The discarded cups and thrown confetti has all been cleared from the streets of New York, but the inspiration I gained from yesterday’s race is still very fresh.
For the first time in six years, I spent yesterday spectating, cheering and supporting friends and strangers alike as they conquered 26.2 miles. Back in 2009, when I last spectated, it was from the sponge station on First Avenue, while volunteering with the New York Junior League. I didn’t know a soul running the race but watching these strangers conquer such an intimidating race, lit the fire inside of me, inspiring me to join the New York Road Runners and qualify for the New York City Marathon via 9+1.
From my cheering spot on Fourth Avenue I was able to cheer, scream and motivate runners as well as spot my friends Ireen, Theodora, Frank, and Kelly before lacing up my shoes for a few miles with Melissa. These running inspirations made it look so easy yesterday!
After a less than stellar final month of training due to an injury, Melissa was hesitant about yesterday’s marathon. In order to help her achiever her goal of finishing, I offered to run alongside her for a few miles, taking her mind off the marathon while providing her with some fuel and water. Exactly on plan, around 11:45, I spotted her as she crossed the mile 7 marker and quickly hopped in. We had a blast for 3.5 miles, as I gave her a tour of the Brooklyn sites. Humorously, a few friends spotted me, very confused including Emily and Kim.
As I prepare to conquer the heat and humidity of this weekend’s Savannah Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon, my third half marathon this season, I’m going into the weekend more excited than ever before thanks to these friends. I know the 80% humidity and predicted temps of 75 degrees aren’t ideal for racing but my goal is to finally break that elusive sub-2 hour half marathon mark. The sweat, tears, smiles and determination that these friends showed during yesterday’s marathon reminded me that so much of racing is mental. I can’t control Saturday’s weather but I can control everything I do leading up to the race, so I can go into the race feeling physically rested, mentally strong and smiling. Until Saturday when I’m not working, you’ll find me foal rolling, sleeping and reading posts like this, reminding me of the most important things to do before racing in humid and hot conditions.
So here’s to you marathon runners, thank you for showing up yesterday and giving 110% to the boroughs, bridges and streets of New York City. A huge congrats to those I knew yesterday including Sashea, Camille, Jen, Theodora, Frank, Melissa, Chloe, Kelly, Greg, Ireen, Kayla and Dani.
Your turn: Did you spectate or watch the marathon this weekend? For those half marathon runners who have recently achieved new PRs, what are your tips? Do you run in humidity and heat often? Any tips?