These last couple of weeks have been filled with not a care in the world, which most likely explains why I've been so MIA. My one goal after the race was to relax, and I've definitely been doing just that. Between lots of brunching and drinks with friends and shopping galore, I think it may be about time to get back on track, but maybe I just need a few more days of goofing off.
So, remember that race, that 10 mile race that I was training for for 10 weeks. Well, I did it.
I guess I should start from the beginning of the weekend...
Saturday morning, Jenn and Neesha picked me up at my apartment and we drove down to Philadelphia. We went straight to Lincoln Financial Field to pick up our bibs and t-shirts and other goodies to ensure that we were ready for the race! Alexis met us there, and after buying lots of Cliff bars and Gu Gums we all felt like we were ready for the race.
After relaxing in the hotel for a few hours we headed off to Kara and Ryan's apartment for a pasta party! What better way to prepare for a race than to carbo-load with some of your favorites! Some great company and delicious baked ziti was the perfect way to spend the night before the race. We were all a bit anxious for our early rise the next morning, that we headed back to the hotel and to bed.
Sunday morning, the start time of the race was set at 8:30am. It was recommended that we were there by 7:30am and well, with our over eagerness we got there a bit too early and had an hour and a half to spare. We walked around and looked at everyone stretching and getting ready and I was just truly amazed at the number of people that were there. Turns out, there were 42,000 people there. I've definitely been in big crowds before, but at sporting events or concerts, never running down a street for 10 miles, so I wasn't quite sure what it was going to be like.
In races like this one, where there are so many people, they have corrals so that there are staggered start times. This mean that the 8:30 race start time was going to be more like 9:00 for me. The closer I got to the start line the more nervous I became. I had gone to the bathroom twice before lining up and thought I had to go again, but thankfully it was just nerves.
We finally started at about 8:50 am and Jenn and I did our best to run together. We always say that if one of us is just feeling the adrenaline, then to just go. We don't want to hold each other back, but at the same time it's always nice to have a running buddy.
I think I lost Jenn at around mile 3. We were only running a few seconds off of each other, but with the sea of people, it just became more and more difficult and I didn't want to slow her down. I was really feeling great as I started my run and there were such great spectators all along the route. As we were running through Temple there were people with signs that said 'Most races would be done by now' and other funny lines. It made me smile to think that these people were on the streets just to cheer us on and be amazed by this feat we were taking on.
By the time we were past Temple, and into Center City, I was getting a bit tired, but I kept trucking along. I think it was around this time where Rachel's 'Run Dana Run' mix played me the Whitney Houston 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' mash-up. If you know anything about me, you know that's my karaoke song, so it made me just want to keep on keeping on! As we ran around City Hall and back onto Broad Street I knew I needed to stay to the right so I could keep an eye out on Miriam. I told her what time I would be passing by and she told me what corner she would be at and wouldn't you know, that after 6 miles of running, I found her! I stopped and gave her a big hug and kept on running. If I'm being honest, I started to tear up. I had been working so hard for this and I know all of my friends and family were supporting me through it, but to have someone there, meant the world to me. Also, the fact that I had another 40 minutes of running ahead of me, meant I needed the reminder that people were thinking of me.
Once I hit about mile 7, I was in South Philly. This was a great part of my run, because while I was so tired and still had a few more miles to go, this was the place where my dad grew up. And I grew up coming down there and visiting my family. I knew the street names and it just felt a little bit familiar. I kept thinking, maybe someone will be waiting on one of the corners for me, but I knew that they were just waiting for my phone call at the end of the race!
I can honestly say, that once I hit mile 8, I thought to myself, okay, I did well, I think it's time to go home. :)
I had never run more than 7 miles at a time, so even hitting 8 miles was such a milestone. The fact that I still had 2 more miles to go was just an absurd thought to me. I know that I was slowing down a bit at that point, but I also knew that I had to keep pushing myself. I was so close to reaching my goal of finishing this race! I think site at this point was a group of people all wearing shirts that said '0.5 to go'. It was such a relief, I think I must have started sprinting at that point. I knew that I was so close to finishing, finishing something that I worked so hard to achieve.
As I crossed into the Navy Yard, I just kept wondering where my cousin Jackie might be. She had told me that she would be at the finish line to see me and while I was beyond excited, I was also so anxious. How would I find her? With 42,000 finishers there had to have been at least 42,000 people waiting for them to finish or maybe more like 80,000 people! I kept one eye on the prize (the finish line) and one eye on the side lines! And as crazy as it sounds, about 2 seconds after I crossed the finish line, I spotted Jackie and Gianna. It was such an amazing feeling, finishing the race and seeing family that is so proud of you and what you've done. If my parents and my brother couldn't be there, Jackie and Gianna were the next best thing. We hugged as I tried to catch my breath and take in the fact that I just completed a 10 mile race! I kept walking around the finish to pick up my medal and some food and then re-unite with Jackie and Gianna.
It was truly a ridiculous site. Thousands upon thousands finishing this amazing race and then having that moment with whoever their special someone was to acknowledge, that they actually did this!
After finally finding some of the rest of my friends, finishing numerous bottles of water, eating lots of fruit and granola bars, it was time to head out to eat more!
While my body didn't want to move, it did want to eat more food. So we headed off to Silk City for a delicious brunch with some of the same people we carbo-loaded with, and more! After eating more food that I thought I could stomach, we headed off to shower and head back to NYC.
It was truly an amazing day, that I will never forget. I will never forget my amazing biff and the kick-ass playlist she made me to keep me running for almost two hours and I will never forget Miriam standing on a street corner waiting for me and allowing me to give her the sweatiest hug ever and I will never forget, crossing that finish line and seeing two of my favorite cousins ever.
But now I have to decide, do I want to run a half-marathon? Do I want to set a new type of goal for myself? What's next for me? I guess you'll just have to wait and see!
For now, the next step in getting through this week so that I can head to Martha's Vineyard to see my very dear friend Erica tie the knot!