I’m happy to say that I’m alive — and anyone that was around me on Sunday will be glad to hear it!
Good news: On Sunday, I accomplished what I once thought was an impossible task for me to complete, and I ran the Shape Women’s Half Marathon in hilly Central Park!
Bad news: Also on Sunday, I threw up eight times and suffered from the stomach virus (thanks, Brett!).
Now, let’s backtrack. If you’ve followed any of my last few posts, you will know that I signed up for the Shape Women’s Half Marathon in January during a temporary lapse of judgement. Read about that here. After a few days of panic, I decided to become a superhero and start running (and yes, in my mind, that qualifies me as a superhero). From the slowest, hardest 2 miles in Barbados, to a spontaneous 7 mile run after work one day, to my furthest pre-race run at 9 miles, I laughed at myself for paying to run 13.1 miles, I almost cried at least one time each time I ran, and I justified all of the excess carbs I have consumed since signing up for the race. Surprisingly, I never contemplated quitting. I suppose that I wasn’t afraid of disappointing myself, since I never had a goal time in mind for the race. “Just get through it” was my motto.
Fast forward to race day. My alarm goes off at 5:15 AM, I text Caitlyn some crying face emoji, and Brett tells me that he feels like he’s going to vomit (I was assuming he was having sympathy anxiety. What a sweet boyfriend! Turns out it was just the start of the stomach virus). I put on my favorite, most comfortable leggings, packed up my running belt with my race gels, and realized that the bread I was planning to toast was moldy! Happy Race Day! I thought my stomach pains were thanks to the extreme anxiety I was feeling over the race, but boy did I have no idea what was coming…
At 7AM, Caitlyn and I met at the Time Warner Center (thanks for the bathrooms!!), and did a few laps while trying to convince each other that no, we are not going to die, and yes, we will make it through 13.1 miles. Mom, Dad, and Amanda met us soon after with the cutest cheer signs and the best attitudes.
|The Cutest Cheer Squad Ever?!
After the gun went off signaling the start of the race, Caitlyn and I squeezed hands, wished each other luck, and put on our favorite playlists. She’s a much faster runner than I am, so I knew it would only be a mile or two until it was just me, my music, and the hills of Central Park. Aside from the incredible amount of perfect looking dogs on the sidelines, I couldn’t stop focusing on the strangers who helped me get through the race. In the “Harlem Hills” section of Central Park (the worst section ever), there was a family holding a “Go, Stranger, Go!” sign that yelled louder than anyone else, and they gave me a two-handed high five each time I passed. At the top of hill #1, my favorite stranger ever reminded me that if I just keep pumping my arms and taking steps, the hills would soon be over. Mom, Dad, Brett, Amanda, Laura, and Jim were there each time I passed the beginning spot of the race holding big signs and making me excited for post-race hugs. There was even a little kid holding his puppy and making it “wave” at the runners.
|Pre-Race with Caitlyn|
Eventually, mile 11 became mile 12, and mile 12 became mile 13. I managed to get my butt over the finish line and collapsed my sweaty self all over Caitlyn who finished a solid 45 minutes before me (I’m SO proud of her!!!). People kept handing me things — a medal, a shiny blanket thing, an apple — and I just wanted to take my body off for a few minutes and not exist because everything hurt. More fast forwarding brings us to the cab ride home, where I threw up for the first time… And this is when the stomach virus took over. At first, I was convinced that my body hated me for running after mostly neglecting any training for the last few weeks leading up to the race. Then, I was convinced that I wasn’t going to survive and I would be leaving the world thanks to my temporary lapse of judgement. Now, I’m finally done throwing up (I passed that baton to Dad and Laura), and feel pretty bad-ass knowing that I ran my first half marathon while the stomach bug was starting to work its magic.
Anyway, if you’ve made it through this far, thanks for reading :). Completing the half marathon was truly the hardest physical accomplishment of my life, and it was something I never, ever, ever, thought I would be capable of doing. Although I’m really glad it’s behind me, I want to leave off with this final thought:
To the girl that could/would never willingly run more than a mile, I’m so proud of you! You made it 13.1 miles, you sweat your ass off, and you proved to yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to. You, my dear, are a rock star.
|They give you these blankets so you don’t smell so sweaty.|