I was prepared to crawl?)
I jogged to Columbus Circle, where I saw the big jumbo tron, and folks were still lined up cheering people like me coming through in the dark.
I’ve come through this entrance so much, so much, that my legs just carried me even when my mind didn’t want to. Less than 400 meters–that’s one time around the track. THAT’S ALL THAT I HAD LEFT! JUST ONE TIME AROUND A STUPID TRACK.
I ran some more. I saw a friend who was cheering her partner on and was just behind me.
I ran up the hill, and I SAW THE FINISH LINE. THE FINISH LINE.
200 meters left, and there were about 6 or 7 people between me and the finish line. My legs said, “WE GOT THIS, JUST GO”
AND I DID.
I sprinted to the finish line!!!
The photo on the bottom shows clearly my emotion right after I finished. I didn’t straight up cry, but, there were tears there (probably because I was dehydrated, haha). I texted C to tell him I had finished, and let Facebook know that I was officially a marathoner, then did the “Death Walk” to the family reunion.
For real, someone needs to shorten this thing.
Anyways, I made my way to Amy and Curtis!
And Curtis and I celebrated our hard won victories!
WE ARE MARATHONERS! Not a bad way to spend 1/2 of your first year together.