ING New York City Marathon *1 year anniversary*

I cannot believe today is exactly 1 year since my mom and I ran the New York City marathon. Our very first marathon. It will always hold a special place in my heart.

On Nov. 6, 2011, we woke up at 4:45 am (?!?!?) rushed to get coffee and a bagel, and get on our bus that would take us to the starting village.

We had prepared for months for this moment. We had also worked for months to raise $8,000 for the Christoper Reeve Foundation.

Back of my Team Reeve Shirt

We trained in the cold. We trained in the blistering heat (I’ll never forget our 18 miler which we could ONLY do at noon on a 90 degree day). We canned for hours in front of grocery stores asking people to donate. We sacrificed a lot for this moment. I stayed in on weekends when friends went out because I had to train in the morning. We endured sore legs and muscles…but were rewarded with long, post-run naps :)

I just can’t believe it’s been a year! I never in a million years thought I would run even a half marathon, let alone a marathon. The year before the marathon I started following more health and fitness blogs, and seeing what people were accomplishing. That is what motivated me to set this goal. My mom and I had a ton of support from family and friends, and it was amazing.

Our wave went off at 10:40, and we were beyond excited. I don’t think we could even really process what was happening. Before we knew it we were running over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. As everyone always says about the NYC Marathon, the first 1-2 miles are all uphill on the bridge, but you barely notice it because you just can’t even believe it’s happening.

The first half-marathon basically is through Brooklyn and all flat (thank god). We met up with my dad, brother, sister and boyfriend at Mile 6.

Candid that my brother and sister took

We got to the half-marathon marker at about 2:30. I figured we could finish in 5 hours, maybe less because at that point I still felt strong. At mile 15 we trekked over the Queensboro Bridge which was tough. It was all uphill and never-ending. As people always say, there are also no spectators, so it’s eerily quiet.

But you can see Manhattan in the distance! As you come out of the bridge, it’s mile 16. Only 10 more miles to go! You round the corner and onto 1st Avenue, which is booming with all of the cheering. It really is a “wall of sound.” You’re like, “Ok, I got this! 10 more miles? That’s nothing!”

Still feelin’ great

But then you start to the notice the slight incline that doesn’t seem to be ending…and that’s where I started to fade. This was the point where I first started walking. My mom still felt great, and I felt really bad holding her back. This was also the point where I started feeling SO thirsty. I couldn’t stop drinking water. Later, I would find out this is what would do me in. Yikes.

So we trek up 1st Ave and I knew my family would be at mile 18. I wanted to look strong for them!

Then it’s pretty much a blur to me until I get to mile 20. I knew my best friend was there, and that’s what pushed me through to at least get to that point. I found her and she cheered me on and told me to keep going. We shared a picture and a laugh and she sent me on my way.

After this, I was majorly struggling. A lot of walk breaks. My pace fell to the 12-12:30 minutes per mile range. I was not looking too hot. At mile 23, we entered Central Park AND my brother and boyfriend joined in for the last 3 miles. They tried to joke with me and get me going, but I was extremely cranky at that point, and walking for the most part. My brother grabbed my arm at one point and made me run!

Who made me do this again? LOL so embarassing

Doesn’t Dan look like he’s our bodyguard or something with his shades?

The last 3 miles would NEVER END. At mile 26, we stopped to take a picture with the mile 26 sign. I literally didn’t even have energy to smile.

The last 3 miles were honestly a blur. I didn’t get that feeling of excitement that we were almost finishing our first marathon. I was nauseous, dehydrated and angry with my time. I wish I could say we crossed the finish line and cried and hugged each other, but we actually got our medals and then I threw up and landed in the emergency tent. Oops.

But I certainly was glad to be finished. We walked out of the park and 10 blocks to wear Team Reeve was gathering. We got free stretches, and ice bath and miso soup to replenish sodium :)

And of course we were proud to be walking around in our mylar blankets!

This experience is one I will never forget. Of course, upon finishing I said NEVER AGAIN. But 1 week later, my mom and I signed up for New York Road Runners in order to complete 9 of their races to qualify for the 2013 New York City Marathon. We just finished race #8, and have one more to go, along with 1 volunteer session. I cannot wait to come back and conquer the course. I just need to learn how to properly hydrate this time!

New York City 2013, here we come ;)

Watch my video montage/recap here.

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