about a year ago, i was on the computer late one night when i saw something advertising the united nyc half marathon. it was saying that i could sign up with them and get guaranteed entry into the half if i raised money.
it was late.
i was tired.
and i clicked the link.
moments later, i was taken to a page that described all the races i could take part in. and i saw the holy grail of races: the new york city marathon.
moments after that, i realized i could sign up for both the half and the marathon. i could do something called the big apple challenge. i could commit to raising $3500 and running both races for team for kids.
it is amazing how easy it is to enter your information and press okay. it is amazing how at nearly midnight i could make a decision that would change/influence/affect/direct the next year of my life.
it is amazing how so many of those life-changing moments have started just by pressing okay.
and now, nearly a year later, i am only a few short hours from running the tcs new york city marathon. writing that just made my heart skip a beat and the nervous knots return, but it is true. i am one sleep away. this time tomorrow i will probably still be in the shower. with my medal still around my neck because i am not taking it off. even in the shower. (part of me thinks i'm jinxing it by writing this but then people tell you to visualize the finish and so i'm confused about what to do)
we tend to think of new years eve as the day to look back on the year, but i find myself doing it several times a year. there are so many anniversaries of things and each time i am like, wow, its crazy how life has done its thing.
this has been my year of running. since signing up for the big apple challenge, i've run 10 races (11 if you count the 18mi training run that nyrr has and starts and ends like a race...). tomorrow it will be 11. 4 half marathons. 2 10-milers. 3 10ks. 1 8k.
and now for this pesky marathon.
i've run my fastest races. i have new PRs at every distance. i've nearly fainted during a half marathon and i've learned just how mental this running thing is. i've been ecstatic at my time and disappointed at my time. i've run around central park so many times i am really over it. i've given up and i've persevered.
of course, running and my experience of it this year is a great metaphor for my year. ups and downs. times when i've cried and times when i've felt on top of the world. times when i swore i'd never do this crazy thing again and times when i've imagined never stopping. times when i knew i could have worked harder and times when i knew i had to slow it down.
times when i've been scared shitless because i care so much about making it to the finish line.
times when i wouldn't have made it to the finish line if it weren't for people who love me.
(almost 80 people donated to my fundraising campaign this year. 80 people got me to this start line and now the city of new york plus people cheering from afar will get me to the finish line).
it is the night before the big race and i'm scared and excited and i still can't believe it. i'm scared my body won't be able to do it. that my foot pain and my cough and the fact that i feel dehydrated today and the fact that my training wasn't perfect...i'm scared all of these things will be issues tomorrow. i'm scared i'll get to mile 15 and just want to give up. i'm scared i won't be able to convince myself to go on.
i'm scared shitless.
but i am really excited to end my year of running by running the streets of my home with my friends and family cheering me on. i'm really excited to cross off one of the items on my bucket list. i'm really excited about the pride i'll feel--the pride toward my own mind and feet and lungs.
but mostly right now i am scared shitless.
which is okay.
because that night a year ago, when i pressed okay, i felt the same nervous knots. i was scared shitless for this upcoming year.
and here we are. on a kind of new years eve. sorta.
my clothes and stuff are laid out. i will eat soon. and i will finish my "just in case i need it" playlist. and then i'll probably pretend to sleep.
and next thing i know i'll be at the start line.
so...here we go, y'all.
here we go.
if you are interested in tracking me, you can download this app. my bib number is 64686. i am in the last wave so i don't start until 11am. let me know if you'll be cheering people on. i'll look for you!