This year began with us starting on our training for the NYC marathon while training for our first triathlon. We signed up for NYC Marathon last Thanksgiving. That seems like forever ago. What a year 2011 was for us. My Garmin mileage for the year totals 1238. However, that doesn't include NYC and treadmill miles that I didn't use it for, so it really is well over 1400 miles. Never in all of my life did I think I would ever say that about myself. I will say I am proud of myself. There have been plenty of trash talkers and nay-Sayers but they have not stopped me. I have stayed true to myself. I do this for me! And I am proud of myself. I was not born an athlete but this year I can say I have become one. I cannot wake up and run 26.2 mile having never done it before. I have trained hard for it and done it several times. I can honestly trust my training.
As for the ING NYC Marathon...many have done it before me and many have done a better time than me. However, I had the most amazing time! The unbelievable support from our friends and family reminded me of all that I have to be thankful for.
So let me start with the charity piece. Team for Kids is an amazing charity and I have to say I would run for them again in a heartbeat, especially after seeing/working with the people that are a part of it. By that I am not only talking about the kids they support, but the volunteers, the runners, the coaches and the staff. We could not ask for a better experience with better people. It was very humbling.
With the charity we were also thankful for al the people that supported us. I am not only talking huge donation wise. There were people that encouraged us and gave us the confidence to raise the $5500 we raised. And the OLMA girls! My heart is so full with all your support! I can't thank you all enough. We were also able to see people that were not supportive and were very surprised. However, we learned a lot and grew tremendously from that.
As for the race...Wow! I can't even put into words what it felt like. It was so amazing to see support from the crowd and especially know how many supporters we had there cheering us on as well. I can't imagine what it was like to logistically get into the city or on the race route that morning, but some awesome people did just that for us. What an amazing thing to do! We promise to pay it forward.
The race itself had the best views. I still can't believe we ran over the Verrizanno Bridge. Having grown up in NY made it so much more meaningful and special for me. There were so many times during the race I had chills. We don't run with earphones. Joe and I stay together and talk, laugh and well at this one we danced too...yes, we did! There were tons of bands during the race as well as dj's. There are videos included. My two favorite music parts were in Brooklyn and the Bronx. In Brooklyn, they played "I got a Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas. Every single person was singing and dancing. It was amazing. Then when we hit the Bronx, there were some rappers rapping "Welcome to the Bronx...Don't stop, keep going.". We sang that for miles. There were so many moments like that that put smile on your faces.
There were many moments that I will never forget! Four I want to specifically tell you about. The first was @ mile 18. Our kids recorded messages for us through Asics. As we turned the corner there pops little Sophia saying "I love you Mom and Dad!". Then Tony popped up saying how proud of us he was. Of course, I was crying at this moment. It was awesome.
The second one was @ mile 22. That is where we saw the kids that benefit from the Team For Kids program. They were awesome! It made me so proud to be part of such an amazing organization that touches so many young children around the world!
The third was seeing my kids and mom in the grandstands. When you enter Central Park you know you are close to the finish and we started checking the phone we were carrying to see where they were sitting...left or right side? Top or bottom? The text said section E? Huh? We had no idea what that meant until we hit the bleachers. Then it was so hard to contain ourselves. The sections were labeled with letters. We found section E. Then we spotted the lime green hats! We stopped waving like crazy and blowing kisses. That when we realized we should really finish.
The fourth is crossing the finsh line holding hands with the love of my life. I know it sounds cheesy, but what better way is there than to run a marathon with my husband and to finish hand-in-hand together. His support is amazing! And his videography skills pretty good too;).
I could probably go on forever about the actual marathon, but I'll move on. We did have an article written about us. No it wasn't solicited by us, but what a fun experience. The reporter spent a lot of time with the kids and took some fun pictures too. Had we known she was going to spend so much time letting Tony verbal vomit we probably would have been a little more cautious ;). I would have loved to sit on the couch eating chips. It all added to the memory/experience.
Someone asked me how long it was before we ran again....less than 16 hours. Don't get me wrong we only ran @ 1 1/2 miles the next day, but we don't do this to hurt ourselves. We trained properly and that means we knew how to recover also. We had no trouble walking (or with our joints) and don't do massages either. We do this as a long term hobby not as a competition. And certainly not to hurt ourselves. With that said, I truly feel anyone can do it. No it is not easy. Yes, it takes a lot of time and research, but once you do it you will be so amazed at what an accomplishment it is.
Now don't get me wrong, I have made plenty of mistakes along the way. There are some people that are just unwilling to share their knowledge and I have had to learn some stuff on my own. Fortunately, I learned all that on my training runs. And I will do it again. We are actually doing our next marathon in one week from today. On January 8th, we will run the Disney Marathon. We are super excited. Mainly because we love Disney. Even more because we know some awesome people running the Disney Half the day before. One in particular is running her first half-marathon ever. We are so excited for her and will be ones on the route screaming our heads off! Go Kristin!
So what will 2012 have in store for us. Well my first wish is for health for all our loved ones! After that, I want to continue on this journey towards a healthy lifestyle. I know that is very general, but I am not about setting numbers as a New Years Resolution. I am a realist. Every race and every race day is different. There are different people in front of you, different climates, different courses and so much more. To compare races to each other and other peoples time to mine is just futile. Again I am in this for me.
I'm not perfect. I love sweets, but I have not taken more than a day off in a year and a half. Even when I'm sick I do something. I still have alot to learn, but I am willing to do so. I am also willing to put in the work and will. We have lots of races in mind and some we have already signed up for this year already. It keeps us focussed and with goals in sight. It also make me look forward to what 2012 has in store for us. Maybe we'll see you out on the race course or on a training run. I hope 2012 has all that you are hoping for!
Happy New Year and thank you for being a part of our lives and taking the time to read my blog. I've decided to continue to blog about my experiences in 2012, but am starting a new blog titled "Making FIT my way of life.". You can follow it at www.fitmywayoflife.blogspot.com. Hope you'll pay me a visit there.