"I did it"
That was the text to my wife after I crossed the finish line on Sunday at the NYC Marathon. It was the most recent manifestation of a six-year wellness journey that I have been on since receiving an awful annual physical report in 2013. Nearly 100 pounds lighter and with three marathons under my belt, it has been a truly extraordinary couple of years.
There are few things about marathons that some may not realize. For the big majors like the New York City Marathon with over 53,000 participants merely getting to the starting line is exhausting. It is generally a 3 to 4-hour journey, including a lot of walking, standing, and then when you finally make it to the start village, waiting on long bathroom lines in chilly temperatures. The truth is, when the starting gun sounds, no matter how tired you are from the lack of sleep the night before or the trek to the starting line, adrenaline takes over.
The other thing that people might not realize is that in a full 26.2 mile marathon the halfway point is not 13.1 miles. I can safely say that the halfway point is really about mile 20, and that a marathon really starts at that point. It is miles 20 to 26 that your body tells you with every fiber of its being that you’re pushing it to places it would prefer not to go. The race migrates from your legs to your head and your heart at that point.
My goal for this past marathon was to first of all finish, and second of all try to beat my 2014 time. I am extremely happy to report that I finished in four hours and 25 minutes, beating my previous time by three minutes.
When I saw my family after the race, my initial reaction was something like “I think I’ve gotten that out of my system.” I genuinely thought that I was finished with marathoning. And as these things happen, over the past few days I’ve given it some thought and think I want to do it again. I have put my name in the lottery for the Chicago Marathon which I hear is super flat and I also have my name in the lottery for the New York City marathon next year. Fingers crossed!